God Is Looking Out For Us

Most seniors never get enough exercise.

In his wisdom, God decreed that seniors become forgetful so they would have to search for their glasses, keys and other things, thus doing more walking. And God looked down and saw that it was good.

 Then God saw there was another need. In His wisdom He made seniors lose co-ordination so they would drop things, requiring them to bend, reach, and stretch. And God looked down and saw that it was good.

Then God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have additional calls of nature, requiring more trips to the bathroom, thus providing more exercise. God looked down and saw that it was good.

 So if you find as you age, you are getting up and down more, remember it’s God’s will. It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath.

Over the past two weeks several events have occurred which underscore the importance that each person, at the earliest age, dedicate themselves to finding their meaning in life.

The first event was the news that a home, near where I lived, had blown up as a result of a short in the electrical system of a living room recliner chair. One person was seriously injured and one person killed. My empathy went out to those affected and I continued on my journey of life.

A week later I received an email from my friend and internationally respected Rabbi Ed Feinstein, informing me that his Father Burt, a dynamic brilliant retired baker and long time friend of mine was in a rehab facility near my home and would appreciate having visitors. I was stunned to learn that it was Burt’s home that had blown up and that he was seriously injured and his lovely care-giver was killed.

I immediately made arrangements to visit him and I was pleased to see him making a good recovery and in a very contemplative mood. He said that even though he was 90 years of age he had much to offer society and he suggested that it was most difficult for a person who retires to live a happy life free from the fear that as they get older they are moving toward death. In my daily activities which include visiting seniors in different homes for the aged as well in the community, I hear this all of the time. If you read on I will provide the answer to that question.

The second incident was the horrible event which took so many lives, of all ages-young and senior-in Las Vegas, a city in which I lived for 21 years.

Each of these events demonstrate why it is important to understand that, from the day we are born until the journey ends-and it can happen days, weeks, months, or years after our birth, that we live our lives not in fear of death but in anticipation of a happy tomorrow: finding time each day for expressing our love for our family and friends, time to help others less fortunate than ourselves and time for pursuing our goals.

What this means is that we should plan our lives by working smart and not hard and as we get older we need to be certain to share our knowledge with those who follow us. Burt asked me what I meant by that last comment as he is confined to a wheel chair as a result of a stroke he suffered some years ago.

I suggested he get a tape recorder and spend his day talking into it sharing his life’s experiences so that when his time comes, his wisdom would be available to others.

And to those who are still active in their late years, I suggest doing volunteer work with youngsters in public schools and reaching out to help those with disabilities and other physical or mental conditions.

Living a full and meaningful life from our earliest days and finding ways to deal with the many forks in the road, enables us to be good and valuable human beings when our days are completed — no matter when that is.

When someone tells me they fear death, I say know what you are saying is that you fear life and you need to learn how to live it!!!!!!

Have a Day of Joy

Bernie Otis

Bernie’s Books; How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life and Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 

Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

 

Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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Rules to Live By

After a long hot summer pause, during which I spent time with my dear friend Christina working on behalf of the Disabilities Community, I am back to my Blog writing and begin with a repeat of a blog I wrote several years ago which is worth repeating for the benefit of my new and regular blog readers. It is as applicable today as it was four years ago.

Very often my blog readers send me quotations, copies of articles, and funny stories which are so appropriate to the things I write about that, with their permission, I use them in place of my own thoughts.

My biggest contributor to this process is Joan Vieweger a principal of my favorite custom candy maker Choclatique. I know you will enjoy its message.

This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!! Make sure you read to the end!!!!!!

Regina Brett

90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .

 

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.”

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short, enjoy it.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8.  It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9.  Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the future.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don’t worry, God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special        occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d gra b ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

If you haven’t gotten your copy of my best-selling book, How to Prepare for Old Age: Without taking the fun out of life, please get your copy at your favorite bookstore or online at B&N or Amazon – today!

Bernie Otis is a well-known writer, author, and speaker, as well as a highly respected food, beverage, laundry, and marketing/sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California.

 Bernie’s book, How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” is an Amazon best-seller. Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on SeniorLiving Facilities and other issues related to Aging.

Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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A Tribute to the Workers of the World

A fellow stopped at a rural gas station and, after filling his tank, bought a soft drink. He stood by his car to drink his cola and he watched a couple of men working along the roadside.
One man would dig a hole two or three feet deep and then move on. The other man came along behind and filled in the hole. While one was digging a new hole, the other was about 25 feet behind filling in the old.
“Hold it, hold it,” the fellow said to the men. “Can you tell me what’s going on here with this digging?”
“Well, we work for the county government,” one of the men said.
“But one of you is digging a hole and the other is filling it up. You’re not accomplishing anything. Aren’t you wasting the county’s money?”
“You don’t understand, mister,” one of the men said, leaning on his shovel and wiping his brow. “Normally there’s three of us; me, Joe and Mike. I dig the hole, Joe sticks in the tree and Mike here puts the dirt back.”
“Yeah,” piped up Mike. “Now just because Joe is sick, that doesn’t mean we can’t work, does it?”

On Monday September 5, 1887, 10,000 workers in New York took off work and gave up their pay to march from Union Square to City Hall to protest their unfair working conditions. As working conditions nationwide continued to worsen, more and more protests were held throughout the Country and in 1897, Oregon became the first of the States to make the first Monday in September a legal holiday called Labor Day.

This day has a particular meaning to me. As a teenager growing up in Detroit, Michigan I worked as a clerk in a major law firm which was partially owned by Victor Reuther, the brother of the founder of the United Auto Workers (UAW), Walter Reuther.

Both Walter and Victor were warm persons dedicated to making the horrendous working conditions in business and manufacturing firms better for millions of low paid workers throughout America.

In fact I stood beside Walter Reuther during the famous Battle of River Rouge, which occurred when thousands of Ford Motor Company employees marched against that Company in protest of their working conditions-a battle which forced one of the most anti-labor industrialists, Henry Ford to recognize the UAW and make improvements in the workers working conditions.

It was war time and Detroit, being the center of manufacturing of weapons, aircraft and other defense needs, was the center of the struggle to provide decent wages and working conditions for labor.

Throughout the country there were major parades, picnics and celebrations of the role of labor. On Labor Day, the President of The United States would come to Detroit to make major speeches. My fondest memory of that event was having Walter Reuther introduce me to President Harry Truman, who was accompanied by Senator Hubert Humphrey on Labor Day 1948 (As a result of the meeting I ended up working with the Senator when he founded the ADA-American’s for Democratic Action).

So, to all of you wonderful persons who labor every day to make our lives better, we should all join together and say thanks for being there for us and at the same time we should take a moment on this coming Labor Day to remember those who dedicated themselves to the improvement of our work place conditions.

Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker, as well as a highly respected Food, Beverage and Laundry Consultant, Marketing/Sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California.

Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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How Technology Has Affected Our Life-Choices

The owner of a large American furniture manufacturing company went to Hungary to purchase some materials for his company.

As he was leaving a restaurant, he passed a very beautiful woman who smiled at him. He returned the smile and attempted to make her acquaintance, but because of the differences in their languages, they could not understand each other.

He drew a picture of a car and she indicated agreement, so they went for a ride in his car.

He drew a picture of a bar and she nodded in agreement, so they went to a bar and had a few drinks. He drew a picture of two dancers, so they got on the dance floor and danced.

She then indicated that she wanted to use his paper and pencil, and she drew a picture of a four-poster bed. He was confused and dropped her off where this had all started.

The next day, he was telling a friend about his experience with the woman, and he said, “I wonder how she knew I was in the furniture business?”

 

Within a few weeks schools children around the Country will begin a new year. There has never been a more challenging time for both parents and children as our educational system is struggling to find the answer as to what kind of school, i.e. public or private, will provide our children with the best education for success in life.

This is a significant change from what those growing up in my age group had to deal with. We finished high school and went on to college taking Liberal Arts or some other type courses, as we slowly decided where we wanted to end up-even if we eventually changed direction.

Today, as early as grade school, students are exposed to technology which excites them, such as Robotics, etc. and begins to point them towards careers which will affect them forever.

This not only affects the child’s life, but has a profound effect, not necessarily favorably, on their parents. They may have little knowledge about how technology is going to affect their child’s future life, or the kinds of activities they need to encourage children to get involved in which will compliment their future choices.

For example, without exception, today it is essential that our youth become efficient in mathematics if they are to become successful in almost any field of endeavor.

