Vital or Redundant in Ageing?

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The Cambridge definition of the word “Vital” is;

Necessary for the success or continued existence of something; extremely important.

The Cambridge definition of the word “redundant” is;

Unnecessary because it is more than is needed.

Which category do you think you fit into?

 

I am determined that I fit into the vital one. I have decided that right up until the day when I die, I will not become redundant.

Because I know that what you think is what you get, I know that this will happen. I want to be vital to my family, friends and all those that I come into contact with.

You may be thinking that this is a huge claim to make. None of us knows what is going to happen to us from day to day. We may think we have a fair idea, and we make plans, but often those plans don’t come to fruition.

But being vital is all about what we make of those times when things go wrong. It is what we see in them and what we make of them.

Yesterday we took my 94-year-old Mother to an outpatient’s appointment at the hospital. She is very frail, so we needed to hire the use of a special taxi to take her in a wheelchair. When we were coming back, the taxi driver fell off the ramp leading into the taxi, and the wheelchair and Mum fell sideways off the ramp and landed on top of the taxi driver.

At first, we thought that everyone had been injured, and that could well have been the case. But as we were in the hospital car park, there were medics on the scene very quickly.

No one sustained any injuries; I was glad to be able to leave it to the experts and just observe what was happening.

The outcome was good, and even though my mother can be difficult at times, it is her plucky spirit that keeps her going. I saw a different side of her, the grim determination to be vital, kept her from being kept in hospital overnight.

When she saw my brother later in the evening, she joked that she was all shook up like Elvis.

Yes, the thing could have turned out to be more serious, and we might all have been thinking differently this morning. I am not going to go into the idea that someone was taking care of her because often that can seem too high-minded to many people. But the thing is that it all turned out to be well.

The taxi company gave us a free ride home, the wait in Casualty was only an hour, my Mum saw the funny side of it and is feeling grateful that things were ok. The taxi driver was unhurt and so was Mum.

There were so many good things that came out of the incident. There was the sense of caring and expertise from the staff on the scene, and I was able to relax and surrender my Mums care to them.

The fact that I can see the funny side of it, the fact that I can see the good that came out of it and the fact that all was well; is being vital.

If I were feeling redundant at my age now, I would probably have just seen how awful it all was. I could have felt redundant when I had to leave the matter to the experts. I could be thinking that the taxi driver was an idiot. I could be cursing the fact that the dogs had peed on the carpet when we eventually got home!

But my strongest feeling this morning is one of gratefulness and knowing that we are all vital, as long as we are alive.

No person needs to feel redundant. Even those elderly people suffering from dementia, are vital. Those who are very ill and dying, at any age are vital.

Even that person who “Gets on your Wick” has a place in the world.

So are you vital or redundant?

I know that I am vital, and that’s why I am Ageing with Vitality.

Just an after-thought here. My definition of being vital does not mean that we have to have the body or energy of a forty-year-old! That may be possible for some, but please don’t run away with the idea that if you are feeling less energetic than you were in your forties, that does not prevent you from being vital!happycherry_cover

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