Wisdom is optional, Aging is not. To be wise you must remain open minded, learn and grow especially as things become more challenging. Staying rigid in belief and thought are reflected in the body.
copyright Cindy Georgakas 2020
How do we continue to grow in wisdom as we age, especially now in the pandemic with our new normal in place? It makes one question the constructs you have put in place for yourself in life and if you have prepared yourself for the unexpected. Are you able to shift gears and live in what is verses what was, trying to get back to normal as you go about your day that you are not open to the moment?
We all deal with things differently and I for one hit the ground running when my terrain has been shaken or embers threaten my internal world. I train myself daily to be mindful and practice meditation, qigong, Tai Chi etc. I try to stay present so when difficult times happen in my life that require me to find calm and joy in chaos, I can access it. It’s not enough to sit, it is the everyday moments that teach us to put it into action, what we practice and therein lies the work which isn’t as easy as it seems. Practice what we preach as the old antage goes.
Well guys, the fires have finally hit our home indirectly. There is smoke in the air with the threatening of lightning and heat so we are on alert but we are okay for now. I mentioned my 86 year old father and his girlfriend who is 90 were more at risk and they indeed had to evacuate their house the other night due to the fires since they are about 6 miles away. I don’t think they were threatened as much as they wanted the roads closed since it’s a windy 2 lane thoroughfare and the fire fighters need access to the areas behind them. If the winds do shift, embers could hit one of their at least 200 trees on the property and with a shake roof, it could quickly turn to no way out.
My Dad couldn’t reach me right away because I was in a session the other night when the fire department knocked on his door to evacuate them. When I called back he said he was was disappointed in me. I had talked to him earlier for about 45 minutes and everything seemed ok but I did say he could come here if something happened and temporarily moved in with us.
It cut to the core because I am always here for my family no matter what and for the life of me, I’m not sure what he was so disappointed about yet, but I have lived my whole life for his approval. I thought I healed that wound but here I am once again facing this feeling of sadness, anger and pain.
We picked him up and he is staying here until things are safe and clear to return. I get to practice being present with my feelings, his and forgive but right now it’s cordial and chilly which is good since it’s so blazing hot outside. He can’t see with macular degeneration and glaucoma and is bone on bone so is in pain a lot of the time. He had a stroke 2 years ago after elective heart valve replacement and I was there for him every step of the way. It’s really sad to see your robust father that was so strong and athletic decline. He needs help to accommodate his aging body which he refuses to acknowledge which is frustrating because he will be going blind and won’t make choices while he still can and I will be forced to make them for him. He lives up the hill 20 minutes from us and we need to work full time to make ends meet which makes response time a problem.
I continue to look for the lesson and silver lining while we acknowledge this internal struggle for all of us living under one roof with our 2 adult children as well who moved in after the pandemic. We have had to learn how to navigate and move into an adult relationship together changing our old structure of our adult child relationship which has been a gift but not without a lot of discussion and falling back into old patterns.
I am struck by other countries where living together is the norm and they are interdependent on each other. Some of the millenials actually want to move but don’t want to upset their parents. When we were in Bali, we were so struck by everyone living together and asked the families how they manage it. They looked at us so perplexed and couldn’t understand why we didn’t live with our family members. I remember growing up and I couldn’t wait to go away to college at 18 and move out and I never looked back. Things were pretty rocky at home and I needed to move for my own salvation and in America that was the norm.
Now, here we are and 2 of our 4 kids are living with us and we are all navigating this uncharted territory which hasn’t been easy, but finding the benefits while managing the complexities of the financial burden and help with daily chores. America is now catching up and finding that 55% of the 22-35 years olds are living in fact do live at home and I’m sure that number will rise with the pandemic in place until who knows when.
But let’s be clear, this is a challenging time and as I age I find it difficult to live with anyone anymore, if I am to be completely honest. And I would venture to say, they find it difficult to live with me as well.
Having my Dad here is a deeper opportunity for letting go of trying to please someone so near and dear to my heart even though I know that I am not there at the moment. Our days are numbered and short. Life is fragile. I won’t get these moments and days back. I have a choice. What do I want? Will I choose to sit with this and stew and let it consume me and miss the opportunity of growth or will I let it go and clear the air? No doubt he was scared since I’m his lifeline.
I am reminded of the words of Don Miguel Rodriguez in his book The 4 Agreements which I listed below.
The Four Agreements:
- Be Impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
I am going to go to my mat now and pray to open my heart and release my ego of righteousness and illusion.
I will go in and invite him for a chat. I’m not sure where it will take us exactly but I will go forward, not backward in time or division.
It’s time to practice what I preach and It is so much easier when I am facilitating a Life Coaching session, rather than living one.
And this my friends is how you coach yourself.
Have a blessed day and remember What someone thinks of you is NOT your Business, so don’t take it personally. But don’t hold on to it, you only hurt yourself.
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