Often, when their children have difficulty with the subject of math, instead of finding tutors who know how to help the child become proficient, the parents tell them to, “just do the best you can.” If we are to help our kids have success in this technological era we need to help them not “do your best” but “be their best.”

Let me share with you, my readers, a personal experience. My Rotary Club was recently asked to have a group of its senior members give talks in local high schools, sharing our life’s experiences with the senior class students. I was asked to be part of that group.

Following my talk, I was contacted by a number of those students who asked me to meet privately with them and give them some advice about their future. I met one of these young persons for breakfast where he told me that his parents did not understand his goals in life and could not advise him about what college to attend in order to achieve those goals.

I urge all parents to sit down with your children: ask them what is important to them, learn what they see as their role in life and what they want their future to look like. Do not, I urge you, do not tell them what you want them to do-but listen to their dreams.

Then do all you can to help them find the path to their wants and seek the help of professionals to ensure that they have the right guidance.

And one final thought: do not tell your child that you will reward them for being good at a particular sport. Success at soccer will never replace a well planned carefully sought out career.

The journey of life is exciting, challenging and rewarding, but just as we must plan for old age, we must carefully plan the trip which gets us there.

PLEASE VISIT YOUR LOCAL BARNES & NOBLE OR INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE AND ASK FOR MY BOOK. MY PUBLISHER NOW DISTRIBUTES TO BOOKSTORES NATION-WIDE!

Bernie’s Book; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” is a Best Seller on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 

Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

 

Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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Stuff Happens

I am deeply indebted to my friend Glenn Nan Ekeren, a well-known health care executive, writer, author and speaker who writes a blog entitled “ENTHUSEDABOUTLIFE”, for giving me permission to share this, his latest Blog with my readers.

Glenn has been one of my many teachers ever since I read his book (a must for all speakers), “The Speaker’s Source Book”, published in 1988 by Prentice Hall. I found this Blog most exciting and hope you will as well.

From ENTHUSEDABOUTLIFE.com

A young man lay sprawled across three seats in the Orpheum Theater in Omaha, Nebraska when an usher noticed the abnormal situation.

He approached the motionless man and told him he would need to sit up as he was allowed to occupy one seat.

The young man offered a groan but no movement.  The usher brought the manager to attend to the situation.  Together they did their best to move the young man but to no avail.

Finally, the security personnel were summoned.  They surveyed the situation and then asked, “Hey buddy, what’s your name?”

“Pete,” the young man whispered.

“Where you from Pete?”

With obvious pain in his voice Pete muttered, “The balcony.”

Stuff Happens!

“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”

– Warren Buffett Investor, billionaire, and philanthropist

 

I’ve Been Thinking. . . about the storms and rising tides of life.

Haruki Murakami reminds us, “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

There are times in everyone’s life when adversity, hardships and storms are hiding around every corner.   It seems impossible to catch a break. While it’s easy to get discouraged or frustrated; in the scheme of life, it helps to keep it all in perspective.

President John F. Kennedy was once asked how he became a war hero.  His response:  “It was quite easy.  Someone sunk my boat.”

Stuff Happens!

Advice columnist Ann Landers wrote, “If we’re asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity, it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, ‘I will be bigger than you.  You cannot defeat me.”

Stuff Happens!

Gwynedd Mercy University senior Justin DeLuzio was competing in an 8k race when someone yelled, “Watch out for the deer!”  A deer struck him in the stomach, and he fell to the ground as more deer ran across the course.

“I turn my head a little bit to the left, and he comes right there,” DeLuzio said in a television interview.  “He knocked me down pretty good.”

A teammate helped DeLuzio to his feet, and he finished the race, placing 249th.

Weird Stuff Definitely Happens!

A paratrooper want-to-be was learning to parachute. The instructor gave these succinct orders:

  1. Jump when you are told to jump.
  2. Count to ten, then pull the ripcord.
  3. If the first chute doesn’t open, pull the second ripcord.
  4. When you land, a white van will be there to pick you up.

When the plane got over the landing area, the young man jumped when it was his turn. He counted to ten, then pulled the ripcord.  Nothing happened. He pulled the second ripcord. Nothing happened.

“0h great,” he said to himself. I’ll bet the van won’t be there to pick me up, either.”

Bad Stuff Happens!

So listen up. . .

