Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘aging’

Reaching Out to Others


Reaching Out To Others

 

man and woman holding hands on brown wooden table

Happy Friday morning to you, my friends.
What’s on your calendar for today?

Many of you know that I am a retired educator
who enjoys spending my time volunteering.
I enjoy the spirit of “Paying it Forward.”
It’s not difficult to find people and places
where a helping hand is needed.

One of my favorite places to volunteer my time
is at our local nursing home.
I am a member of the auxiliary there.
At the beginning of each monthly meeting
we all recite this prayer together:

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When I read “all who are in distress of mind and body,”
I personalize it and think of the specific friends
who now live in the nursing home,
and remember them as the
independent, capable,
helpful folks they were…
that person is still in them!!

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Here is my friend, Elaine,
Always reaching out to others,
Always ready with a smile,
The life of every party!

Living now in half a room
in a nursing home,
dependent on others for meals,
transportation, shelter…
It must be hard!

Loneliness could set in
if caring people did not reach out
with generosity, discretion,
and gentleness.

My friend, Elaine, is one of the fortunate ones.
She has a son and daughters nearby.
They come regularly to visit
and to take her to church and to their homes.

Others are not so blessed.
They sit alone in their rooms,
waiting for the next meal, or
the next CNA to come in to check on them,
unless someone volunteers
to come and lead the Bingo game,
visit with them in their room
or on the patio on a good day,
or sit with them in the dining hall.

What can you do to reach out to others
who are in need of comfort, hope,
and companionship?

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This wonderful lady lived for nearly 25 years
in our local nursing home.
Her mom visited her daily,
but could not care for her in the apartment
where she lived alone.
As Karen’s MS progressed, she became
less and less able to manage her own affairs.
But she was always a lion at heart.
A strong soul who inspired those around her.
This face painting and costume
was done for her one Halloween a few years ago
by my granddaughter.
What a joy to see my friend’s true spirit emerge!!

Here is another person who was a lion at heart!

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One Thanksgiving, we had my friend Gloria,
come to celebrate the holiday with us.
She lived in the nursing home the last 5 to 10 years
of her long and illustrious life
(she used to sing with the NY Opera!).
Getting to know her and spending time
talking to her about her life
was such a privilege!!

Another one of my friends
was one who lived alone in a log house
at the edge of the Madison Range
where the deer and the antelope roam.
One early December day we went together to the nail salon
and had matching polish jobs.
See the snowmen on our pinky fingers?

Hands On Christmas

If nursing homes
or visiting the elderly in their homes
are not your bag,
think of other places where you can
reach out to help others.

Today I am volunteering at the
Madison Valley Medical Center.
We “Purple Ladies” do a lot to raise money
for hospital  equiment and other needs,
and to save money by being the
receptionists at the front desk
daily from 8: to 5:
The last two Fridays each month are my turn.

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I’m the “shrimp” with the silver hair in the middle back.

Today is my day to serve.
Better get going.

Who will you reach out to today
with wisdom and humility
to help make their life better?

Jan @ MVMC
See ya later!

 

That Tiny Spark


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Your Goal

Do you have a goal that you’ve been working to accomplish? Does it seem that the harder you work toward it, the farther away it seems to be?

Sometimes trying to accomplish a goal is like eating a bowl of spaghetti. You take a bite and the pasta grows to fill the hole you thought you’d made!

My Goal

The pasta growth is a perfect example for me to use today because my goal is to get back to my “Goal Weight.” I had a potluck at my house yesterday – and lasagna was the main dish. It was soooo good! But, this morning at TOPS, it showed up as .75 of a pound on the scale!!

I was the Queen of the State of Montana TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) back in I don’t remember when… 2013 or so. Earned that status by reaching my goal weight and in the process losing 30+ pounds that had crept up on me over about a 30 year period.

Then like that pasta that fills the void, over the next few years, ten of those pounds have crept back on. My body has settled at this and decided it likes this place on the scale. Well, I don’t!

Arguing with Self & Others

Some of my TOPS friends tell me I should change my goal weight. Afterall Jan, at 80 you’re not supposed to look like you did at 30! Well, that’s not my goal. I just wanna look and feel like I did when I had 10 pounds less than I do now. Thirty was nice, but it’s unrealistic for me now. I’d look gaunt!

