R.A.Koyama

Live Well, Live Happy, Live Long

Category: Happiness (page 4 of 5)

Happiness is a state of being, just like aging.

Leavings’

As I write my next book – Clean Your House Before You Leave– I wonder about what it is  that we should leave.  We all leave something behind, good or bad.  I am sure we all wish that what we do leave behind is good and something others will value.

The age old consideration of what you leave behind is good memories.  Memories of you that your family hold close to their hearts.  Well if that is the case then perhaps we should start to cultivate those memories so that will grow and out live us.

With the busy lives we all live at times it is diffucult for us to even consider what our Leavings’ will or could be.  Our kids are gown and have their own busy lives.  Our grandchildren also have so much going on that just find a time in their busy schedule is next to impossible.

I am reminded of this and what we will leave behind because I feel that some where along the way my granddaughter have cultivated an almost private type relationship.  A relationship that I hope will be a leaving she will cherish.

 

The picture may be a little out of date and blurry but it reminds of her looking back into the sun to see if I was still there.  Hopefully she will feel I always!cropped-SAM_0633-e1448483860323.jpg

She doesn’t live close to us and getting to see her is a challenge, so we have to use the telephone as our method of communicating.  Which may not seem like much on the surface.   How can a telephone call leave much in the way of memories?  Heck we talk on the phone and half of what we talk about is forgotten the minute we hang up.

And that is probably true, what is different with my Granddaughter is that I have become her chore time partner.  Like many children she has things she is responsible for doing at home, clean her room, fold her laundry, take the dog for a walk, sweep the floor and the list goes on. Since she doesn’t like doing those things alone, she calls Grandma and with the phone on handsfree we talk.  Well a lot of times I just listen as she goes on about her day, her friends, her school.  We even discuss what her Mom did at her age, what I did at her age.  So the conversation provides me with updates on her life and of course all the things she thinks her parents are being unfair about.  My job here is just to let her vent and not take sides. Somewhere in the conversation I attempt to help her see things from a different perspective, being careful not impose my own thoughts  on her.

In addition to those topics of conversation we talk about my family.  Since I was 14 years younger than my closest sibling most of them a have already left us.  She is naturally curious about them and what my life was like growing up as pretty much an only child.  She herself is an only child as is her mother and this piques her curiosity even more.

My point here is that with these long conversations I am hoping that my leavings’ will be the memory of these conversations. Not necessarily the conversations or even what we talked but just the memory of her being able to call Grandma when ever she was bored, or when she had to do mundane chores and just knowing I would be there for her.  And for me the memory that she called me!

These are My Leavings’, and perhaps the topic of another book!

Aging shouldn’t stop you – Take The Step Your future awaits-

 

I am sure many of you have heard the phrase – Take the step the bridge will be there.

It was an inspirational phrase used to help people accomplish things they thought they never could or would.

Well to me that phrase has two purposes, the first was to write about aging, and the seconded was to encourage others to live their lives to the fullest no matter what their age.

So that is why I am encouraging you to TAKE THE STEP no matter how unclear it appears.

 

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No matter where we are on life’s journey, we need to do things that we consider beyond our capability. If we do not continue to push ourselves, we could soon find ourselves being pushed by others.

That is the reason for my first book  about Staying Home written to help us acknowledge what and how we need to prepare ourselves and homes to fit our needs as we age.  For many people, the concept of having to do so is something they do not want to accept.

This is where the phrase becomes helpful.  By taking the step, you are walking across a bridge that will support you as you age.

By not taking the step you are ignoring the future and what it holds.  Make no mistake there is a future, what your future will be is for the most part up to you.

That is why I encourage my readers and my friends to take whatever steps they can to secure the future they want,  not the one others will impose upon them when they refuse to take the step.

So if you haven’t read the book let me give you a few of the key steps the book will help you take.

  • How to stay mobile
  • Managing Your Memory
  • Taking Care of Your Hearing
  • Recognize the importance of Attitude
  • Taking Stock of your Living Environment

These are just a few of the areas covered in the book.

 

One of the things that I want to say and that I often tell friends who didn’t consider the above to be some they need to review;

IF YOU CAN”T BE SAFE – YOU CAN’T BE HOME!

So why do I say that?  Well, the truth of the matter is if anyone in your family, community or health support system feels that you are not are safe living in the manner you do, they will be the first to insist that you need to live in an “assisted living facility” for you own safety.

That is something I and I am sure many of the people I know do not want to have happen.

So READ THE BOOK, it will help you take the step to walking on the bridge of your choosing, not someone else.

Speak to me, not at me

This was a critical piece of my book – The Hardest Conversation – but I am not sure I was clear enough as to just how important a piece it is. 

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I know that one of the surest ways to get me NOT to listen is when I feel I am being talked down to. This is a common thing that happens when someone thinks they know better than the person they are talking too.  When adult children talk to their parent’s in this way all the good they are attempting to do is washed away.  This is why I felt it crucial to repost what I wrote in my book so that those that are approaching this conversation will take special note.  If helping an aging parent deal with unpleasant things is on the horizon, please do not overlook this critical piece in the conversation.  As well if you want to help get the book and read it before hand.

