Originally posted on Facebook HERE
Have you ever spent any time in a nursing home at all? I know some of my Facebook friends work in nursing homes, and certainly others have family in senior housing, assisted living, or full blown nursing home care. My mother was in a nursing home for twelve years after getting sick in the e.coli outbreak in Milwaukee years ago at an advanced age. So we spent a lot of time with her at various nursing homes during that time. She blew through many roommates, I think the average person stays two years or less once they get to full blown nursing home care. And often when we’d visit we’d be there at meal time, and I’d look around at this room full of people and wonder what their lives were like. At one point, they were the active, loving, powerful members driving our society. Now they can’t even feed themselves and need help going to the bathroom. We visited her a lot over the years, and saw that most of the residents got very few visitors except during the holidays. Nowadays with the virus, I believe people are really getting limited access since a nursing home would be a terrible place to have an outbreak. But, here’s a harsh reality – everyone reading this post today will be dead in a hundred years. All of us. None of the people who are living in a nursing home ever thought it would happen to them. Nobody wants to fade away from life like that, but sometimes we just really aren’t given the choice. My mom didn’t expect to get e.coli poisoning. Yet, we ate at the wrong place for lunch one day and her life changed forever. None of us would have chosen “live through a pandemic” as a life goal, yet here we are. We do what we can to control our circumstances in life – exercise, eat right, get an education, find work in a field we love, live where we want to live, hang out with people we like to spend time with, etc… but there will always be the unexpected aspect as well. So as much as I dislike that we couldn’t really travel this year, that all my musician friends can’t really play shows, that bars and restaurants are struggling to stay in business, and all the other things we’re forced to deal with because of the pandemic – I’ve also seen some great stories of success as well. It’s not a bad time to find a lost passion. To maybe get back into reading, or spiritual study. To look at getting more physically fit. To get to all the things around the house you’ve been putting off. The saying goes “circumstances do not make the man, they merely reveal him to himself” (Epictetus). How are you handling this time? How are you handling the moments you’re given? Behind every adversity is an opportunity. Look for the opportunities, especially in times like these. All of us will be gone in a hundred years. None of us will get out alive. We decide how we feel, what we think, and how we live. Spend some time looking for silver linings today. What could you do to make the time you have more pleasant? What could you do to help others enjoy their time as well? What would make you smile today? What could you do that would warm your heart? Who could you reconnect with, or surprise today in a way that would just totally make their day? And why aren’t we always keeping this in mind?… love deeply today. Love yourself and shine that feeling of goodwill into everything you do. Find ways to enjoy every moment as much as possible. We really have so few. And tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.