N is for No!
The Power of No!
I knew the power of No when I was 2 years old - about 70 years ago. But, as all children learn soon after they learn that glorious word, parents like Yes better than No. No ... the word fell out of my vocabulary pretty rapidly - especially when it was followed up by time outs, angry words, and fewer treats! (I am willful, not stupid!)
No got very little use until I was in my 50s. And I am very sorry to have waited so long to resurrect the use of the word No.
In retirement and in your older years, No, becomes very very important! The word No becomes your friend. My mom was a Yes person until the day she died. I guess she learned from her parents as I did - that Yes was easier. It pleases everyone when you say it. And generally, it makes life easier to everyone else if you say Yes. But it typically makes your life harder when you always say Yes.
I got a lot of practice saying No to my mom when I was her caregiver. "No, mom, you can't put that hearing aid in your mouth." "No, mom, you can't drive your car if you go through red lights." "No, mom, you can't refuse this medication if you want your heart to beat normally."
I even got good at saying No to doctors and nurses. "No, my mom can't have contrast for her MRI - her kidneys are failing!!" "No, I won't let her be discharged from the hospital until you fix the XYZ problem!!" "No, she can't swallow pills. Use another method (duh)." I said No to those folks a lot. And let me tell you ... doctors generally don't like it when patients and caregivers speak their minds. They are looking for a Yes! And if you ask them to explain exactly why your No should be changed to a Yes, some doctors just don't have the time for that!
I made sure my own children were paying attention to all the times I was saying No on my mom's behalf! Listen up my darling children - It is ok to say No on my behalf if I can't speak for myself in the future. No, I don't want to be kept alive by machines. No, I don't want to live with either of you. Assisted Living or Nursing Care is just fine if that is what is necessary!
My daughter is employed in the Retirement Continuing Care Industry, and she understands the needs of seniors, knows my wishes. She has it all worked out, however, in her mind.
She informed me recently that she will not need to stand up and say No for me ... because she won't get a chance to get a word in. I will be busy shouting my orders, directing my wishes, pointing my finger at everyone and saying No, No, No - loudly and often!*
She's probably right!
*PS - One other thing about No people. They aren't all that easy to take care of in their senior years! I intend to be a handful!! (If my children are reading now - there is a whole lot of eye rolling going on.)