An 80-Year-Old’s Life Philosophy

So today an 80-year-old Algerian man sat our table for the Kiddush lunch after synagogue services. 


And he talked quite a bit about his life philosophy and told me I was a good listener. ūüôā


1) TRUE LOVE IS LIKE AN ORANGE:

A man and women that are meant to be together are like two sides of an orange.¬† With his hands, he showed us putting the two sides together, twisting, and he goes, “You see it just clicks!”


2) WHEN LOVE IS NOT TRUE ITS LIKE TWO BIRDS IN A CAGE:

When a man and woman are not soulmates, maybe they just are meant to be together for a time to have children or make a home temporarily. But then, the birds need to leave the cage, and be free!


3) BURIED TOGETHER:

“When people are soulmates, they are buried together, next to each other. Otherwise, one is buried in Greece and the other in Hawaii, and it makes no difference because they are going their own ways in Heaven.”


4) 80 HERE AND 20 HERE

He pointed to his belly and said, “I’m 80 here.” And then pointed to his groin area, and said, “But I’m 20 here!”


5) WOMEN ONLY UNDER 40:

While he is 80, he claims to be robust in the bedroom, and “will never be with a woman over 40…not a day over!”¬† He said, “It’s like an old Cadillac!” Moreover, he said, if a woman is “not perfect” and has a scar like from having her appendix out, “forget it!”


6) WRITING, PLAYING GUITAR, AND DANCING:

He said, “I like to write, play¬†guitar and dance.” And with his arms, he makes some swoops like he is on the dance floor having a good time.¬†


7) PEOPLE ARE LIKE CANDLES:

People are like candles.  The body is like the wax that burns down, but the soul is the flame that always rises up.  In the end, the soul ascends to heaven just like the flame. 


8) INFINITELY STUPID:

He pointed to the yarmulke on top of his head and said:¬† “You know what that means?¬† This means that there is¬†no¬†limit to how stupid some people can be!”¬†¬†


8) YOU MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK:

I asked what he did for a living, and he said “Real estate, Jewelry, and even fashion salons.”¬† I said, “Wow, you’re very fortunate!”¬† He said, “No, in life, you make your own luck!”


10) RESPECT ME IF YOU WANT:

“You respect me, and I respect you. But frankly, I don’t care if you respect me or not. You can do what you want, and so will I!” I said, “Ok, see you next week and we’ll talk again.”¬† He said, “Maybe I will or maybe I won’t talk to you ever again.”


Like his philosophy or not, I never saw an 80-year-old with so much energy, life, and personality. Honestly, there are a lot of people half his age, who act more dead than alive. It was incredible to see this ageless person and hear what that’s like. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal 

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When Do You Become Old?

Is being old an age, a feeling, or both?


Some people seem to get old before their time.


They go about¬†echting¬†and¬†kretzching–at 40 and 50, they are saying this hurts and I feel crummy about that!¬†¬†Nu, I’m not 18 anymore!


Other people never, literally almost never seem to get old.


One lady I know is going to be 94 this month and she is going strong mentally, emotionally, and physically.  It almost seems impossible.  


This guy in the photo has a funny shirt on that says:

“I thought growing old would take longer.”


Yeah, it does sort of creep up on you, but really, really fast.  Like where the heck did that come from!


I know inside for me, I always still feel like a kid. 


I have the same funny side, playful side, and curious side; the desire to be productive and accomplish something meaningful with my life and time, and to love and be loved. 


Yeah, things hurt a little more than they did years ago–can’t believe the things I used to be able to do–Yes, at one time, I use to break cinder blocks with my bare hands, true!


But now, I can do other things like swim and hike and I love to write things that I am passionate about or to be a little creative too!


Maybe we do not get old…maybe we are just like caterpillars¬†that morph into something else like butterflies during this life and into the life beyond.¬†


Age is experience, learning, growth–lots of mistakes–and then recovering and trying again and harder.¬†¬†


Life is wonderment and excitement and appreciation for every amazing beautiful thing. 


No, life does not get old. 


Suffering and loss gets old quick and wish it never was. 


But we are physical bodies with eternal souls, so we go on and on into the wild blue yonder. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Expect Less / Appreciate More

I thought this was a great saying in the Wall Street Journal book review today.


“Expect Less, Appreciate More.”


Many people in their late 30s and early 40s become disillusioned with life. 


They have been on the treadmill chasing love, fame, and fortune for so long. 


But reality sets in and they don’t get everything they think they have coming to them.


Hence some level of mid-life crisis sets in. 


However by the time people reach their 50s, things seem to shift again, and a happiness or peacefulness sets in. 


People start to expect less and instead appreciate more from the blessings they do have. 


