Dogma.

Its never too late for new beginning

I write about several subjects. When I am asked to put any given subject into a category, there is not always one to suit. Dogma is one of them.

One can be dogmatic about anything. Religion, health, nutrition, dieting, money, politics and lately I am beginning to notice some dogma creeping into Spirituality. Not good!

A loose definition of Spirituality is that; we find a truth that we know is coming from our soul and not from some outer authority.

Which in turn sets us free from fear. But there is a journey and it although it is not easy, it is exciting.

Millions of us are living in a world where we can be subjected to dogma.

One example is until recently I belonged to a club for a certain diet. Not your usual calorie counting one I may add. It worked for me, but only after experimenting to find what suits me, using the suggestions as a guide. However, after a while, the diet became dogma, not from the author, but from people joining and using the original book as dogma. Thou shalt not eat this and never eat that! The author of the original book often has difficulty getting across to people that she never meant for this to happen.

Vegetarians can become very dogmatic. Nutritionists, Dietary Advisors and it goes without saying that politicians certainly can.

Another example is The Law of Attraction. I am beginning to notice people saying that if something does not go your way it is because you are not following the rules. What rules?

(I write about The Law of Attraction in a series of blogs for ageing, from 2015, which you can find here.) http://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com/ageing-the-law-of-action/

I am beginning to notice people saying that if something does not go your way it is because you are not following the rules. What rules?

The dogma that has affected my life is the one of Religion. And there are millions of people in this world who are the same. Many of them stay within that dogma for the whole of their lives. But there is an increasing awareness that we do not have to spend our lives obeying someone else’s rules because it suits them. The more I study and research, the more I am finding out that we need to find out for ourselves what the truth is for our individual soul.

I have just written a book about how I did it, which is a simple narrative of my life as a child in the 1940’s and 1950’s, a young Mother in the 1960’s and 1970’s and how the teachings of a Pentecostal dogma or fundamentalism had dire effects on my choices in life. The added factor was that the Pentecostals claim that they are not religious. But a loose definition of religion can be that we follow someone elses set of rules. And there were a lot of rules in my life that came from the Pentecostal teachings and in many other evangelical movements.

From the early 1980’s life began to change, in a very dramatic and traumatic way. With the loss of everything, marriage, business, possessions and the roof over my head, during the next thirty years, I found the way to my soul. Thirty years may seem a long time, but it has all been a gradual dawning and an exciting, although at times painful journey. I found the truth and that truth has made me free.

That is the title of my book “The Truth Has Made Me Free.” It is still being prepared for publishing at this point, September 2017, but keep a look out for it.

I recognise that there are many others who have suffered because of fundamental teaching about anything. Especially other religions, but I also know of a few who have suffered because of other dogma, not just religion.

I also want to start a group on Facebook for people who have been affected by fundamentalism or dogma, in any way. Either from your own experience, or someone you know, and how it has affected you in any way. And of course, if you too have managed to be free from it all.

Would you comment below if you would like to join such a group?

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AMD Constant adjustment.

 

As many of you know, I have the condition known as AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration)

I won’t go into the details of the condition; you can google it for that, or look at previous blogs that I have written.

I like to write about my experience, for people to understand it, both in the carer’s capacity and the sufferer.

As soon as people are diagnosed with this condition, life becomes a challenge.

Firstly the acceptance of it. Sad to say, many consultants or ophthalmologists, don’t understand that when they use the words, “There is no cure, and nothing that can be done I’m afraid” (which many people who have the condition have experienced,) it frightens people badly. They panic, they despair, they wonder what is going to happen and I have had people say that they could not stop crying for days afterwards.

Secondly, life takes on new challenges.

For this blog, I will take just these two, as there are much more in our everyday lives.

The first one, scary as the consultant’s words are, they are not as final as they may sound. Yes, there is no cure at present for AMD, but there could be in the future. But there is so much help, and support that in reality, the consultant’s words should be something like “There is no known cure at present, but as long as you don’t have any other conditions, you will not go blind. And there is plenty of help and support out there for people like you. Let me introduce you to a way to start.”

You could then be led down several routes.

(The information in this blog may not be suitable for other countries, but I hope that it will lead you to see that there is support, and you will find out from the US group.)

So now to the second point from above. Life takes on new challenges.

Yes, it does indeed. Firstly there is the challenge of acceptance. I am not saying that there is never any hope of a cure, but at the time of writing there is not. I have had some people sending me links about treatments that they have had, and it may have worked for them, but scientifically there is no cure.

