Tag Archives: Remaining Active at Old Age

The Morning Journeys of the Observer

From one’s daily routines, translated…

I’m without great wishes, I’d feel comfortable, being an observer to life!  Early in the morning, I’d hiked up that mountain, I’d always trekked slowly, looking all around me, listening to everything.

I’d passed through a steamed bun shop, with everybody gathering on the outside, I’d gone to take a look too, I saw a newborn baby, sleeping, inside the steamer of buns.  The owner of the shop said, this two months old young granddaughter of hers, doesn’t like sleeping in her own crib, instead, she’d enjoyed sleeping in the empty storage units of these buns, smelling the scent of the flour.  A group of us, older female hikers started hollering on how cute she was, wanted to wait until the baby wakes, and play with her, and, we’d bought a bun, and started holding conversations with one another.  The owner of the shop smiled and told, that her granddaughter was like the treasure for her shop, since her daughter-in-law took the baby to her to look after, her shop had gotten more and more female customers.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm, the bun is aromatic, the child is fast in dreams, I’d quickly used my cell phone, to capture this version of a sleeping beauty, and added captions to the photographs.

Underneath the tree of the hiking trail entrance, a middle aged man snuck up the trees, took out a bottle of alcohol; he’d taken a large gulp, with that look of satisfaction, perhaps, his wife banned him from drinking at home, that, was the way he’d come up with, to drink, hid his special collection up in the trees?  I’d watched him curiously, the man quickly jumped off of the trees, and ran off.

The few woman in the small resting shack were chit chatting.  One of them was worried that her grandson had bad memories, couldn’t remember the lessons, one of them said, “My seventy-something mother is illiterate, but, she could recite the Buddhist verses.”  So, what’s the secret?  She said, that her mother loved listening to the Buddhist verses in her spare time, and, she’d played the tapes over and over again, and, after awhile, she’d remembered.  Nothing is difficult, there are just the people who thought the things are difficult, change a way, maybe, you can find a good way to memorize things too.

At the resting point half way to the top, I’d heard someone talked of shoulder problems, and, I’d troubled by this condition for a very long time, gone to the western meds, the eastern meds, as well as physical therapy too, and, none of it worked, I’d gone up, to ask how I can make my conditions improve, and, I’d gotten a ton of methods that others used to help themselves.

Walked further up, there was a group, dancing the trending Apple, “You are my little apple, I can love you more and more………”, the lyrics were simple, easy to remember, the group of men and women who were dancing along, sang along too.  They’d invited me to enter, I couldn’t say no, and, I’d started, dancing with the rhythm, snag with the words, worked up a sweat, and, the couple of songs that followed were too fast in tempo for me, so, I’d quit, and found my way back down the steps, headed home.

The spring is wonderful, the mountains, filled with laughter.  The observers from life, hiking up the trails, gotten endless things in return.

So, this is still how important interaction is in the older adulthood years, and, by staying active with the world around, you’re NOT only managing to enrich your life experiences, you’re also having fun, and, you can also slow the progressions of the deterioration of your own minds.

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Filed under Connections, Interactions Shared with the World, Interpersonal Relations, Observations, Old Age

I’m Eighty-One, I Don’t Want to Retire Yet

Delaying the onset of aging, by staying active, at work, in the elderly years, translated…

My husband died young, left me and a couple of kids.  My children are all very well-rounded and well-behaved, either that right after they’d graduated they’d gone into the workforce, or that they’d set up their own businesses, to help out with the household economy.

My two daughters chose to set up studios at home, primarily, because they feared that I might feel lonely, and other than work, they can also, accompany throughout the daytime.  Normally, other than cleaning the house, and cook the meals for my children, I’d also worked as the receptionist, bringing in the mail, and pour the teas for their clients, I’d jokingly called myself, the receptionist, moonlighting as the janitor.  My children felt bad, and called me the CEO of their workshop.  On the first day of the year when we open for business, my two daughters would ask me, the CEO for a red envelope.  Actually, no matter if I’m the janitor, or the CEO, after my husband’s death, I still had my kids accompanying me, I feel very blessed already!

