Monday, April 29, 2013

Getting Older

    We are all getting older.  It's inevitable.  We age.   I was born in St. Peters burg, Florida.  I was surrounded by retirees.  I knew many people retired to our town and more than a few could not handle retirement.  They either started drinking out of boredom or because they didn't know how to relax, they just died.  I remember when people died in their sleep.  It was a common remark I heard in my youth.  People don't just die in their sleep as they did in the fifties.  Medicine has come a long way and people live longer now, holding the symptoms of aging at bay for a time.  

     The way we age is a choice.  Yes, I know about Alzheimer's and other geriatric ailments. I have a mom in her eighties.  I work in several homes with  geriatric parents in the home.  I have seen how people choose to age.  

     I don't care if I am not able to earn money, I will not sit and read the newspaper for five hours.  I will find something to do.  I will not reach for the scriptures and study only on the days after I have suffered a medical set back.  I will be faithful or I will not, but I will not be sanctimonious and read scriptures for three or four days after a cold and not again until I mistake indigestion for a heart episode!  I will not wait for someone to tell me it's time to take my pills or time to take a bath.  

     I have one person I am in contact with who just sits.  All day long there is sitting interrupted by sleeping in the chair and sitting.  He is fading away, mentally and physically.  I used to clean for him before a single health issue with a long recovery time.  He is now stuck in that time of not exerting himself.   His family is stuck waiting for him to want to be better, and two years after he was released by his doctor, he sits fading away.  

     There is no reason to go out that way.   I know this person to be well and able to do small tasks.   I am a paid house cleaner.  I am sure I can not be replaced by this particular person, but instead of sitting, make your bed!  Put your laundry in a basket.  Dust something.  Learn a language, read a book, pull weeds, fold laundry, something!  Anything!  Do something!  

     The neighbors are also clients of mine.They are three years older than this gentleman and they only need me once a month.  They have a nice garden.  They have a beautiful flower garden as well.  They cook together, they clean up after themselves and keep themselves clean.  They go for walks.  They read best sellers.  They talk to each other.  They are older and in a better state mentally even though the husband has been battling prostate cancer for decades.  They are a fine example of how to age in their home.  I want to be like that.  

     I want to age with purpose.  When I can no longer earn a living, I will spend my full time planting and sewing and cleaning for myself, then later when I can no longer cover my expenses, I will add to the lives of the child who claims me.   

     This is the way of the times I remember as a child.  The elderly lived on their own and when through widowhood or health issues, they moved to the home of a family member and became an asset to that family.  They cared for the little ones, they helped around the house, they added to the life of the family.  It was this way with my grandmother who was in the middle of crocheting an afghan when a stroke took her to the hospital for the last time. She left behind no mess.  Her rooms were neat and orderly, she worked on her seek a word puzzles at bed time.  She cooked dinner two nights before her stroke.  She got up at the same time every day, she had a purpose.  She had something to do,  she had a sense of humor and was a fine conversationalist to the end.  I want to go out like that! 

     Because we all age, I am prepping for that time as well.  I am preparing myself by breaking down jobs into small tasks and completing them.  I am not laying in bed for five extra hours on my day off.  I get up.  I do something everyday, whether I feel like it or not.  This blog is an example.  I had a good day yesterday, went yard saling, bought an Alice pack with the web gear (new) for $2, went to luncheon with my mother, sister and niece, I took one son to the grocery store to run his errands, called two of the others, just to check in and my day was full.  Then I remembered I had some laundry to do for my grandson who spent the weekend so, why not take a day off from the blog?  Because it is a small task that I am going to do everyday.  It is a habit I wish to cultivate.  I have posted on the blog everyday for 176 posts.  Why get lazy now?  Why sit and waste away?  I don't want to go out like that.


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