A slew of hopes and wishes for a new year


My life lately has been full of frustrations, both major and minor, that I assume many of you share, too. For instance, how many of you have tried placing a phone call recently and received a message like this? “If you want this, press that … .” You go through the list, press the number you think applies and get nowhere. I have two medical providers whose offices have gone this route and I’m really pissed. They probably are doing it to save themselves time, but what about my time? Lately, two providers have pulled this on me and I’ve yet to reach a person to speak with. GRRRR!

I’ve tried several times to get through to cancel my appointment and I get nowhere. I don’t do ice and snow — period. If I’m courteous enough to call to cancel, they shouldn’t make it so hard for me. In recent months I’ve been forced to endure this kind of treatment wasting several hours of my time. A curse on whoever devised this insidious procedure. I finally end up calling someone who is “over” them and having them relay the message.

If I could find a way to put a similar message on my own phone when those parties call, I’d do it. I’d go out of my way to do it. But I could never do such a thing to my friends and I’d have no way of making that distinction.

With the weather being like it has been lately, I’ve had to do a lot of canceling and my frustration level is on overdrive.

I recently suggested that they simply give me an email address and I’d send my message that way. They were willing, but the routine of getting plugged into that is equally complicated. Why can’t they just have one address for such messages and another for all others that none of us know about? It would be so simple for both ends of the message. I could send a message canceling, saying that I will contact them when the weather looks to be good enough for me to be out. Equally simple, if they need to contact me, just give me a phone call. Why is it necessary to make the whole process so complicated?

In all fairness, they do say that if my call is an emergency, to call a number I know will be answered.

I haven’t needed that yet (knock wood). By then, I would probably have used my life alert button to summon help.

Living alone does have its advantages — setting your own hours, your own temperature, your own menu, tub soaking and nap times. If you want quiet, turn off the TV. If you want company, turn it back on or cuddle the dog. I’ve been able to turn my dining room into my “office” and I sit here at my computer watching the world go by through my front windows.

With the end of the year approaching, I dread the chore of cleaning out my files of this year’s financial records and getting them organized for my tax preparer. That is one chore I don’t like to put off but hate to do. I also have to look at that box sitting on the counter in the kitchen until it is tax prep time.

I think the most frustrating thing in my life now is lack of mobility. With two artificial knees, I can no longer kneel. If I fall now, I can no longer get up — I’m like a beached whale and have to wait until I can get help getting up. I’m grateful for my life alert but frightened when my phone landline is out because the life alert depends in it to function.

Then I remind myself how lucky I am to have the services I need available. Life is really good and I’m looking forward to my 100th birthday 10 years from now.

Harding lives in Pullman and is a longtime League of Women Voters member. She also has served on the Gladish Community and Cultural Center board.

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