- Family and Parenting»
- Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice
Age May Only Be A Number, But It's A Number That Doesn't Go Down
Sharing Life Advice Benefits All Of Us
I've recently had the difficult and very eye opening experience of putting my Father-In-Law in an assisted living facility. As these type of facilities go, this one is very nice and very professionally run, but the process itself is something that makes you really start to think about the end of life experience and how prepared or how ill prepared each of us are. It makes you vividly aware of how important it is to recognize the fragility of health, but also to celebrate the courage of those in their later years. While ageing can strip you of your memory, your mobility and your independence, it can't take away your dignity and the personal journey you had and the many wonderful moments you created and shared. The process also made me think about the life lessons I've learned through the years and how important it is for us all to share them with one another while we can so that we can all benefit from the different life experiences and lessons we've all had. Mine are as follows:
BE BOLD AND RISKY BUT THOUGHTFUL
I have always been a risk taker. Throughout my life I've taken risks on jobs, relationships and financial investments. Some of them were well thought out and some were spontaneous and some panned out and some did not, but I never regretted taking the risks and the experiences I had and the lessons I learned in the process. Like the many both wonderful and not so wonderful people I met along the way and the lasting impressions, both good and bad, they made on me. Life is either lived or watched and I believe we should all live.
FIND HUMOR WHEN YOU CAN AND EMPATHY WHEN YOU SHOULD
No matter how difficult life seems at times, there are always little things to smile about. Whether it's laughing at yourself for something you did or at something someone else did, try to laugh and go out of your way to make others laugh. Smiling and Laughter are free medications that don't require a prescription and yet are more effective than many of the medications that do. In addition to spreading joy through smiling and laughter, make sure to always be empathetic to the situation of others. In my life I've found myself oftentimes more concerned about my own situation and completely oblivious to the needs of those in a much worse situation. Empathy and understanding are the most valuable traits we can share and the ones everyone else needs and appreciates.
BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE AND AWARE OF WHAT YOU NEED
This journey through life and the process of aging has made me much more aware of the importance of being grateful for the things I have and the need to plan better for the things that life will certainly throw at me. Like death and taxes, getting older is happening to all of us. It is critical to appreciate and not take for granted anything or anyone in your life that you value. I have and now in retrospect, it's the one thing I regret. The time I could have spent with a Brother that passed away or a Father who needed my help or a friend I lost touch with, because of being angry and unforgiving over some petty disagreement. I learned a long time ago that being unforgiving is like shooting yourself in the head and expecting the other person to die. I also know the importance now of living for today, but planning for tomorrow and being financially and emotionally ready and prepared for what I can and can't see is coming.
CONFLICT IS INEVITABLE, BUT HATRED IS A CHOICE
Life is nothing if it isn't constant conflict. Whether in our personal lives or in our business lives conflict is all around us. And while we all have to deal with it and can't ignore it, knowing how and when to handle conflict is the key to being happy while avoiding conflict is the key to being anxiety ridden. Expressing yourself in a timely, productive and satisfying way keeps conflict from becoming conflict. Conflicts can and should be resolved and with the proper attitude conflict can be a very positive, life enhancing experience. Hatred on the other hand isn't just caused by unresolved conflict. Hatred for many of us is the result of our own individual prejudices and self-righteous opinions. Hatred causes hatred and resolves nothing. There is too much hatred in the world as it is and as a result we live our lives as isolated individuals instead of a group of compassionate and empathetic human beings all striving to achieve the same goals. Hateful rhetoric isn't truly heard no matter how true the idea is.
Anyway, thank you for allowing me to share my observations and please feel free to add your insights about life to this hub. We can all benefit from one another and our experiences and we all should. And if you get a chance, take some time to go to a local assisted living facility and spread some laughter.