Yeah, but… – questioning Jen

Gotta build off Jen Sincero’s words for the day, 11/27 – – “By being inquisitive about, instead of a slave to, your reactions to other people, you get the double whammy bonus of not only setting yourself up to forgive them much more easily (because you realize that it’s really about you, not them), but you receive the great gift of being enlightened to some of your own not-so-special traits so you can grow & learn from them.”

Yeah, and there sometimes comes the day when you realize that ~ try as you might & as much as you avoid putting interpretations on things, realizing that you just don’t know what’s actually going on & accepting that probably no one else does either ~ certain situations people relationships are just plain toxic & the thing you’ve been carefully tending & loving & propping up is a dead & long-gone corpse of something that was once alive & flourishing, yet is no more.

The core problem of keeping something toxic in your life is that it tends to poison everything.  It compromises the emotional immunization system, which can then attack the spiritual system, inflicting gruesomely damaging pain.  Ask any bacteriologist – – holding onto something dead is NOT GOOD for anyone.

So, yes – – it’s essential that we stay inquisitiveabout our emotional reactions to others, but comes the day with some folks or situations where the answer to that inquiry is, “It’s time  to walk away or risk far worse to come.”  Sometimes the light that dawns tells us that this is not a place time person from which we can learn anything except how to say goodbye.


Beauty is not frivolous

Early this year, on the TED Talk Stage, the great creative, Renzo Piano, noted near the end of his presentation on architecture, “Beauty is not a frivolous idea.  It is the opposite”  Amen!

He went onto note how, in many languages including his own Italian, the word beautiful also means good. Many times, I’ve heard it used to describe a job well done, an exceptionally good effort, even a particularly tasty morsel.

The massively gifted architect talks about how the universal concept of BEAUTY can change the world.  A searching for desire & dreams.  I love how he talks about experiencing beauty, that it brings a special light to our eyes- – to our heart, to our being.

Beautiful architecture makes for better cities, which helps make for better citizens.  And savoring a universal sense of beauty CAN save the world, one person at a time.  But it has to BE there.

Think of places designed for “elder care” that have little beauty about them.  Beauty of place has little to do with prints on walls in the foyer & public places.  All too often, the beauty that existed when a continuous care residence first opened vanishes as demand drives expansion that disrupts the original carefully designed lines, gobbles up open spaces & woodlands, a beauty that is hard to achieve in the small apartment that replaced the family home.

How do we bring beauty into the lives of people confined to rooms & limited spaces, who are restricted by a crumbling body or mind from seeking beauty in nature & places beyond home or residence or facility?  Universal beauty WILL save the world & can save our lives, the lives of those we love & those in our care.  How does that look & feel?

Beauty is not a frivolous idea – it is quite the opposite.  What can we do to bring more beauty to those around us, to ourself?  How can we help make the lives of those in our loving orbit & tender care not only safe & secure, but bella?

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When we are three, running around in circles makes sense to us.  Actually, we don’t have so much as a clue what “sense” even means – running in circle is fun & that’s enough.

As we grow older & begin to realize that what we do has more value to us than jpgs the doing, we begin to be more aware of what has meaning to us.  What matters,

It seems that the underlying common factor shared by folks who get a kick out of life is that their lives have meaning.  They might not have two nickels to rub together, but if their life has meaning, they are satisfied at the deepest level, even while wondering about basics like food shelter transportation.

Conversely, someone can be as rich as Bezos or Buffett, but if they don’t feel in their bones that what they do matters, they’re going to have a level of dissatisfaction, disharmony that no amount of money or power, things or stature can dissipate.

