wings and things


on November 4, 2014


One of the things that I most appreciate about life, now that I am spending most of my daytime hours in the nursing home, is simplicity. Today – in volunteer mode – I helped out with a luncheon for about 60 residents and I loved every single minute of the three hours of ‘waitressing’. Anthony wasn’t mobile enough to join the throng which actually made it easier for me to focus on who wanted tea and who wanted coffee, serving the abundance of food, filling water jugs, asking if such-and-such could have another wine or beer, cleaning up when it was over etc. If Anthony had been there I would have been distracted, so it worked out well. Hilariously, two of the residents asked, “Where’s your father?” I don’t correct this any more because it just embarrasses people; I just said, “He is being a sleepyhead today” which always elicits laughter. Plus I was able to dash up the hallway to his room to check on him from time to time and he was fine and kept telling me I should brush my hair!

There is something beautiful about the attitudes expressed by many elderly and infirm. Every single tea, coffee, sausage roll, prawn, mini-quiche and, eventually, banana splits, was accepted with the kind of gratitude and graciousness that seems to accompany the dignity of age. My left hand was patted a lot and I found myself putting my right hand on people’s shoulders, asking people’s names if I didn’t already know, and smiling back at all of the smiles I was getting.

The simplicity of this event, its easy goodwill, and the incredible courage of so many people battling the various demons of age and disease but still able to smile, and to eat, drink and be merry, made me realize how, as a younger-than-old person, I could re-see every single day as a gift instead of worrying about all of the yesterdays.

So today I choose to say goodbye to everything that has turned a rotten yesterday into a rotten tomorrow. It is an enormous relief to discover the simplicity of today! And to look forward to the long legs of tomorrow!

38 responses to “Simplicity

  1. A fantastic post! 😀 Hugs Jules

  2. I agree with you that we sometimes tend to go over and over mistakes and grievances of the past. It is ‘freeing’ when we let go. ( I’m still a work in progress, but getting better) Diane

  3. bulldog says:

    Yesterday will never happen again,
    Tomorrow will never get here,
    So never let yesterday affect tomorrow, but rather handled it all today.

    Bil Keane said “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”

    The all-knowing yesterday is obsolete today…..

    Loved this post… you sound all happy…

  4. Lovely picture of Marvelous Meg and Dashing Ming. And a beautiful way to live this day.

  5. lisasretro says:

    What a lovely way to spend a day!

  6. You go girl! HUGS
    Diana xo

  7. Eli Pacheco says:

    I love your ability to see the message in the moment. And how it can affect so much. Beautiful insight.

  8. hugr5 says:

    Is that you, in the picture? Sorry that I don’t know!

    I agree, full-heartedly, about the need for simple… Good for you!

  9. hugr5 says:

    I’m betting that isn’t you. Now, I’m intrigued! [?]

    On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 11:15 AM, Patricia Lang wrote:

    > Is that you, in the picture? Sorry that I don’t know! > > I agree, full-heartedly, about the need for simple… Good for you! >

  10. Trisha says:

    What a wonderful thing you’re doing. I love reading about how it’s shifting your perspective. It’s very inspiring!

  11. susanpoozan says:

    How splendid to read your final words, you are a great philosopher and an example to us all.

  12. Vicki says:

    A beautiful post, my friend.
    We all need to discover the precious gifts of simplicity and living in the moment.

  13. Love this post so much Julie. The joy of helping others and the simple peace given in return. The gorgeous photo of your mother and son (I wish I had one like it!)

    and the comment ‘it is ridiculous to grieve over an accident where everyone survived!’ – so very true. It was all completely unintentional and all involved were loved ones – love and support for each other is needed way over guilt and remorse. I could sprout on about family…having recently lost mother as you know, and estranged from son – time together is way too important to waste 🙂


  14. Yes simplicity is oh so nice, my sister starts her voluntary work at the nursing home my nan is in next week, she is doing it as part of work for the dole

  15. Tiny says:

    Lovely post!! I love the “long legs of tomorrow”. Indeed a great choice you made.

  16. my dear jules i hope you are truly able to put this event in the past where it belongs. don’t waste one more moment on anything that prevents you from having a full and happy life in the now.

    once, when chris and i were first dating, we were walking in the park and feeding the ducks. a little boy asked me if he was my dad. chris over-heard and said “no i’m her grandfather.” he did this with a perfectly straight face:)

    take care and keep loving yourself as much as you love other’s. sending you love and hugs

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