I have also had suggestions to me that it is emotional and maybe there is something that I am not seeing in my life that needs to be sorted. Someone even suggested that all illness is emotional. I am not dismissing that idea, and yes, I can go along with that, but AMD is a mechanical breakdown, and it needs to be managed until there is a better way. Much the same as managing any other breakdown in our body.

If the emotional side of it grabs you, then, by all means, look at it. If it works for some, I would dearly love to hear about it. Not theory or hearsay, but testimonials of your own experience.

But I am talking to people who don’t think that way, and just want support for their condition. To know how to learn to live with it, and make the most of their new lives, with AMD and hear about how others manage.

So, back to the challenges that AMD can present themselves in our everyday lives. Well, there are many;

  • Learning how to manage gadgets, books etc., by adjusting the font sizes.
  • There are plenty of hearing tools, such as audio books, and your local library will help.
  • Having some visual identification such as a white symbol symbol-canecane, so that people will understand if you are taking a long time in the supermarket queue or getting on and off the bus.
  • Finding ways of continuing your hobbies. With suitable lighting and magnifying tools.

Those are just some of the aids that help. You will find out more as you go along.

Then, as the condition progresses, you may have to make more adjustments.

Up to now I have managed to continue my hand sewing and have been making some quite intricate items. But in the last two weeks, I have realised that I need to find an alternative. I can no longer manage it. I am currently struggling to make my last cushions after doing them for a few years. That is an adjustment. A challenging one, but by being tenacious, I realise that I can make crochet items instead because crocheting is a more tactile activity.

red cushions  (2)

That is just one example. Other examples may be, changing your room around so that you have plenty of lighting or shadow where it’s needed. For example, you may find the TV is better in another part of the room or your chair.

I am finding that my life is enhanced by having this condition. I am starting to work in a local group who do courses for people with visual limitations, and from this, I am making many new friends. I also belong to the local Macular Society group, and sometimes I almost ache with laughter at seeing the funny side of everything.

I have great pleasure writing about the condition because not many people who have it can do that for one reason or another. That way I feel that life still has a meaning and purpose.

We can all adjust to anything in our lives. Most times it is fear that prevents us from seeing that. Whether it is illness, disability, job loss, losing a partner or someone special in our lives and many other life events.

I am not saying that it is easy, I know from personal experience what it is like to be depressed after or during a life-changing event. But what I want to share is that in the end with a positive mindset, and being grateful in our everyday lives for the things we take for granted; it can be done.

I hope that reading this will encourage many people not to despair when diagnosed with AMD. There is much to hope for, and all is well. Just keep making those adjustments and enjoying life. It is possible.

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Who are They?

025The Elderly are not they.

Children are not they.

People with different colored skin are not they.

People from other countries are not they.

The rich are not they.

The poor are not they.

Disabled people are not they.

Beautiful people are not they.

Ugly people are not they.

I could go on with many categories that seem to seperate us all. But the point to remember is that they are us!

We are part of the whole. Part of the Universe.

Each of us has been placed in our corner of the world. Some may move around, others may stay in one place.

Some may be in the limelight. Others may go about their lives in a quiet way and only known and recognised by a few.

When we talk about people, or refer to them as “they,” remember that we are all one body. All one piece of a massive energy.Galaxy

We were all once babies. If we survive illnesses or remain healthy we will be old one day. We could become disabled.

Our perception is the only difference in how we notice the colour of our skin or whether we are beautiful or not. We may consider ourself rich or we may consider ourself poor.

 Everything is relative, everything is part of a whole.

We were all born and we are all going to die.

None of us knows what tomorrow, or even today will bring. Anyone of us could suddenly become “they” and things can change in an instant.

Or if we don’t become they, we could grow close to someone and be a huge part their lives and no longer feel seperate.

Therefore we need to love one another as we love ourselves. Not judge others, but put yourself in their place and try and understand what it would be like to be in their shoes.

You may be in them tomorrow!

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Support for AMD

My design Keep your eye.Support for Visual Impairment (AMD)

There are many people who when told that they have a problem with a vision impairment, are panicking and distressed.  Especially when they hear the words, “There is nothing we can do for you!” 

But those words are not true as far as getting on with your life with a vision impairment is concerned. I am talking here about AMD. (Age Related Macular Degeneration) ,

You may not be able to find a cure, but you can find plenty of help to make your life rich, full and abundant. I will tell you about some of what is available and have put up links to help you find out more below.

