Have you noticed this word is becoming more common every day?
“Don’t you patronise me!”
“I feel patronised.”
Are just two of the most common.
But what is the real meaning of the word and where are we taking it out of context?
Over the last few decades, even the dictionary has changed its mind.
In the Oxford Dictionary from 1980 the definition is;
pa’tronize. v.t. 1. Act as a patron towards, support, encourage. 2. Treat (person, thing,) as if with consciousness of one’s superiority.
But in 1996 from the Oxford dictionary it became;
patronize v.tr. (also –ise) 1. Treat condescendingly. 2. Act as a patron towards. 3. Frequent (a shop etc.) as a customer.
For me, the first definition makes sense for the real meaning of the word.
Let me illustrate with a story.
Someone I know who runs a business mostly online had a customer who complained about a product that he sells continuously and is an expert in that product.
When he went to great lengths to explain the nature of the product and why something had developed, which to the customer appeared as a fault, she accused him of patronising her.
But he was simply carrying out his side of her patronising his business. He was superior in his knowledge of the product.
But, we have now developed the habit of using the second definition. Many times when people mean well, such as giving up their seat on the bus, or helping someone in some way, many of us decline that help because we see it as being treated condescendingly.
If being patronised then; is someone giving up their seat for me, or helping me on with my coat, or asking if I am ok, I don’t mind being patronised.
Perhaps we all need to ask ourselves in what context we are using the word. The next time we feel “patronised,” are we feeling condescended to? If someone gives up their seat for you, are they coming from a position of superiority? Or kindness?
The world is becoming a place where many people seem to be on the defensive. You may say this is because Planet Earth is becoming a very dangerous place to be. Maybe true or it may not be more dangerous than it ever was. But we do seem to be feeling that we are living on the edge of a precipice.
But how about being the change you want to see and start with making a change in your corner of the world? There are all sorts of things we can change and to be aware of some of them is a start.
Perhaps the original use of this word in our vocabulary will be the first step. Because once we are aware of peoples true motives and don’t immediately go down the road of being or feeling “Patronised” we can help to spread a little kindness. In turn that will lead to us all to not being afraid of showing kindness, for fear of being accused of patronising the other person.
Have you noticed that on any forms you fill out, they have a box for 20-30; 30-40; 40-50; 50-65 (or similar)
When it comes to age 65, we are counted as +
What does that mean to you?
What it means to me is that society, in general, dismisses the over 65’s as a number when everything becomes indefinite.
Over 65’s, in general, have become indefinite, written off, uncertain about the future, invisible.
But I am working on making certain that any of that will not apply to me.
Over 65 is an important passage in life, and in these modern days, we could still live another thirty or more years. That is a lot of years to dismiss eh?
What about you?
Is it time to change all that?
After all, if the Government want us to work until we are 70 or even more, why put 65+ on forms, some of which are important to our welfare, such as insurance.
What can you do as an individual? Could you be a spark to the fire that helps to change that thinking?
We will show them that there is no such thing as 65+
We are still an important number.
Many people in my circle are still coming up with visions and new enterprises for the future at age 65 +!
There are some Facebook groups that you could join, to help start the ball rolling. Ageing with Vitality and The Silver Tent are just two of them. There is also one called Humorous Ageing if laughing about it takes your fancy. Here are the links.
Do you eat plenty of vegetables, especially the green ones?
Do you know how many people are blind in the UK?
Do you have parents or grandparents who have AMD?
Do you know what your risk is of getting AMD or any other visual impairment?
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration.) is becoming more common in the 21st Century because people are living longer.
Macular Degeneration as it is commonly known is the breaking down of the macula which is the part of the retina at the back of the eye that provides sharp central vision.
People with this condition can suffer increasingly blurred vision which leads to problems with reading printed or written text, colour, (particularly contrast) and difficulty recognising people’s faces. If you only have AMD and nothing else wrong with your eyes, you will not go completely blind. But you will lose your central vision.
There are other conditions with the eyes such as cataracts, glaucoma and Diabetic retinopathy. I recently heard a story about a chap who went for an eye test, and this was how he found out that he had Type 2 Diabetes. For an optometrist, our eyes are like reading a book. But as a friend of mine pointed out to me just today, you do need to be assertive and make sure that you ask the right questions, and what you can do about any conditions that they come across.
