Coming Towards the Finish Line

Coming Towards the Finish Line

As we all experience the natural process of aging, sometimes without even realizing it, we work towards preparing for the future close of our lives. At times, it is an uneasy feeling to think that someday, you will no longer be present for family gatherings, meeting a new grandchild, or simply holding the hand of the one you love. But we all face and confront this stage of life and sometimes, without even thinking directly about it, we are preparing.

No matter how we try, in time, our physical capacities gradually diminish. Unfortunately, our minds can have moments of confusion and life feels different. Long term dreams are shortened due to the reality that we no longer have a long life to live. This sounds sad and not worth talking about, but we all have to face this progression as the years pass. And those of us living with chronic pain, at times, have to face this difficult transition much sooner than those fortunate enough to maintain good health in their later years. But we still have a life to live despite the inevitable changes coming our way.

Ellen Lenox Smith

So, what can we do to lighten the load all this brings into our lives?

  • Let’s try to stay as happy as possible by surrounding ourselves with activities which do make you feel happy
  • Let’s try to stay away from negativity. Instead, try to focus more on the good in life – so sometimes even consider turning off that TV when the news becomes overly negative and upsetting
  • But let’s remember some are luckier than others so let’s reach out and pay it forward help those less fortunate – simple gestures go a long way
  • Let’s try to address health issues as they arise instead of ignoring things that might have a solution for correction
  • Let’s learn to accept those things we cannot control relative to our health and still see the light in life
  • Let’s accept that all have to face losses in life and this is not a competition – one’s loss should not be compared to another’s
  • Let’s try to eat well but have fun cheating once in a while 🙂
  • Let’s try to remember to take necessary medications
  • Let’s be aware of what can and can’t metabolize in our bodies and not randomly take medications or foods that aren’t compatible. If you are not sure – try the Genenlex Drug Sensitivity testing for meds and the MRT blood test for food sensitivities.
  • Let’s try not to judge others ways but instead appreciate them for who they are
  • Let’s be confident enough with our bodies to know when we want to consider medicating, testing, surgical corrections vs when we don’t see the point anymore – it is our body to make those difficult decisions about
  • Let’s not forget the good in the life we have been living, accept those things that we can’t do anymore but find comfort in the past memories.
  • Let’s remember we all face closure to that finish line and we need to allow others to talk about these transitions without judgment – for one shoe does not fit all!
  • As traumatic as all this can feel at times to be aging and finding yourself now the elders in the family, let’s draw on the strength and courage others have shown before us – it just happens to be getting closer to our time
  • There is tremendous peace in finding a way to forgive those that have wronged you – this takes tremendous work but can leave you feeling very free when you accomplish it.
  • We need to move our bodies – no matter how restricted you become, there are ways to accomplish this that might require a lot of creativity.
  • Keep your mind sharp – try sudoku puzzles, scrambled words, reading a paper, magazines, online reading.
  • Stay connected – keep up interest in the lives of others around you

Aging is not a fun process and if you are like me, I find few people really talk with us about preparing for it. It feels almost shocking to find yourself the oldest in the family, reaching towards that finish line. So, what do you want to be remembered for? Should we add aging gracefully to our list? Those of us that are parents continue to be setting examples to our families as they watch our life. For instance, my parents spent many years upon retiring, giving back to society – reading books for students for recording for the blind, delivering meals for Meals on Wheels, tutoring among other things. I was so proud to watch them choose to take the time to care about others and dedicate themselves to helping others. But in time, they had to be placed in elderly housing and began the downward process, eventually having life come to a closure. It was hard to watch and also know that someday it would be my turn, and yours. So, let’s make the best of the time we have and feel good about who we are by taking good care of ourselves and reaching out to help our fellow man. Our purpose is not over!

May life be kind to you,

Ellen Lenox Smith

Author of: It Hurts Like Hell!: I Live With Pain– And Have a Good Life, Anyway, and My Life as a Service Dog!

The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report.

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May life be kind to you,

Authored by: Ellen Lenox Smith

Ellen Lenox Smith and her husband Stuart live in Rhode Island. They are co-directors for medical cannabis advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation, along with Ellen on the board and they both also serve as board members for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. For more information about medical cannabis visit their website. https://ellenandstuartsmith.squarespace.com/

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Robert

Thomas Wayne Kidd – Exceptionally articulated.

I do not place hope that our government will ever hear our cries for help. Even though we control 90% of Poppy / Opium production occupying Afghanistan, we are still inundated with outright lies by our politicians that Americans consume 80% of the world’s opiate/opioid analgesics. Canard!

According to data collected by the International Narcotics Control Board, the United States consumed roughly 30.2 percent of opioids in 2015 and Christopher Jones, the director of the Division of Science Policy in the Department of Health and Human Services, states that America consumes 30.2 percent of globally distributed opioids.

Given that we will never win the war on truth, let alone the war on illegal drugs, l place my faith in my Saviour Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life.

https://www.politifact.com/missouri/statements/2017/may/10/claire-mccaskill/mccaskill-cites-long-disproven-figure-opioid-use/

Mrs. Smith, Excellant article !

