Life's Reduction

June 16th 2016 | Cheryle's Serious Business


Cheryle Boyle, Author, writes an overview of life's reduction.  We go about our lives day to day gathering, collecting and progressing in relationships and then the reduction.

Life's Reduction


Cheryle Boyle

While working, I had the opportunity to visit the elderly at skilled nursing facilities.  Of the many things I observed, and the most dramatic, was the fact that we spend all of our lives building, working on collections, working on relationships, striving for something better.  We purchase homes, cars, furniture, memberships, clothing, essentials and extravagances.  We go from one relationship to another, always trying to get it right and make it better.  We look for and long for love and belonging; it’s human nature.  Time speeds up and our lives become a blur.

Busy City

And, we do this repeatedly, until we reach a plateau, a stopping point in our lives when the physical body starts speaking louder than the shiny red sports car on the dealer’s lot or the perfect dream house just a few miles away.  The body says your time is up, you have reached the end of your telemeters.  The focus becomes different. You no longer have the ability to defy.   It now turns to healing and longevity…the desire to remain on this planet or to give up and succumb. 

Your house no longer matters, or if it does, something or someone intercedes and removes it from the equation.  You no longer have the energy to grasp the steering wheel and push the pedal to make the car’s engine accelerate.  The clothes you wear no longer matter, just as long as you are covered, and sometimes, that matters little as well.  Relationships become different.  You are no longer working to build them, but treasuring the ones you have made; some stand out as special and you cling to those. 

Flea Market

Your home is now reduced to a single room that you probably share with someone else; they may talk to you or they may not, as they are active in their struggle to remain or relinquish.  Of the beautiful furniture that you carefully picked out, when you had that dream home, only a simple dresser and one nightstand remains, and often do not match.  Your most prized possession is your television, because frequently it is the only company that you will have for days or weeks.  Your car is reduced to a chair with two large wheels; your hands become the fuel to propel or you just sit and pray that some kind person will come along and assist you.  No longer do you have a choice of what you eat; you can’t go to the frig for a midnight snack, your plates are lukewarm at best and coffee is tepid.


Happiness, busy-ness, activities, never stop.  Lots of people, transportation, clothes to buy, meals to plan, meals to eat,

interaction of the human kind, hobbies to maintain and enjoy, picnics to plan, independence,

jobs and daily duties, cars to drive, buses to ride, babies to grandbabies.

Then the reduction…

One small incident is all that may occur, or none at all, just family relationships becoming a blur. 

One small night-stand, maybe a tv – but no volume allowed, a plastic mattress with a bend –

a cord attached that doesn’t call a friend, a chair to push, pills delivered in a cup,

put in your face by no one you trust – taking a must!  Starring into space, as cold air inflicts,

boredom envelopes as hobbies gone by.  Daydreaming becomes the way of the world,

memories needed but no recall is there.  No visitors or very few.  No teeth, unable to chew.

The mind is leaving for places unknown, for a life lived fully, little is shown.

Lady by Bed

My daughter-in-law observed, while viewing a special collection that I have, how difficult it must be for people to spend their lives creating these cherished collections, only to be forced to give them up later, as they no longer matter.  This got me to thinking about all the things that I cherish and hold important and how, at some point in my life, these will no longer mean anything to me.  Aren’t we Humans crazy as we busy ourselves with such gatherings?  Do any of you collect things?  Is it a collection that will be passed on to someone that will cherish it as much as you have?  Is this just a lesson for us collectors to stop the gathering and get into serious matters of the heart?  What do you think?  Share your thoughts.

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