Words to the Wise
Sometimes Ruth offers simple brief reflections of thought to seniors through newsletters at retirement residences or coffee shop newspapers. Here is a sample selection of them.
COPE-ing with COVID
COVID came into our lives and caused us all to pause and reflect on what’s
important to life. Now we need to COPE with COVID every day!
C - Connect with people every day, by phone, face to face, email etc. This
practice helps to reduce the feeling of loneliness and isolation.
O - Open your eyes to what is around you that is beautiful. Noticing beauty
in your home, out the window, in books, or smells around you brings
you good feelings that can lift your spirits.
P - Play each day! Hmm? Try doing something new. Do some word or math
puzzles, cards. Play an instrument or sing or dance. These activities
will make you smile, exercise your brain and give you something to
E - Express your feelings all of them! It is really important to talk about
what’s it like for you to be living in this time with COVID.
Self-compassion will ease your heartache.
We are all coping with COVID.
Take gentle care of yourself.
Reach out for support
when you feel overwhelmed.
By - Ruth BZ Thomson - Older Adult Whisperer
Do you ever listen to that little voice inside you?
You know the one that doubts that you can do something new. Well, you can be the boss of that little voice and tell it to be quiet! Getting to the wise age you are means that you have lots of experiences to remember and to be confident. Listening to your “inner wise-one voice” helps you to plan doing something new and different this month. Why not?! Go for it! You have the wisdom to choose how and when to do something new. Savvy living includes some risk-taking. Laugh a little while you do it too! Let me know how it goes! Cheers!!
What brings you joy?
Thinking about spring puts a smile on a lot of faces! Does it yours? I was thinking about what brings me joy....so I ask you...what brings YOU joy? Sometimes in this later time of life people get depressed. Lots of time is spent in the doctors’ offices, in hospitals and going to funerals! If that is what your life seems focused on then perhaps it is time to begin to look at what brings you happiness. What I’ve noticed is that when I focus on the tough times in my life then all of a sudden that is all that seems to be happening! On the other hand when I think about what brings me joy puddles! daffodils! bird songs! sunshine later in the day! then all of a sudden I’m feeling better and I’m looking for other things that make me happy hearing someone laugh a cat purring a dog wagging a tail a toddler walking on unsteady legs! When we look for joy it can be right there under our noses so to speak. So perhaps it is time for you to re-examine how you are receiving another day...with joy? Or dread? It is your choice and it is something that you can control. Then with a smile on your face, my guess is that more people will want to be around you and visit you too! Let me know how it works out for you!
How do you measure a life….your life?
All along there have been measuring sticks – report cards, income, sizes of homes, cars driven, achievements, physical appearance. Now, as an older adult, you are reducing those familiar things around you – your house, car, belongings, activities -. and your abilities are waning slightly too. So, what effect is all this having on your feeling of self-worth? It is important to separate who you are from what you have. Your value as a person doesn’t change when you “down-size” unless you truly believe you are what you own. How you measure your life will shape your thoughts about growing older and letting go of some of your belongings. Planning ahead includes making choices about the ‘stuff’ around you. Give it a thought, maybe re-think how you measure a life well lived. Let me know how it goes.
Do you ever wonder who goes first? What are the rules now? Who calls first etc?
Lots of things are changing. You may be changing where you’re living...moving to a condo or retirement residence...kids have moved away and it is hard to know how to behave. Guess what?! The rules are the same everywhere. Follow your heart! If you’re thinking you’d like to talk with someone, call them! Be a good neighbour and cross over the hallway, the same as you did on the street, and introduce yourself! Just because you’ve moved or grown older, doesn’t mean everything changes. Some things are the same – being kind to your neighbours wherever you live, keeping in touch with friends or your kids – follow your heart and you’ll never get lost. It is the same rules as you’ve known for ages. Let me know how it goes.
Tis the season to give...
In family life or friendships, the season is every day...not only holidays. Giving is the currency of life. When everyone is helping each other the sense of entitlement and obligation is balanced. Then, in times when someone is sick, they need to receive the gifts of care and concern before they’re able to tip the scale back into balance and begin to give again. That’s naturally part of life. However when someone is only receiving the benefits of family life or friendship, then it rubs everyone the wrong way...that needs to be spoken about in order to keep a healthy balance. From the youngest to the oldest member of a family or in a friendship, everyone has the capacity to give something to each other....a smile, a hug, a phone call of support. We need each other. Giving strengthens the bond of caring...it is love in action. Let me know how it goes.
Growing older isn’t always easy.
Sure, you’ve lived a good life, experienced happy and sad times and many other things, but how are you living your life now? Do you groan about every challenge or change in your body? Do you worry about wrinkles and other pesky things you can’t prevent happening! Or do you welcome the joy each new day can bring? You can’t turn back the clock, but you can make a conscious decision about how you view each day, simply by focusing on the things you can control! Albert Einstein said “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle - the other is as though everything is a miracle.” So how do you plan to live your life? Remember, the choice is yours! Let me know how it goes!
Holidays can be challenging!
Holiday time or other times of celebrations can challenge families with aging parents who are more and more fragile. Knowing that, I want to offer you the Keep It Simple Sweetie (KISS) principle with a slightly different twist. Keep Invitations Short and Simple. Here’s what I mean.
Older adults can enjoy the family times when there are less people around, less noise, less strain on going out to the event and in shorter length of times for the visits. When this KISS principle is followed then the older person can manage to have a conversation one to one with family members and hear what they are saying. As well, if there is difficulty in getting the older person to the family gathering, then a portion of the family can go to visit the older person in their home bringing goodies and making coffee/tea in their home. That way the connection is manageable and doesn’t exhaust the older person...a win win situation. A two hour visit can feel great for everyone!
Of course this KISS principle is a guideline to consider. When possible consult the older adult who is able to say if s/he can manage the family function in all of its fullness or if they would appreciate a scaled back version. A respectful conversation goes a long way to creating a successful, happy holiday! Enjoy every moment!