Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘aging’

Aging Gracefully


Window Shopping

This week Bob & I visited El Paseo Drive in Palm Springs, CA. It was a beautiful day to window shop those exquisite boutiques. But, ooh-la-lah, heaven forbid we go inside!! The prices are out of sight! However, if is is not a lovely shirt or a cute, little apron with a cute saying on it, then it is a convincing salesman with a free gift he is handing out in sweet little bags.

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Stepping Inside

I made the mistake of accepting the bag and then being drawn into his shop where he had a “Miracle Cream.” He invited me to sit down so he could put it around one of my eyes. “Look at how it removes the puffiness and lightens the dark bags,” he said.

Bob followed me in and the slick salesman invited him to come and see how much better that eye looked. “We men don’t care about the aging process,” he told Bob. “But women – they care – and your wife would love this cream. If it can do this much in one very short treatment, imagine what it can do with weekly treatments over a few months!”

The salesman offered to throw in an additional jar of “finishing cream” for FREE …. if we would buy one jar of the miracle cream.

“How much?” Bob asked.

“Only two hundred…” he paused before quietly adding “ninety-nine” at the same time Bob was gasping at 200 and missed the 99. Wow, only $300. for that miracle cream. A bargain! Just think it’ll last a month or more!!

Aging Like Sea Glass

Yes, I have a well-earned patina! Yes, I add a few wrinkles with each passing year. Yes, my skin lacks the freshness of my youth. Yes, I care about AGING. In fact, I embrace it! It’s not true that men don’t care about it. They want to age like sea glass, too.

External vs. Internal Beauty

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

I want the wrinkles that come with age to be a beauty that expresses my inner peace and radiates my inner joy. This dear photo by Nandhu Kumar depicts a lovely lady whose face sparkles with an inner beauty and a well-earned patina that is envious! Don’t you agree?

Photo by Kamille Sampaio on Pexels.com

This sweet man’s face and his gesture of affection radiates a love so real, so dear, so beautiful that only the waves of time can achieve it. His face reflects his journey – and the changes he has gone through to achieve that beauty. Hers, on the other hand appears to have endured many fewer tumbles through the tide. Maybe she’s his daughter … or maybe she used that “magic cream.” Her face doesn’t reflect the inner glow, however wrinkle-free it may be, does it? She looks a little apprehensive to me.

Outer Beauty

Don’t get me wrong; I am not opposed to outer beauty!! I don’t knock those who get monthly facials or buy expensive creams or have face lifts. (I actually put a pretty costly cream on my face every morning. It’s a Lacome – designed as a sunscreen and wrinkle reducer – hah!)

Look at this lovely “elderly” model. She has a job that requires special care of hair and skin. Gotta look good on camera! A few lines add character, don’t you agree? The only way to avoid those lines is to stop smiling, stop frowning, stop expressing emotion. Even Botox doesn’t take them all away!!

Yes, I’d like to reduce my frown marks (those railroad tracks on my forehead). I was warned when I was in my twenties that this would happen if I didn’t stop frowning. But how do you keep a straight face when you’re teaching a room full of twelve year olds or scolding a 4th grader who just punched a classmate? Why should you keep from smiling when you’re confronted with a class of giggling kindergarteners? How do you avoid the wrinkles on your nose when that’s what your face does a million times a day? My dog, TazE, doesn’t seem to mind!

Ride the Waves and Go With the Flow

I want to age like sea glass. I want my hard edges to soften. I want to be picked up gently and admired by those who appreciate what these 80 years of life have meant to them and to me… what I’ve learned, and what I can pass along. I want to enjoy the journey, and always remember to be grateful for each day the Good Lord gives to me. I want to ride the waves and go with the flow.

You with me?

Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Pexels.com
Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

Ride the waves with me…
and share your wisdom, too.
How do you feel about aging?

Got any advice re: anti-wrinkle stuff??

See ya tomorrow!

Teach Us to Number


Psalm 90:12
(The prayer of Moses – the man of God)

“Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

80th Birthday – 2018

A year ago this day, we also were here in Placerville with our son and his family, joined by friends who came to celebrate Bob’s 80th birthday. The picture above shows Bob with the card Ty & Monika created for him using candy bars to accentuate the message.

Aging Gracefully?

The days between then and now find us both slowing down a bit. He finds it necessary to catch cat naps during the day more often. Outdoor chores take a toll on the back and leg muscles. Physical activities (like downhill skiing) are still fun, but hours on the slopes, taking the double diamond runs, without a break… well that’s not a good idea anymore.

How can we accept the aging process that seems to limit our energy? Well, duh … what’s the alternative? We die – or we become grumpy – or we listen to our bodies and take those breaks when the need arises! Aging gracefully means thanking God for all the things we CAN still do … and not focusing on the things we CAN’T do anymore… at least not at the speed and length of time we used to. Right?

Number our Days

We know our days are numbered… and only God has the answer. We know Jesus Christ promised He would come again and take all who believe with Him to our eternal home. Only God has the number of that day, too. So, our job is not to worry about what the numbers are, but to live fully for as long as He gives us.