ElizabethR

With all due respect, religion isn’t “the answer” for everyone. It isn’t for me, but to each his/her own. I respect the rights of those I disagree with and hope for reciprocity.

Dear Steven,
Your question is a wake up call for me. The answer is simple, we just forgive them for if we don’t God won’t forgive us. Is it going to be easy? No. Worth it? Yes. Our government has stolen much from me. I praise God I still have the ability to love like I always have. They can’t steal my dignity and they most certainly can’t steal my heart! Yep they tried but I refuse to let them win any more. Someone reminded me the other day that I am not like I used to be before the Opioid Injustice, as I’ve come to call it. They said you’re going to hurt now most of the time so you need to depend on others. It’s hard looking at your little ones trying to explain the opioid crisis and why you can’t do the things you did several years back. They say, “How could they?!” “Why!?” and “I’m so sorry.” A few days later they wonder why you can’t play, what on earth happened to the “old you”, the “fun you”. They have stolen so very much already, they’re not going to steal my soul as well!! May God bless you Steven💖, may he ease your pain, give you wisdom, and help you to forgive. May he help us all to forgive them. I still continue to pray for miracles for each and everyone of us. God is still in that business, I’m living proof.

Diana

What a depressing missive here.

Getting old, getting older, body turning to [edit], gonna die.

In pain, getting more pain and having pain medication removed.

BYT hey – be jolly, find fun things to do while your pain increases and you move closer to death.

Lisa

Steven,
Forgiveness is really about freedom for self in a sense. It gives you the freedom to move on from what is holding us back. It is effecting you (and not the Government in any fashion) , they’re obviously to anything but what concerns them at any given moment. As those are with whom we have every day issues with are.
When we are able to forgive
we open up room for the more pressing issues we’re facing in our own lives. We are able to see more clearly because we have removed the clutter, tension and frustration brought on by the grudge we are holding onto. There are something’s we can change and others we can not. You can forgive, you can forgive and not forget and then
you can forgive and forget.

Lisa

So Well Put.
Afterall, Everything has an expiration date, yes, even Us.
Being a Realist, it has never been an issue for me to look at life & death as an all-inclusive experience, journey or whatever one prefers to call it. For some it is easy and others taboo.
For those who it comes easy for, I feel that life for us is happier and less stressed than our counterparts.
My Faith is part of it. I believe that when I leave this beautiful place I will be going to a more beautiful place where everything is perfect including Us.
For now, yes I have challenges, but who doesn’t. I do what I can to move through them , they will pass, they’re Temporary like me, It’s okay. Life is what you make it & how you choose to look at it.

What could be better than to plan ahead and get your own final plans in place & have things done your way, It can be quite a freeing experience .

Thomas Wayne Kidd

I am constantly amazed by the lack of hope on this website. Jesus Christ the Redeemer is seldom mentioned. As for myself, I have known from an early age that we would all die! And I have learned that there is more to life than the physical body. I began many years ago seeking Jesus Christ and His Salvation. This fake prescription drug crisis is but one of many evils which will take place before the end of all things earthly. The Church is splintered into hundreds of pieces and spiritually asleep. Those who wonder why so many people have taken their own lives by suicide, let me tell why this is happening. It’s the rejection of all things concerning Jesus Christ. This has come about because of one hellish teaching, namely “evolution.” When people buy into this demonic attack on Christianity this is the result, “life without hope.” I am but a simple man but from my childhood I have known that my physical body will die, but I also have found that there is much more to me than the physical. Jesus Christ came into this world some 2000+ years ago, a historical fact that has been substantiated by many. Yet here in the 21st. century millions and millions have chosen to reject this wonderful gift from the Creator. But modern education has declared that all these things are just myths. I really don’t have any fear of the end of my physical body. In January of 1994 I experienced something that got my attention. I came down with pneumonia in my right lung and my heart stopped. In the ER I found myself looking at my body laying on the little bed in the ER. I know most people will not believe this, yet it happened. For those fleeting moments I experienced total peace and didn’t have any fear of what was happening. This has caused me to seek my Redeemer more and more. The end of our lives should be a joyful time without fear, which will give us strength to face our departure from this world of pain and woes. Jesus Christ has come into the world to save sinners!

Linda

As my father always said, gettin old ain’t for sissies. He was right. If I can do this, which I am, and do it with any grain of sand of Grace for those who are witness to MY closing of life, then I have done well for the ones that I love and love me. Amongst many other things, that is surely one thing I do want to leave them with. Thank you Ellen for talking about this. You are brave for bringing up what so many of us think about, have in common, but DON’T talk about with our peers. It helps to talk about it and to bring it out, because we need to be supported and reminded from time to time. It’s nice to be anyway.

becky

Oh my Ellen. That is so profoundly written. May the wind of love of family and friends give lift time your wings. Thank you for this. I will save this and always remember your words here. God bless you as always. We will live on in another realm once our physical body has spent it’s time and use on this planet. Love hugs prayers.

Steven

This is meant as a serious question maybe someone has positive input. How can we forgive a Gov’t that turned against us?.Or ourselves for not getting a life supply while we could?