April 28, 2010
Lesson learned: During a brief moment of uncharacteristic frustration, Phyllis uttered these words to me. They confirmed what I already knew, that this major change in her life of adapting to a new home and lifestyle were taking their toll on her. I pondered what she might be feeling – aches and pains for certain, potentially coupled with anxiety and uncertainty.
For others, the aging process might mean loss of mobility, eyesight, hearing, weight, memory and perhaps most frightening of all – the loss of independence. Miraculously, as quickly as the exasperation was uttered, our eyes met and Phyllis gave me a tender and reassuring smile. The twinkle in her eye sent an even stronger message; to cope with the aging process, one needs a healthy dose of courage, patience and a positive attitude. Thankfully, she is blessed with all three.
April 19, 2010
Lesson learned: While Pauline attributes this saying to her father, the son of a Polish immigrant, the concept of a strong work ethic can be traced to some of America’s earliest settlers, as well as Benjamin Franklin, who emphasized frugality, hard work and thrift. The saying encourages us not only to be industrious, diligent, productive, and self-reliant, but also to set individual goals and aspire to achieve them.
Additionally, it brings to mind the idiom ‘an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay’. Wiki.answers.com explains the idiom in this way. “It means you work hard and honestly for a dollar or to achieve a good outcome doing your own work at home or doing volunteer work. It means hard work and done well. ”
April 9, 2010
Lesson learned: I am consistently amazed by the positive attitude many of my clients display during this time of tumultuous transition in their lives. As they prepare to relocate to a new home and different lifestyle, they would be justified in being somber, depressed and pessimistic. After all, they are uprooting themselves from their home of possibly decades, disposing of cherished possessions, and leaving a familiar routine and neighborhood behind. Instead, they continue to inspire with their optimistic outlook on life. They often radiate an upbeat approach to not only their move, but to life in general. They teach us to be thankful and grateful for the blessings each day brings and encourage us to live life to the fullest. They take advantage of the opportunities each new day brings. Instead of dwelling on the sunset, they focus on the sunrise. They seize the moment.
April 2, 2010
Lesson learned: As many of my clients prepare for a major lifestyle change, they tend to focus on their past – on how things were decades ago and how life has changed. They relive many of their memories and reflect with varying degrees of melancholy about how things used to be. All too often, these memories evoke sadness, longing and sorrow, in part perhaps, because times have changed so radically and loved ones have passed on, living a void behind. Rose had very sage advice when she firmly instructed that we all need to look forward to tomorrow with anticipation. Smilingly, she challenged us to concentrate on the present and to live for today!