In these past decades, I’d consoled my kids to get married, to not focus their whole heart and soul on me, I’m a strong woman, I don’t want to be a burden to my kids.  Every time someone asked for my daughters’ hands, I’d first stated, that if they are good together, to not worry about me, so long as my kids can live on happily, I will NEVER become a burden to them.

Of my children, two were married, only the two daughters who have their separate workshops are still single.  These couple of years, the three of us, mother and daughters, kept this workshop, and, we’re getting busier and busier still.  Seeing how my daughters are no longer young, I truly worry, that they might not be as able bodied as when they were still younger!  And I am already eighty-one too.  I’d still work at my post by the day, day after day, year, after year, although this work is very busy, but I feel very accomplished, especially when the clients heard my voice, and they’d all thought that I was my daughters’ younger sister, when they’d been told, that I am their mother, they all exclaimed that it was impossible, for me, to sound that young.

A lot of friends and families asked me why must I work my fingers to the bone as an elderly person, why not just retire, and live on easily?  I’d always replied, “Learning until I’m dead, not letting the seconds pass me by!  Although I have some minor conditions, but, work can help me keep young on psychologically, and, I get to keep dementia away, and I can help my kids with some of their workloads, killing multiple birds with just one stone here!

And so, this, is the story, of how a woman manage, to keep her body, heart, and mind young, by keeping herself active, and, her daughters started the workshop that they have, for her sake, because she’d lost her spouse when she was very young, and, her kids don’t want her to feel all alone, so, they’d all work together, to make the mother feel useful, and, this managed to keep the woman active in old age.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Choices, Connections, Expectations, Family Matters, Life, Old Age, Parent-Child Interactions

Her Mother-in-Law Logged Online & Became a Part of Her Community

This pair of mother and daughter-in-law is getting along quite well indeed, translated…

A lot of people are experiencing difficulties with their mothers-in-law, but, to my cousin, this sort of a situation has never happened, she’d glad, to have met a wonderful, understanding mother-in-law.

My cousin’s mother-in-law is willing to take multiple perspectives on various issues, and is very active in getting brand new information, she’s always at the front of her time.  Sometimes after work, when my cousin came home, she’d locked herself up in her room, to play online games, without doing any chores, her mother-in-law not only didn’t blame her for not doing anything around the house, instead, she’d inquired about the games she was playing.

Seeing the expecting gaze of her mother-in-law, my cousin was shocked, she thought, this, was definitely a great chance to interact with her.  Her mother-in-law is clueless when it came to the internet or the computer, but, with my cousin’s instructions, she’d learned to navigate the software, log online, and type in Chinese, and, she’d set up a warrior character in the game of “War Craft”, and since, she’d been, drawn, into the online gaming world.  What’s interesting was, after her mother-in-law started playing online games, she’d gotten more drawn in than my cousin ever had, for instance, she’d asked her mother-in-law along for supper, the mother-in-law would say, “Wait just a little while, until I kill this monster.”  My cousins smiled, believed, that there’s cute child, inside of her mother-in-law’s body.

Slowly, her mother-in-law became more and more experienced in the games, and, there are more and more, younger kids who fought alongside her, and, in the process of conversing with the younger generation of players, she’d slowly understood the thoughts and mindsets of the younger generations.  On top of that, her mother-in-law upped the usages of her other online resources such as Facebook, chat room boards, and, she’d used facial expressions after she wrote her messages.  What’s more important was, that she was able, to take the perspectives of the younger generations of the online community, and not be a wisecrack, and claimed that those who are younger than she knows nothing.

When my cousin’s mother-in-law showed her real age online, all of her online friends were in awe, said that she’s a model, for the older generations, that older people should all look up to her as an example.  And her mother-in-law used the influences of her peers, found a few friends who are her age, introduced them to the online world, and it’d gotten a good outcome, everybody enjoyed the online games, and spoke as they wished to online, and found a place, to keep their minds active.