Also only today I heard of someone who had been scared by what the optometrist had said. That there is no cure for AMD and he was in the very early stages of the condition.
It did frighten me when the optometrist told me that I was in the early stages, but I put that fear into action by finding out what was available to help me. So don’t be put off by what they tell you, especially when they say there is no cure and there is nothing that can be done. They may be right that there is no cure, at least at the moment, but there is plenty that can be done to make life easier. I am afraid that many consultants and eye specialists have a habit of doing that, but they fail to point out that there is support available.
If you do find out that you have the early stages of AMD, you can take sensible precautions to take care of your eyes and help to slow up the process.
By wearing glasses or goggles and a hat to keep the sunlight out of your eyes. By learning what aids are available so that you stand a good chance of managing the condition.
So, the earlier you find out, the better. You may not notice anything wrong in your day to day life, except perhaps you may find that reading is blurred even with your reading glasses on. I found out from a regular eye check.
And don’t think that it is an old person condition, some people develop AMD in their twenties or thirties. I know someone who had junior onset AMD at the age of eight.
As a matter of interest here are some interesting facts for the UK. (You can google statistics or facts for your part of the world if you are not in the UK)
In the UK around 600,000 people currently have vision impairment caused by AMD, and around 70,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. (nearly 200 per day)
Over two million people in the UK live with sight loss.
Total sight loss in one eye is not counted against the legality of driving.
People with sight loss in one eye are not considered partially sighted.
Total sight loss is rare, only about 4% of people with vision impairment are totally blind.
Sight loss, in general, affects people of all ages but especially older people. 1 in 5 aged 75 and 1 in 2 aged 90. (This is in degrees of sight loss, from mild to being registered blind or partially sighted.
In the UK there are only 5000 guide dogs.
Every day more than 75 new people are formally registered blind or partially sighted.
75% of blind and partially sighted people of working age are registered unemployed.
There are plenty more statistics that you can find, and some of them are quite revealing. Many people, including myself for many years before I had this condition, get confused when observing people with vision loss. They cannot understand why the person can see some things and not others.
I cannot go into the details here, but I have written some of what I experience as an example here;
As far as the legality of driving is concerned, it is a minefield. The law may say that you are safe to drive with a vision impairment, in fact, some people with an impairment may be able to see the required reading of the number plate. But the insurance company’s may have something else to say about it.
For example, I was told twelve years ago that I could drive under the law. I have other things wrong with my eyes as well, and one of them is double vision when my eyes are tired. I was issued by the Eye Infirmary with a pair of glasses with one lens blacked out (don’t ask about the technicalities please!) and told that I could drive while wearing them. If I were in an accident, I would be covered by the insurance as long as I was wearing them. If I were not wearing them, then I would be liable.
No-one seemed to take into account that wearing them was a hazard for me because I could not see properly with them on. So I had to make a choice not to drive at all. Driving for me, just as it is for millions of people, was freedom and giving it up was painful. But not as much as if I had taken the risk and failed to drive safely.
The main purpose of this article is to point out how important it is to look after your eyes. The main cause of AMD is not known. But the contributing factors are genetic, diet and smoking.
It is a myth that we can get AMD from bad light or too much exposure to computers, etc. But UV light is a factor and another reason for protecting your eyes in the sunlight. The jury is still out on whether computer and smartphones can cause AMD, but there is evidence surfacing that you can suffer what is known as Digital Eye Strain. Eye strain, however, is not a contributing factor to AMD.
Looking at my earlier reference to contributing factors, let’s look at the genetic factor more closely. The genetic factor is only an increased risk. It is not a guarantee that you will get it. But, if you have someone in your family, particularly your parents, with MD, then you need to be extra vigilant with eye care. Get plenty of green leafy vegetables which contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two antioxidants stored in the macula.
As for the other two, diet and smoking; just give up smoking, and eat clean as well as including the green vegetables.
And last but certainly not least. GET YOUR EYES CHECKED REGULARLY. At least every two years. Don’t take your eyesight for granted.