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

–  Maya Angelou

           ___________________________________________________________________________

Like Glenn’s message, I remind my readers that sometimes it is only when we find ourselves flat on our backs because of bad decisions, do we find the inner strength to raise ourselves up and make the right decisions.

Bernie Otis

Bernie Otis is a well-known Writer, Author, Speaker, as well as a highly respected Food, Beverage and Laundry Consultant, Marketing/Sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California.

Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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Independence Carries With It Responsibility

The Fourth of July weekend was coming up, and the nursery school teacher took the opportunity to tell her class about patriotism.

 “We live in a great country,” she said. “One of the things we should be happy about is that, in this country, we are all free.”

 One little boy came walking up to her from the back of the room. He stood with his hands on his hips and said: “I’m not free. I’m four.”

(Join the over 1.2 million subscribers of the Rotarian Magazine and read the Frank Bures article that features some of my philosophy )

 In his well written 1974 book, “Thomas Jefferson – An Intimate History” the Author tells us that, in June of 1776, Jefferson returned to the Virginia Congress, after he had disappeared from public view for four months. He had returned to Monticello to deal with his terrible, incapacitating migraine headache problem (which disappeared after his presidency), his mother’s serious illness and his complicated marital situation. Upon his return, Thomas Jefferson asked John Adams to write the Declaration of Independence. Adams told Jefferson that he, Jefferson, was much more qualified to write that document.

Jefferson agreed and in just a few days submitted a draft of the document which contained three main themes; condemnation of the King of England for his treatment of slaves, a listing of Jefferson’s  relationships with members of his family who were supportive of the King and a rewording of John Locke’s words, “We hold these Truths to Be Self Evident –that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and Property” (Jefferson changed the word Property to Happiness).

Much to Jefferson’s chagrin, the Continental Congress removed the first two themes from the original documents before it was accepted and either on July 2, 1976 or July 4, 1976-there is a controversy as to the actual date, the document was signed. Jefferson moved into virtual oblivion and in fact, it was not until 1784 that he was openly recognized for having written the Declaration of Independence.

What is most interesting to me, is that just as the word Independence had a number of meanings to Jefferson, believed that those in the Colonies needed to be independent of the control by the British and that the people needed to take responsibility for their way of life and relationships in the “New World”. That remains even more so today. If we are to remain a free society we need to be vigilant of the way in which we are governed at this time, as well as how we interact with one another, to assure that we are able to enjoy a happy life.

But Independence carries with it responsibility. That means that when, as individuals, we are no longer able to be independent, we need to be wise enough to give up part of our independence so as to protect that of our families and loved ones.

Far too many individuals who are aging and losing control of their daily functions, are holding on to their independence and by so doing affecting the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of their loved ones and causing them  anxiety and anguish as they see those they love struggling with life.

If, as you age, you can see that you cannot remain independent, speak up and seek help from all of those with whom you interact. And if you see a loved one struggling with independence, speak up and provide them the help they need to maintain their mental independence while dealing with their physical needs.

In closing, let me lament that fact that until the early 1960’s Independence Day was a day for family and friends to celebrate, have barbeques at home or in public parks and in the evening watch fireworks; much of that has changed. Today’s youth miss much of the meaning of what Independence Day is all about.

 Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker and Community Leader. His Best Selling Book: “How to Prepare for Old Age” “Without Taking the Fun Out of Life” can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Read his Blogs at http://seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 If you would like to have Bernie’s advice and help in finding the right facility for your needs contact him at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com. 818-519-8347. There is no cost involved.

 Bernie also recently wrote the History of the Restaurant Industry in the San Fernando Valley, for the Los Angeles Library Commission

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The Role of a Father in our Lives

 Four men are in the hospital waiting room because their wives are having babies. A nurse goes up to the first guy and says, “Congratulations! You’re the father of twins.”

“That’s odd,” answers the man. “I work for the Minnesota Twins!”

A nurse says to the second guy, “Congratulations! You’re the father of triplets!”

“That’s weird,” answers the second man. “I work for the 3M company!”

A nurse tells the third man, “Congratulations! You’re the father of quadruplets!”

“That’s strange,” he answers. “I work for the Four Seasons hotel!”

The last man is groaning and banging his head against the wall. “What’s wrong?” the others ask.