In the process of getting online, my cousin’s mother-in-law called herself the member of the online community, and, there is NO generation gap, NO blockade of differences in beliefs, and, she’d become my cousin’s best friend.  Her mother-in-law said, so long as you keep your views refreshed, you will keep on being young, she’s the embodiment of this that’s for certain.

A good example of staying ACTIVE in old age, the mother-in-law is still very curious about life, and, that, is the key, to staying young at heart, to keep a fresh eye when you encounter everything new, keep an open mind, and this elderly managed to do more than that.

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Filed under Awareness, Connections, Family Matters, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Interpersonal Relations, Observations, Old Age, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Socialization

My Eldest Sister Looks Younger Than I

Translated…

My eldest sister who’d over seventy, is still very active, everybody called her “Sister Yueh-Tao”, other than being the long term watchperson for her neighborhood, she’d also gotten involved in the line dancing and choir group of her community, and on weekends, she’d gone with my brother-in-law and her son to Puli to plant, there was a simple farm house that the previous owner built, and sometimes, they’d stayed there overnight.  As they’d come back to Taichung, they’d brought back bags of their own planted vegetables to share with the neighbors.

Although my eldest sister had white hairs, but, there are countable wrinkles on her face, plus, she’d often dyed her hair black, and so, she’d looked younger than her real age, several times, I’d gone places with her, her friends checked me out, asked me, “are you Yue-Tao’s older or younger brother?”

My eldest sister explained to her girlfriends, “he’s my second youngest brother, we’re ten years apart.”  Although I felt hurt somewhat, but, there’s nothing I can do, because of my easygoing ways, and my head of white.

One day, my eldest sister passed by my house, and complained to me, that several times she’d used her elderly persons’ ticket to ride the bus, and, the drivers asked her for an identification.  I’d told her, “it’s because you look a lot younger than your real age, you should be happy about that, if it were me, I would totally ask for your identification too.”, that, was when she flashed her radiant smile.

And so, this, is how you stay young at heart, and, when you’re young at heart, the rest of you would show as such, take for example this woman, she’d in her seventies, she’s still very active, very involved in her socialization, and that, is how she is able to look younger.

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Filed under Cause & Effect, Life, Observations, Old Age, Perspectives, Properties of Life

I Don’t Want to Speak of Old Age Again

Translated…

My friend gave me a book, “The Depressed Paris”, I’d only gotten to the second essay, “The Desperation of the Elderly Woman,” I’d become depressed.  The story was about a thinly-framed elderly woman, seeing a beautiful baby, everybody was playing with him.  The old woman saw how this beautiful young life is just as fragile as she, without hair and teeth.  She’d walked toward the baby, wanted to smile at him, to touch him, but the child started screaming out of fear.  The elderly woman then ran away, hid in a corner, then cried… “the sorrows of the aging females!  The youth is already gone!  Even the babies we loved are now, fearful of us.”

With the black and white illustrations, the elderly woman hung her head, sat on the bench, started falling into the abyss of loneliness and desperation.

The writer was the genius French poet, Baudlaire.  He didn’t even get a taste of what old feels like, I couldn’t help but object: hey!  Is old age really filled with desperation?  Even though, youth is already gone, the setting sun is still quite beautiful still!”

The entire world’s population seemed to be aging right now, even there were predictions that told of how after 2050, the geriatrics will be taking over the world, and so, talking of old age became the “it thing”.  I’m already old for a very long time now, and so, there would be a lot of people from the younger generations who’d asked me about the experiences I had after I’d grown old, and I’d also been interviewed, alongside other elderly who lived well.  And I’m very honored, to get to recommend some of the books that helps people accept aging, in other languages as well as in Chinese.  I found, that those who aged gracefully have a couple of qualities: they all have some money saved up, not reliant on their children.  With the basic amounts of health remaining, can walk along freely on one’s own.  With an optimistic personality, the ability to live independently.  With the need for knowledge, unafraid of change, with hobbies, and doesn’t do nothing all day long.