One of the most difficult things for me as well as the other 600,000 people in the UK to come to terms with, is that except a miracle, my eyes are not going to get better than they are now, and they are going to get worse over time.
At the moment, because I have developed wet AMD, I am waiting for my eyes to get worse before I can begin to have injections to make them better. Don’t ask!
The only things that I can do are; to make sure that I get the nutrients I need; to shield my eyes from the sun; to eat clean and to take the supplements that I take, to try and slow up the progress.
It is important to stay positive and just let AMD be part of my life and not rule it! But that will take another article, and again let me refer you to the link for my other blogs on AMD.
I have just been through a vital transition in life.
Through the last six months, I encountered “The Dark Night of the Soul.” A time when I was brought low and was forced to look at my life; where I was going, what I was doing. What was working and what was not.
There are times in our lives when we need to go through these dark nights. It is as if the Universe is saying “You are not listening to me, and you need to.”
I do not believe that the Universe, or God or this higher power, whatever you may like to call it, makes us ill, or depressed because I believe that we bring it on to ourselves. We think that we know best. So we will go on working, doing and striving, and wearing ourselves into the ground, or bed or onto pills, simply because we are not listening to that still small voice.
And that applies to anyone of any age.
Even those who say that they are living their purpose and carrying out what they know they are here on this Earth for, can be so busy doing, that they forget to be still, forget to listen, forget to notice things synchronising or not, and go ahead thinking that we know best.
I came to a place where I was forced to listen to that still small voice, and during that time I became quite ill, physically and mentally, but thank God that I still held on to my Spiritual life.
I realised that I had not been listening, I had been striving and worrying and pushing ahead, doing things that I thought I was meant to do.
I had a family problem to deal with, and although it was settled in a way that we thought was not possible at first, at the end of it, I had a meltdown. Not because I doubted, not because I was weak in any way shape or form, but because I had failed to notice that I needed to go through a transformation in my life. A passage of life that has taken me into my fourth age.
I run a group on Facebook for Ageing with Vitality. I blog about ageing. I talk about how we are still vital, but I had not taken into consideration that the physical body does age, whether we like it or not.
I was proud that I had reached the age of 72 and am still active, vital and healthy, but was finding the lower energy and the ability to multi-task, difficult to come to terms with. Along with a visual impairment that I now have.
We hear so much about staying active; keep exercising, keep walking, keep doing things, keep your brain active and on and on. But we can sometimes, be, so hell bent on doing those things that we ignore this important passage of life. Which is transforming into an older person, but one who can still have a good quality of life.
It may happen at different ages while growing into that fourth age. Some are ready to relax at sixty, while others will still be working at age 70, 80 or even more. But the important thing is that we do need to recognise that there will come a time for transition. It may not be an obvious one, but we need to be mindful of subtle changes.
I don’t mean that we wake up one morning and find that we are suddenly old, although for some who are taken ill this may happen of course. But I am talking about looking at why we are feeling more tired than we used to.
Is what you are doing working for you and the other key people in your life?
And I certainly do not mean that we have to “give in”. What I mean is that like a teenager who has to make the decision whether to go to Uni or the twenty-year-old who decides that life is going to change, they have left their teenage life behind and now have to settle down to life. Or the person going through a midlife crisis and decides that they want to change careers. We need to look at what our purpose is for the rest of the time that we are here.
For me, my transition has shown me that my purpose does not look like what I have been striving after for the last six or seven years. Even though in that time I have been more aware and conscious than ever before.
But I am at peace, and simply want to serve.
Nowadays, when I have a decision to make I ask myself what purpose it will serve?
I am so grateful that I do not have to work for a living now. I am grateful that I have accepted a simpler lifestyle and do not strive after belongings. My income is modest, and I love having no responsibilities.
I am healthy and do eat a healthy diet; I love walking and make sure that I walk at least an hour most days. I stay active; I love the Internet, Facebook and the groups that I belong to on there. I love the women’s group “Damsels in Success”.
I belong to a Women’s over fifty group “The Silver Tent,” whose purpose is to raise the consciousness of the world.
I love going to the Macular Society meetings with others who have sight problems. We have a laugh and obtain lots of important information.