The ideal is a balance of work that matters with income that keeps life humming.  Because worry about basics IS a terribly drain on our energies, on our capacity to do our best.  When a dear friend got s new car, she gifted her old one, a godsend since our stout-hearted & true Gibbs (a 1999 Camry) had worn through its brake lining & – at 139,000 miles – it didn’t make sense to repair our beloved vehicle.  But tender & true Bessie (a Corolla) had 138,000 miles on her when she came into our care – wondrous wheels for those without, but not suitable for tootling grannie clients around on play dates.  Until I get in-home playfulness services like Cyber Access for the Technically Timid & film fests up & running, our ability to grow our client base is stunted, due to lack of enough money to get a low mileage used car.  A classic vicious cycle.

Money is good.  Money can facilitate a life of meaning, use, service. Bill & Melinda Gates are famous for realizing that while they are rich beyond imagination, their wisest investment is in helping others.

Being poor does not endow us with a certain nobility.  Doing well doesn’t make us complacent. Being rich doesn’t make us a heartless money grabber.  It’s HOW we use what we have to fashion lives, big or small, with meaning that matters.


Use play to head off winter blechs & blahs

Great article in The Guardian on the importance of playing with your children (see Links) which misses the equally vital importance of play straight across the age spectrum, as essential – and often neglected – in our 80s as at eight.

The BEST elder empowerer I know is Sarah, a master of hands-on care across the mental spectrum, an exceptional playfulness coach par excellence & skilled at snatching moments  to work on her novel.  Sarah has a gift for drawing out joy, glee from even those staring down the challenges of advanced Alzheimer’s.  My one sadness about this remarkable woman is that between her wait-listed cast of clients & her husband & her cat rescue/fostering & authoring, there’s no time to write the spirited guide to light-touch, wholehearted elder – or anyone – care.

Until she does, make do with a “Fun & Activities” article that gives some good basic ponters for keeping play in our lives at all ages, all stages!

Related Links: ~

UNprocessed server

I believe that a key reason my mother & mother-in-law & the great Anne Hyatt stayed physically & mentally fit was because a modest percentage of their diet came from commercially processed foods.

Some people might balk at including Anne, who dealt with dementia for well over her last seven years.  She made the cut because other than forgetting the day & date from one moment to the next, she craved being around interesting people & engaging conversations, loved the mental & emotional energies around a good discussion.  And I chalk a good portion of the credit for that going to eating her fair share of fresh veggies & fruit, lean meats & other healthy proteins.

Just like Mom & Mom M.  Up until her last couple years, Mom made the bulk of our meals.   Orn In 1910, she defined old school in her cooking – from scratch meant just that, NOT opening a jar or defrosting an entree.  Mom M., who was her own chef right to the end, kept her meals simple but wholesome.  They had the advantage of children who helped with the shopping, while Anne ate the majority of her meals in one of Rydal Park’s three (3) restaurants, ranging from a cafeteria to the casual Club Room to the formal dining room; the food in each was prepared by skilled chefs & experienced kitchen staff

Alas, I also have friends who are not so lucky, who pop a frozen entree in the microwave or heat up a hot dog.

If you have an elder among your loved ones, check out what they are eating.  If they seem to be just eeking out their meals, step up to the plate – or platter.  Make them HEALTHY meals they can keep in the freezer & pop out as they need them.  Make sure they have a supply of fresh or frozen veggies & fruits.  Prep several days of yogurt with their favorite fruit on top (Mom was partial to blackberries, blueberries, raspberries – meh to strawberries) for them to top with a 1/4 of good quality granola for a yummy healthy satisfying breakfast;  easy to do & considerably healthier than commercially prepared fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts.  Invest in a single-cup hot beverage maker.  ASK THEM TO A MEAL AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK.

They’re not high tech suggestions, but in my purely subjective experience, being an UNprocessed server to our older friends & loved ones can make a huge difference in oldsters elders ancient’s quality, even quantity of life..


After talking with a friend about the film MINDWALK, how it demolished my entrenched belief in being a dullard, went looking for the part that first stirred my brain cells & sang out to my heart.  25+ years since first stumbling across it on the telly, am still in awe of all it says about relationship, how its messages of universal interconnectedness still stir my heart & pings my spirit,

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