Savor Every Moment

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Getting ‘old’ is hard work. Not only do you have to think about yourself but, if you’re lucky enough to be in a relationship, you also have to think about that other person.

When you’re young, you’re much more self-centered and tend to feel immortal. As you age and your body fails to keep up the pace, you start to look at things in a different light. Suddenly, life has an expiration date and you cherish things more because it might be your last time doing or seeing them.

So, savor every moment and don’t take anything or anyone for granted!

 

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Let’s Trade Up

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We’ve all complained, at one time or another, that life was unfair. Some people make more money than others and some people are just born into it. Some people have more kids than they should have and others can’t have even one.

Well, guess what? Life isn’t always fair. My Mom always told me (as her mother told her) that if everyone put their problems in the middle of the room, you’d grab yours and run like hell.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. I don’t know why but, then, I don’t make the rules. I just have to live by them. We all do. Ever hear the expression: “sell your soul to the devil?” Some people are willing to give up almost anything to get what they want. But most things like that come with too big a price tag (and not just financially speaking).

So, what would you be willing to give up everything for… Your family? Your health? Let’s hope you never have to find out!

My Greatest Accomplishments

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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!

Witty And Wise

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An elderly Irish woman was driving home late one night, her husband in the passenger seat. Suddenly she saw flashing lights behind her. She pulled the car over and the officer walked up to her car. She lowered the window as the officer said, “Ma’am, do you know your husband fell out of the car two miles back?”

“Oh, thank goodness,” she replied. “I thought I’d gone deaf!”

(borrowed, with permission, from a friend’s Facebook post and written by Irish comedian, Hal Roach)

Here’s hoping Irish ‘ears’ are smiling today 🙂

The New Normal

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There’s nothing wrong with getting older. It’s almost as if the ‘over 65’ crowd is ‘the new normal.’ Aches and pains aside, more people than ever before are living into their eighties, their nineties and even living long enough to hear Willard Scott read their names (not as part of a memoriam but) on a Smuckers jar.

One noble aspect about aging is that it doesn’t discriminate – all races and genders, if they’re lucky, can be members of this inclusive club. The only rule is that you do it right… the living, that is, not the dying.

Old people are constantly portrayed as those suffering from incontinence, heart disease, arthritis and memory loss. They’re seen as cranky, unattractive, frail and forgetful. The fact of the matter is, today’s elders are actually computer literate, taking classes, starting new jobs and finding ways to improve their lives.

It’s no longer enough to just sit back and enjoy your retirement. You must keep an open mind and not be afraid to fail. You have to be open to discovery and appreciate life – especially knowing that your time may be limited.

Always remember this… You don’t get to choose how you’ll die but you sure can choose how you’ll live!

Without Really Trying

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Some people are hell bent on working themselves to death. They either have no life outside of work or have chosen to make their job their first priority.

For the rest of us, we struggle to find a happy medium. We put equal time into building our careers and our lives outside the office. We live, we love and we succeed.

Sometimes, if we’re very lucky, we can have it all. And, if even luckier, we can have it without really trying. That’s how I choose to think of my time with my parents. It’s not that it’s easy – because it’s not. But, knowing how much it means to them, that makes it just a bit less hard.

I see my parents struggle on a daily basis. Sometimes even the simplest task can be so frustrating. So I step in. Willingly. And that is my greatest gift to them – that I can find the time and the patience and the humility to help them out, oftentimes, without being asked!

Old Wives Tales

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If your parents ever told you, “that’s just an old wives tale,” you aren’t alone. However, these ’stories’ can run the gamut from curiously helpful to completely whacky. Here are the Top 5 best ‘luck’ ones I’ve heard to date:

     1) A cricket in the house brings good luck – not to the person who can’t sleep through the noise.

     2) It’s bad luck to leave through a different door than the one used to come in –  ummmm, anyone ever hear of an apartment?

     3) If the palm of your right hand itches it means you will soon be getting money – that’s not what the nuns told my male Catholic school friends.

     4) It’s bad luck to leave shoes upside down – especially if you stepped in something outside.

     5) An apple a day keeps the doctor away – not a good thing if you’re married to the doctor.

So, all in all, as long as you refrain from crossing your eyes, making an ugly face, stepping on a crack or swallowing a watermelon pit, you should be just fine. At least until the next time you eat before swimming, sit too close to the tv or crack your knuckles!

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!

Not Quite Seasonal

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Many days throughout the year are marked by some celebration or another. The major holidays are booming and even lesser ones are becoming Hallmark gold.

But what about those days – you know the ones – where nothing special happens and we’re lucky if we even remember them? Maybe the weather was bad or a game we wanted to watch wasn’t being televised and there was nothing else on TV but repeats… Don’t they matter, too?

Even on those unremarkable days, children are born, people die and life altering events happen halfway around the world. But we aren’t aware of any of it. We just go about our business until the next ‘big’ thing comes along.

So, next time you wake up and have breakfast and wonder what you’re going to do that day… just look at all the gorgeous colors outside your window. It costs you nothing, it (hopefully) puts a smile on your face and maybe even brightens up an otherwise ordinary (NOW seasonable) day.*

*Between one upcoming holiday and the next, casually pick a day (a Monday, for instance) and make it memorable. Go out and take some pictures; look up someone you’ve lost contact with; volunteer at a shelter (be it for humans or for our four-legged friends). Believe me… it’ll matter!