Saturday, January 15, 2011

Many years

Today is my father-in-law's birthday. He has reached an advanced age and is still physically and mentally fit. He and his wife have been married for 60 years. I thought that he would be the one to become infirm, but it is C's mother who is really showing her age.

We took them to lunch today. He really enjoyed the presents, lunch and the cake that the restaurant provided. He and I have been much easier with each other in the past few years. I have learned to keep my mouth shut when he talks politics. We have vastly different political beliefs. But I find some common ground that we can talk about such as boat engines, gardening, movies, books, and cats.

I could choose to argue points on many things but I don't. I realize that he has a mindset that isn't going to change. Life around him would have been untenable if I had spoken up on every point that I disagreed with.

If I get to be his age, I hope that I have his outlook. He isn't thinking about how few years he has left but about what he is going to do today. Just the other day I mentioned to C. that maybe I have 40 good years left. What a self-pitying thing to say. I don't know any of that.

It is clear that I can't foretell what will occur in the future. But to be at an advanced age and still have a good outlook on each day is a remarkable thing. Here's to you, Pop.


  1. I know many elder folsk who have that great attitude.
    In fact, the ones that don't have it have already passed.

  2. To have a good outlook on life at ANY age is a very good thing.

  3. i want to be like Ernestine Shepherd :)

    blessim. glad u two get along. I have opted to persevere with putting points across with my dad because his heedlessness is a danger to himself bc he is old. normally i just don't have the energy or inclination to speak up.
    ive always subscribed to the idea of reincarnation but for some reason it has really sunk in lately so I suppose I would prefer not to be reborn as a child during the upcoming economic downturn :) So perhaps I shld work harder at my meditation. Bc its the only way I know of to avoid getting reborn apparently :)

    Here is a great reincarnation vid that made an impression on me..

  4. sounds like he has a fairly healthy mindset... focus on today is good thing...

  5. You are a wise man Syd. I know many old people with a great attitude. They inspire me. I love my old people. lol

  6. Sounds like a great outlook and a good example.

  7. Nice post; you are in a reflective place that might lend itself to developing a more neutral view towards the passage of time. That might even be the common ground you and your F-i-l could share...

  8. living in the day, for the day, is the way to go, no matter our age.

  9. Accepting your father-in-law as he is and finding many things to appreciate him for is a good thing. Glad he enjoyed his birthday celebration and that he is taking one day at a time in his way of life.

  10. Yeup today is enough. I woke up breathing and we'll see what the rest brings along.

  11. I have yet to meet anyone with EXACTLY the same views as I have. I have to give people a wide berth and hope they will do the same with me.
    As you illustrated, it makes for much friendlier relationships.
    Happy Birthday to him.

  12. All I could think of was the arguments between Archie Bunker and the Meathead when you wrote about your FIL and the differences in political opinions. Who wants to live like that in real life with all the arguing and yelling?

    I so get your decision to not speak up and argue with him. I have often done the same with the elders in my family and sometimes even the not so elder!

    I would much rather be happy instead of right!

  13. Just the other day I mentioned to C. that maybe I have 40 good years left. What a self-pitying thing to say. I don't know any of that.(syd)

    Some days, some people, have the exact words you need to hear. Thanks.


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