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  • Writer's pictureKristen Wise

Changes In My Life

Even today, thirty-one years after Paula passed, I still have experiences that have create changes in my life. Sometimes these changes are not exactly what I want, but I have learned that if I accept them, I will learn how they benefit me and whether I need to make changes in the future. It just takes time and wisdom to be patient and understand that I do not have complete control over my life. I must wait for the signs around me to see the good in these changes. The good is what I always want to keep.

My biggest accomplishment over many years of living is learning to accept everything that happens in my life. Sometimes I can make minor alterations to some of these changes, but usually, it’s more effort and a waste of my time trying to change people, places, or things that may not be that important to me. I must first establish what I want and if it’s good for me. Many other factors are involved in my everyday living, including my husband, daughter, Ellen, and grandchildren. My friends are taking a significant role in my life now that I am an elderly woman, and I want to have support from my peer group. I know these people are all important to me, and I want them to remain in my life. This whole package gives me much to think about, work on and enjoy.

I’ve learned that respecting those I love is so important, and I must practice this every day of my life to be happy. I cannot afford to think I’m number one, and if I do, I will be the loser. Knowledge of living and suffering has given me the instinct to know that putting others before me is necessary. This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t care about myself or neglect myself; it simply means that the feelings of others are essential, and if I want to remain in their lives, I must listen to their wants and needs and respect both. I have to allow them time for themselves, just as my elder peers did for me years ago when I was younger. When my mother was in a nursing home, I didn’t always see her when she wanted me to. I know she accepted this and was happy when I walked into her room because she showed a big smile, which always warmed my heart. She understood I was busy and had outside responsibilities. She was an excellent example for me, and her elderly wisdom at that time oversaw my youth as a woman in my forties. I often think of her and wish she could have lived with me instead of living her final years in that place. I was somewhat selfish, and now I live with that judgment of myself.

Others tell me that being elderly allows us to experience wisdom at a different level than in our earlier years. I find this to be so true because I know that some of the happenings which have occurred in my life over the last thirty-some years have made me a different person, a better person, and a happier one. I learned more about myself, who I am, what I want, and what makes me happy. If I want to grow as a better person every day of my life, I need to think about what I should have done and work on a better method of action for the present and future to give me a feeling of goodness and pleasure with the absence of neglect. I must always be there for those I love.

A few days ago was Mother’s Day, 2023, and reflecting on this beautiful day makes me so happy and proud of myself. I was the mother I wanted to be.

~ Carole J. Sluski

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