We live our lives in such a fast paced way. Much of it has become habit as we go through our day from one thing to the next. I have had a few interesting experiences over the past week and they really made me think about the pacing of life. I was at the grocery store in line to check out and there was an older man in front of me. I would guess he was maybe 75 or 80 years old. He had a cart full of groceries along with his own reusable fabric grocery bags.
As you might imagine it was taking him a bit longer to take his items out of his cart. He must have turned to me twice and said, " I am sorry it is taking me so long". I smiled and told him it was no problem at all. I thought about the fact that I could have offered to help him but I did not. I thought he was doing it just fine and if I tried to help maybe he would feel like I was just trying to move him along. After he had emptied the cart he then began packing the groceries in his bags. If you bring your own bags to the store you must pack them yourself due to Covid-19. He again turned to me to apologize for holding up the line with his slow packing. He explained that it takes him a little longer these days but that he feels that it is very important to help the environment.
This situation really made me think about what it is like to be older. How it must feel to be aware that things take you longer but also feel the stress that you are holding up others and more specifically younger people. We are all going to be older at some point, and life will force us to do things a little slower than we do now. I try and remember that now whenever I encounter seniors in any situation. Even when I might be in a hurry I try and make them feel comfortable and encourage them to be themselves. Small things like this can make an everyday experience so much better for someone and also remind them that they are ok. They are doing life just like the rest of us but taking a little longer for some things :)
The other experience I had was with one of my neighbors who is in her 70's. She was outside while I was weeding and she asked how I was as she walked by. She seemed a little quiet like maybe she was looking for conversation. So I asked her to come closer so I could ask her for her opinion on what I should plant this spring. The look on her face was so wonderful. She was so happy that I was interested in her opinion and seemed to relish the conversation. I could have just kept working as she walked by. Instead I took a little time to make an older person feel valuable and relevant in the world. I think we sometimes get so busy with life that we forget to think about the little things we can bring to seniors throughout our day. Look for these opportunities in your day, and seize them when you can. You'll feel just as good as they do.