Your Soul Mate

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You can live an entire lifetime and never know true love. You can live a long and productive life and never be loved. You can love someone and never have that love returned. Love is… complicated.

But if you’re lucky enough to find true love and to live a full and joyous life with that one special person, then you’d be in the same small club that my parents are members of. How do you know? Simple.

  • You have been with the same person for more years than you can count.
  • You can barely remember a time when you weren’t together.
  • You think about that person first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.

So… Still not sure? Then ask yourself this question: “Am I a better person because he/she is in my life?” If the answer is, “yes,” then chances are you have found your ‘sole’ mate!

Don’t Judge Me

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In today’s society, we often act as our own worst critic. We have something to say about everything – the way people look or talk or smell or walk. It’s as if the whole world is a stage and we are the judges. Thanks to the glut of Reality TV, we now critique looks, talent, strength and even cooking ability.

But when an opinion is expressed about us or our behavior, we take it personally and feel the need to justify any negativity. We no longer have as thick a skin as we once did – or maybe we’re just so tired of hearing it all the time that we immediately go on the defensive.

At a certain age, people tend to believe that that, alone, allows them the freedom to express their anger or frustration because they’ve lived a long, hard life. Not so. In reality, what it does is allow us to see into our own futures and, hopefully, grant us the compassion to withhold that judgment and to acknowledge the gifts that all those years of living have bestowed!

Piece Of Mind

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Did you know that when you live with your parents, later in life, you actually start to lose large pieces of your mind on a daily basis? It’s not like when you temporarily lose your keys or forget someone’s phone number. Or when you sit in traffic because it was decided that rush hour was a convenient time to pave the road or there’s an accident on the other side of the divider and all the drivers in front of you decide to look and take photos and you think, “there are two hours of my life I’ll never get back.”

No, this is something entirely different. 

When my Dad – who has very limited sight and even more limited acceptance of that fact – insists on pouring his own drink and I then spend my few free moments of the day cleaning up the spills that could have been avoided if he would have just allowed me the privilege of doing it for him in the first place… there goes one piece of your mind. 

Then when my Mom thinks she is saving 15 cents (yes, cents) by using a coupon from one particular store that is miles away from where I’m doing their regular shopping – resulting in my having to spend a half hour more of my valuable time, traveling in the car (not to mention about 10x as much in gas as the coupon is worth) – just so I can buy that item that she didn’t really even need but had a coupon for… there goes another piece of mind. 

And, finally, when I spill some yogurt down the front of my new shirt (because I’m so tired from running around doing errands and fixing things around the house) and I realize I’ve witnessed this same scene before but, instead of me, it was with the very people I’m usually helping clean up after – that’s when it occurs to you that it’s not a piece of mind you’ve lost but your peace of mindfulness!*

*Don’t sweat the small stuff… Listen to your heart… Take time for yourself… Set clear boundaries… Give yourself the gift of forgiveness… Go ahead and vent… Remain calm… Make the best of a bad situation… Don’t take it all so seriously… Treasure the journey… And when all else fails – LAUGH!

Rainy Day Saving

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When I finally convinced my parents that it was time to move out of their 3-leveled townhouse (after both of them had fallen) and into a condo without stairs, the fun had only just begun.

It never occurred to me that this almost 60-years-married couple could not (and would not) part with a single item… many of which had not seen the light of day in more than half a century.

We all love our memorabilia and no one would ever suggest throwing out an original photo or a special letter. But 70+ year old school report cards, brittle clumps of no longer fine, baby hair and (there are no words) what appear to be baby teeth in little plastic treasure chests are NOT items that need to be saved and moved to yet another home.

Sometimes, ‘out with the old and in with the new’ has tremendous merit – especially when not doing so turns a home into a hoarding house!

Daylight Saving Time

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I doubt there’s a person out there who really thinks we need daylight saving time. For most of us it’s just a huge inconvenience. When my kids were younger, it was a nightmare because they either went to school in the dark or came home in it. Now it’s just a drag because we have to set all our clocks forward and backwards. Granted, modern technology takes care of some of our devices but we still have to manage more than our share.

I know a few people who refuse to give in and, although forced to live with the time change, feel a certain amount of pride in defiantly not changing their car clocks. The reason, I’m told, is that in six short months the time will be corrected (much like people who refuse to make their beds because they’re only going to sleep in them again??). The problem is, you’re never quite sure which cycle you’re in and that can make for some very late arrivals.

Mostly, I think, people tend to get slightly depressed during the time change because it represents shorter daylight hours and the coming of winter. But, like all things worth waiting for, there is (literally) light at the end of the tunnel!

Beat The Bank

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I really hate the fact that the older I get, the more tired I am and the less sleep I seem to be getting. I’m now one of the millions of Americans that relies on sleeping pills for a decent night’s sleep. So, on those occasions that I find myself exercising my right to a good night’s rest, the last thing I expect is to be woken up from a deep sleep before dawn.

To be clear, there was no fire, no medical emergency and no reason whatsoever that my slumber should have been disturbed. But it was. And the reason… Dad wanted to get to the bank to deposit a check. At 5:42 AM.

Now, I don’t know where you live but I’m pretty sure your local bank does not open at 5:42 in the morning. And we’re not talking about the ATM machine either. My Dad only deals with real live tellers who sit behind their windows inside the bank.

I tried to convince him that I would not be up and showered and dressed anywhere near that early but he insisted on being ready… just in case. 

So he waited, patiently, just so he could beat the bank!

Owning Your Age

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When we’re really young, we’re in a big hurry to grow up. Children will, early on, hold up one or two fingers to proudly declare their age when asked. Then they go through a stage where they are very definitely, “four and 3/4” or “almost 5.”  

Our desire to age rather quickly makes another comeback when we approach double digits and, again, when we’re old enough to get our driver’s permit. Lastly (depending on where you live), there’s that urgent desire to be able to vote. Okay, drink… Whatever.

After that we’re not so keen on advancing in years. Some even go to great lengths to try and slow down the aging process. Every few years we’re thrown a bone when some group or another comes up with the latest: “60 is the new 40”Yeah, right. And I’ve got a wooden bridge I’d like to sell you.

But fear not, baby boomers. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. If you live long enough, you’ll be eligible for AARP, Medicare, Social Security and senior discounts up the wazoo. So be loud and be proud. Own the age you’re at. Act the age you are. And age as gracefully as you can!