Rose Mary’s Words of Wisdom Upon Growing Old, Part 4

One of my friends had always wanted to see India’s Taj Mahal. She didn’t want to attempt it on her own as she’s my age, so she paid the expenses of an acquaintance to accompany her. Her friend grew up in India, speaks the language and knows about the food. In addition to seeing the glorious palace, my friend went for an elephant ride and saw a snake charmer.
It’s difficult for people to seek or accept help. Perhaps they feel as if they’re relinquishing some of their independence. Also, most of us are too bound up in self-image. We don’t want to appear fragile, incapable or over the hill.
People who are too pushy about helping are irritating. I asked the clerk at the drug store cash register where a product was located. She told me the aisle number and then insisted on accompanying me although I assured her that I needed no help. “Here it is,” she said in an ever so helpful tone. “Yes,” I snapped. “I know how to read.”
People like to help because it makes them feel good and perhaps a little superior. One day Bill stopped to drop me off at Community Hospital. As usual, I fiddled and diddled with my purse, unfastening my seatbelt, opening the door, and awkwardly climbing out. A lady watching from the other side of the drive called, “Oh, let me come and help you.” “No thanks!” Eek! She was sitting in a wheelchair! That was certainly a wake-up call!
People of all ages labor away at chores that they detest, rather than have someone else do them. For example, I hated the dull, repetitive chore of dusting. However, we enjoy a clean house.
Yippee! No more dusting! One of the smartest things we’ve done was to forego spending so much on Christmas gifts for each other and hire a cleaning service once a month. It’s worth making a few sacrifices for. It isn’t cheap, but if we could afford it, I’d hire Merry Maids twice a month. Hiring help makes sense even for you younger people.
Now someone else gets down on her knees to scrub the kitchen floors and the floors of our bathrooms. Come to think of it, it’s been several years since I scrubbed a floor on my tender, creaky old knees. Recently, we were looking for Pusscatkin who hid when she saw her carrying case when we were going to take her to the vet. “Look under the beds,” Bill said. It’s so hard to get up after being down on my knees that I crawled from the spare room down the hall to our bedroom so that I wouldn’t have to get up twice.
Another smart idea: Bill uses a big state-of-the-art vacuum cleaner to clean the carpet, and I clean the tiled kitchen floor. It wore me out just to push that heavy thing from the laundry area down the hall to the kitchen. Vicki suggested I get a smaller sweeper like she and Tom use. We found one on sale at Wall-Mart. It’s only a foot wide, so light that I can carry it, and has the same attachments as the big cleaner.
We haven’t taken advantage of this yet, but we shall look into it when it becomes helpful. Kroger’s offers a service where you order your groceries via the Internet. They assemble them, and all you have to do is pick them up at the door.
Too often — at any age — we bind ourselves to time-gobbling chores. Instead of doing what we think we have to do, we should seek ways to husband the precious time of our lives so that we can do what we want to do.