Words And Phrases

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A diamond is forever – with divorce rates up, is that still true?

A dog is man’s best friend – I love dogs as much as the next person but shouldn’t your spouse be your BF?

A skeleton in the closet – let’s hope that isn’t a literal meaning.

A watched pot never boils – a quaint expression but, obviously, untrue.

I understand and appreciate the feeling cited above. But we cannot live fortune cookie lives. We can’t possibly take a few nice words (written on a small, folded piece of paper and shoved inside a dessert) seriously. We hear about tragedy and suffering on the news all day long. We see injustice and cruelty all around us. Sure, it’d be great to live in a world wearing rose-colored glasses but, eventually, reality will cross our path and bite us in the butt.

So, by all means, think positively and be considerate of those around you. But know that, against our better judgment, words CAN sometimes hurt!

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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!

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!

Five Second Rule

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Everyone knows about the five second rule where food is concerned. Supposedly, if you drop food on the floor, it’s okay to still eat it or serve it if it’s been picked up within 5 seconds. I’m sure people with extreme OCD are silently cringing right about now but, for the vast majority of us, this rule is fairly acceptable.

So what else might it work for?

  • If someone doesn’t react ‘promptly’ when a light turns green, is it alright to blast your car horn at them?
  • If you have something important to say and someone holds up their finger indicating that they’ll be with you in a second, is it alright to start talking after you’ve checked your watch and five seconds have gone by?
  • If a waiter tells you he’ll be back in a second with the check and, after 10 or 15 minutes you still haven’t gotten it, is it alright to walk out without paying?
  • If someone is holding the elevator for another person (while carrying on a conversation with them) and you have places to go, is it alright to press the ‘close door’ button?
  • If you, yourself (“guilty”), have done any of these because you truly believe the five second rule is an appropriate measure of your patience level, then I say to you, “_________________________”*

*sorry, my five seconds were up!

Ready, Set, Go

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As previously mentioned, I’m not the most patient person on the planet. At this point, having lived with my parents for the better part of the last year, I’d have to say it’s still a work in progress.

Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

1) When getting ready to go out, tell the parentals a good 10 minutes in advance so that they can conveniently go to the bathroom (Mom and Dad), put on lipstick (Mom), find and put on baseball cap (Dad) and hopefully remind me to bring whatever it is that’s needed for this particular outing.

2) When actually leaving the unit, have parentals go ahead and get the elevator – during which time I can gather whatever they forgot, pee, lock up and still get to the elevator, myself, by the time the doors open.

3) When returning home, drop parentals off at the front door to the building, go park the car, pick up the mail and still get to the elevator by the time the doors open.

See… it’s just a matter of planning ahead, not losing my cool by maintaining my patience and three simple steps of ready, set, go!

Grumpy Old Men

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There have been several movies made about grumpy old men… including Grumpy Old Men AND, years later, Grumpier Old Men. Perhaps that’s because there’s no limit to how much material is out there on the subject.

I know one such character… my Dad. I love him to pieces but he could easily have given Walter Matthau a run for his money. And not just in those movies, either. Matthau played a lot of curmudgeonly characters throughout his career – from Oscar Madison to Coach Buttermaker – and one was merely grumpier than the other.

What do we do for these aging men who have little to no patience and even less remorse? We love them, we forgive their crankiness, we try our best to make them laugh and then we leave them to their own devices!

HAPPY 85th BIRTHDAY, DAD!