“I work for 7 Up!”

In a few short days we will be paying tribute to the father’s in our lives. Having had a most wonderful father myself – one whose qualities I could not even come close to emulating, it is important to stop for a moment and look at how our lives are affected by the man of the house.

Fathers have no formal training, they learn as they are doing. They play a major role in financially sustaining the family, act as advisors and consultants to the children of the family and have the task of making certain that our mothers are supported in their efforts to give us a good life.

Fathers also have one other difficult job, one which often places great pressure on them and that is to make certain that, while teaching us right from wrong and advising us how to live a good life and enjoy success, that they not give into their weaknesses and act in a way which is in conflict with what they are teaching us.

A father was sitting with his son telling him to always be truthful. The telephone rang and the son answered it.

 He turned to his dad and said, “It is Mr. Adams your insurance man.” The father replied, “Tell him I am not here.”

Dads, work long hours, often travel in their work and also carry the burden of taking care of their aging parents (as well as those of their wife). And sometimes, in order to protect their family, will silently carry burdens that make their own life difficult.

So to all you young folks out there I have this message: love your Dad, forgive his errors in judgment, listen to his advice and teachings while at the same time, use your own instincts in making decisions that affect your life..

When you yourself become a father, you will suddenly realize the meaning of this blog.

 This lesson speaks for itself – It’s not easy being a Dad and all to often, as I myself have learned, by the time you figure it out, it is too late

Have a Happy Fathers Day.


Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker, as well as a highly respected Food, Beverage and Laundry Consultant, Marketing/Sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California.

 Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

 Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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Using the Two Tools We Possess for Good

A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch at McDonald’s. He noticed that they had ordered one meal, and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the gentleman carefully divided the hamburger in half, and then counted out the fries, one for him, one for her, until each had half of them.

Then he poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup and set that in front of his wife. The old man then began to eat, and his wife sat watching, with her hands folded in her lap.

The young man decided to ask if they would allow him to purchase another meal for them so that they didn’t have to split theirs.

The old gentleman said, “Oh no. We’ve been married 50 years, and everything has always been and will always be shared, 50/50.” The young man then asked the wife if she was going to eat, and she replied, “Not yet. It’s his turn with the teeth.”

When we enter the world on the day of our birth, we bring with us many tools to help us take the journey of life. Two of  these tools, if used properly, play an important role in determining whether how the trip will go. No matter our age when the end comes, when we are asked “how was it?”, we should be able to answer, in the words of Moses, “Ki Tov—It was good.” These Two important tools are our ability to speak and listen.

Every day, we communicate with family, friends, and strangers. The words we choose and the time we take to listen to, as well as hear what was really said to us, play a key role in whether our communications with other people will affect our relationships.

Whether we are speaking to others about personal, business or other issues, it is important to choose words that convey our thoughts in a manner which will hopefully not be negatively interpreted.

In one of the most informative books I have ever read, Words Can Change Your Brain by Andrew Newberg M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, the Authors write, Although we are born with the gift of language, research shows that we are surprisingly unskilled when it comes to communicating with others. We often choose our words without thoughts oblivious of the emotional effect they can have on others. We talk more than we need to. We listen poorly without realizing it, and we often fail to pay attention to the subtle meanings conveyed by facial expressions, body gestures and the tone and cadence of our voice-elements of communication that are often more important than the words we actually use”.

 Think about how many times in your own communications with others have you been forced to say, “You misunderstood what I meant to say.”

One of the reasons I have enjoyed successes in my career, is because I have learned the art of listening to answers my clients gave me to my questions, waiting 30 seconds in silence as I analyzed their responses, and then paraphrasing their comments by asking them, “in other words what I hear you saying is—.” In almost every case they were surprised that I had heard what they were really thinking, that in fact I had been able to get behind their words and discover the real issue.

Take the time to think about what impact your words have on others, as well what message your manner of speaking and facial expressions may send. And by all means speak slowly, look at the person you are speaking to, and don’t be in a hurry to respond to the other persons comments until you are certain you know what they are really saying to you.

Finally, let me suggest that the three words you should never use under any circumstances are, “How are you?” When I am asked that question, I respond as follows: “I am great, but I will get over it.” It is not only a wasted question, but the answer you get could very well throw cold water on the purpose of the conversation.

