MERILYNN1   8,059
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Friday, July 18, 2014

I made a visit to A Senior Retirement community this week and felt quite comfortable there. I have been researching what is available and what I can afford for some time. Decided it was time to do some “tours”. My thought was I should have a place to go should my health fail and I be unable to make plans or to live on my own. I don’t expect to be getting better after all. I have memory, concentration problems now and it is hard to get around because of arthritis pain and a heart failure condition. I can use a walker here in my condo but it has to be a wheelchair and someone to push it if I want to leave the building.
Some days I’m too tired to play in the kitchen and if I don’t have something ready, well, my “diet” suffers. I don’t see or visit with many people. . .and that’s all right. Although I like people, I’m not exactly a social type. Actually, I enjoy my own company (and those of my cats!), reading, writing, Facebook and some TV. My wonderful Aide is here three times a week and we enjoy each other. There are days though when I’d just as soon she didn’t come. It is always good that she does – she can shake me out of a bad mood or depressed feelings just by coming through the door with that smile. She brings the sunshine and I always feel much better after she’s been here. She is a blessing.
So – the meals, the housekeeping, the laundry and a social life could be taken care of at an Independent Living facility. BUT there would be losses – losses I would bring on myself if I moved just to be sure I would be taken care of in Assisted or even in the Nursing part of the facility if I ever needed. I could get around with help more often than three times a week, visit with folks, attend musical events, movies, and meals. But the losses which would occur, important parts of my life right now, would be huge for me.
A very dear wise woman who knows me well summoned up her viewpoint with the words “Enjoy! Let the ‘what ifs’ go.” Just thinking about the ‘enjoy’ aspect I asked myself some important questions.
Would I be able to go to bed and/or get up when I pleased? Could I cook for myself which makes me happy? Or spend hours on the internet playing cards or reading recipes? Could I take a nap whenever I wanted? Could I have breakfast at noon and skip lunch with Ritz crackers or raw veges and hummus for “dinner”? Could I be in charge of my own meds, BP and weight? Could I keep to the 1400 mg of salt a day? ( That very nice cook assured me she never uses salt in her cooking but she has hot dogs on her menu. )
And more important than all, would I get to visit my friend in Westfield, keep track of the kind people here at where I live now, and those at CVS who have taken such good care of my Rx or see my friend and Aide who shares stories of her family with me, my new PCP at Valley Medical or Pam the cumadin nurse? These would be major losses.
When I met staff in the halls would they be as caring as Jackie or as pleasant and helpful as most of the other workers here? Would I feel safe and secure? (We met a woman in the hall of the nursing home cleaning the floor. She stood at the end of the hall watching us approach. She was a big woman - and I’m not prejudiced – because I’m big and she could have been sky-blue-pink if she had just smiled or spoken or made any acknowledgement that we were visitors. But she just stood there until we passed with an expression on her face and in her eyes that I didn’t see as friendly but a little unsettling.)
Some days I don’t bother to get dressed but run around (no, not “run around” exactly) in my night shirt and a pair of shorts. And I am always barefoot (I wear shoes only when I have to go out). I wonder how that would go over at this very nice Home? OK, perhaps if I stayed in my rooms, but It makes me grin to imagine it!
So – as I have thought about it, it is obvious to me where I can “enjoy” – And the ‘what ifs’? I’m happiest remembering the gifts of the past but living in the now. Never mind “ what if.” No worries about who I was or who or how I might be. It is the NOW that I can enjoy and will be forever (however long that might be) grateful for the friend who asked the right questions and cut through the growing confusion that was keeping me awake at night and ruining my appetite by day! As she encouraged, I’m going to enjoy my life right now, right here, today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIHIKES 7/19/2014 1:10PM

    Hi I just thought I would share my mom's experience. She moved to a retirement center at age 80. The first year was hard, but she just blossomed and enjoyed it after that. She made many friends, which was HUGE when she was confined to her bed for the last 3 years of her life. (She just passed away at age 95). We celebrated her memorial at her retirement center last week, and it was so nice that over 150 of her friends attended. She didn't think she was lonely or needed people but she really started to enjoy life, eating meals, and interacting with people a lot more.

As to her prior friends and her church -- many kept in touch, but not all of them.

Best wishes in making the right decision for yourself,

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MERILYNN1 7/19/2014 12:11PM

    Thank you both so much. It's good to hear from others who have known folks in my position that I am on the right track - for me. I certainly feel so much better having decided - while the struggle was ongoing, I wanted only to go to bed and sleep. Escape? I think so - it's good to feel alive again and get back to the life I enjoy. I'm grateful for your support.
Blessings, Meri

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DEBIGENE 7/19/2014 11:58AM

    Dearest Meri ... I love your thought process, it sounds like you have done all the right things with the pros and the cons of making such a move and I have to agree with your friend - live in the now !!! What will be will be, regardless.