Personally, I have found help in abundance since being diagnosed with AMD.  I feel astonished at times when I see how much support there is out there. And most of it is Free.

Just as an aside here; note that I am still active even with a vision problem. Life does not come to a halt with AMD. I have met some amazing people who are active even with very poor sight. That is what support is all about.

I am currently attending, The Macular Society group meetings once a month and also a monthly lunch meeting with the new friends I have made in the group.

I have just completed four days, spread over four weeks, at the local Guild in Plymouth called Sensory Solutions. The course is called Improving Lives. I have found a niche in that guild now as a host to help out with the course.

I am going to attend the monthly meeting for graduates of the course at the Plymouth Library once a month, and am also hosting them. 

Hosting means that I will be making the drinks, serving food, helping people in and out of the taxis, preparing the rooms and generally supporting people with any concerns that they may have. I have made new friends by doing this too.

There was also an opportunity for my husband to come along to Sensory Solutions to learn more about the condition and meet other people who either live with visually impaired people or who support them in other ways. I have found that he understands more about what I experience because of that.

Sensory Solutions have also shown me how to use my settings on my lap top and also my iPad to make them easier to use.

Large Print.keyboard

Not many people are aware that their local eye hospital has a Liason Officer. These people are there to help you find your way through the maize of support and help available. They will also give you a low vision assessment. If the Consultant does not tell you that, just ask at reception.

On Facebook there are several groups, I belong to two. One in the USA and one in the UK. When I feel alarmed at something that I hear or something that is happening to my sight, I can just go into one of these groups and will very soon feel supported and get answers.

So, the moral of this story is; don’t panic, don’t be afraid, don’t be isolated.

I have found these groups to be upbeat, yet understanding, both the physical ones and the Social Media ones. I feel supported and useful. Life does go on even with a Vision Impairment, and just the other day I found myself saying that I actually get a kick out of it!

Here are the links.

The Macular Society.  You can google the society to find out more, but this link will put you through to the many groups all over the UK. https://www.macularsociety.org/groups

There is the well known RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind. You will be amazed at what is available. http://www.rnib.org.uk/benefits-and-support

For your local area in the UK go to http://www.visionaware.org/info/emotional-support/coping-with-vision-loss/peer-support-groups/125

On Facebook, the links I mentioned are; The UK Macular Degeneration Friendship Group.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/589067591220411/ 

And in the USA, which is run by two eye consultants.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/amdcommunity/

There are other groups for MD, one which I started myself, but I have let that one run down because I have found the ones above to be so helpful.

The reason why I haven’t gone into support for other visual problems is that I mainly write for those people who have AMD. But I am sure that if you look, you will find support for whatever condition you or your friend or loved one may have.

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Help! I’m over 65 and Ageing.

 

happycherry_cover

Have you noticed that on any forms you fill out, they have a box for 20-30; 30-40; 40-50; 50-65 (or similar)

When it comes to age 65, we are counted as +

What does that mean to you?

What it means to me is that society, in general, dismisses the over 65’s as a number when everything becomes indefinite.

Over 65’s, in general,  have become indefinite, written off, uncertain about the future, invisible.

But I am working on making certain that any of that will not apply to me.

Over 65 is an important passage in life, and in these modern days, we could still live another thirty or more years. That is a lot of years to dismiss eh?

What about you?

Is it time to change all that?

After all, if the Government want us to work until we are 70 or even more, why put 65+ on forms, some of which are important to our welfare, such as insurance.

What can you do as an individual? Could you be a spark to the fire that helps to change that thinking?

We will show them that there is no such thing as 65+

We are still an important number.

Many people in my circle are still coming up with visions and new enterprises for the future at age 65 +!

There are some Facebook groups that you could join, to help start the ball rolling. Ageing with Vitality and The Silver Tent are just two of them. There is also one called Humorous Ageing if laughing about it takes your fancy. Here are the links.

The Silver Tent for women over fifty.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1755706121345418/

Ageing with Vitality

https://www.facebook.com/groups/113172222365276/

Humorous Ageing

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1485161444859745/

Come on Baby Boomers, do your stuff, work your magic.

 

 

 

 

 

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Regular Eye Checks; Why?

Eye blue side

How often do you get your eyes checked?