Just so you are clear on what this post is about here is that particular  excerpt from the book:

Speak to me, not at me

Is this conversation or an education?

So often when we start to talk to parents about their future we talk at them, we tell them what needs to be done, and how it needs to be done.  We often, especially if someone else is in the room, speak as though they are not in the conversation.  We speak to them as if in a conversation about their options not as though you are educating them on what needs to be done.  The conversation lets them come to their own conclusions, okay with few subtle nudges, but nonetheless ones they feel they have determined on their own.

I can understand when I know, not when I am told

One of the most difficult things to pull off when talking to an aging parent is not talking to them as if they were our kids.  Even children these days do not take kindly to being told anything.  I’m sure you are familiar with, “I know, Mom, you don’t have to keep telling me.”  The issue is that aging parents may not know.  They aren’t looking for solutions to problems they may not have or think they have.  That’s the whole point of this conversation, isn’t it?  To help them understand what they may not know or be aware of.  Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying they are out of touch with the world and don’t see what’s coming.  In all probability, they do know and understand that some changes are going to be needed in the future.  But just like the rest of us, they feel the future is still ways off.

So the job here is to bring their attention to it or possibly just find out what they think the future is going to hold for them and what they think should be done about it.  If they have not thought about it, this is your opportunity to help them understand that the sooner they do think about the future and how they want it to be the better for them.  And remember it is about their future and what it means for them not you.

Don’t tell me, ask me

As with all conversations at this stage of your parents’ life, they, just like you, don’t want to be told to do or think anything.  It is, however, important that you ask them for their thoughts.  This is the point at which you can, if need be, bring your concerns into the conversation by telling them how you feel.  Let them know that everything is within their control but that by them sharing their plans with you the better prepared you will be to help if needed.  The “if needed” is key here because most parents at the point will insist they don’t need any help.

The Hardest Conversation was one of the more difficult books I have written because I was mostly writing it for my children so that they would understand how they should approach the issues when and should the day come that I need them to.

I must confess my children are unaware this book has even been written, but don’t worry I’ll be telling them soon, hopefully with some support from my reader reviews. So if you do get the book I would be grateful for any and all honest reviews you provide on Amazon.  Maybe those reviews will reveal something I forgot to add in the book.

So if you are that parent or the adult children of an aging parent, perhaps you should get this book. I know myself that one of my major concerns of aging is that when the time comes that I need help to make hard choices my children will know how to address those needs with me. You can get the book by clicking HERE

Cleaning House

Not what you might think but as I write my next book it provides insight into the topic. Who would have thought there is so much to write about getting old. The most important part of it is the learning. Writing these books has taught me there is so much more to consider along the way, and the best part of all is knowing it is not all bad.

My upcoming book is another of those self-help kinda books that talk about what to do with all the stuff we have gathered in our lives.
As it happens all that stuff is not always ours, but we do seem to collect things that we somehow just can’t manage to let go of.

One would think that will all to talk, and even magazines that show how the next generation are into the minimalist look that we too would hop on the bandwagon about aspire to be that ourselves. Well, according to what I see in my friends and family it ain’t’ happening. Sure each one of us thinking about what a good idea it is and how good it would be no only for us but the environment as well. But even those that live in the tiny condos now being sold just cant’ seem to get down to living with the minimum.

As we get older so does the stuff we gather, and I would bet you that half of it is also gathering dust. I remember the days when everything my parents had was constantly used from dishes to bedding, towels and face clothes. Heck, we didn’t even have a linen closet because there was nothing to put in one. And when it came to pots and pans, there was no need for a special drawer or cupboard because what we used was already on the stove.

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Nowadays there are cupboards for dishes an pots and pans, more than what we use or need. Most kitchens have pantries in one form or another, and they are filled with stuff that is rarely used or eaten before there is something in need of shelfroom that is there. There are drawers for dish towels, a closet for towels and more shelves for bedding. I would also suggest that it hasn’t changed much even after our kids leave home. We have developed a “just in case” mentality that really should be reined in as we get older.

So back to the point of the book. The truth of the matter is that as we get older the less inclined, we are even to think about all that stuff. The issue comes when something untoward happens, and someone now needs to get rid of this stuff. Similar to my book The Hardest Conversation, getting rid of our stuff becomes a touchy subject, especially when someone else suggests the need for us to do so.

Hard Conversations

senior sail to the future

I have written about my current book project titled the Hardest Conversation and think that I should explain that it really speaks to helping aging parents live the best rest of their lives. This book is not about a parent in decline.

The reason this is the hardest conversation is because your parent(s) may/will be very much engaged with life when it takes place. Those parent(s) that are active, and energetic often do not consider the conversation relevant. It is diffcult at times even for ourselves to think about what we need to do or be aware of as we age. To my mind it doesn’t matter if your parents are 60 or 80 when you have this conversation, it is one that needs to take place. When you read the topics covered in the conversation you will see why I think that it will help you (if you are the adult child) realize that this is a discussion we all need to consider as we get older.

The time may come when each of us has to face the final conversation, but for now I think a focus to a bright and enjoyable future is more appropriate. Once this has been addressed no doubt there will be need for that book, but that is in the future. I truly believe that a happy today, pleasant dreams and goals for the future can make this conversation stay quite aways in the future.

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