What we can learn about life’s simple pleasures from hobbies to serious growers and savers of our
heritage plants…A mihygge special on our elderly who care for lives beyond humans!
It was a special summer weekend morning, in the year 2015, when I decided to enter a Rose show in my
neighborhood! A hobby gardener in my past time, a Geriatrician by day… this day would open up to
show me many of the ways that our elderly are saving our planet and species!
Not only did I win a couple of categories in that special Mother’s Day Rose Show 2015, but I also
connected with people who had taken upon the responsibility of working towards a common goal of not
only growing or saving roses but also educating others and being an ever learner!
People over fifty make up the majority of our societies catering to flowers, fruit, vegetable, herb, animals,
birds, crafts, and arts…. Many have spent a lifetime nurturing one single flower species or many. They have taken their hobby so seriously, that they hardly miss a meeting, connecting, and learning, but many have cared for their elderly while doing so.. or doing it while needing a caregiver themselves as they have
aged. For most, it is more than a hobby, it is their mihygge, life’s simple pleasures, passion, happiness,
We talk about caring for humans as difficult, well what these great stalwarts have done and
accomplished is even more, as mother nature always has the upper hand! Today as we rejoice and
behold the beautiful varieties of roses, flowers, irises, dahlias, herbs, daffodils, primroses and
chrysanthemums, rabbits, dogs, cats, horses, sheep, goats, cows, alpacas, poultry, vegetables, squashes,
beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, garlic, onions, it took thousands of hours of dedication, hard
work, some almost backbreaking labor, compassion, curiosity, and passion, to preserve these.
Some grew up on farms, islands, and handed over generations, while some were city dwellers with corporate jobs, but immense love for a thing brought them together, that we call a kindred spirit. Some started
societies, hobby farms, and businesses, in these and their interests grew through organizations, meetings
across boundaries, and even internationally. I will never forget when my elderly patient once remarked
how she could still find herself longing for fresh heritage breed untainted cow’s milk, having grown on a
farm in the Midwest, she said her resilience, and toughness were all attributes of those, well, of course, she never got osteoporosis, now that is something… that might have many more reasons to it than meets
our eyes. In another case, a bed-bound elderly woman chatted with me during a housecall what tricks
she used to grow radishes for easter, she recalled how her family saved seeds and the entire village or
hamlet gathered to share the harvests and seeds for the new year.
Writing, poetry created an outlet for many to publish their talents on paper, reading these wonderful
poems and articles every month, makes me think about what goes on in bringing them into reality giving
them life, and empowering others. A book is not too many to read if written by a determined writer, a
garden is not too many to visit if created with utmost dedication.
Gardening is a hobby, a lifestyle, and a great exercise for our brains. Gardening brings great mental
health and it is proof when I visit these gardens. The enthusiasm, the charm, the ability to transfer a
mere idea into a reality and bring it to life, now to be enjoyed by all, humans, plants, and animals is one of the most rewarding things of life! So a collector’s garden is a joy and not a hoarder’s paradise. Gardening is not material wealth as the monetary value is only for the eyes of the beholder.
traditional ways are a foundation of giving and sharing. Many of them raise them and donate at events,
organizations, and auctions so that someone can experience that joy and kindle the same spirit by paying it forward. Over the years, those photos, and memories, created will be cherished and so shall those lucky people who have been the recipient of a heritage plant, bird, or animal. Charity begets charity and a country thrives through such generous donations by our fifty and above, through their ways of cozy living.
Many of the people I know are healthy, active, and lead meaningful lives. Age is ageless, life is limitless, we can say that with clarity now. Cognitive health is enhanced through leading lives filled with simple
pleasures, no matter how simple or complicated they might be, they still bring that sparkle and this
sparkle is the spark of cognitive awareness, respect and humility. An active brain is a blessing, for our
brains do not need many things to keep them stimulated, focus, communication, insight, and intuition are some of the skills that are built through such hobbies I mentioned above.
Culture does play a great part in what I have written, for a Peruvian woman of eighty, her pack of
alpacas and shawls and wool is priceless, for others it could be the heirloom pumpkin seeds that have
transferred through generations of hands and still served at Thanksgiving and for some everything every
day is priceless. What I saw in my new world amongst the societies I belong to now is that no one
knows everything, the ability to communicate without fear is the recipe for a healthy mind, body, and
soul. When we inhibit our passions or our passions are inhibited, our fear grows exponentially and it is not
just a frightened look in our eyes, but a change in our vital signs, physical, emotional, religious, spiritual,
mental, and economic health. Anxiety, and depression, can be helped in many ways by letting our elderly nurture the passions and loves of their lives. These loves are hobbies that one can outgrow or begin
anew. This love is freedom and this freedom is what our elderly believe in. Using my homegrown
hydrangeas on the counter for health, I did not realize how this simple gesture would impact our
beloved elderly’s life, it had become the focal point of their office visit that day, and in another case
letting an elderly bring her dog into our office to her room, made her outspoken, jovial and opened up
the conversations even more.
We can each do our part to continue these traditions, how is the question here? While our elderly’s
passions become the talk of our lives, we must remember that Geriatric care often goes beyond just a
history and physical or a walk in the woods. As our generations age, we must encourage space,
harmony, and peace through diversity in every way. No one is modern and no one is old-fashioned for each of us live in our own time zones. Next time we admire something old and beautiful, let us take the time to appreciate the enormity of excellence and perseverance. As I look forward to so many more
such encounters, now that I am fifty, there is a new meaning to our means. Hope this blog empowered,
inspired, and pushed you to your own. We would love to hear from our readers, we are here to share, learn and aim for so much more in life… through our life’s simple pleasures. Thank you