Mother-Daughter

Here I am almost 50 years ago when my daughter (who will be 52 tomorrow) was about five years old. (Yes, I sewed our matching dresses. Awww… how cute!)

Well, she doesn’t look like that anymore, so why should I? Here we are now:

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Still got that sparkle. Still love each other to the moon and back. Both still healthy and thanking God daily for our vitality and ability to travel and spend time with each other annually (DeAna lives in Switzerland).

So Why Argue?

When I was ten pounds lighter, my clothes looked better on me. I was able to bend down and tie my shoes without getting out of breath. (Yes, 10 extra pounds makes that kind of difference). I had lower blood pressure. I felt better about myself. So, it’s a goal worth persuing – and an accomplishment worth keeping. This yo-yo-ing is not good for me… 2 lbs down in two weeks and the one week later it’s back. (Why does it come back so much faster than it comes off?)

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Here I am with my granddaughter, Hope,
when I was on my way down – almost to my goal weight.

And my sis, Sally, and my hubby Bob with me at goal weight.

Keep the Tiny Spark Glowing!

The goal you are striving to accomplish may not be a big fiery flame for all to see, but a tiny spark that whispers to you. You know you can do it. The spark keeps whispering, “You can do this! Don’t give up!” Keep the spark alive.

Other people may not think it is important … whatever that personal goal is… but YOU DO! And so it is worth persuing. Stick with it!

Keep going! You got this!

I was TOPS biggest loser last week.
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I can do it again.
Keep those damn pounds off.
Forget about that pasta hole!!
Eat less carbs.

See ya tomorrow.

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95 Years of Life Lessons


Today we are headed to a party at the home of my friend, Carol Orr. She is the 95 year old that I wrote about in this blog last year: via 95 Years of Life Lessons

Carol went to her heavenly home a month or so ago… and today her family and friends are gathering to remember her love and share some of her wit and wisdom. Tomorrow is her memorial service.

Click on the link to “95 Years of Life Lessons” above and enjoy Carol’s wit and wisdom with me. Such a bright, “with-it”, fun-loving, kind friend! I miss her!

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80 Years Young


I may have just turned 80,

But you can never tell

Unless I first admit it

Because life has treated me well

I still am full of vigor

I’m feisty, keen and healthy

I have a heart so full of love

I’m blessed and spiritually wealthy

I count my blessings every day

And live with gratitude

My family is a source of strength

My great grandkids lift my altitude

This month of July has been

A series of events so dear

I’m glad you’ve shared them with me

By visiting and celebrating with me here

The birthday party was a great success

The food and friends were amazing

One neighbor’s grandson

Kept returning to the table -grazing!

Tenderloin and chicken thighs

Wine and beer and water, too

The guests all brought potluck

Salads, appetizers, and focaccia, too!

The weather cooperated

It didn’t rain til we were in bed

It could have been a nasty day

But it was absolutely perfect instead!

Our dog had fun roaming the yard

And gathering nibbles wherever she went

The house was decorated beautifully

God bless a daughter #2 who’s Heaven-Sent!

My neighbors Janet and Charley

Were helpful beyond all measure

Add Rex & BW who helped set up & clean

They were an absolute treasure!

If you’ve hosted a party

For fifty folks or more,

You know it takes teamwork –

Yup, we had help galore!

I hope when you turn 80,

You feel as equally blessed.

Just count your blessings everyday

And start being that helpful guest!

My heart overflows!

See ya tomorrow

Optimism Brings Positivity


Thanks for joining me on our A-Z journey
to find ways to
Add More Meaning
and
Discover Clearer Purpose
in Life

Today we’ll explore the letters “O” and “P”
Optimism and Positivity

Optimism Brings Positivity!

Or, is it the other way around?

Does Positivity bring Optimism?

I couldn’t separate these two!

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Like so many of the concepts we’ve explored in this A-Z series, these two (optimism and positivity) go hand-in-hand.

When you live with the “Positivity Potion” in your life, optimism is a natural by-product!

I am reminded of a story I have read more than once in various places. It’s about an elderly lady who is being guided down the hallway of a nursing home. The CNA (certified nurse’s assistant) says to her, “Your room is at the end of this hallway.”

The lady smiles at her and cheerfully exclaims, “I like it!”

“But you haven’t seen it yet,” the CNA responds.

“Oh, I know, but I like it.”

