[written in the fall – edited today]
How often have we had a friend tell us the same story again? And, how do we react?
This morning I was out front doing some weeding, planting a few bulbs and making a mental note to get more bulbs when my neighbor came over to check out what I was doing and chat . . . Dale is a wonderful older neighbor who always has a project going, a hello to give, a story to tell or something witty to say. This was until his second stroke. After his first stroke he was very matter of fact and moved along like this was just another part of his day – very admirable. But, after his second stroke he seemed sad. His wife told us that his coordination and balance checked out great but his speech was affected. So, basically what he is thinking does not translate into understandable sentences. Today after many months of gradually moving to a smile and a wave then a hello and some words he stopped to chat briefly. Hopefully, it was enough that I smiled when he smiled and agreed a offered some kind words of my own though I did not understand everything he was saying. Before heading on his way he motioned me over to see his beautiful mum that is now in total bloom – this I understood and I am sure he knew that I did!
This encounter made me think about listening and how often I or a friend or a family member tells the same story. My grand mother suffered from dementia so her short term memory was not so great. This combined with being older meant that she told her stories of her youth and a moment ago often. Somehow, I never minded and would listen again or ask a question to move to another subject. This may just be the way I am and I kind of hope so but I am sure that it was helped along by hearing so many people around her let her know that she already said that and I could see how this really affected her.
So, how hard is it to listen to a story again? Can we take the time? If the friend wants to tell it again why not take a moment and listen – we all love to tell stories and if we can also love to hear them how happy is that. Really, how hard is that?
I miss my grams and her stories but am very happy that my neighbor feels more comfortable telling his!
It happened last week . . . the day started and I was feeling happy, grateful and appreciative of everything! This not totally unusual and mostly this is how I am, but over the years I have become a little unsure and unsettled and anxious. These feelings have creeped in slowly over time and create an undertone of how I perceive my activities and my days. Much of this has to do with time – I am getting older with less of it but more of an awareness of all the things I want to do compounded with a self inflicted uncertainty that I am doing what I should be doing. Add to this the current cultural state that time is going by so fast – really?
I have realized what has been going on and have been mantra-ing myself to living in the moment and acceptance. Everything I read and hear on this subject has also instilled a resolve to change. After all I most definitely do not want to look back and see how wonderful my life has been without fully appreciating it while I am living it – –
So on that day when everything was good, all of what I had been reading and hearing and working on myself overtook the questioning and let me just be in the moment and ok with me and my world. The breakthrough was it felt so incredibly good in my heart and my head that I know that this is the way of thinking and feeling and being that I want to hold on to.
It would be awesome if I could tell you that I am fixed and here is the answer. What I can tell you is that it is so worth the effort to work on being good with you just as you are. And, that I feel that my breakthrough came with time, knowing things had to change and after reading so many blogs, hearing so many stories and listening to so many friends . . . and for this I am so appreciative!
I want to Thank You!
“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once” – Albert Einstein
Time does seem to be highly commented on and I will venture that most of the comments that I hear are something like: ‘time is going so fast’, ‘I can not believe it is the end of the day, Friday, a new year already”, and ‘I am so busy’.
How is it that we collectively seem to be consistently crazy busy with not enough time . . . to get it all done? Does this state of being allow us to be enjoying our days or stress us out? And, can we positively affirm our way out of this situation?
Can we add time to our day as was once suggested to me? Or is it as her partner countered and the reality is a day is 24 hours?
I believe both . . .
There truly are just 24 hours in a day. But, we can make the day more if we find our personal ways to add extra time. This concept is individual in that we must look for what will make a difference in our perception of our day. For me, right now, it is creating a doable to do list, making a conscious effort to be present in the moment, being positive about my things to do and my accomplishments and creating some me time. This I feel is my extra time! Still a work in progress ; )
Einstein’s theory that time is relative led to his belief that it speeds up or slows down depending on how fast one thing is moving relative to something else.
So, perhaps if I slow down and practice conscious appreciation of the time I have then those around me will also have some extra time ; )