Archive for the ‘musing’ Category

Taking Care of the Caregiver 3-29-09

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

The concept of taking care of yourself first so you can help take care of others continues to intrigue me.  I used to think most people naturally took care of themselves first, and I was “the only one” who needed practice with this.  I have always been good at taking care of others.  It came naturally.  I am continually amazed to find that not taking care of oneself first seems to be a human condition – most of us do it.  It is easier to give advice to others to take care themselves, and sincerely want them to do it, and even see the value in them doing it.  If I take care of myself first, sometimes I feel guilty or selfish.

I’m going to take care of myself now, and go to bed early.

The sliver of moon is beautiful tonight.

Take care!

Aging means changing

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

I’ve been contemplating why it is that most people loathe the idea of growing older. If you ask someone’s age, many people hesitate to answer, as if not admitting it will slow the aging process.  Is it all about the potential loss – loss of independence, loss of mental, physical or sensory abilities?

While working with my 20-month old daughter in her bottle drinking habits, I realized – humans don’t easily embrace change at any age. My daughter likes bottles in the morning, nap time and before bed. Who wouldn’t! She wants things to stay the same. She is not liking the change. It is not easy to change as we age, at any age.

Can I look at aging as changing – instead of something to dread, fear, fight or ignore? Can I embrace the change, even celebrate?  I am going to age whether I like it or not.

Again, I am reminded that this is an attitude. The good news about that is that my attitude is something I have control over.

More musings…

Benjamin Button strikes a chord

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Over the holidays I chose not only to relax, but went to see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” a movie recently released depicting a man aging in reverse.

I work with older people everyday, as a geriatric care manager. I also have a 19 month old daughter. I often come home after visiting clients, struck by the similarities between the human experiences of those in old age and infancy.  Diapers, soft foods, a limited vocabulary, dependency on another, and the need for patience, compassion and a sense of humor from those who are caring for them.

This topic of aging is rich with material! The movie moved me to think about friends, human kindness, love and loss.  I was awash with memories and reminded of how important it is to cherish each moment (this too shall pass) and to follow my heart, no matter what. I was moved by the women caregivers in this movie who had such compassion.  They demonstrated the capacity to love what others might consider unlovable.

I was also reminded that we are all ordinary in older age in that no matter what kind of material success we have created or not created in our lives, our physical bodies all go through a similar process in our passing from this world.

I’d be curious to know what the movie struck in you! Let me hear from you.

Gratitude is the attitude!

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

What a difference an attitude makes!

I’ve been aware of feeling kind of “funky” over the last couple days, but didn’t know exactly why. It hit me tonight that I’ve been focusing on all the “bad” news in the media – the economy, the war, the bailouts, the political corruption and more. I’ve been allowing it to affect me and bring me down.

What I know is that in the past, when I have focused on what I am grateful for, what I appreciate and what is good, I feel much better! A simple thing like an attitude of gratitude can be so powerful.

So, I tried a little on tonight.  I began celebrating the things I was calling negative or irritating. I took a different perspective and embraced (loved) what I resisted. I loved that my daughter was up way past her bedtime. I loved that I’ve gained a couple pounds lately. I loved the pain in my neck. I loved that this economic condition is giving me a chance to relook at my priorities – to fine tune my effectiveness and focus. I am grateful for what I have (and am willing to let go of the expectations about what I think I should have).

Just saying those things makes me feel lighter and less “down.” My attitude is the one thing I have control over – all the time. I am choosing to feel hopeful and optimistic and grateful.  There is so much to be thankful for. There is beauty all around me, and I can make the choice to look.

P.S. It’s almost a full moon tonight. Have you looked up lately?  Enjoy!