One of the volunteers that works we me at the hospital is in her 80's and she lived in her own condo on a ground floor with you beloved little yorkie. She was very happy with one exception - she didn't have a lot of friends within her age range that she could socialize with, yes she had children and grandchildren that she enjoyed time with but now quite the same. And she just didn't like the idea of giving up her little condo where she was comfortable but def would not consider it while her little yorkie was alive. She was such a joy to have working with me and we even went our for dinner on occasions with my other friend Linda.
Well ...... her little yorkie died ans she decide to sell everything she could and pack the rest and make the move to an retirement community. I have been there and it is a lovely huge place (very well known) and expensive) with so much to do, several restaurants to decide to eat at, etc and just sounded perfect to her. Well the only thing she could really afford was a very small 1 bedroom apartment and it was not on the ground floor and the parking to her place would not be convenient at all, but there is a shuttle to take you just about anywhere. She ended up getting rid of way more than she wanted too and replacing furniture with smaller items. But she has lots of social time now with lots of people there to do it with. I thought she would be so happy.
Well ..... let me tell you this, I and my friend Linda have noticed such a big difference in her. She has changed so much, she has become so negative and grumpy and such a complainer now that I do not enjoy having her work at the desk with me. We both think it is a lot to do with the group of people she now socializes with and the fact that she does not have the true freedom that she wants to do things at her own pace, like eating and depending on the shuttle that gets her where she needs to go but it is also taking others to their destinations as well at the same time. I asked her if she would make the same decision if she had to do it over again and her reply was "not as soon as I did, for sure"

I think you made a good decision also Meri, I think you will know for sure when it is the right time. My best advice for you is .... have faith in the Lord's plan for you !!!

Love, hugs and blessings my friend.

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ROBEC4175 7/19/2014 11:17AM

    Hi glad you have given much thought to this aspect of aging and made the rounds doing tours. Tomorrow I go visit my friend Flo who is 98 and a half and is in an assisted living facility. I used to visit her and her husband (he passed at 101) when they were at home. I'm not extremely happy with the things I see with Flo at this facility, but her granddaughter visits everyday and she also has someone come to see her on Sats/Suns so I don't worry about her too much. But it's just the listening to her which I find they don't really do. And they rush with her (getting dressed, etc.)

Your friend's advice sounds spot-on.

Take care.

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A Book Review

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I just submitted my review of "Accidents of Marriage" by Randy Susan Meyers. It will be released in early September and I thought I would share it with you. It is a novel I liked for its real characters but was disturbed by the out of control anger and tension that was tearing the family apart. That said, I wrote : “ Ben, Maddy and their children, their own parents, in-laws and siblings are like the family next door, folks I have known for years. Although I knew the love they shared, I was apprehensive of their underlying weaknesses and then was a witness to the shattering of that family and feared for its recovery. The characters are so well written, so well developed, I nearly forgot it was fiction and grieved for all, especially for Emma, the teen who was forced to bear heavy burdens trying to hold the family together. Some novels I read, enjoy and forget. " Accidents of Marriage" will be in my thoughts for a long time.”

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MERILYNN1 6/30/2014 3:05PM

    Thank you - I knew it was from you before I even clicked on it - you really pay attention to us and I am grateful and happy to have found a friend who is so responsive! My books never made it past the last cut - I keep at it though because it is fun to make up stories! And maybe someday ????
Thanks for being you - Meri

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DEBIGENE 6/30/2014 8:32AM

    Meri you yourself write so well. Where is your book ??? emoticon

Have an enjoyable healthy week. Stop in to see us soon.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I think we all have seen a small child denied some activity or a longed for food. Depending on the nature and age of the child a tantrum could follow. The little one hasn’t learned yet that what is, in some instances, is what is.
One would think that first slap on the bottom of a newborn would at least begin to set the stage, but it is not the case. Speaking for myself, not even the struggle to accept my situations has taught me – I am giving in and accepting WHAT IS a little better though. When I allow myself to remember, finally, the peace that comes with acceptance I shake my head and say “Will you ever learn?”
We had all sorts of changes to accept as we were growing up but now, as I age – those changes seem to be coming thick and fast. I came across this quotation the other day from a book by Melody Beattie. I typed it up in large letters and posted it on my refrigerator. I am in a “state of acceptance” right now – and I must remember – it is good.

Today I will trust –
“Today, I will stop straining to know what I don’t know. To see what I can’t see. To understand what I don’t yet understand. I will trust that being is sufficient. And I will let go of my need to figure things out.”

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBIGENE 6/17/2014 7:05PM

    You are just so wise !!! I admire you my friend. Let's just live for today and have as much fun and enjoyment as we can.

love ya !!

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IDLETYME 6/17/2014 10:44AM

    This is a super blog and so true. We live with what we are given and learn to adjust. Everyday is a joy. Celebrate! emoticon

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I Asked "What next?"

