Some Things I Have Learned This Week

If you go to a place where Senior Citizens gather, you will meet new friends. Those new friends will eventually introduce you to their friends in other places and you will have more peers to interact with than you know what to do!

Seniors are cheerful. When you go to a Senior Citizen event, there will be smiles and laughter.

Seniors cheer each other on. If you face a medical problem, you know who to ask for a referral to a good medical doctor. You know where to go to get certain services. You know how to handle certain situations at your age.  Everyone is pulling for everyone else to succeed at life and to enjoy it.

Senior Activities abound! What are you interested in? If you go to a Senior gathering, you will likely find something pertaining to that to participate in.

Seniors use the language you’re accustomed to. You know exactly what they mean when they use idioms  such as “My eyes were bigger than my stomach”. There is no explaining to have to do when you converse with another Senior.

If you’re a Senior Citizen now, or become one, get out there and make the rest of your life happen!

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Getting Older

My son lives in Asia. He has told me several times to come live over there. He says I can get an apartment for $300 to $500 a month. He says restaurant meals can be had – good meals – from $2 to $5. The cost of living is lower, he says.

I kidded him that if I really showed up, he would change his mind and then I’d be in a mess!

No! He insists. Over there adult children are not allowed to change their minds about caring for their parents. They will be “shamed”. Even as a non-Asian, he would not want to suffer the consequences of being shamed.

How different it is from over here.

During this year so far, I have witnessed a senior citizen die at Bingo. When the paramedics arrived, they did not rush to her as I have always seen done before .They stood across the room looking at her and asking questions about what medicines she was taking and what conditions she had. No one checked for a blood pressure. No one listened for a heart beat. They actled like if she wasn’t dead, it was fine for her to die while they waited.

Then there’s been another person I know whose father decided to refuse all care and be put into “hospice care”. He was gone within 72 hours. Would they have allowed a younger person to make that decision?

Even I, when I was in the hospital last year, was given a “Do Not Resuscitate” Order and asked to sign it. What? I refused. They came back with it three different times. I had to tear it up in front of them before they understood the word “NO”. My son came to see me daily. I said if it came to that decision . . . if I could not tell them not to resuscitate me when all hope was gone . . . to ask him. They said they’d need a consensus from all three of my children. Well, then, pick up the phone and call the other two. For all I knew, one of them might even show up. (How fast did that hospital want to be done with me?)

I have learned from my many years of living, a great deal about this world.  Just because I don’t get up and go to work every day doesn’t mean I have lost all value. Just because my hair has more silver now than brown doesn’t mean I have nothing to offer. I can actually watch events unfold and tell you what’s going to happen before it’s happened, because I have seen it before. I have wisdom I never had before. I have clearer vision in some ways than ever before.

But I am a senior citizen and as such, am not appreciated by the younger generations in America.

I now understand why so many folks dye their hair and get face lifts and are not proud of every wrinkle, as I am. I suppose I grew up valuing every person for who they were without judging their physical appearance. I don’t think it’s that way for most.

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Corbett Picture

Too Much In My Head To Share It All

I went for a job interview today, and frankly, I was insulted. I see so many young teachers leaving the profession before they’ve even worked five years. If someone my age with my education and experience walks in to be interviewed, I expect to be interviewed.

I arrived for the interview 15 minutes early. The interviewer kept me waiting for over an hour. According to her office staff, she was interviewing someone else. Ok. I sat and waited patiently for my turn. Finally when I had waited over an hour, I asked if they were sure she was still talking to the other person. They checked. Yes, she was, but she was finishing up.

When I finally was called to the interviewer’s office, she told me she hadn’t had a chance to review my resume. I handed her my printed copy. I had sent it to her in an email the night before. She spent ten minutes talking to me. Ten minutes. I had driven for over thirty minutes to get there. I had to drive thirty minutes back home. I’d waited over an hour to talk with her. Ten minutes is all I got to make a good impression.

I don’t know if my age factors into these things. In some cultures age is valued. In some cultures, like China, I would be considered too old to be working.

Well, in the great USA, I cannot live on the amount of social security I’d get monthly. I spent years supporting my three sons and myself and was not able to invest in a retirement account. I have to work. I am good at what I do.

If nothing else, I expect to be respected. I’ve lived a long time. I have a lot of knowledge in my head. Certainly ten minutes doesn’t give me much time to share what I know.

Next interview, if I even bother with another one, I may wear a sign that reads, “Do Not Judge a Book by Its Cover”.  All I can think is she saw how old I look and decided I “wasn’t right” for the position.