Everyone has lead different lives and have their different lot in life. At any point, it is easier to not be happy with what you have and want more. After all, it is this ambition for a better life that keeps us going through. However, no one teaches you to appreciate the little blessings in life as much as the elderly. Even though some of their bodies might be riddled with disease, you never see them letting it define them. They choose to overlook the discomfort and look at the brighter things in life. They choose to be thankful for their long lives they have had with their partners instead of the physical discomfort it puts them through, they choose to be grateful for their family and grandchildren even if they don’t get to see them often. Want is the root of all unhappiness. The more grateful you are, the more you shall receive.
Never too late to learn
My grandparents learned to use a cell phone when they were in their seventies, and the other day we had a snapchat session. The glee on my Gran’s face for having successfully mastered the art of chatting was indescribable. While I refuse to upgrade from Windows to Mac because of the inconvenience of having to re-adapt my desktop habits, my gran is always ready to face technological challenges. As they say, wisdom is not something you are born with, it is something you acquire over the ages. And to develop is to never let the learning stop.
Everyone before me in my family was religious in some sort of way. Growing up, I didn’t see the need for a religion except to enjoy celebrating its festivities. Now that I have grown up and am in charge of my own life, I find myself often turning to the mysterious entity called God and asking for directions. Eventually, I do find my way out and forward, but I always lack the confidence in the future that my gran always possess. She has God and whether she believes in his existence or not, she has faith that helped her get through the doubtful times without as much agony as I experience when I don’t know where life is headed. Faith is the strongest form of hope.
I genuinely envy the kind of friendship my grandparents shared between them and with others. Maybe because currently technology and social media has made it so much easier to connect and then lose touch with friends, or maybe because life has become more hectic now than it was then; either way the relationships they had formed were truly personal, and strong. Even if they hadn’t seen each other in years, they wrote to each other and knew where to pick up when they did meet. Their social circle was small and they valued the people they included into their lives. This is what is lacking with this tech-savvy generation that has millions of apps to find new friends. We need to learn to value our bonds and reconnect with estranged families and friends. We need to include more social presence in our lives, this is an important support system in society.
There is always time to reinvent yourself, there is always time to do those things that you never did before, there is always a way to make a difference and change other people’s lives. There is always a way if you look for it. It is too easy to let what has been control what will be, but every time you experience a change in life, you could look around and decide that you do want to go on with this life. An elderly lady who was my neighbor was always the shy homely housewife but when her husband passed away, she didn’t wither into the confines of her house wondering how to go on with life. Instead she came out and took charge. She learned how to do the bills with some help from her neighbours and she learned how to drive her husband’s car around town to get the things she needed. She became more independent and outgoing, and this attitude reflected in her mental and physical state.
No one can be ready for everything in life, and there is only so much you can do to prepare for them. But even then, you must plan for the future, yours and your family’s. This does not only extend to life insurance and assistive care planning, but also estate planning, general finances, organizing a will and funeral details. When you are gone, whenever it may be, it will help your loved ones deal better with what comes next.
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