 

 

  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you eat plenty of vegetables, especially the green ones?
  • Do you know how many people are blind in the UK?
  • Do you have parents or grandparents who have AMD?
  • Do you know what your risk is of getting AMD or any other visual impairment?

 

AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration.) is becoming more common in the 21st Century because people are living longer.

Macular Degeneration as it is commonly known is the breaking down of the macula which is the part of the retina at the back of the eye that provides sharp central vision.

People with this condition can suffer increasingly blurred vision which leads to problems with reading printed or written text, colour, (particularly contrast) and difficulty recognising people’s faces. If you only have AMD and nothing else wrong with your eyes, you will not go completely blind. But you will lose your central vision.

There are other conditions with the eyes such as cataracts, glaucoma and Diabetic retinopathy. I recently heard a story about a chap who went for an eye test, and this was how he found out that he had Type 2 Diabetes. For an optometrist, our eyes are like reading a book. But as a friend of mine pointed out to me just today, you do need to be assertive and make sure that you ask the right questions, and what you can do about any conditions that they come across.

Also only today I heard of someone who had been scared by what the optometrist had said. That there is no cure for AMD and he was in the very early stages of the condition.

It did frighten me when the optometrist told me that I was in the early stages, but I put that fear into action by finding out what was available to help me. So don’t be put off by what they tell you, especially when they say there is no cure and there is nothing that can be done. They may be right that there is no cure, at least at the moment, but there is plenty that can be done to make life easier. I am afraid that many consultants and eye specialists have a habit of doing that, but they fail to point out that there is support available.

If you do find out that you have the early stages of AMD, you can take sensible precautions to take care of your eyes and help to slow up the process.

By wearing glasses or goggles and a hat to keep the sunlight out of your eyes. By learning what aids are available so that you stand a good chance of managing the condition.

So, the earlier you find out, the better. You may not notice anything wrong in your day to day life, except perhaps you may find that reading is blurred even with your reading glasses on. I found out from a regular eye check.

And don’t think that it is an old person condition, some people develop AMD in their twenties or thirties. I know someone who had junior onset AMD at the age of eight.

As a matter of interest here are some interesting facts for the UK. (You can google statistics or facts for your part of the world if you are not in the UK)

  • In the UK around 600,000 people currently have vision impairment caused by AMD, and around 70,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. (nearly 200 per day)
  • Over two million people in the UK live with sight loss.
  • Total sight loss in one eye is not counted against the legality of driving.
  • People with sight loss in one eye are not considered partially sighted.
  • Total sight loss is rare, only about 4% of people with vision impairment are totally blind.
  • Sight loss, in general, affects people of all ages but especially older people. 1 in 5 aged 75 and 1 in 2 aged 90. (This is in degrees of sight loss, from mild to being registered blind or partially sighted.
  • In the UK there are only 5000 guide dogs.
  • Every day more than 75 new people are formally registered blind or partially sighted.
  • 75% of blind and partially sighted people of working age are registered unemployed.

There are plenty more statistics that you can find, and some of them are quite revealing. Many people, including myself for many years before I had this condition, get confused when observing people with vision loss. They cannot understand why the person can see some things and not others.

I cannot go into the details here, but I have written some of what I experience as an example here;

http://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com/category/amd/

As far as the legality of driving is concerned, it is a minefield. The law may say that you are safe to drive with a vision impairment, in fact, some people with an impairment may be able to see the required reading of the number plate. But the insurance company’s may have something else to say about it.

For example, I was told twelve years ago that I could drive under the law. I have other things wrong with my eyes as well, and one of them is double vision when my eyes are tired. I was issued by the Eye Infirmary with a pair of glasses with one lens blacked out (don’t ask about the technicalities please!) and told that I could drive while wearing them. If I were in an accident, I would be covered by the insurance as long as I was wearing them. If I were not wearing them, then I would be liable.

No-one seemed to take into account that wearing them was a hazard for me because I could not see properly with them on. So I had to make a choice not to drive at all. Driving for me, just as it is for millions of people, was freedom and giving it up was painful. But not as much as if I had taken the risk and failed to drive safely.

The main purpose of this article is to point out how important it is to look after your eyes. The main cause of AMD is not known. But the contributing factors are genetic, diet and smoking.

