Aunty Babblings: The New Normal 0 783

I am told that I babble and it has gotten worse with the pandemic and as I age! Instead of my verbal babble, I figured that maybe putting down these confused, excited thoughts may have a point. After all, baby babbles turn to language at some point. 

With no work to boot, the pandemic gave me a lot of time to question the goings-on in the world. These thoughts are not based on research but just an Aunty Babbling on about stuff.


If you think about it we’re all faced with a new “New Normal” through the various stages of our lives. The “aunty-tionary” definition of the “New Normal” may shed some light.

The “New Normal” is when life changes irrevocably for any person, country, business or anything for that matter. It could be triggered by biology, sociology, economy, a global pandemic or in my case just getting older by six decades and a bit. 

If I look back, there are things that I could do in my teens, twenties, thirties, forties and fifties that I can’t do now … ever. Some are physical realities and limitations while others are related to priorities changing as I get older.

Let’s take working life as an example. The time of working like a dog every single day with no life is something I can’t do now. And if I have done it on the odd occasion, the recovery time takes a day or two. And I used to question myself: How did I do it before? My answer to myself is: “It’s called age my dear”. It doesn’t mean that when we grow older we can’t work but the way we work is different. We move on to consulting, mentoring, training etc. 

I can see the same thing happening when it comes to exercising. There was a time when I didn’t think twice about running, jogging, lifting weights and so on but now the way I exercise is different. I have to be aware of my knees, shoulders, back and neck when I exercise. If not, I’ll feel a pull here, a crack there, and a pain somewhere else. Welcome to the sixties club I say.

I can see the “New Normal” in other areas of my life too.

The wardrobe has changed over the years. 

Hairstyles have changed.

The choice of music has changed.

Dinners and parties that stretched into the wee hours of the morning have become early dinners that end with the last call for orders!

What’s the point of this babbling? 

I think the point is that we have to acknowledge these life changes and transformations instead of fighting them. And if you do, then our lives become more gracious.

The same applies to the global pandemic we’re all living in. The day we accept and acknowledge that it’s here to stay for however long, then we will do whatever it takes to survive and maybe thrive through it. To do that we need to rebrand, reinvent and reskill ourselves to meet the new demands upon us.

But what happens when we’re out of the pandemic? Will we go back to our old ways in every aspect? This aunty hopes that we learn the lessons and create a new order whatever that may be. We can however look at some of the main tenets:

Acknowledge and accept the changes.

Consideration and respect for one another.

We are not that different from one another at the core.

We’re all responsible for the planet we live in. 

Survive and thrive through it.

What’s your babbling about this?

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Aunty Babblings: On Masks 0 750

I am told that I babble and it has gotten worse with the pandemic and as I age! I figured that instead of my verbal babble maybe putting down these confused, excited thoughts may have a point. After all baby babbles turn to language at some point. 

The pandemic and with no work to boot gave me a lot of time to question the goings on in the world. These thoughts are not based on research but just an Aunty Babbling.

This babbling aunty rambles along on walks here and there every day. It’s really a great way to observe life and people who are living through a pandemic that just doesn’t seem to go away. I meet other regular walkers, and most if not all of them observe social distancing and if they don’t, I cross to the other side of the road or move a few meters away. 

Some wear masks and others don’t. I wear the mask as I am a senior citizen with comorbidities, because I am not taking any chances that may put me or the other at risk. Comorbidities by the way means a person with two or more diseases. A word I had to look up in the dictionary when I registered for the vaccination programme. 

Hmmm … may have been simpler to say “Tick here if you have two or more diseases”.  I wonder how many people especially the elderly etc. could Google it!

Coming back to walks and masks I’ve noticed over the past year or so that people throw their masks away wherever they like: on the road, along the grassy sidewalk, in common areas … wherever it is convenient to them. Surely, we can do better than this.

The interesting thing about these masks that are thrown away is that some are folded, fastened with the ear loops and then dumped. My question is, if we can go to all that trouble, surely, we can carry a bag, put it in there and dispose of it in a trash bin on the street or at home. 

The point here is that once again we’ve missed the point. 

Could it be that the global pandemic is here for us to learn the lesson of consideration for one another?

Yes, we should and must keep ourselves safe but we should consider the people who have to pick up after us. Are we putting them at risk? The point is that this whole virus thing is a two-way responsibility.

I keep myself safe, and you keep yourself safe and everyone can be safe. Remember the virus is blind to our man-made differences … all it takes are a few droplets from a sneeze or a cough for the virus to enter our body. Virus or no virus, there still remains the issue of littering.

I’ve seen blue, black, pink lavender and designed masks strewn all over the place and maybe it’s time to wear the mask knowing the task that is required of us. 