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I got the answer to my question in a most delightful way. As "turn about is fair play" I have to tell you about a commercial to love. Friskies put out an ad that within two days was so popular I'm told that it had 6 to 8 million hits. I must admit I go back and watch it and love it more every time. If you haven't seen it, if you love small critters,
put the words DEAR KITTEN in your Search bar and enjoy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBIGENE 6/17/2014 7:07PM

    I'll have to check it out. Thanks hon.

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IDLETYME 6/17/2014 10:38AM

    What a wonderful little story - thanks for telling me about it! Kitties are a joyful thing! emoticon emoticon

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MDICROCE 6/17/2014 10:28AM

  That is so cute! Especially the "vac--uum"!

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Have you found that when an interesting food product is advertised a web address is often given that provides more ideas about using the product? I really like some of the commercials that have taken over our TV screens. For example, one that has nothing to do with foods but really cute - the new Laer Realty ad – that wonderful lion lying protectively across the front porch – the commercial ends with a darling kitten imitating the lion’s roar!
But there are others that don’t really appeal – the one that declares that intercorse need not be painful after menopause and proceeds to sell the product – whatever it is. Well, for me, at 79, I should be interested? It has been on so much that even its shock value has worn off – almost.
The latest commercial that really, as the kids say, blew my mind has not been repeated again – or I was spared its ad – is the one that offers a garment like a bra – to enhance the buttocks! Good grief! And I thought the dresses on various female models were just too tight! I was ready to advise them to go to Spark for help! I’m really afraid that if my mom, who died at 90 some 20 years ago, sees them from high above (I preseume) she is not just turning over in her grave but ROLLING!
Oh, well – it must be my age that prevents me from appreciating the “new” . So be it, but I’ll stay with the food items and messages from Spark or from – thank you very much.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MERILYNN1 6/1/2014 4:48PM

    If you are a prude, they I am too and we are not alone. There doesn't seem we can do but change the channels and enter a protest when we have the opportunity. We are in the minority it seems. Thanks for your support. Meri

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    Meri; I too find many of the commercials on TV irritating and offensive. I don't think it is appropriate to show sex aids, stimulants or meds on TV. I don't enjoy watching young women dancing prancing and lying spradle legged facing the camera advertising underwear or sanitary articles. But then I guess I am a prude. This does spit over into the programs also. So many times I change the channel or turn the TV off because of the subject matter.

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ROBEC4175 5/25/2014 12:59PM

    Meri, at my young hip age of 53 (lol), I agree with your post completely and think tv in general has gone way over the top using sex appeal to sell everything. I'm on commercial patrol here at my house and even though I'm usually the one without the control, Terri hears from me if there is too much of a pause when she should be fast-forwarding through those commercials.

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DEBIGENE 5/24/2014 6:39PM

    Hi Meri, all I could do was laugh when I read your blog cause I could just see your face when you saw some of those commercials !!! I hate commercials especially those that are consistently repeated over and over again and again. I intentionally will not buy those products because I have been irritated and annoyed by their commercials. I love recording shows I like so I can FF past the commercials, too bad we can't do that anytime we watch TV. I think it should be an option to view the commercial if we are interested and FF if not !!! Who should I write to and make that suggestion???? LOL, yeah like they would even listen right !!!

However that said, I will confess that the one you mention with the women after menopause, well the thing I DO like about that one; is the woman with the long beautiful white hair, I watch it just to see her, I just turn the volume down so I don't have to hear what it's about .... LOL !!!!!

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    The shock value hasn't worn thin with the sellers of these items. Too bad! They are getting desperate to come up with new and improved _________ instead of getting real about eating healthy and exercise. It's easier!

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KAREN608 5/24/2014 2:34PM

    I hadn't watched TV in a long time and now stopped right away. The ads not modest and topics, well.........

We have reply forms on the church bulletins and a teen made one up with a phoney family and the the man was listed as needing help with ED. Thanks ads for corrupting everything. I watch old TV shows on youtube and live in the past. And I just turn 55 next month.

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MERILYNN1 5/24/2014 2:23PM

    Thanks - I was afraid after I posted it that some might find it offensive???
glad you didn't! Meri

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  I am definitely on your wavelength! I try never to watch commercials, if I can avoid it. The only ones I watch are on Super Bowl, and only because they are trying to outdo each other. The reason they call certain things personal is because that is what they are, and I do not need to see them on TV in living color. Besides that I do not think younger children should be listening or seeing this.

There is one commercial played on one of the kids networks that shows women running down the beach taking off their clothes until they have only their bikini on. I understand the gist of the commercial, but small children do not. My 3-year-old Grandson said those mommy's are taking their clothes off. I do not want him to think it is ok to strip outside. Not my idea of a commercial for kids programming.

Yes, I am older, but I thought the exact same thing when I was younger.


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STUDLEEJOE 5/24/2014 2:13PM

    emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/24/2014 2:14:01 PM

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