It is a myth that we can get AMD from bad light or too much exposure to computers, etc. But UV light is a factor and another reason for protecting your eyes in the sunlight. The jury is still out on whether computer and smartphones can cause AMD, but there is evidence surfacing that you can suffer what is known as Digital Eye Strain. Eye strain, however, is not a contributing factor to AMD.

https://www.ft.com/content/435eef82-654e-11e6-8310-ecf0bddad227

Looking at my earlier reference to contributing factors, let’s look at the genetic factor more closely. The genetic factor is only an increased risk. It is not a guarantee that you will get it. But, if you have someone in your family, particularly your parents, with MD, then you need to be extra vigilant with eye care. CauliflowerGet plenty of green leafy vegetables which contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two antioxidants stored in the macula.

See more about this here:

http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/nutrition-101/foods-for-eyes/spinach-kale-leafy-greens

As for the other two, diet and smoking; just give up smoking, and eat clean as well as including the green vegetables.

And last but certainly not least. GET YOUR EYES CHECKED REGULARLY. At least every two years. Don’t take your eyesight for granted.

One of the most difficult things for me as well as the other 600,000 people in the UK to come to terms with, is that except a miracle, my eyes are not going to get better than they are now, and they are going to get worse over time.

At the moment, because I have developed wet AMD, I am waiting for my eyes to get worse before I can begin to have injections to make them better. Don’t ask!

The only things that I can do are; to make sure that I get the nutrients I need; to shield my eyes from the sun; to eat clean and to take the supplements that I take, to try and slow up the progress.

It is important to stay positive and just let AMD be part of my life and not rule it! But that will take another article, and again let me refer you to the link for my other blogs on AMD.

http://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com/category/amd/

The other important issue for people with AMD is to get support. You can get it with the Macular Society. Tel 01264 350 551

https://www.macularsociety.org/?gclid=CL-fk6m66tQCFdYYGwodMnQCgA

I belong to the Macular Society, and there are groups that meet up all over the country in the UK.

And in the UK there is a support group to be found on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/589067591220411/

And in the US:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/amdcommunity/

There are other support groups on Facebook.

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Transformation in Ageing.

flower fairy Florence

I have just been through a vital transition in life.

Through the last six months, I encountered “The Dark Night of the Soul.” A time when I was brought low and was forced to look at my life; where I was going, what I was doing. What was working and what was not.

There are times in our lives when we need to go through these dark nights. It is as if the Universe is saying “You are not listening to me, and you need to.”

I do not believe that the Universe, or God or this higher power, whatever you may like to call it, makes us ill, or depressed because I believe that we bring it on to ourselves. We think that we know best. So we will go on working, doing and striving, and wearing ourselves into the ground, or bed or onto pills, simply because we are not listening to that still small voice.

And that applies to anyone of any age.

Even those who say that they are living their purpose and carrying out what they know they are here on this Earth for, can be so busy doing, that they forget to be still, forget to listen, forget to notice things synchronising or not, and go ahead thinking that we know best.

I came to a place where I was forced to listen to that still small voice, and during that time I became quite ill, physically and mentally, but thank God that I still held on to my Spiritual life.

I realised that I had not been listening, I had been striving and worrying and pushing ahead, doing things that I thought I was meant to do.

I had a family problem to deal with, and although it was settled in a way that we thought was not possible at first, at the end of it, I had a meltdown. Not because I doubted, not because I was weak in any way shape or form, but because I had failed to notice that I needed to go through a transformation in my life. A passage of life that has taken me into my fourth age.

I run a group on Facebook for Ageing with Vitality. I blog about ageing. I talk about how we are still vital, but I had not taken into consideration that the physical body does age, whether we like it or not.

I was proud that I had reached the age of 72 and am still active, vital and healthy, but was finding the lower energy and the ability to multi-task, difficult to come to terms with. Along with a visual impairment that I now have.

We hear so much about staying active; keep exercising, keep walking, keep doing things, keep your brain active and on and on. But we can sometimes, be, so hell bent on doing those things that we ignore this important passage of life. Which is transforming into an older person, but one who can still have a good quality of life.

It may happen at different ages while growing into that fourth age. Some are ready to relax at sixty, while others will still be working at age 70, 80 or even more. But the important thing is that we do need to recognise that there will come a time for transition. It may not be an obvious one, but we need to be mindful of subtle changes.

I don’t mean that we wake up one morning and find that we are suddenly old, although for some who are taken ill this may happen of course. But I am talking about looking at why we are feeling more tired than we used to.

Is what you are doing working for you and the other key people in your life?

