Safe And Healthy

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Notice I didn’t say safe and ‘sound.’ That was deliberate because, at almost 86, my Dad isn’t quite as sharp as he used to be. He knows it, we all know it – we just don’t put a label on it.

What constitutes being ‘sound’ really?

Ask a person, who has lived a long hard life, how they feel and they’re just as likely to answer, “fine,” as they are to actually attempt to describe how difficult their day was beginning with getting out of bed to completing a few everyday tasks. Or, as my Dad often answers the doctor when asked that question, “how much time do you have?”

Mom, on the other hand, seldom leaves her place at the breakfast table because even the slightest exertion gets her winded. She watches her programs, she reads, she does her crossword puzzles and she organizes my Dad’s meals and meds. Mom (who’s deaf in one ear and has perfected the art of ‘selective hearing’) has a unique way of filtering sound. When she sleeps, it’s on her ‘good’ ear so she doesn’t get bothered by outside noise.

Dad, like myself, not only hears every annoying beep and bang but involuntarily waits for the next one to disturb him. And, with nothing but time on his hands, that’s a lot of disturbance.  As musicians, Dad and I are literally victims of the very sounds that we’ve spent our lives crafting for others’ enjoyment.

Is it healthier to face your demons head on or to ignore them in hopes that they’ll eventually go away? I guess that’s for each of us to discover!

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See For Yourself

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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!

ABC’s Of Aging

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(author unknown)

A is for arthritis
B is for bad back
C is for the chest pains – corned beef?cardiac?
D is for dental decay and decline
E is for eyesight – can’t read that top line
F is for fissures and fluid retention
G is for gas  (which I’d rather not mention – and not to forget other gastrointestinal glitches)
H is high blood pressure
I is for itches and lots of incisions
J is for joints, that now fail to flex
L is libido – what happened to sex?
Wait! I forgot about K!
K is for my knees – that crack all the time
(But forgive me, I get a few lapses in my
Memory from time to time)
N is for nerve (pinched) and neck (stiff)
and neurosis
O is for osteo – for all the bones that crack
P is for prescriptions, that cost a small fortune
Q is for queasiness. Fatal or just the flu?
Give me another pill and I’ll be good as new!
R is for reflux – one meal turns into two
S is for sleepless nights (counting fears on how to pay my medical bills)
T is for tinnitus – I hear bells in my ears
And the word ‘terminal’ also rings too near
U is for urinary and the difficulties that flow (or not)
V is for vertigo, as life spins by
W is worry, for pains yet unfound
X is for x-ray and what one might find
Y is for year (another one, I’m still alive)
Z is for zest

For surviving the symptoms my body’s deployed
And keeping 26 doctors gainfully employed

Note To Self

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It seems like such a simple and obvious notion – to make time for yourself. But how many of us remember to do it or make the effort to rearrange our busy schedules?

I often find myself, at day’s end, not having completed my mental ‘to do’ list. It’s partly my fault by becoming distracted by other obligations. But there are, after all, only 24 hours in a day. Moreover, 6-8 of those hours (if we’re lucky) are spent asleep so that leaves…

See? I almost did it again. I certainly don’t have the time it takes to do math. What matters most is the quality of our time spent – even with family and friends, it’s not so much the minutes or the hours but the actual together time – without preoccupation or interference from any outside sources.

So: “note to self” – I will always be at my best, for others, when I am at my best for my own self. And, sometimes, that means having to take a moment to look up at the stars or to smell the roses or to hear my sons voices on the telephone. Then, and only then, can I be my very best ME!

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!

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!

Get Up, Go

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(Unknown Author)

How do I know that my youth is all spent?
Well, my get up and go has got up and went.
But in spite of it all I am able to grin
When I think of the places my get up has been.

Old age is golden, so I’ve heard said
But sometimes I wonder, as I get into bed.
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup
And my eyes on the table until I wake up.

Ere sleep dims my eyes I say to myself
“Is there anything else I can put on the shelf?”
And I’m happy to say as I close the door
“My friends are the same, perhaps even more.”

When I was a young thing my slippers were red
I could kick my heels high as my head.
Then when I was older, my slippers were blue
But still I could walk the whole day through.

Now I’m still older, my slippers are black
I walk to the store and puff my way back.
The reason I know my youth is all spent
My get up and go has got up and went.

But really, I don’t mind when I think with a grin
Of all the grand places my get up has been.
Since I have retired from life’s competition
I busy myself with complete repetition.

I get up each morning and dust off my wits
Pick up the paper and read the ‘obits.’
If my name is missing I know I’m not dead
So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed.

Fine, How’re you?

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(Author Unknown)

There’s nothing the matter with me,
I’m just as healthy as can be,
I have arthritis in both knees,
And when I talk, I talk with wheeze.
My pulse is weak, my blood is thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

All my teeth have had to come out,
And my diet I hate to think about.
I’m overweight and I can’t get thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

Arch supports I need for my feet.
Or I wouldn’t be able to go in the street.
Sleep is denied me night after night,
But every morning I find I’m all right.
Memory is failing, my head’s in a spin.
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

The moral of this as the tale unfolds,
Is – for you and me, who’re growing old.
It’s better to say, “I’m fine” with a grin,
Than to let people know the shape we’re in.

I’m fine, how are you?*

*All of the products shown above really work. I know. I use them all the time 😦

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!