 

Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

 Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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A Tribute to the Moms of the World

The newlywed wife said to her husband when he returned from work, “I have great news for you. Pretty soon, we’re going to be three in this house instead of two.” Her husband ran to her with a smile on his face and delight in his eyes. He was glowing of happiness and kissing his wife when she said, “I’m glad that you feel this way since tomorrow morning, my mother moves in with us.”

Today’s blog is a tribute to all of the mothers of the world who, each day, deal with the challenges of raising families and adjusting to the changing needs of those they love. We never spend enough time letting the world know how much we owe to these remarkable women.

I first became aware of the incredibly difficult task a mother plays in our lives in the late 1930’s when America began to prepare for WWII. While my father’s role in an essential industry kept him out of the military, most of the men in our family and all others as well, were being drafted. This left big voids in the care of families as well as in the labor market-roles that had to be filled by mothers and grandmothers.

I watched as my mother go off to work ,leaving early each morning after getting us off to school, returning at dinner time and helping grandma get us ready for dinner, then helping us with our homework and getting us ready for bed.

In addition, Mom had to take work breaks to get us to doctor’s appointments when we were ill, or in need of various vaccinations shots and to deal with other child-raising necessities.

In today’s world, while dad does help with many of those chores, it is mom who not only has to work to help pay the high cost of living, education and healthcare, but also deal with the growth of one parent families; the burden she carries is increasingly difficult.

And, in addition to all of this, our moms are faced with the increasingly difficult task of caring for their aging parents. Also, our grandmothers (as well as grandfathers), if they are lucky enough to be in reasonably in good health, as is more often the case than not as we live longer, have the task of taking care of their mates who are dealing with memory or other physical and mental disabilities.

So all of us, including the mates of these wonderful women who carry such a large burden, need to Shout a big Thank You and find other ways to demonstrate appreciation for  the efforts they make to insuring that we have a good life.

 And finally, make an effort to forgive our moms if they don’t always see the world as we do-after all, you may be mom some day.

“The mother –child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother and become fully independent”

                            – Erich Fromm

 Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker, as well as a highly respected Food, Beverage and Laundry Consultant, Marketing/Sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California.

 Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://www.seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

 Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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Aging and the Growing Crisis Families Face

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your Bible a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.”

After about a month the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your Bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut!”

The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair….” To which his father replied, “Yes, and they WALKED every where they went!”

While it is not always possible to be prepared for every detour we come to while traveling the journey of life, there is one such situation that every family needs to understand and plan for — that is the issue of preparing for the inevitability of when we and/or our loved ones can no longer live on our own.

As a result of advances made in healthcare, we are living longer. While this does have its advantages, it also comes with the high price of the increasing cost of healthcare. As we age, the growing cost of what I refer to as, the Closets for Old Toys i.e. assisted living and senior living facilities, and nursing homes advances as well.

Let me share with you, my readers, some of the issues that arise when a family member can no longer live independently and are, for physical/mental reasons, faced with the decision of moving into a facility (or live at home with a caregiver, which raises other issues).

Time does not permit me to list all of the financial concerns that arise in choosing the move into such a facility, but the following are other issues which are very important to think about in making such a decision:

  1. Be prepared to recognize the food served will be institutional and not like home cooked meals.
  2. Living in a senior facility can be very lonely and it is important that family and friends visit their loved ones often.
  3. Daily routines can become boring, so be certain the facility you choose has many diverse activities.
  4. Not all facilities have medical doctors and/or nurses on staff.
  5. In choosing a facility, be sure that they provide transportation to medical appointments and shopping trips.
  6. If you have religious needs, verify that there are services of your faith at the facility.
  7. Have a clear understanding of what extra charges you will be responsible for.

Be prepared to understand that living in such facilities involves being in close association with a multitude of diverse personalities and it takes several months to adjust to this type of variety.

Most of all, if you and your loved ones enter a facility with a positive attitude and are mentally prepared to adjust your life to meet your aging needs, you will have a most comfortable experience.

Finally, and most important of all, do not wait until the last minute to prepare not only emotionally, but financially for addressing the inevitable need. No matter how much money one has, when a serious aging need arises, as so many have sadly discovered, you could not have enough.

Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker, as well as a highly respected Food, Beverage and Laundry Consultant, Marketing/Sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California. 

Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://www.seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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