Monday, July 30, 2012

Mindful Monday: Change Now or Later

Mindful Monday: On Monday's I'm going to share what's been on my mind. I by no means have any of this figured out, I'm just thinking out loud here.

Over the past week we've been moving my grandma into assisted living.  She's been presented with a lot of changes and new things all at once, but overall she's doing great.  Sometimes it's hard to watch as she struggles with simple things like numbers or directions.  In spite of the small struggles, it's been a blessing to watch her open up and discover new interests.  She's done things the same way for many years and is just now discovering how enjoyable change can be.

It would be easy for me to get stuck on the unpleasant changes that come with aging. Often times when I look at my grandma I see an older version of myself.  So many of her traits and characteristics have been passed on to me.  Sometimes I have to pause and remind myself of all the years of life and adventure I have before I will be in her situation.

Like my grandma, I'm a creature of habit and often find myself stuck in routine patterns.  But, I don't have to wait until I'm older to embrace change.  As I watch her open up and assert herself I am reminded that now is the perfect time for me to do the same.  

I've always considered my grandma to be quiet and reserved.  She would rather sit and watch than be the center of attention and prefers listening over talking.  One would think that a major change, like loosing your independence, would drive a person deeper into these patterns.  Yet as she toured her new home, I saw a side of her I had never seen before.

She initiated introducing herself to all the ladies she saw in the hall. The first lady couldn't hear and just gave a nod and a smile.  I thought my grandma would retreat and discouragingly give up.  Instead, she pushed her walker right up to the next lady and tried again.  She laughed and joked with strangers and talked about how important it is to be social and active.  She spoke up to ask questions and stated what she needed help with.  After all these years she is opening up and letting herself enjoy new things. I have much to learn from her time of transition. I only hope I can apply her wisdom to the changes I face now rather than holding back a lifetime.

Food for Thought: "Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many." -unknown

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