Living Fully

That photo of Bob with our son, Ty, granddaughter, Faith, and her husband, Kyle was taken at our house in Montana last Thanksgiving.

A year ago Bob went skiing with Ty & Faith here in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This year, the crowds and the conditions caused Bob to say, “Let’s wait til we come back through in January and ski then.”

Someday Bob’s skiing may be limited to pulling our great-grandchildren on a sled in the snow… that is if we are fortunate enough to live long enough to gracefully accept the limitations that numbered days may bring!

Meantime, there are spring times and summers, autumns and early winters when the fishing is great in Ennis, Montana…

And there is always yard work that beckons him to keep the lawn trimmed, the flowers healthy, and the weeds at bay…

… and in the winter there is rarely a time when there is not snow to shovel!

We look forward to the numbered day on our ATV when we can enjoy with friends the beauty of the mountain trails above our Madison Valley.

Gain a Heart of Wisdom

Yes, looking at what we CAN do and not dwelling on the things we find more difficult to do as we add to the number of our days… that’s part of wisdom.

So is taking time daily to read God’s Word, and apply his principles to our lives.

In Psalm 90,
Moses’ prayer also says,
(in verse 10)
“Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass and fly away.”

Thank God, Bob can say, “The best of them are here and now… and with God’s blessings the best are also yet to come.”

They may quickly pass (as we age they seem to fly by more quickly with each sunrise and sunset), but we do not focus on the trouble and sorrow.

Focus on your blessings, my friends. Focus on the CANS, not the CAN’Ts!!

Enjoy each day… and look for the wisdom it contains.

BOB!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
on the occasion of this wonderful 81st birthday.

See ya tomorrow.

As I Get Older


As I get older, I realize:

  • things aren’t so urgent
  • laughter is a great anecdote for stress
  • it’s okay to be a bit off color
  • forgiveness is imperative
  • friends are priceless treasures
  • love dissolves distances
  • I may not always be right
  • But then again…
Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Groucho Marx was one of my favorite comedians. He and Red Skelton always made my dad laugh. I can still remember him sitting in front of our black and white picture on the TV back in the late 40s, laughing til his eyes were teary at Groucho’s jokes. As I recall a few I am reminded that humor really is a way to share kindness because when we laugh, the “endorfins” brighten our spirit and feed the corners of our brains.

As I grow older, I remember it’s important to
Lighten up and laugh more often! Groucho said,

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend,
inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.”

“Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…
well, I have others.”

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble,
finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly,
and applying the wrong remedies.”

“Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.”

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening.
But this wasn’t it.”

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Don’t you love that Santa picture? Reminds me that everyday is a gift…
And we shouldn’t wait for once a year to open it.
Keep the sparkle alive as you grow older –
And make every day a day of
… kindness
… gratitude
… and remembering why you walked into that room!

See ya later!

Be Kind


Yesterday’s Blog

When I posted my blog yesterday (Speak Kindly), I mentioned that November is a month devoted to Thanksgiving (at least here in the USA that’s our focus). In addition to this attitude of Gratitude, I sent out an invitation to make it a month of KINDNESS. “Let’s make Kindness a HABIT,” I suggested.

In the Comments Section

My daughter who lives in Switzerland (and who reads my blog daily – thank you, DeDe), wrote a comment saying, “It should be that way every month of the year!”

Cultivating Kindness

She’s right, of course. It should be! If you search under the tag of Kindness on WordPress, you will discover it is a topic well covered. It’s not written about because it is an automatic human response, unfortunately. Kindness is something we really need to cultivate.

In Samantha’s blog,

The Art of Being Fabulous

Random acts of kindness is back!

By: Samantha Wharton In: Self

Samantha wrote,

“Lately, in the news, all I hear about are all the negative things happening.  I would like to focus on positivity.

It doesn’t take much to do something kind for someone.”

Then she listed some suggestions. Check out her blog.

Is Kindness that Hard?

In her blog, Sunday Sayings – Kindness, Forestwood wrote,

“Throughout our lives, we constantly hear sageful advice such as:

‘Treat one another as you would like to be treated yourself ‘– That wise old Confucian saying of ‘Do Unto Others as You would have Done Unto You.

“We hear this, we know this, well most of us implicitly know this, yet often despite this, ego takes over. People might become selfish, or narcissistic, or begin to look-out, only for themselves.”

Kindness Affects Our Mental Health

When our “Reptilian Brain” has its needs met (food, shelter and clothing), then we don’t have to focus on our survival. We don’t have to respond to life with the “Me First” attitude. We can reach out with our thoughts and our prayers, our words and our actions, to exhibit genuine kindness to others. In so doing, our own mental health is uplifted – and we find the world to be a better place. Better, because we are the kindness we want to see – and what we send into the lives of others, comes back into our own.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Reach out to someone with kindness today.
Make it intentional!

See ya later.

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


Strength Within.jpg

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!

animal avian beak bird

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!!

 

 

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