I love eating out with friends and my beloved husband. I love writing and reading. Most of all I love my times with God, in quietude and meditation. Listening to the music of Taize, Snatam Kaur and other inspirational music.
My life is full and rich again after spending the last few months in transformation and healing. The transition into being a Wise Elderwoman.
Look out for regular blogs again now, about Ageing with Wisdom and Vitality, Death and all that it encompasses, (I am a Funeral Celebrant) and the eye disease Macular Degeneration and what it can be like to live with it. I will also still dabble in eating healthily and supporting people with issues around food and their eating patterns.
It is good to be back again renewed and with a fresh vision.
How about you? Are you listening to that still small voice that may be telling you it’s time for that transition?
I am writing this to ask you to help me with a small favour.
Some time ago I wrote a book called “Hunter Gatherer to Baby Boomer; How Food Evolved.” It has been on Amazon, but has now been re-published as a 2nd re-published, re-formatted and updated edition.
I wrote it because in my lifetime since the 1940’s I have been intrigued watching how food has changed out of all recognition.
The book begins with the Hunter Gatherers, but I have concentrated particularly on the last 100 years, decade by decade, right up until the developments in the 21st century.
I found some amazing facts about how people have always been aware of the shape of their bodies. Watching weight and worrying about self-image is nothing new apparently, and I found some amazing ways that people have done it.
Who is it for?
Have you ever considered how the food we eat has evolved?
Have you ever wondered why our food today is laden with sugar, salt and other preservatives?
In this new book, you will discover how our hunter-gatherer ancestors existed and what they ate, before the advent of farming, domesticating animals and mass production of food.
You will also learn about the obesity epidemic which has gripped the western world and where it has its roots, as well as how food has rapidly developed and changed as the 20th century progressed and our eating habits changed.
There can be little doubt that we are less healthy now than ever and this is in large part because of the food we consume. With ever increasing amounts of sugar, salt and preservatives going into our daily intake, it’s no wonder our bodies are changing in shape.
Now you can see why this has happened and make informed choices about the sort of food you consume.
Get your copy at the times below for just £0.99 and see how the food we eat today has changed beyond all recognition.
I would love it if you bought a copy to help me to get a high ranking on Amazon which puts it onto their bestseller promotions (usually featured on the right-hand side of the page) and therefore creates high visibility for this most interesting book, unique in its subject matter.
When to buy it.
To ensure that happens I have reduced the price from £3.44 to the special price of 99p. (Cheaper in USD) It will be available for this price from 2pm-9pm on Saturday 10th June and between 12 noon to 5pm on Sunday 11th June.
Please buy at the times suggested because Amazon calculates its bestseller rankings between these times.
Can you leave a review?
Then I’d love you to go onto Amazon and leave a review. The more reviews I get for this book the better its profile worldwide.
It only needs something like;
Really enjoyed Patricia Cherry’s book. I had not thought about the history of how food came to be where it is now in the 21st century. I was fascinated with how long some foods have been in existence and also with how and why we now depend on so much processed food. … Or something like that.
Don’t have kindle – still buy it.
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still download the Kindle player for free on all computers, tablets and phones.
I’d love it if I could reach as many readers possible world-wide.
Many, many thanks. I will let you know how it goes.
The blossoms are the essential part of the progession to the fruit; and the fruit is just as vital.
Have you noticed when you are filling in a form, they put the age brackets into such an order that when you reach 65, it just becomes 65+?
Society spends a lot of time, worrying, fretting and resisting the very idea of ageing.
But as we evolve as humans in the 21st Century, isn’t it time for us to embrace the idea? Especially as many of us are living for another thirty to forty years after retirement.
We still matter! Because as long as we have breath, we are still vital.
Illness and disease can occur at any age, so why do we think that old age has the monopoly on it?
Yes; our bodies do wear out and become weaker and frailer, and the chances of succumbing to degenerative disorders are stronger.
But being Vital in our older years is still as much a part of life as when we are younger. There are many younger people who don’t realise how vital they are to society, so why do we insist on giving old age the honour?
The word vitality is being used too loosely these days. It is used to promote products, and ironically anti-ageing foods and creams. Consequently, we think of vitality as something that is easily lost and associates that loss with ageing.
