Underestimating intelligence

To my stunned surprise, I discovered the other day that a LONG sought quote was not from Hill Street Blues, as I erroneously remember, but from The Closer.  Practically fell off my chair, hearing Sanchez say he did’t get the fuss about what do to about elders – “Throw down a carpet in the garage,” aka turn it into a room.

Amen & hallelujah!  We are born, created to be tribal, to live TOGETHER, to make the best of difficult situations.  To understand & respect the intelligence & ideally the wisdom of olders & for them to appreciate & respect the care & ideally the loving support of youngers.

It starts with having a greater awareness of each other’s intellect. Sadly, it feels like the longtime trend is driving down the people doing just that, up & down the age spectrum.

We need to boost our appreciation of each other’s minds.  Was reminded of that while reading about Sy Montgomery’s interactions & revealing moments with OCTOPUSES.  Read her article, Deep Intellect, and ponder how many we too often not only underestimate the intelligence of other creatures, but our fellow Homo sapiens – especially those most near & dear but way older or younger.

Related Link: https://orionmagazine.org/article/deep-intellect/

Secrets of centenarians

After spending thirty minutes watching videos that focused on the secrets of centenarians, I decided, “Bosh! Centenarians don’t know more about what makes for LIVING than a kid of eighty – longer years do not insure greater wisdom.”  MY secret to a good great grand life is to be present, whatever is happening.  Which means you’re not, as too many do, dwelling on what was or fretting about what might be.  Don’t be one of those who, when someone comments on what lovely weather it is, intones “Rain is predicted for Friday.”  Enjoy the sun & be happy the plants will be watered on Friday!

It’s a small but mighty virtue called contentment.  And interestingly enough, it’s the topic of an article in today’s NY Times.

And here’s the gist of what those centenarians said is the secret to living to a ripe old age – – whatever your age, LIVE!

Related Links:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/02/well/live/the-secret-to-aging-well-contentment.html

Change of habit

Growing up & deep into adulthood, my core inclination  bent toward cooperation & collaboration, but distorting messages received (perhaps not intentionally sent), left my vision distorted, my emotions messed up.

Took me close to sixty years to wake up to my true nature;  here I be, at sixty-six & dealing with creating instilling cementing the empowering core habits to back up my here & now acceptance of a long muddled self.

For well over fifty years, I was entrenched in SEEING myself as a go-it-aloner kinda gal, even when what I was DOing said otherwise.  That aggressively warped sight doesn’t immediately vanish with aha awareness of reality.  It can be obvious that poor care has left an apple tree unable to bear the abundance of fruit natural for its ideal location & rich soil, but it takes more than the strongest good intentions to restore the damaged tree to its true nature – it requires a skilled arborist to reclaim its health.

These are emotionally perilous days.  I came to the end of my 42-year quest for balance/alignment to find myself facing the gut-wrenching work of pruning away my stunted grow, which still too often persists in bending me AWAY rather TOWARD stated goals,  then nurturing new productive habits that will help my dreams goals plans come to glorious fruition.

FACT :  I’ve come to the end of where >I< – solo, on my own – can tap into book audio video mentors to empower great deep forever change.  Now, I need more.  To change my HABITS requires a form of skilled spiritual emotional mental arborist to help restore the visible, fruit-bearing parts of my psyche, to get back in sync with my healthy, deeply-planted roots.

Consider this my “help wanted” ad.  My season is now; I am eager to bear much fruit.

 

When a best friend dies

When my mother died at 91, her three closest friends were still living.  Elsa, Gig & Ellen were as dear to me as my cousin, Peggy, another one of Mom’s bests.

After Mom was gone, so were their letters & phone calls, their connection to her life – – and, since my earliest memories, with my own.  One of my great regrets is not making the effort to keep those treasured relationships present in my life, more than sending a Christmas card.

Oh, I wrote to each to say how much she meant to Mom, to me & to our family.  Looking back, I see how easily I could have reached out in deeper, richer, more durable ways, sharing memories & asking for theirs.

I forgot that she was one of their besties, too.

Was reminded of those four unforgettable friends as I read the. NextAvenue.org article on losing a best friend.  As an unthinking younger, I didn’t fathom  how, when a best passes, the fabric of life is ripped apart, leaving a tear that can’t be repaired.

