The Gift of Self-Giving

o-HANDS-OLD-YOUNG-facebook

One of my kids asked me what I was doing for Mother’s Day? I said, I didn’t even know it was coming up. I never thought much about my own Mother’s Day celebration. I was always focused on what I could do for my own mother and mother-in-law. It is after all a day set aside to celebrate the mother who raised you. It’s not supposed to be about celebrating yourself as a mother. They’ve both been gone a long time now. But we still think about them on this day remembering who they were and the things they did for us. Most of all how we wish we could still put our arms around them and wish them a happy Mother’s Day. There’s no one else to celebrate and thinking of myself feels selfish. But then I started thinking about it. Why shouldn’t I? I mean, if anyone were to ask me what the greatest accomplishment of my life has been I’d say without hesitation…raising my kids and being their mother. Maybe it’s part of embracing the many years of our life and the things we’ve accomplished. Maybe this is what my Dad meant when I turned 50 and he said, “this is your time now.”

So, as I’m contemplating the question of what I’m going to do for Mother’s Day. I’m also looking out the window at my gardens feeling overwhelmed by all the work I have to do yet. Then it came to me. There isn’t anything I want or need, but I sure could use some help this year getting my gardens weeded, mulched and planted while I’m still nursing my tennis elbow. Why not ask for the best gift of all…the helping hands of my own kids. It won’t even cost them anything, except their time. Doing what Mom’s do I even made sure to plan it on Saturday so my girls could enjoy their own Mother’s Day with their kids on Sunday.

Us Moms are known for being good party planners. But being the caregivers we’ve been has taught us best how to find ways to problem solve too. Leave it to a Mom to find a way to make everyone happy, but maybe part of learning to embrace our age means it’s time to include ourselves in the equation.

Happy Mother’s Day”

 

 

Ignoring the Pain

elbow pain 
In my last post I talked about how much I enjoy playing in my gardens. I call it play because it feels more like fun then work to me.  Life’s too short to do things any other way at this stage of the game. I want to be able to keep doing the things I love. So, I go the extra mile by doing my warm-up exercises. Setting time limits, wearing my hat, gloves, comfortable clothes and sunscreen. I’m ready to dive in.
 
Like a kid with all my toys I head out to my garden. Taking my hoe in tow I begin to loosen the soil. Right away a nagging pain around my elbow reminds me that it’s still in recovery mode. I hurt it the other week putting some elbow grease into scrubbing my oven. So, I put the hoe away and got down in the dirt. The soil was soft enough to pull the tender weeds. It wasn’t long though before my tennis elbow started screaming stop. Determined to keep going I switched to my left hand and when that got tired I went back to my right. Going back and forth each time until the pain started screaming loader. It’s okay, I tell myself. There’s plenty of other things we can do. So, I head for my potting shed. I open the door and there’s dirt filled pots piled up everywhere. I don’t attempt to pick them up instead I go for the smaller empty ones that I can scrub out. I pile them outside the shed. Grab a scrub brush and start brushing the dirt out, but by now even the simplest of things are causing pain. So, I give up and go inside for a drink of water. Even pulling on the refrigerator door hurts. I reach for the water jug but this time my left hand moves in before the right one picks it up. I sit with my water, and ice pack around my elbow looking out at my gardens. There’s so much work to do before I can begin to plant my flowers. I’m not going to be able to do any of it until my elbow has time enough to heal now. I am frustrated but most of all disappointed. Now I’m going to have to do the one thing no senior wants to do. Ask for help.
 
Lessoned learned, to play responsible, you have to prepare yourself its true. But none of that matters if you don’t use your common sense too.

“Seniors In The Garden”

017ca58b46162024cb787e82dc7208c7172513f1f9

“Though an old man, I am a young gardener.”-Thomas Jefferson 

I’ve been waiting patiently for winter to let go. I want to go out and play in my gardens. Yes, I said play. Because being in my garden makes me feel young again. I get so lost in what I’m doing that sometimes I don’t even realize how long I’ve been out there. My husband tells me that he loves to stand back and watch me when I’m gardening because I look so peaceful. Yet, at the end of the day, I can suffer for it if I don’t pace myself, use the right tools, and stretch before starting.

img_0394In the book “Gardening for Seniors” it cover’s all this and more. If there’s a will to garden in our senior years, then this book will help you find a way do it step by step.

Today it looks like we are going straight from winter into summer with a forecast of 80’s degrees. Before I run out the door with my garden hat and gloves my husband reminds to do my warm-up exercises.  He kindly demonstrated the ones from the book so I could share them with you.

Warmup exercises:

img_0372img_0373

 

Head tilts

Tilt your head to the left with your ear pointing toward your shoulder hold for a count of 5.

Repeat on the other side  3 times each.

img_0374img_0375

 

 

Shoulder Shrugs

Stand with relaxed shoulders. Then elevate shoulders toward the neck. Hold for a count of 5, then repeat 5 times

 

 

img_0378img_0376img_0377

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Body Twist

With hands on hips slowly turn your upper body and hold for a count of 5, return to center and repeat the turn to the opposite side and hold for a count of 5. Repeat exercise 5 times.

img_0379img_0380img_0381

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrist Circles

With elbows held close to the body rotate your wrist gentle in a circular motion. Repeat in both directions 5 times each.

img_0383img_0382

 

Lower Back Stretches

Bring your knee as high as you can up to your chest and hold with hands for the count of 5.

Repeat on opposite side 5 times each.

img_0384

img_0386img_0388

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arm Swings

With knees slightly bent stretch your arms out to the side, slowly reach behind you, gradually bring them around and hug yourself. Eventually swinging the arms easily in motion several times.

img_0389

 

Calf Stretches 

With hands against a wall, place one foot in front of the other with a bent knee. Strech the other leg out straight back for a good stretch. Hold for a count of 5 and repeat each leg 5 times each.

 

 

img_0393img_0392

 

Upper Leg Stretch

With a hand on a chair or wall pull your back leg up with hand or rest it on a chair for the count of 5. Repeat 5 times each leg.

img_0391

 

 

Upper Arm Strech 

Raise your right elbow up toward ear and hold push back gently with the other arm for a good stretch holding for a count of 5, repeat each arm 5 times.

 

 

 

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=connieszone53-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=0754820823&asins=0754820823&linkId=be8ad13c49b2a07f6e7d2d50d90d4b42&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff

If you’d like to check the book Gardening for Seniors click on this link to take a better look.