Some of the synonyms for the word vitality are; Liveliness, energy, animation, spirit, passion, sparkle and vibrancy; the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things; Vital force or energy.
If you study those words and bear in mind that we are all made up of Mind, body and spirit, you may realise that you can retain them.
Liveliness can remain in the mind and spirit, along with vibrancy and passion.
Every one of us, from birth to death, have something to contribute to the world. No matter where you are, where you live, the state of your mind or health, the state of your finances, whatever your intellect or culture you have a VITAL role to play. At any age.
You may not ever become rich, a writer, an artist, a teacher, a celebrity or earn lots of money. You may even be thinking at this moment that you are not successful because you haven’t reached a goal that you had in mind. You may have just been diagnosed with an illness or condition that you perceive as a road to failure.
You may even be thinking that you are already a failure, let alone when you get older.
You may have just retired or are coming up to retirement, and you see the future as bleak and that you will no longer be a vital part of society.
On the other hand, you may be looking forward to a bit of peace.
Do you have the thought at the back of your mind that it is downhill all the way after the age of 65? Do you think that you must do the things on your bucket list before it’s too late?
Too late for what? Perhaps too late to be able to travel freely, too late for certain activities, yes. But have you thought about what else it may be too late for? Are you seeing the time to come, the “too late” as a time when you are sitting like the proverbial cabbage?
The truth is that; As long as you have breath, you are still vital!
But how can I remain vital when I am too weak or helpless to do anything?
All of us have energy running through us as long as we are alive.
Most of the time we are unaware of it and only when we are active in some way, we become aware. But it is there; how else would your heart keep beating, your eyes seeing and all the other organs in your body stay working?
Collective energy is what you feel in a crowd at a football stadium or when the whole world stood still when we were witnessing 9/11.
We are part of the Universal energy, and what is more, it is Vital to every one of us, it is what keeps us alive. You are part of that collective energy.
Even people in a coma, or under anaesthetic have an energy running throughout their body. And they are still vital to the planet and in turn to society.
And even the person in a state of weakness, infirmity and very old age, have that energy and vitality.
People become “old” at any age. The physical process starts at age 27. But in many peoples minds, they begin to feel old as soon as they see the first grey hair.
We put people into categories or brackets. We have expectations of what we can do at any given age. We use the expression “I’m too old for that.”
The perception is different in all of us. Some may still be playing football or running at age ninety; others may need to stop being physically active at a much earlier age due to injury.
When we run upstairs and forget what we came up there for, we fear that it’s the ageing process setting in. Forgetting that most of us at any age do that. What about the schoolchild forgetting his sports kit, or losing his jacket? Do we ask if he or she is getting old?
We think of the darkest fear that we have with the process of old age as a line of events.
We retire; we travel or join things; take up mew hobbies.
Next; we expect we will start to suffer from disease which disables us from doing all the things that we like to do.
We then expect that it’s downhill all the way to becoming useless, a burden on society, and want just to die.
But guess what? That vital energy is still there.
Remember that the Universe does not centre around you, but that You are simply a vital part of it.
So as you become weaker and frailer, you can have either a positive effect on others or a negative.
Prepare for your older years with the thought in mind that you are vital to those around you at this time, and you are on the road to FEELING vital until the day you die.
Another synonym for vitality is spark or sparkle. Are you going to be the spark that lights people’s fire, even when you simply smile at people around you?
Don’t tell me that you can’t do that when you are old and frail. I know many who do.
Having the spark that lights people’s fire starts at any age. Think of the effect that even the youngest baby has when they smile for the first time.
Are your family and friends going to be drawn to see you? You can do this by staying energised while you can by listening, learning, reading, writing and creating new things.
If your niche is gardening or craft do it, while you can.
Stay informed, be active, eat well.
Research drugs before you take them. You do not have to just go along with what the doctor says and jump on the roundabout of taking one drug after another that dulls your brain and mind.
Make younger friends, don’t just join the local senior citizens club and talk about the weather or your latest illness.
You have a lot to offer younger people coming along. Only three days ago, I was lunching in the centre of London with a young student from Singapore. How did I get there? I was at a Seminar on making choices with people of all ages.
