My parents and I just celebrated our second anniversary of generational living. Has it improved their quality of life? Has it made their lives any easier?
I’ve decided to let them speak for themselves. So I quickly jotted down a few key questions and I’ll share their answers with you. These are things we all wonder about in our own lives so I figured they’d be helpful on a number of levels.
Me: “Are you happy?” Mom: “Yes.” Dad: “I’m learning to deal…”
Me: “How much stress do you feel daily?” Mom: “A bit.” Dad: “Tons.”
Me: “If you could have one wish?” Mom: “That your Dad’s eyes were better.” Dad: “That I could get my eyes back.”
My takeaway from this is that, while my parents (after nearly 60 years together) are basically on the same wave length, their commonality works best when they are at their best selves!
You can’t always take someone else’s word for something that you can’t see for yourself. It’s fine to participate in a good debate and some people enjoy taking classes as adults because they’re still interested in learning. But never settle for accepting someone else’s opinion.
We often tell our children to be leaders, not followers. We encourage them to think and act for themselves (of course, they’ll only listen to what we say for a few short years). Then it’s on to their friends as their closest advisors.
It’s certainly easier, by far, to just be a bystander and not commit yourself to a cause. That might be okay for some people but others like to take a more active part. Standing up for or standing beside another human being takes a different kind of person – one who is completely dedicated and accepts the risks involved.
Open your eyes, your mind and your heart and, together, let them lead the way. You’ll sleep better, you’ll feel better and you’ll never again doubt your choices!
When I made the decision to not only have children but also to raise them myself, I took a lot of criticism from people who had no qualms about letting others raise their own kids. I never voiced my opinion about their decision to work full time and hire strangers to look after their children and I expected at least that much in return.
It’s funny how people view the same situation in such different ways.
Be that as it may, I consider myself lucky to have been able to devote all my attention to my sons and I never regretted that choice.
When I decided to take care of my aging parents I could do no less than that. My parents gave me life just as I gave life to my children. The choice was a no brainier. I am fortunate that, even in their eighties, both my parents are still in my life.
Loving and caring for someone is not a part time job – it’s a lifetime commitment.
Not that it’s been easy, by any means, but the benefits of this unique living arrangement far outweigh the difficulties we’ve endured. Living with and caring for elderly parents is not a choice to be made lightly. It may not be the right choice for everyone. It takes a lot of hard work and a ton of patience but it can also be one of the most rewarding and selfless things you will ever do!
We spend countless hours on our looks and on our bodies – lotions, spas, gyms, power drinks – so why don’t we spend any time trying to improve our minds? Yes, we play games on our computers and do crossword puzzles and the like. But, since graduating from school (be it HS or college), we haven’t properly exercised our brains.
Try these experiments:
Say the alphabet backwards
Play the old car-trip game (by yourself) where you think of alphabetized foods you’d like to take on a picnic
Try to remember the names of all of your teachers by grade
How did you do? I was visiting my son some weeks ago and, all of a sudden, I remembered a name we had both drawn blanks on in a recent phone conversation. We laughed. But it just goes to show you… It’s easy to forget but it’s redemptive to remember!