And I certainly do not mean that we have to “give in”. What I mean is that like a teenager who has to make the decision whether to go to Uni or the twenty-year-old who decides that life is going to change, they have left their teenage life behind and now have to settle down to life. Or the person going through a midlife crisis and decides that they want to change careers. We need to look at what our purpose is for the rest of the time that we are here.

For me, my transition has shown me that my purpose does not look like what I have been striving after for the last six or seven years. Even though in that time I have been more aware and conscious than ever before.

But I am at peace, and simply want to serve.

Nowadays, when I have a decision to make I ask myself what purpose it will serve?

I am so grateful that I do not have to work for a living now. I am grateful that I have accepted a simpler lifestyle and do not strive after belongings. My income is modest, and I love having no responsibilities.

I am healthy and do eat a healthy diet; I love walking and make sure that I walk at least an hour most days. I stay active; I love the Internet, Facebook and the groups that I belong to on there. I love the women’s group “Damsels in Success”.

I belong to a Women’s over fifty group “The Silver Tent,” whose purpose is to raise the consciousness of the world.

I love going to the Macular Society meetings with others who have sight problems. We have a laugh and obtain lots of important information.

I love eating out with friends and my beloved husband. I love writing and reading. Most of all I love my times with God, in quietude and meditation. Listening to the music of Taize, Snatam Kaur and other inspirational music.

My life is full and rich again after spending the last few months in transformation and healing. The transition into being a Wise Elderwoman.

Look out for regular blogs again now,  about Ageing with Wisdom and Vitality, Death and all that it encompasses, (I am a Funeral Celebrant) and the eye disease Macular Degeneration and what it can be like to live with it. I will also still dabble in eating healthily and supporting people with issues around food and their eating patterns.

It is good to be back again renewed and with a fresh vision.

How about you? Are you listening to that still small voice that may be telling you it’s time for that transition?

 

Life is a beautiful cycle

 

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Extract from Hunter Gatherer to Baby Boomer.

HunterGatherer_Patricia_Cherry_health_fiverr_weight_loss

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Hunter+Gatherer+to+Baby+Boomer

(I will post the link for Amazon.com tomorrow when it will be 0.99c)

This book is available today Sunday, June 11th, especially between noon and 5 pm on Amazon UK. Special promotion to get the sales up on this intriguing and unusual take on our food crisis.

I thought that you may like to see an extract from chapter 5 about the way we ate in the 1940’s and 1950’s when Baby Boomers were in their infancy;

So let’s take a look at a list of foods and the amounts that people ate during the forties and up until the early 50s.

A list of the weekly (not daily) rations looked like this;

  • Bacon & Ham 4 oz. (113 grammes)
  • Meat ½ lb (226 grammes)
  • Butter 2 oz (50grams)
  • Cheese 2 oz
  • Margarine 4 oz
  • Cooking fat (lard) 4 oz
  • Milk 3 pints. (Around 1 and ½ litres)
  • Sugar 8 oz
  • Preserves 1 lb a month.
  • Tea 2 oz
  • Eggs 1 a week.
  • Sweets/Candy 12oz every four weeks

Imagine that you can only have one piece of cheese the size of a match box a week; The size of one piece of cheese to have with your biscuits for your dessert these days!

When my mother got married in 1943, the neighbours all collected their rations of dried fruit, sugar, butter and flour and pooled them and gave them to her mother to make the wedding cake!

White flour was in short supply, and brown wholemeal flour used instead. Vegetables and local fruits were in a reasonable supply because people were making an effort to grow their own.

In a PDF called European food and nutrition policies in action. Page 19. (Euro. who. Link below) the WHO said this:

“To everybody’s astonishment, when stillbirth rates or children’s weights and heights were monitored and when the disease patterns of adults were checked, it became clear that the people of Europe were often better fed during than before the Second World War.”  From this report, I think that it is remarkable how much the government was taking an interest in people’s nutritional needs.

However, things were not as rosy as they seemed. Some children born in this era were suffering from malnourishment. I will discuss this in the next chapter about the 50s.

Recently, people are taking an interest in how people ate during this time because obesity was a rarity. Even doctors lost interest in the subject and people were a lot smaller in stature and girth.

For research purposes, there are not even any obesity statistics around for comparison.

Then, in the 1950s after fourteen years of this way of eating, things began to change. There was more food around, and as a result, people were getting bigger in stature as well as girth.