Am I Really That Hot? 0 755

So one evening as I was preparing some dinner for the family I felt this wave wash over me. I hadn’t felt anything like this before so I just let it pass. I thought to myself, Oh, is that what a hot flash feels like? Then a minute later, another wave, so I thought, Ok let’s go sit down and see if this passes. I sat down and was still feeling quite off and since we also have one of those blood pressure monitor thingys in the house, I decided to check my pressure and it showed 180/100 ..yikes! Ok, let’s test that again, this machine is probably ten years old and a bit wonky, but now 190/100, so obviously I started panicking. Up to this point it was all just a matter of fact but now things were getting real.

So I looked to my better half and he looked at the numbers on the thingamajig, called my daughter out of her room and we decided to go to the hospital. Somewhere in there we phoned a doctor friend who advised the same. We live on the eleventh floor and all I could think of was that if I was going to have a stroke or heart attack, how would these two carry me out? Next was that I was wearing a dress and if I passed out, my underwear would be on show …. Side note: this is when I remembered my grandmother’s advice to always wear matching underwear so that in any emergency you will not be embarrassed. Needless to say, I put on a pair of pants in slow motion so not to trigger the impending incident which I was sure was going to happen and my only goal at that point was to get into the car so that if anything major happened, at least we were on the way to the hospital. 

Now, getting this group of three together in a panic situation was actually quite comical. You have me: panicking mother but trying to be calm to not scare the other two. You have a husband; panicking, all over the place and a little lost. Then you have daughter who is also panicking but trying to be the sober voice.

My husband decides to drive, knocks into another car reversing out of the parking lot, and my daughter and I are just standing there watching him, none of us know how to get to the hospital so they put on waze. We take a couple of wrong roads but we do end up at the hospital emergency and see a doctor. There, the blood pressure goes crazy, up and down, up and down and they can’t do anything but admit me for observation. They put a band on my wrist and I notice its red and says fall risk; wait, me? Nahh! To add insult to injury, both the band and the hospital room door had a picture of a tree falling .. what??!?

We got settled in the room and I was semi-relieved to be in the presence of doctors who would know what to do if something went wrong. My husband and daughter sat next to me, all us still feeling freaked out but a little better. Not to mention the fact that I have another daughter living overseas who I did not want to panic unnecessarily. She could easily see where I was on the app I have installed to keep track of her.. karma has a way of coming back to get you doesn’t it? So I switched that app off and swore the daughter who was with me to silence. I know, I know .. asian parents, yes, I am guilty as charged. 

I stay in the hospital for a couple days of observation, do the scans and they send me home with a device on my body which is supposed to check your pressure every half hour. This is actually a mental torture device because every time it went off, I got more panicky and was just waiting with horror to see the numbers. After all this, some more check ups, meds and the doctor diagnoses it as a panic attack.

Seriously!! Panic Attacks?! Who? Me? Are you kidding me? Anyone who knows me, knows that I am the calm cat in the room.. what the heck is this? Then comes the magic words – pre menopause.

Pre-Menopause .. that is just hot flashes right? Well, apparently not .. there’s panic attacks, anxiety attacks, elevated heart rates, an overall nervousness, anger, sleepless nights, nausea – the list goes on and on. But how come I have not heard about all this? Why isn’t anyone talking about this? Are women approaching their 50s going through all this and still doing everything they have been doing for years? Juggling work, family, home?

But before realising this, I was convinced.. let me stress on that, convinced… that the doctor was wrong and I had a heart issue or something worse. This led me to see a second cardiologist friend, who also told me there was nothing wrong with me then on to another doctor who specialised in hormones who told me the same. Still I was not entirely convinced that it was menopause. Our mothers didn’t go through all this right? I just remember my mother mentioning some sleepless nights and my mother in law hardly said anything …how come?

Then as I started reading online and talking to friends, it became clear that this was something all women silently go through. Some said it hardly registered but then others told their stories and their ways of dealing with it – a glass of wine when you know the anxiousness is hitting or something stronger,  some are on anti depressants, some exercise like crazy, some do hormone replacement therapy to soften the blow ( this is what I am doing by the way) but everyone looked for their own way of dealing with it.

Despite what any of your friends or family or even doctors say, the fact is that you are affected and you are changed. You are not the same you as before. I don’t know if hormone replacement will bring you back there or it’s just a life adapted to all these new feelings. Are we just going to make our lives smaller to adapt to our new limitations? I don’t know. I have read that it’s a phase and there is an end to it… let’s see. 

For now, my family will just have to live with me and my pre-menopausal self, I lived with their puberty, teenage angst and husbands mid-life crisis didn’t I? This is just reverse puberty as I see it. Maybe I’ll follow in my husbands footsteps, sports car .. but wait, I don’t drive…..

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