#Caregiver

These passed few weeks have been a little sideways with atypical issues demanding attention in my life.  It’s been busier than usual, hard to squeeze out any time for the fun stuff, like writing in this blog.

The silver lining?  I got a new hashtag idea.  Didn’t research it, just decided it’s worth using, for now anyway.

It refers to something I’ve become for my elderly parents.  Not that they’re living in my house.  With three little kids, my wife and I have no time or space to have two seniors living with us.

Fortunately, my parents live in a good home that provides complete assisted living services. Exactly what they both need given their condition.  But my brother and I are the ones who are now managing all of their affairs.  Everything.  Bills, health issues, legal matters, transportation, insurance companies, .

The tables are turned as they so often are.  Grown children taking care of their parents. We are their caregivers now.

It often gets tough, trying to manage and respond to competing interests.  The trump card for me is this:  there’s no higher calling than helping elderly folks have dignity and some comfort at the end of their life.  It’s right up their with being a parent.

It’s up to us to make their life as good as it can be at this point. Giving time, giving energy, giving care.

#caregiver

333

Three hundred and thirty three.

That’s about how many calories I had in the little plate of food I ate for dinner with the family last night.  So I wasn’t successful in my “no food” fast day, but I was close (see yesterday’s post).  A couple bites of chicken, and some pancit my in-laws left with us from the weekend.  Also a spoonful of potato salad.

My decision to mini-dine was based on the circumstance of the moment.  We were trying to get our three little kids to the table to eat their dinner, and with them facing the usual distractions, I thought, “If I eat a little, maybe that will help them.”

It really didn’t do much…they still wandered around while my wife and I ate our dinner.  But the thought was pretty sound, I think.  Damn the complete fast, and let’s try to help the bigger cause.

One lesson I took from the experience is, parenting and family factors will frequently play into things — indeed SHOULD play into things — and we parents need to be flexible to adjust, modify our plan, do what’s necessary, and then keep going forward.  That’s life.  That’s parenting.

I also reminded myself that I’ll take the UP side of the experience from the fast — 333 calories (or there about) isn’t much — and try again soon for a complete fast.

Meanwhile, I’ll hope for a more successful dinner hour tonight, and take the partial victory of the partial fast, and call it GOOD.

 

Onward

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Lots of thought this week about motivation, energy, enthusiasm, resolve, fortitude, and also the opposite: lethargy, obstacles, sudden difficulties, unexpected delays, crushing defeats.

I’ve thought about how to maintain the former and minimize the effect of the latter.  I’ve considered various voices and strategies that can be employed to accomplish just this objective, to stay on a positive path and make progress towards goals in the face of inevitable challenges.

Boiling down all the good ideas that I’ve come across, one particular theme crystallized for me today.  MOTION.  MOVEMENT.  FORWARD PROGRESS.  The thread amounts to one thing:  Taking action, doing SOMETHING, rather than freezing up, unable to respond to whatever life brings your way.

If we get into the habit of motion we create our own momentum.  Making progress forward of any kind, no matter how small, is the key.  That very action is one of the main sources of positive force that will generate all those favorable traits listed at the beginning of this piece.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly times for rest, relaxation, reflection, etc.  That’s really the dichotomy.  We human beings all need those breaks, those periods of recharge for our bodies, minds, for our souls.  But when that rest is complete — by circumstance or by choice — the way to kick-start yourself is simple:

Get UP, and GO. Move. Take action.

It’s the very action itself that is important.  That’s why exercise or physical activity otherwise is so critical to our overall well-being.  It’s therapeutic and healthy and necessary to MOVE.  Everyday.  Or most days, anyway.

Taking action is also how we work through difficulties.  It’s the ONLY way.  If you fret and stew and worry and lament you only extend the time you’re in the difficulty.  Moving forward is the only way to get through it.  If you’re in a slump, in a rut, the response is simple — not easy, but simple — don’t allow yourself to wallow, force yourself to move forward.

As Winston Churchill once put it, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

So, get UP, and GO.  It’s the only way to live.

ONWARD.