It may be worth noting that the so-called Baby Boomers generation, those born between 1948 and 1960 are the ones who have seen the biggest changes in history with diet. They have witnessed eating nothing but real food to eating the Frankenstein foods now being produced. And now in the 2010s, we see a vast change in health and well-being. But it is never too late to change your lifestyle, and if you are among this generation, there is still time to do something about it.

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Staying Vital as You Age?

Pair of red wet cherry fruit on stem with green leaf isolated on whitecherry blossom

The blossoms are the essential part of the progession to the fruit; and the fruit is just as vital.

Have you noticed when you are filling in a form, they put the age brackets into such an order that when you reach 65, it just becomes 65+?

Society spends a lot of time, worrying, fretting and resisting the very idea of ageing.

But as we evolve as humans in the 21st Century, isn’t it time for us to embrace the idea? Especially as many of us are living for another thirty to forty years after retirement.

We still matter! Because as long as we have breath, we are still vital.

Illness and disease can occur at any age, so why do we think that old age has the monopoly on it?

Yes; our bodies do wear out and become weaker and frailer, and the chances of succumbing to degenerative disorders are stronger.

But being Vital in our older years is still as much a part of life as when we are younger. There are many younger people who don’t realise how vital they are to society, so why do we insist on giving old age the honour?

The word vitality is being used too loosely these days. It is used to promote products, and ironically anti-ageing foods and creams. Consequently, we think of vitality as something that is easily lost and associates that loss with ageing.

Some of the synonyms for the word vitality are; Liveliness, energy, animation, spirit, passion, sparkle and vibrancy; the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things; Vital force or energy.

If you study those words and bear in mind that we are all made up of Mind, body and spirit, you may realise that you can retain them.

Liveliness can remain in the mind and spirit, along with vibrancy and passion.

Every one of us, from birth to death, have something to contribute to the world. No matter where you are, where you live, the state of your mind or health, the state of your finances, whatever your intellect or culture you have a VITAL role to play. At any age.

You may not ever become rich, a writer, an artist, a teacher, a celebrity or earn lots of money. You may even be thinking at this moment that you are not successful because you haven’t reached a goal that you had in mind. You may have just been diagnosed with an illness or condition that you perceive as a road to failure.

You may even be thinking that you are already a failure, let alone when you get older.

You may have just retired or are coming up to retirement, and you see the future as bleak and that you will no longer be a vital part of society.

On the other hand, you may be looking forward to a bit of peace.

Do you have the thought at the back of your mind that it is downhill all the way after the age of 65? Do you think that you must do the things on your bucket list before it’s too late?

Too late for what? Perhaps too late to be able to travel freely, too late for certain activities, yes. But have you thought about what else it may be too late for? Are you seeing the time to come, the “too late” as a time when you are sitting like the proverbial cabbage?

The truth is that; As long as you have breath, you are still vital!

But how can I remain vital when I am too weak or helpless to do anything?

All of us have energy running through us as long as we are alive.

Most of the time we are unaware of it and only when we are active in some way, we become aware. But it is there; how else would your heart keep beating, your eyes seeing and all the other organs in your body stay working?

Collective energy is what you feel in a crowd at a football stadium or when the whole world stood still when we were witnessing 9/11.

We are part of the Universal energy, and what is more, it is Vital to every one of us, it is what keeps us alive. You are part of that collective energy.

Even people in a coma, or under anaesthetic have an energy running throughout their body. And they are still vital to the planet and in turn to society.

And even the person in a state of weakness, infirmity and very old age, have that energy and vitality.

People become “old” at any age. The physical process starts at age 27. But in many peoples minds, they begin to feel old as soon as they see the first grey hair.

We put people into categories or brackets. We have expectations of what we can do at any given age. We use the expression “I’m too old for that.”

The perception is different in all of us. Some may still be playing football or running at age ninety; others may need to stop being physically active at a much earlier age due to injury.

When we run upstairs and forget what we came up there for, we fear that it’s the ageing process setting in. Forgetting that most of us at any age do that. What about the schoolchild forgetting his sports kit, or losing his jacket? Do we ask if he or she is getting old?

We think of the darkest fear that we have with the process of old age as a line of events.

  • We retire; we travel or join things; take up mew hobbies.
  • Next; we expect we will start to suffer from disease which disables us from doing all the things that we like to do.
  • We then expect that it’s downhill all the way to becoming useless, a burden on society, and want just to die.

But guess what? That vital energy is still there.

Remember that the Universe does not centre around you, but that You are simply a vital part of it.