And, those who are elderly and unhappy, some don’t lack their good health or money.  Those who are picky can pick a needle out of a haystack, and those who complained doesn’t see the world brightly, those who lived in self-pity always felt that they were being treated unfairly by others.  And, these personality traits became more and more apparent as one ages, because when one is still young, there are a lot to busy oneself with, and, with time on one’s hands now, not making some trouble would be too boring.  And, the families are usually the most convenient to find troubles with, and, a weird trend of this is that most males would pick on their spouses, while most females would pick on their daughters, or daughters-in-law.

There are many of those elderly who are living in poverty, are long-term bed ridden, demented, those wihwtou the families to look after, and, caring for these elderly, must rely on the system that the government sets up.  There’s a huge gap in the populations of the nursing homes, the rich elderly lived there, for the purpose of enjoyment and leisure, while if the poor moved in, they may be abused.  Can the government maange to take care of these persons.  It would be ashamed, to talk of a happiness that comes at old age with them.  This, is the mindset I have, when I’m tired of talking about old age.

……

Actually, we’re all in charge of our lives.  Take for me, who’s been old a long time, I’d kept a doctor’s words in my mind, “don’t think that once you’re elderly, you can’t do anything, don’t do everything, because you’re elderly either.”  After I retired, I’d taken up art feverishly, in the decades that came after my retirement, my passions are not worn out.  I still loved reading, and now, I’m into the adventure, travels, detective novels, I’d read a bunch of novels by Agatha Christie, because not only is she an excellent story teller, she’d written about human nature, and relationships in depth.  Once when I’d mentioned a Japanese mystery writer, and their eyes lit up, couldn’t believe, that an elderly like me would know him too.  but I believe, that another Japanese mystery writer is even more literary, and, those kids, they don’t know him.  My most favorite show is CSI, I’d sharpened up my mind with the goings on of the case.  Discovering the universe, the nature, and knew that the world is enormous, and I, miniscule.  And, I’d treated everybody with genuine dignity, and so, I’m in an upbeat mood all the time.  I’d heard, that a lot of ladies loved those soaps on love, or on mother and daughter-in-law duking it out, after you’d aged, if you had not tasted love, you will not get a chance to.  What you’d had a taste of will stay in your hearts forever, and, you no longer needed to get stressed out about those romantic relationships.  As for the issues of in-laws relations, you should ditch that when you’re elderly!  I’d learned to write on my iPad, to research online, to contact my friends, my children, to not give up because I’m elderly.  But, “don’t forget you CAN do anything even when you’d aged”, I’m also among those who hung their heads down low when I walked, looking at the ground, so I don’t trip and fall.  Watch out for my health, so I don’t impose on my offspring, to not use the name of “love” to do what I believe is right.

Youth will be gone for sure, and, as for if the dusk is colorful and filled with beauty, well, that’s reliant on the different individuals then.

And so, the KEY to aging gracefully is get involved in the world around you, do NOT start locking yourselves UP as you get older, you will need to continue to socialize, even as you’re older, because socializing with the outside world is what brings stimuli into your lives, and by getting a ton of stimuli in life, your brains are bound to not deteriorate.

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Filed under Coping Mechanisms, Old Age, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Values

Grace is Certainly Yours

Translated…

We’d watched two films on life and death, and before we pulled ourselves out of the scenes of the movie, my community college instructor announced that we are going to have an outdoors class, to Maokong, to have some tea and to have a hiking trip.

“The movie is telling us to live in the moment, and we must put that theory into action.”, the instructor encouraged us to do what we want to.

Our instructor is over age seventy, slightly on the heavy side, and would dress up colorfully for class, and, she’d especially enjoyed putting a huge bow on her curly head of hair, and sometimes, she’d have glitter on her hair, and would pull the bows to pointy, she looked like a Playboy Bunny.