The turning point for me was when at the age of sixty, a friend of the same age commented that she hated this business of getting old.
I thought “I’m outta here!” No way was I going to join that bandwagon.
Yes, I am ageing, yes time is running away with me, but I changed my thinking to one of “My older years are going to be a time of learning, wisdom and supporting others to do the same.”
Are you going to enjoy the cherry blossom this Spring? Not long now.
Or are you going to say “Yeh but it doesn’t last long and look at the mess it makes.”
There is so much to be grateful for don’t you think? Yet there are many who are griping about the state of the world, or their life circumstances, or anything else that they can think of.
How wonderful that you had a day out with the kids? YEH BUT… is the reply.
Isnt the weather lovely? Yeh But………
You came through your surgery alright then? Yeh But……..
I hear you have had promotion at work? Yeh But………..
And on and on.
I have had conversations with homeless people. Others who are bankrupt. Still others who are elderly and infirm.
People who are ill or grieving from loss perhaps.
In other words, people who really do have something to gripe about in the eyes of society. But somehow they still manage to see the bright side of things. They still inspire the good in others.
One homeless woman with whom I got into converstaion, was grateful that she had a lot of friends who were also homeless. They have good times together, not one negative word out of her. I came away feeling blessed and grateful.
I saw a post on Facebook this morning by someone who needed to attend A & E, but instead of complaining she said that she was grateful for the kind attention of the staff, even though they were rushed off their feet and she had to wait a long time.
Another good example is of an elderly lady whom I looked after, she only had one breast, one leg. one eye and was in a wheelchair. Yet we care assistants loved attending to her needs, because she always cheered us up. She used to say that when they bury her the cost will be half price!
If you are constantly looking for the dark side of everything, or dwelling on the past, then the chances are that you are not living consciously. The chances are also very strong that you will get what you are thinking about and be miserable no matter what you do.
Are YOU unsconcious of all the good things around you?
Do you want to be subjective to these thoughts? Or do you want to live in gratefulness?
It is possible to make the choice.
Are you living an abundant life? Do you know what that means?
Or are you living in a “Yeh But” world and only seeing what you do not have?
In December 2016 along with many others, I was thinking about my intentions for 2017.
I believe that the Universe has my back in this life.
That does not mean that I expect life to be easy and that nothing ever goes awry. We are in this world to experience everything about being human. But there is a way to make the experience one of enrichment, trust, and abundance, and it all depends on how we perceive life and all that it contains.
A more common way of looking at it is to say that we are either a glass half full or a glass half empty person.
I also believe that long articles or blogs can be very boring. So I will keep this short and easy to digest.
While I was thinking about my intentions, I came across a woman called Jane Oppegard, who with a friend Su Bear, was holding a Kundalini Retreat in Somerset. The retreat called Finding your Radiance for 2017, was about setting your intentions for the next year, clearing out the old stuff that can block those intentions and make way for the new.
I knew that was for me. Having gone through a difficult time with a personal family matter, I was feeling depressed and low and needed to get away. The idea of a retreat alone was very appealing, but somehow the idea of being able to clear away the negative stuff and start the new year with Radiance put the final touch to my desire.
All I can say is; It worked! And I intend for it to go on working!
I felt rather nervous about going, I had never done yoga before and I wondered whether I would be fit enough. But Jane did allow for that and I was able to sit on a chair. I am not in this photo, I was taking it!
I came back feeling so different, having worked on the chakra system and releasing energy that was holding me back from carrying out my intentions.
So as well as the intentions that I already had in mind, I have now added a new one. I intend to carry on practicing Kundalini Yoga.
Jane is holding a 40 day Transformation online programme at the end of January. This is part of what she says about it on Facebook.
Do you feel that all you do is look after others, work all the time, run around from pillar to post, unorganized, never have enough time for yourself, life stands still and you never seem to move forward? Do you need motivation to kick a habit? Smoking, drinking, eating, negative thinking? Do you find yourself repeating the same habits? Such as unhealthy relationships, loosing your temper and getting angry.
If you get stuck in these kinds of life cycles, all they do is create negativity, and illness.
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!
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