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  • Writer's pictureDr. Meyerson

The Beauty and Joy of Giving and Receiving

Each morning, Mr. Dylan wakes me up at sunrise. 

He is my Russian Blue rescue cat who is now five years old. He doesn’t know about the pandemic, feuding political parties or what the future will bring. All he knows is that he wants attention, food and love. As I enjoy his head nudges and paws on my face, I feel so fortunate to be safe and to be able to care for my little buddy.

Dylan reminds me each day how important both GIVING and RECEIVING are for all of us

Many of us, in filling our roles as parents, grandparents, adult children, caregivers, and partners, tend to focus on Giving more than Receiving. The emotional benefits of receiving are overlooked and all parties are missing out. When there are strong reciprocal relationships, the lives of each party are enriched.

During these times, I often worry about the seniors that I work with. 

Many of them are at home in isolation or restricted in Independent or Assisted Living. I make a point of touching base by telephone to check in on them periodically. 

I want to know: How they are feeling emotionally? What are they doing to keep busy? How is the food?

And then a lot of Chit Chat. The calls usually last about 15- 20 minutes and are often quite lively. The stories and insights that these past clients share with me are priceless. 

From an amusing anecdote about Stella meeting Barbra Streisand in the 1960s, Kate sharing risqué senior stories, to Michael reminiscing about the good old days, I am energized and amused. As we hang-up from our conversations, we promise to speak again in the near future.

By reaching out, I am giving my friendship and concern to those who may need a little boost. In turn, I am receiving their warmth and cheerful reinforcement. My elderly friends have validated our relationships and this has encouraged me both personally and in continuing the work that I do. 

As we move ahead, I encourage each of you to look for opportunities to demonstrate the strength of Giving and Receiving. 

When Mr. Dylan purrs, I am thankful for his show of affection. When Kate calls and asks if I can speak to a 93 year old friend of hers in need of counseling, I am grateful to be able to assist. The flow and continuity of these interactions provides a myriad of positive outcomes.

This optimism helps to keep me focused and thankful.

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