Overcome Obstacles – Achieve Goals

Posts tagged ‘caring for aging parents’

The Olympics of Life

I know the Olympics are all over with, nonetheless the idea of winning medals for superior talent in sports prompted me to address this question – what are the requirements for winning medals in the Olympics of life?  One could say that the answer lies in  living the best life we possibly can or the answer is variable depending on what each individual person is looking for in life.  This may be true, however, there are  a number of  prose that suggest  how to understand the many fluctuations in life.   Here are a few examples:

  • “Life is about change. Sometimes it’s painful sometimes it’s beautiful, but most of the time it’s both”   Kristin Kreuk
  • “Lessons gained during the journey are as important and valuable as those earned at the finish line.”  Lisa Hammond
  • “Learn from yesterday.  Live for today.  Look for tomorrow.  Rest this afternoon.”  Charles M. Schulz

Change and learning from the days passed are two of the more popular themes.   Perhaps this is how we attain medals in Olympics of  life allowing life to ebb and flow, honoring the changes that occur during each wave and then making note of what was learned as a guidebook for moving forward.  These idea can be  the foundation for awarding medals in the Olympics of  Life.  So here is my interpretation.

The winners of the GOLD
– who better than our beloved senior citizens – those in their “golden years.”    This group is the most experienced and have  learned simply by their longevity and are charged with numerous life changes.   These years however, can be bittersweet.   After a lifetime immersed in family, career and home life – seniors are likely faced with a multitude of losses.  The loss of their ability to drive, tend to a home and care for themselves means that they are now dependant on others.   Additionally, the loss of a lifetime companion brings to most seniors a deep sense of loneliness and longing for what once was.   There   is also the likelihood  that a decline in physical, emotional, and cognitive  abilities will further impact their life.  Dealing with adjustments such as these is reason enough for a gold medal, but who wants to have to win based on the hard facts presented above.   

The elderly are the winners of the gold because they are the scholars of their generation full of vast knowledge gleaned from life.  They have stories to tell, advice to share and  love to give.    Seniors, in most cases, can talk with pride about their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  They can share what they learned in younger years and are gifted with the important job of passing on the traditions of generations past.     Most of all, they are strong and appreciate of  each day, which in this time of life  is considered  a blessing.   It is our privilege to be in the company of such greatness.   Our elderly are the foundation of our life, memories and the purveyors of  the   lessons  we will build on and share for the years to come.  Who is your personal gold medal winner? 

My Gold Medal Winner  & the inspiration for this post.

My Mom – Joyce

I’m sure it will be no surprise when  I declare  the Silver medal  winners to be the middle-aged/baby boomers.  There lives are about transitions (and clichés),   transitions into the “empty nest“, retirement and for some “downsizing”.    These individuals in their 50′ & 60″s enjoy participating in the marriage of their children and marvel at the thrill of becoming grandparents. There are overflowing with knowledge about child-rearing, marriage and career and more than willing to dispense it to their offspring.

Boomers in their 50’s are most likely counting the years until they can retire.    Once retired – couples  have togetherness again, uninterrupted by diapers, daycare ,car pools and most of all career responsibilities.  There is time for fun ,travel, relaxation, family and grandchildren.  They can look forward to sharing stories  and creating new memories with their grandchildren.

The silver medal is appropriate for this group, for underneath the hair dye one will likely spot any number of grey/silver  hairs.  A sure sign of aging.  But with the gray hairs can also viewed as a badge of honor personifying their station in life. There likely are challenges for the boomers as well. For some, this stage of life is where changes in health may occur causing them to make modifications to their visions of how retirement would be.  For many Boomers, their care-taking role now shifts from taking care of their children to seeing after their aging parents.  Unfortunately, they may also have to deal with the death of  one or both parents.   These times can be challenging.  Caring for parents can also be very rewarding.  There is still so much our parents can teach us. Those who are  middle-aged deserve the silver medal because in addition to being a master at sharing  their experiences they have the ability to adjust to many roles – parent, grandparent, caregiver, child, retiree,  and much more all the while adjusting to their changing self.

So, that leaves the bronze to those individuals in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.    This group is fraught with responsibility and change, but  at the same time they are having fun.  The 20’s are learning what it really means to be an adult.   The twenties are likely to have either finished with or in the midst of schooling to gain the skills for their future careers.   They are learning how to support themselves and hold down jobs.  Moving into the thirties, marriage and children are likely added to their responsibilities, as well as the joys of owning their first home.  From this point forward – the focus shifts to the children – their friends, their activities, their schools and their future.  It is time to impart into the future generation all the things you learned while growing up.   The bronze winners  are challenged to grow with the changes they encounter – all with  the intention of one day – going for the gold.

Although,  obtaining a medal for superior athletic talent is rare, in the Olympics of life – a medal is attainable by allowing life to ebb and flow, honoring the changes that occur during each wave and then making note of what was learned as a guidebook for moving forward.

“There are two ways to look at life.  Either everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle.”  Albert Einstein

“There’s nothing more contradictory than life itself.”  Robert DeNiro

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