“That day, my grandson had half a day of class.”

“My son’s working on his house, needed me to sit in, to keep watch over the progress.”

“What happens to mom’s lunch?”

Some of my classmates are swayed on what to do, some sighed about how they couldn’t be at two places at once, my teacher broke their worries one by one, “give your grandchild back to your daughter-in-law; your son will come up with a solution on his own; you must allow your husband to show his filial piety toward his own parents, at our age, we should put ourselves first.”

The classmates nodded their heads nonstop, and so the trip to Maokong was settled, my teacher smiled that smile of satisfaction.

And this reminded me of how one autumn, I’d gone to South Korea to travel, the red leaves are so beautiful, contrasted with the blue skies and the white clouds, but I saw a couple of old ladies, picking up the maple leaves, and, sticking them onto each other’s hair, their smiles are so deep that it’d made their wrinkles more apparent.  I was stunned, the beauties from the snowcapped mountain, along with the beautiful red maple leaves, paled by comparison to the elderly women’s blushed faces and white hair.  Even as time has passed too quickly, the graceful ways of those elderly women imprinted onto my mind.

A friend said, that she’d met an elderly woman on the bus, with her hair brushed up neatly, her brows shadowed, with a light mascara, she looked very lively.  And she’d asked her age, the elderly woman was already eighty-two, and, my friend inquired where she was going?  The elderly answered, “to the sales in the malls, they’re giving a huge discount on the eye creams!”, my friend was in awe, at how must zest and energy this elderly woman has.

Passed through the younger years, gone through the ups and downs of midlife, and finally, arrive at this age where everything became unimportant, no longer needed to rush, and so, let the things you should let go of go, with nothing on our minds, whatever we wanted to do, we just go and do, we’re number one.

Like the infectious community college instructor, or the grandma who chased after the red maple leaves on the mountains of South Korea, the elderly woman who still dolled herself up at the age of past eighty, how well they are living, so full of beauty, I’d wanted to give them all the commands, “Grace with age, it’s certainly yours!”

And so, this, is the way that someone can age gracefully, do what you enjoy, stop worrying about the younger generations, after all, they are, old enough, and just let go, and start enjoy your lives, because your days ARE numbered, and if you don’t enjoy them now, you won’t get a chance to again!

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Maturation, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Self-Images

More Beautiful as She Ages

Elderly are just soooooooooo adorable, aren’t they???  Translated…

If we’re older, can we no longer pursue beauty anymore?  I saw in my neighbor, Mrs. Hsu what it looks, to become more beautiful as one ages.

Mrs. Hsu is already eighty-five years old, she’d put her makeup on in the morning, with lipsticks so very red, with her long white trousers, her purple top, with a beige colored scarf around her neck, with a ton of energy, as she headed to the temples to offer her incense to the gods.  In the afternoons, she’d worn a fitting dress, showed up in the old folks’ activities center of the community, and sang those old tunes with a group of her friends.  In the early evenings, she’d gone strolling close to her home, and her bright-colored cotton workout outfits made her look as if she’s only sixty-something.

Mrs. Hsu once told me, “Getting dressed up is to encourage myself, a reminder of how blessed I am, to be living to this age, and so, I must keep myself active, radiant, every single day to not waste this gift from the heavens above; and as my offspring saw how energetic I am, they’d feel that I’m a cute elderly person too.”

She’s absolutely right, with the right amount of makeup not only make oneself look energetic, but also presentable to the outside world as well, the elderly need this especially.  Who doesn’t want to age gracefully?

So, keeping that positive attitude about life is still a MUST for aging gracefully, because this elderly person maintained her activeness, her involvement with the world around, that, is why she’s not among those in the elderly population that just stayed in their own darkened living rooms, with the televisions, turned on, get ACTIVE, that way, you’ll age gracefully too.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Attitude, Awareness, Expectations, Observations, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life