Such a Lively Life

Why is this blog called Such a Lively Life? I ask myself this question all the time. I am constantly asking if my page is on point and conveying the information I intend to in the way I intend.

In the beginning of this blog I wanted a place where I could keep track of our simple life achievements. One of the biggest achievements I had set out for myself was to spend more time with my family doing quality things and learning together. One of the biggest influences for this family time for me came from my career. I work as a registered nurse currently in a hospital but my first nursing job was in a nursing home. Every time I went to work I would help take care of the elderly, the confused, and the dying. My residents who were alert and oriented would want to know if I was married and did I have children. They loved hearing about the one child I had at the time and were delighted as I welcomed my second child into my life. These wonderful mostly elderly ladies were always asking to see photos of my children and were so proud to show off old photos of their children and spouse as well as new photos of their adult children, grandchildren, and great-grand  children. It was always remarkable to me to see their face light up and the twinkle return to their eyes. Occasionally those eyes would become misty, sometimes in happiness and sometimes in sadness.

On many evenings when working I would see those who were confused become even more confused about their surroundings in an event called sundowning. On those evenings the ladies I took care of would insist that their babies were lost, crying or in need of a rocking. Other ladies would be sad because their husband could not be found and he ALWAYS came home so they feared something was wrong. Some of these ladies would be worried that their parents would need them to do the cooking or cleaning and instead of being there for their elderly parents they were stuck "in this place". The men who went through sundowning would be looking for their wives or trying to get work done. It really is remarkable how much they truly thought they were younger and needed to do these things. The fear and panic they experienced were real. It is very difficult to try to do your job as a nurse when this is going on and all you really want to do is just fix it for them. There were a many a nights I wrapped up my shift late because I was too busy trying help rock an imaginary baby or help someone file blank papers (paperwork) and their "job".

The hardest part of the job was watching some of the people I had taken care of for months or years pass away. Although I was somewhat close to them as a care provider who spent a lot of time with them there was something in the room that would change when the family finally made it there. The person would usually relax more as their hands were held and their hair was stroked by those who they loved most. There are a lot of things that happen when one is on their death bed. Sometimes secrets are revealed, forgiveness is offered and thanks are given. This is my experience based on those who were elderly and were ready in their own minds to pass. In another situation these experiences are completely different.

So, what does all of that have to do with the title of this blog? When I was thinking of a name, I wanted something that would remind me to focus on family. I saw a quote by Abraham Lincoln, "And in the end, it's not the years in you life that count. It's the life in your years." That quote along with my experiences with all of those wonderful elderly people played a big role in the name of the blog. I wanted a lively life. Not necessarily a busy, adventurous life filled with a lot of stuff but a life that was alive. A life lived in the moment. A life that I would be proud of when I am older. I want to be that little old lady looking a photos with tears of happiness, glad that I was "there" for everything. I want to live so that if today was my last day I would have no regrets. I want to give it my all, hug my children and kiss my husband daily.

There is a reason that those who are in their 80's and older are always remembering, even when they can't remember anything else,when the kids were little and husbands and wives were alive. They have repeatedly told me these are the best years of my life and I believe them. So that is why this is such a lively life. The love, plain and simple.


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