If life was a rollercoaster, then 2016 would be my personal Kingda Ka. So on this Thanksgiving Day, I must give Thanks for the ride and riders of 2016. And what better way to give thanks than with a List? And since I could never get past 10 things on any list, I’ll limit my gratitude list to 10 😊. The 10 things I am grateful for this Thanksgiving Day are….
Family and friends – Expressing gratitude for these relationships often becomes perfunctory. But when I remember the many who has an empty seat at their table this year – public figures, colleagues and friends – I feel a deeper sense of gratitude for my family and friends. For their love, support, loyalty – and for just being present. I am so thankful for all of you.
Seniors – to our clients who entrust us with their care – THANK YOU. This year our first client passed away. We had cared for him for 8 years. Every Thanksgiving He give us poinsettias. He was generous, kind, engaging, and had a gift for making the stranger feel like a friend. I am thankful for the many lessons we learned from caring for him over the years.
Our staff – I am grateful for the dedication of the men and women, who chose to serve seniors. For the compassion and 100% dedication you give to our clients – THANK YOU. You make our sphere of service a better place.
God – specifically, His grace, protection, provision and love. His grace and love sustained me through the lows of this year, and His provision and protection are the only reasons for the highpoints of this ride of my life. I am thankful to God.
Caramel Almond Clusters – I know, I probably should think of something more profound to follow God’s grace, but have you had a caramel cluster? Well when you do, you’ll understand that this bite of utter goodness is worthy of making a gratitude list😉.
Growth – this year, more than any other, I have learned to be slow to judge others. To pause as I form an opinion, and look for the panoramic view, rather than snapshots of a person’s life. To be slow to judge and even slower to act on judgments formed, is a kindness I cherish when afforded, and therefore should be willing to pay it forward.
Election is over. I know, you’re thankful too!
Laughter – it really is a good medicine. And because I’m thankful that you took the time to read my list, I’ll pass along an app my son loaded on my phone-ifunny – download the app and lol.
Bolt – my 5 year old Shih Tzu. He is love and acceptance wrapped up in a 12 lb package of fluffiness. I am so thankful for him!
Perspective – sometimes I’ve gotten this with time, other times from talking a situation out with another person – this year I gained perspective through life’s experience. I am thankful that I’m alive, that God is gracious, that friends are kind, that life goes on, that growth is possible, and that I thought of this list!
William Arthur Ward said that, feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it, Ditto that!
One of the questions we ask when interviewing new applicants is, what do you think seniors contribute to society?
The answers has varied from the legacy of war heroes and nation builders, to free babysitters, to the cringe worthy – Nothing.
Why do we ask this question? Simple. It helps us determine if the applicant is interested in the population she is seeking to serve – or if she barely thinks about the senior person, outside of her duties as a caregiver.
In this election season, most of what we hear about the senior population, is related to healthcare cost, Medicare and social security and the financial strain of senior citizens. But did you know that seniors make more charitable donations per capita than any other age group? 69% of the $143.6 billion charitable donations made in 2015, were made by boomers and mature adults over the age of 68 years old.
So why do we often struggle to see the continue contributions of seniors to our society?
Could it be the rhetoric of the media, that chooses to focus on social security and Medicare cost, as a senior problem? Or could it be that we, as younger Americans, choose not to see the many ways seniors give to our society? Or maybe a little of both, external rhetoric and internal blinders?
I’ve written before about ways seniors contribute to our society (http://www.aplusseniorcare.com/in/retirement-the-season-of-choice/) this post is meant to be a gentle reminder as we prepare to vote, that our elected officials should have a perspective that our seniors matters. The issues of their care matters. The fact that they continue to give generously to our society matters. They are not just our past, they are a vital, generous contributor to our future.
Happy Independence Day! What does Independence Day mean to you? So much of what I write about, is drawn from my everyday interactions. I love to sit and talk with our senior clients. I had the pleasure of spending time with one of our 90 year old clients last week. She shared with me, that in the 1940s, she worked for a major corporation, a job she quiet enjoyed, but had to leave when she got married. In the 40s – when a woman got married – she was not allowed to continue to work. The company’s director would inform the female employee, that her employment was no longer necessary! As a woman in my 40’s, that is hard to imagine.
I would dare say that many of the women who lost their jobs, probably needed to contribute financially to their new family, not to mention, many, like my client, loved their job; to a woman of that generation, independence may mean freedom to work, as long as she desire; freedom to continue in a profession she enjoyed, and freedom to decide to marry and work.
Many of our clients, comes to us because their ability to care for themselves, have been impacted by an illness or aging. For them, independence means continuing to live in their own home, surrounded by all that is familiar – aging in the place, they always envisioned they would.
For me independence means, autonomy; freedom to make choices about who I live for, who I live with, and what I do with the life I’ve been gifted. For more reasons that one, I am grateful for the timing of my birth. Unlike the generations of women before me, I get the freedom to choose to work and marry; to be educated; to start my own business, or work for an employer; to drive; to vote.
So this Independence Day, as we celebrate America’s independence – what does independence mean to you? Enjoy it, and remember the many, on whose shoulders we all stand.