This lady had more than a sprinkle of acceptance.
She had more than a hint of gratitude.
She lived with more than a feather of hope.
Her positivity potion was overflowing with optimism about life and her future.

She is someone you’d like to have as your roommate
should the day come when you need to move into a nursing home.

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These items of advice don’t suddenly become obsolete when you’re retired and don’t have to get up and go to a job every day. In fact, as a person who is aging (aren’t we all?), it is more important than ever that I remain positive in order to be happy.

When I was recovering from a knee replacement and struggling with more pain than I anticipated in the recuperation process, it was more important than ever that I remain positive, keep hope for a better outcome ahead, and work hard to remain happy.

Challenges keep coming.
Life is not a bed of feathery frolicking through the tulips!
It is more important than ever that I continue to work hard
(find meaningful work to maintain a sense of purpose),
and give my days reason to hope.
Not just a feather of hope,
but the whole chirping, red-breasted robin!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I never can let myself become so rigid, and set in my ways, and sure of my own way of doing things that I grow beyond the need to accept criticism. I must always keep learning. With a positive attitude, I can thank the one who offers the criticism –  thank him or her for sharing an opinion with me – for caring enough to speak their words of correction. Take it in – try the shoe on and see if it fits! And weigh its merits. Keep learning and looking for ways to improve. Always!

With an attitude of optimism
and a demeanor of positivity,
I will attract happy, warm, and generous people.
And I will be one of them.

What better way to approach my 80th birthday – and the days ahead?

 

Bring Optimism and Positivity with you into your tomorrows!

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Living the Good Life


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Happy 90th birthday, Erma!
Don’t let anybody tell you
You have “Lived a Good Life.”
You tell ’em, “I still am Living it!!”

I had a friend tell me yesterday
That her 88-year-old mom
“Has lived a good life.”
She will soon enter a nursing home.

I have several friends who are
In the Manor, our local spot
For Senior Care – a Nursing Home.
But, they don’t need to stop living!

One of the dearest residents there
Was my friend, Gloria.
She was unable to live alone
For health reasons, but she LIVED!

I’ve told you about Gloria before.
She was my “Angel with invisible wings.”
Her heart stretched miles
With warm smiles, loving and wise.

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This morning we had a Tea Party
Here in Ennis at a local church.
One of my senior friends who is
“Living the Good Life” was there.

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Anita is a Senior Companion
Who shovels walks and works tirelessly to
“Help All Those Old Folks!”
She’s at least ten years older than they are!

I wanna be “Anita” when I grow up…
Helping all those old folks!
She’s in her mid-nineties,
And she is “Living the Good Life!”

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A few years ago we celebrated
My friend, Carol’s, 90th birthday.
She is “Living the Good Life”
At the Manor right now. Still charming!!

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My friends, Elaine & Bev, celebrated
“The Good Life” at our annual
Christmas Party last December.
Both in their nineties, still vibrant!

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This dear lady is unknown to me,
But her adorable picture is available
To help folks like me aspire to
“Keep on Living the Good Life.”

Don’t let someone tell you
“You’ve lived a Good Life!”
You tell ’em loud and clear,
“I’m still living it!”

God bless you.
Keep helping those “Old Folks!”
Stay vibrant!!

 

 

See Beauty in Imperfection


sea beach storm tree

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Have you heard of the Japanese word:
Wabi-Sabi?

We don’t have a single English word to translate its meaning.
It takes a whole paragraph!

According to Leonard Koren, who wrote a book
titled Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets, and Philosophers,

“Wabi-Sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
It is a beauty of things modest and humble.
It is a beauty of things unconventional.”

The impermanence of footprints in the sand is an example.

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Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

 

The modest and humble man here speaks of Wabi-Sabi to me.
Look deep into his eyes. There is beauty in his face.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

I was inspired to write a Haiku X5 on this subject
as I look with fresh vision at the Wabi-Sabi examples around me.

Wabi-Sabi is
The beauty of the withered
Acknowledge decay.

brown wooden shed near green trees

Photo by Spencer Gurley on Pexels.com

Wabi is humble
Sabi is the solitude
Put them together

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Photo by Sơn Bờm on Pexels.com

Wabi-Sabi is
Beauty in humility
Embracing decay.

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Face imperfection
All things are impermanent
Each of us declines

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Know Wabi-Sabi
Appreciate “ugliness” –
See beauty in it!

man in black and white hoodie

Photo by Donald Teel on Pexels.com

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