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Bloganuary #13: Challenges, Challenges, Challenges!

Statue of a cowboy giving thanks for the rain in the desert. from Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg, AZ. Click here for museum lesson plans.

When you lived in the desert in the 1800s, there were no dams to store and provide water when there was no rain for years on end. That was a huge challenge. Our environment still offers us challenges. I want to address more personal challenges in this post.

Life is full of challenges and decisions. As I reach the latter end of my life, it is less about making decisions about the challenges, and more about getting through them. Some challenges can be avoided in life by making good decisions early on.

  • healthy lungs – don’t smoke
  • healthy brain – don’t drink to excess, DO read, study, play mind games
  • healthy joints especially knees and hips – keep your weight under control
  • healthy heart – keep physically active rather than being sedentary
  • have income in your retirement – train for and keep a job, pick your employer well, do the work, be on time, get along with your peers and bosses, be true to yourself if asked to do something illegal and find a different job.
  • choose a spouse that meets your criteria and hopefully that your family likes.
  • learn to get along with your siblings

Assuming that you make good choices when you are young, you will have fewer challenges as you age. However, throughout life things will crop up over which you have little or no control. These are some of the challenges I have faced in my life.

  • cancer – mine was breast cancer – no one in my family had breast cancer
  • death of a spouse – I lost my first husband the day before I turned 43.
  • family fights – My brother turned against me when it was time to take care of Mom instead of the other way around. He eventually realized he was wrong and apologized but we had several tough years and I had to hire a lawyer to protect my interests so I could take care of my mom.
  • mental illness or other mental problems – My brother had brain damage at birth.
  • physical birth defects – I was born with a double cleft lip and alveolar cleft (between two front teeth)
  • divorce – My parents divorced when I was 15 and my brother was 13.
  • moving – We moved several times when I was a child and that always meant changing schools. Moving is always stressful, but also interrupts a child’s education.
  • injury – I injured my knee playing pickleball last year and because of it developed deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms and pneumonia which were life-threatening.
  • pandemic – Even though I haven’t had COVID that I know of in the last two years, that has been a challenge for everyone worldwide. I was very sick from August through November of last year so I can identify with those who had the disease and did not know if they would survive or not.

Challenges happen to the young and old, rich and poor, sick and well. We all have a choice to do the right things and have good attitudes which go a long way in helping us overcome and survive our challenges.

I don’t wish you a life without challenges, but I wish you help in solving and coping with your challenges and living a fulfilling life in spite or because of them. God bless you always.

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45 replies »

  1. Great lists Marsha. I did find one a bit confusing

    “healthy brain – don’t drink to excess, read, study, play mind games”

    I think there should be a do before read ie don’t drink to excess but do read, study and play mind games

    Or am I off the mark?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get that. I’m on cholesterol medication, and my doctor said no more than 1-2 drinks a day. That’s way more than I drink, but with the blood thinners I’m on right now, I drink almost nothing. It does add the pounds like nothing else, too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have certainly had your share of challenges. I love that you said you don’t wish us no challenges. You are right, we learn from those experiences and the harder the challenges, the more defined we are. An attitude of gratitude is always best!

    I have had to take lots of deep breaths with care for my parents. I was glad to hear you overcame that. 🤗 I will too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. HI Marsha, we all get dealt our cards in life and we have to play them. I had measles at the age of 2 and it caused a lot of damage to my eye sight. I eventually had an eye operation because I was ‘technically blind’. It was hugely successful and my eye sight is now very good. I don’t even need glasses. My father died when I was three months old and my mom decided to immigrate to South Africa on her own. Her sister was here. Such life changing events that mould our lives. Your points on good living make absolute sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Roberta, how amazing about your eyesight. I’m so glad that it is so good now. I had measles at about age 5, but nothing happened as a result other than I got better after a week in a darkened room. I vaguely remember being in that room. I’m so sorry about your father. Your mother was a brave woman. Where were you from before that? Did she ever remarry? What a story you have to tell. Have you written a book about your life?


  4. Lovely post Marsha! Making those decisions when we’re young makes all the difference in this stage of our lives. Though, as you point out, other unplanned events do happen. Still those early decisions still benefit us. Life is no doubt fraught with challenges, it’s how we handle them that makes all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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