So as you become weaker and frailer, you can have either a positive effect on others or a negative.

Prepare for your older years with the thought in mind that you are vital to those around you at this time, and you are on the road to FEELING vital until the day you die.

Another synonym for vitality is spark or sparkle. Are you going to be the spark that lights people’s fire, even when you simply smile at people around you?

Don’t tell me that you can’t do that when you are old and frail. I know many who do. 

Having the spark that lights people’s fire starts at any age. Think of the effect that even the youngest baby has when they smile for the first time.

Are your family and friends going to be drawn to see you? You can do this by staying energised while you can by listening, learning, reading, writing and creating new things.

If your niche is gardening or craft do it, while you can.

Stay informed, be active, eat well.

Research drugs before you take them. You do not have to just go along with what the doctor says and jump on the roundabout of taking one drug after another that dulls your brain and mind.

Make younger friends, don’t just join the local senior citizens club and talk about the weather or your latest illness.

You have a lot to offer younger people coming along. Only three days ago, I was lunching in the centre of London with a young student from Singapore. How did I get there? I was at a Seminar on making choices with people of all ages.

The turning point for me was when at the age of sixty, a friend of the same age commented that she hated this business of getting old.

I thought “I’m outta here!” No way was I going to join that bandwagon.

Yes, I am ageing, yes time is running away with me, but I changed my thinking to one of “My older years are going to be a time of learning, wisdom and supporting others to do the same.”

I for one will remain vital until the day I die.

How about you?

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AMD. Emotions.

 

early signs md 2

We all suffer loss at some time in our lives.

The feeling of loss comes from losing something precious.

A loved one, a loved possession or perhaps moving from a beloved place.

It can be a loss of a limb, of our hearing and our independence perhaps.

In the case of Aged-related Macular Degeneration, it is a gradual loss, but there comes the point where you have to accept that it is never going to get better.

(Some people like to claim that it can get better because there are treatments available outside of the NHS in the United Kingdom, but I have looked into that, and it depends on what type of AMD you have.)

I want to share with you my journey with this problem because I can see that there is such a lack of information about what people are actually experience. I did not know about the darkness, distortion, light sensitivity and other problems. I just thought that it was a matter of losing central vision.

Now I want others to know what to expect or what their relatives or friends are experiencing. I do understand that there are no two cases alike. Each person’s  experience will be as different as each of the millions of others who have it.

Yesterday after suffering from dry AMD for two years, and then a further nine months with WET MD, I finally reached the point where I had to face up to the fact that it is never going to be better than it is now.

I am currently waiting for the point where my eyesight has degenerated to the NICE guidelines, so that I can start having injections to slightly improve the sight or at least arrest the deterioration. (Injections cost the NHS £1000 each.)

In the last two weeks, I have been experiencing distortion, and I thought that my eyes had reached the necessary point.  So I was surprised when the consultant said that there was no difference on the scan from four weeks ago.

When I asked why I have the distortion suddenly, he replied that he was surprised that I had not had it before.

He also explained that I only have it in my GOOD EYE!

It is weird how I have struggled seeing out of my bad eye, all of my life, but now the good eye is so bad that the bad one sees clearer!

He also explained that the injections might slightly improve the sight again, and they will most likely maintain the sight that I have. But it is worth repeating that the sight has to get worse before it gets better.

This is where the conundrum comes in. I suddenly realised that the sight I have now would never be any better because they will not give me the jabs until it gets worse. Therefore it is never going to be any better than it is now.

Does that make sense? My emotions went into a dip yesterday when I realised that deep down I was hoping that the injections were going to make things better.

I hope that this blog makes sense to you and you can understand what I am trying to say.

I am firing this off early in the morning before a busy, but enjoyable day out in Falmouth in Cornwall with some friends. I am so grateful for that.

A very kind liaison lady came to see me at the Eye Infirmary yesterday, and she gave me some anti-glare goggles to place over my glasses, for the light sensitivity. She was there for me and listened and reassured me that I would never completely lose my sight unless anything else goes wrong other than the MD.

So I have a lot to be grateful for. But I wanted to share this to my groups on Facebook, and others who may find it when looking up AMD on the internet. Just to help people understand this condition that bit better.

I am also grateful for the lovely people in my local MD group in Plymouth, for their company and understanding. When we eat out once a month, we can sit and laugh and feel somewhat normal, even with the enlarged print menus that the restaurants provide!

 

 

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