Mom & I often talked about Aunt Betty, her nearest & dearest across all time – speaking of her younger sister, asking for stories, helped keep her present in Mom’s life decades after “Bets” slipped from us.  Until this moment,  it never dawned on me that a precious opportunity to stay connected AND experience Mom from fresh perspectives slipped through my fingers.

We can never really prepare ourselves for the loss of our best friend, but we can be conscious that there will be an unfillable hole in our heart & life.  And we can be conscious of how we can be there for others if a loved one of ours who is a best of theirs dies.

Reading the article got me thinking about my sister, Mim, who died in July 2015 & how I can reach out to her bests – to Beth & Gray & Penny & Lark, to Mark & Peter, to Mike & Kerry, to ournieces & nephews for their cherished memories & heart impression of her spirit & life.

The article is a great read for any age & a much-appreciated reminder to be aware, to stay connected.  To know we can’t mend the tear, but perhaps we can help bind up the frayed edges.

Related Link:  https://www.nextavenue.org/when-your-best-friend-dies/

Good advice for 5 essential talks

Waiting for my copy of Estate Planning for the Sandwich Generation, currently featured on NextAvenue.org.

Am intrigued to see how the current “Sandwich Generation” tackles a challenge first faced by mine – – such conversations weren’t the norm in my parents’ generation because THEIR parents’  life expectancy didn’t extend far beyond  retirement age.

Many in my age cohort had to gird themselves up for conversations about finances, health & housing with older loved ones often raised in families who typically didn’t talk about such things.  How differently will such conversations go when WE are approached by our younger family members about the state of our current/future finances, our health & housing? About our end-of-life wishes?

Delighted to see the book included a chapter too often forgotten that is rich in meaning & multi-generation meaningfulness ~ ~ The Family Legacy Talk, how people want to be remembered, as well as what matters most to younger & future generations.  For all the talks Mom & I had over the years, this one never came up as a specific topic.  It would have made a difference to be focused on what did I want/need to know or have, what mattered to her to hand down.  Why didn’t I think to ask her to write out her Eggplant Casserole recipe?!

How will these essential conversations play out with olders who went through it with their parents?  Did that experience influence how they’re preparing for their “way up there” years?  Have they established open ways of talking with youngers  about once verboten topics like money, illness, dependency?  Did they learn from their earlier conversations & find ways to make it easier for their youngers?  Fingers crossed that they did.

This has me realizing, for the first time, that I’m now the bread part of the sandwich, not the filling!

Related Links:  https://www.nextavenue.org/have-difficult-conversations-with-your-aging-parents ;  https://www.amazon.com/Estate-Planning-Sandwich-Generation-Parents-ebook/dp/B07DM9DWDY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533931499&sr=8-1&keywords=catherine+hodder ;  https://alzauthors.com/2018/08/07/meet-catherine-hodder-esq-author-of-estate-planning-for-the-sandwich-generation-how-to-help-your-parents-and-protect-your-kids/

Went to the hospital, got a cold

Coincidence?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But it’s enough to remind EVERYONE that hospitals are notorious for being hotbeds of colds.  I am not someone who normally totes around  a portable packet of sanitizing wipes but am wishing I had thought ahead & armed myself  before heading to the appointment- didn’t & came down last night with a sore throats that blossomed today into a nasty chest  cold.

Think ahead!  Be prepared!

Grow old along with me – – a thank you

It is my belief that humans are created to be tribal, multiple generations together providing the strengths natural to their ages, from wee small babes to grey-haired elders & all the ages in between.

This posting started out as an invitation to join ME in my continuing quest for deeper richer wilder moments days months years.  Writing the title – literally, typing it in – got me thinking about two women:  my mother, Katharine Reynolds Lockhart, & my mother-in-law, Marie Nice Murphy.  John & I are forever in their debt – they gave us life & showed us how to live it well.  We had their examples & those of their compadres, the older friends & family who were part of the fabric of our lives.

Olders – if we are blessed, elders – have as much to give the youngers in their lives as they gain in return.  Even ones that drive us up a wall ~or~ we drive whackadoodle.

In our mother’s, John & I were given superb templates for inching upwards – they lived fully, both of them, to their last.  Yes, the two of us provided core support , but both of them allowed us to be their apprentices in living from an inner core that remained unshakable, unflappable.

Mom, Mom M – – just taking a moment to shoot off my annual thanks for giving us a preview of these “senior” years.  The light of your lives continue to shine on us.  Would more people as blessed as John & I, seeing a generation up.  Your example of aging well gave us the wondrous gift of “the best is yet to be.”