Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Disneyland and a Menu

When our family was planning a trip to Disneyland one of the things we pondered was, do we tell the kids or not? The down side of telling them was we would have to hear about the upcoming trip all the time. “When are we going? How many more days? Why is it taking so long?” and so on. The upside of telling the kids is they get to anticipate the trip. I know I really like thinking about upcoming trips. Often times I get as much satisfaction planning the trip and traveling in my head as I do on the actual trip. It’s so much fun to think about all the possibilities. We decided to tell the kids a little more than a month out. As it turned out it was the right choice. They didn’t make us too crazy with the questions and they did fanaticize about the upcoming experience. I also got to get their input on what they thought would be fun. I think we could all agree that a trip to Disneyland when you are between the ages of 6 and 10 is a pretty exciting adventure.

Fast forward to people in the 70+ years set. Today I was doing my Meals on Wheels route and almost every recipient of a meal asked for a menu. Menus are usually given out at the first of the month and today is the 9th, that’s a long time to go without a menu. Why is the menu so important? Most of these people are home bound and see very few people. Their lives have become smaller over time and fit in the space within the walls of their home. The menu gives them something to look forward to. “Is today lasagna day? Oh, fish!” and the like. To you and I this may seem like a small thing but when it is the one variable in your day it is a much bigger deal. We all need something to look forward to.

We are all so different in what and how we live our lives and one of the few constants is something go look forward to. It gives our lives meaning, a sense of purpose. Kids always do it. You know how they say, “Next year for my birthday party I want to…….” And it’s the day after you just threw their birthday party. Or how they talk about Christmas all year? It’s maddening! As a matter of fact I have talked to my kids A LOT about living in the moment. That too is so important. But kids always have something to look forward to. -In the end we all need to appreciate what we have but when you are older it’s different. There are less positive experiences to look forward to then when you were younger. Birthdays have lost their luster, Christmas isn’t what it used to be and tomorrow will probably be much the same as today. Except for lunch, it can be such a pleasurable experience, especially if, “It’s something I love.” So I made it my mission to see that the people on my route get a menu tomorrow. In the future I need to make sure that I have them available so when someone asks I can get them one. I have always heard my people ask for menus but until today I hadn’t really considered why this was so important. We all need to see people where they are. Our experiences are unique but our desire to be valued is not. I value my seniors and I try to see them, really see them. Their experiences are wide and their lives have become narrow. If knowing what is for lunch is the thing that gets them to look forward to tomorrow then I can make that happen. May we all have something to look forward to!