The treadmill becomes a long walk along the beautiful beach or park trail. 


We don’t need to chase success, but rather just see the great lives in so many ways that G-d has already bestowed on us.¬†


The U-shaped curve of life–where we start all bright-eyes and bushy tailed in our younger years and which descends into disappointment and disillusionment in mid-life, comes up once again to happiness and a fulfillment in our later years.¬†


Over the course of our lives, we learn that life does not ask, but rather it tells us. 


And if we just listen, we can find meaning and contentment amidst it all. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Longevity…85 Is The New 65

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So I was speaking to one of our very nice elderly neighbors.


Last week he lost his dear wife of 60 years!


I had visited him during Shiva (the Jewish period of mourning) to wish him our best and let him know we are there if there is anything he needs. 


He told me how the night before she passed, they had gone out to eat and to the theatre (she loved the theatre)…and everything was fine!


And then the next day, he went to work–he still teaches medicine at the local hospital 2 days a month.


At midday, he called his wife and asked how she was and if she needed anything from the store (to eat etc.)


She told him she was fine and she didn’t need anything.¬†


But by the time he got home just one hour later…she had fallen, hit her head, and died.¬†


He tried to do CPR by it was no use, she was gone. 


Both he and his wife were 84-years old. 


He mentioned that would tease her that he was 3 months older than her, and so she had to listen to him!


I felt so bad for him…it was obvious how much he loved her and missed her already.¬†


When he told me how old she was, I tried to say reassuringly:

“That’s a good old age…at least she lived a full life!”


But then he answered:

“84–that’s nothing! 85 is the new 65!!!”¬†¬†

And went on to tell me how many of their friends are already in the 90’s.¬†


It’s funny how no matter what age you are…there is always a will to live!


He said how she had passed quickly and so maybe he could consider that a blessing. 


And we talked about how it truly is especially when some other people really suffer prolonged periods with terrible debilitating and painful illnesses. 


It was also strange that around the same time, I ran into yet another elderly neighbor, and he had tears in his eyes…and I asked how he is.¬†


He told me how he just learned 3 weeks ago that his wife has lung cancer. 


Seeing his expression how bad things were, I inquired what stage it was at. 


He said, “stage 3 cancer,” and I told him as well how sorry I was for his pain.¬†


All this made me realize again, how very tenuous life is…and we all hang by a thread that G-d decides at any moment when to shear and when to cut–we need to live every moment to the fullest and as if it’s our last. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Aging Is A Process

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This guy was a hoot on the Metro in Washington, D.C. 


His shirt says:


“With age comes oldness.”


Ah, yeah!


When he was sitting, he had his arms crossed over his chest, and I thought it said:

“With age, comes baldness.”


That too!


Getting old is not easy.


Being young is not easy either. 


But it’s really how you handle yourself during every stage and turn in life that defines who you are and what you become as an person and a creation of G-d.¬†


You’ve got to get up and walk the dance through thick and thin…life bring old age and oldness…what’s the alternative. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

We Watch The Years Go By

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On a lighter note today, I took this photo of a couple watching their kids playing soccer.


They are sitting in Dick’s chairs.¬†


His (blue) and hers (pink).


Very cute!


The new generation grows up and supplants their elders–who still may feel “young at heart!”


As I get older, it definitely seems like time goes faster (and faster). 


It isn’t that some days aren’t long, but that overall the less time we have as we get into the latter portions of our life, the quicker it all seems to be passing.


So much so that it all becomes like one big dream (it should never be a nightmare, G-d forbid). 


If only we could rewind and redo the portions of our lives where we made mistakes, hurt others or ourselves, or could have just done better.


I’m not sitting in those chairs yet, but when I do, I hope it is with pleasure of heart, mind, and soul–with G-d’s mercy. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Aging Yet (Hopefully) Always Helping Each Other

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I just love this drawing of the parents and child. 


My daughter found it on Instagram and sent it to me. 


As a little kid, my wife and I used to hold her hands and swing her between us when walking (like in the above illustration)–she loved that!


Now as we get older, we still try to be good, helpful parents (not too intrusive or helicopter-like–well maybe a little), but we can certainly see a day down the line when the cycle of life goes full circle.¬†


My daughter used to joke (I think) about putting me in an old age home–she knew that after seeing what my mom went through there with Parkinson’s, that is truly the last place I would want to end up.¬†


Of course, sometimes there really is no choice when a person just needs so much care that it is beyond what the family can do any longer. 


Frankly, what I have learned is that the most important and precious thing that parents and children can give each other is…time!


So is that child in the bottom illustration helping his aging parents along or is he dragging them off to the nursing home? ¬†Perhaps, we’ll never know until it’s too late. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal from Instagram Unlimited Knowledge)