On this day, November 11, we offer our tributes to the veterans who have served the country over the years and honor those who are serving today. These brave men and women in the Armed Forces put their lives on the line every day, and do so with dignity. We are especially aware of the challenges of service after the terrible shootings at Fort Hood.
As we respect their contributions, we can also reflect on what we can learn from those in the Armed Services. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” So said Charles Colton, nearly 200 years ago. If you are caring for your family in flux, maybe as a Sandwiched Boomer, here are some ways you can emulate them.
Draw upon your own strength. You will learn more about your capabilities when you are tested by hard times than when everything is going well for you. Resiliency is increased each time you get up and put one foot in front of the other. Bravery comes in many actions – facing an illness, providing for your family, starting a new career – not only on the battlefield.
Just as those in the foxholes feel the honest emotions of fear, anger, pain, guilt, anxiety and loneliness, allow yourself to experience these emotions when they are a part of your life. Sandwiched between caring for your offspring and your parents, you will feel stressed and anxious at times. Acknowledge these feelings, and then begin to deal with them.
If you remember the fragility and transience of life as you move through it, you will savor each good moment you have. To live your life to the fullest is a lasting mark of respect you can pay to your family and to the veterans who have sacrificed the innocence of their youth for you.
So after paying tribute to the men and women of the Armed Services on Veterans Day, make a commitment to employ some of these techniques to honor your own family. You will find that, as a part of the Sandwich Generation, it makes your time with each member more meaningful and relevant.