Balancing Act

I had to laugh when I read that Leasa is a nurse, because nurses always have a way of figuratively slapping us up the side of our heads and saying "get up and get going".

And sometimes we need to hear that to shake us up out of our doldrums.

I've gone over some of my own entries from the past year and, although I've come a long way, thanks in no small part to this forum, I still have a ways to go.

As caregivers, there are always so many details that need to be done on a daily basis, that we have a hard time seeing the big picture. A couple of my own threads over time have been that I have no life now and I have no plans for the future after mom passes.

Well, I said to myself this morning, as Leasa would say to me, why the hell not?
Sometimes I laugh here and sometimes I cry and today I'm laughing.

It's a balancing act between all the details and the big picture. Not an easy task. And some of us here are swamped with details, with children, parents, spouses, jobs, home-life. It's amazing how many plates we can keep spinning on those sticks.

This year, I'm going to try to start living the bigger picture. Taking care of the details but not getting bogged down in them to the detriment of the more important things.

I will still have "The List" of things to do, but I want to have a deeper sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. I want to move forward in my life and not just be a hamster on the wheel.

So I challenge myself to this task. To balance the meaningful with the meaningless, the necessary with the unnecessary. How do I want to feel at the end of the day? When mom passes, I don't want to say, well, at least the list is done.

I want my life to continue to grow and develop just as my mom's will to the end. This isn't a pause in my life. This is a continuance. I've stepped out of one phase of my life and into this phase.

Sometimes it's easier to sink deeper and deeper into a hole, than it is to take charge of our lives, especially when we have a really good excuse. It's up to each of us to create the life we want for ourselves.

Acceptance of the "bad" and appreciation for the "good" will create a balanced energy within us that will keep us receptive for opportunity.

The fact that we are all here writing into this forum shows us that we are caring, loving, giving people. Let's extend that love and care to ourselves.

I wish us all the best in the new year year.

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My viewpoint
by: Anonymous

My viewpoint is somewhat different. I don't agree that a "balancing act" is always possible. It is what it is. A few years of working hard to help a parent may be necessary and my viewpoint is that there are times when we need to suck it up.

I've put my life on hold for a few years now. Not for any affirmation or approval from anyone else least of all "society" (including the people who post on here). I do what I have to do for my parent because it's what God wants me to do.

Not everyone on this board has a gestapo attitude. Sorry, I don't agree with Leasa's attitude, and I'm a nurse myself.

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Thank You for the Pep Talk
by: Anonymous

I come on here quite frequently. It is of help.

But today it did me good to to hear a pep talk that this is a journey with everyone and we need to balance our lives to continue our journey and not put it on hold saying that when mom or dad is gone I will take care of myself, family etc.

But, to balance it out and take care of ourselves now and make time for ourselves and what makes us happy now. And maybe a Mom or Dad won't get it all from us and will survive.

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Well Said, Once Again
by: Anonymous

You say it well.

I love the broken record analogy. We do need to get past that part in order to hear the whole song.

The fact that you've been through hardship and have come out the other side is encouraging. I would love to someday say, I've been farming for the last 25 years.

I'm going to print our entries, and use them for a while so I don't forget. It's easy to say things, much harder to do them. But sometimes, it's all in the way you look at something, and a new perspective can do wonders.

You don't live anywhere near northern California, do you???

Keep being tough. It's only because you care.

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Bingo!
by: Leasa

Wow, do I sound that tough? If so, good. The best decisions in my life have taken place after someone cared enough to force me to see that big picture.

I remember years ago when my father suffered a major depression and would have frequent crying jags, he was hospitalized and one nurse saw past his tears and said 'Mr. Ryan, sympathy is between shit and syphilis in the dictionary and that's exactly where it belongs.'

During his stay she continued to take a harder line with my dad...and she worked miracles. That was the last time he needed to be hospitalized for his depression.

It has been many years since I've worked in a nursing home on the nursing staff, I've been farming now for 25 years. I've lived many lives in this one and have seen some very hard times.

But the most gut-wrenching time was when my mother became so ill and demented. I too became obsessed with her happiness and took a lot of abuse. My brothers and husband gave me that shaking up...and the ton of bricks I was carrying on my back fell away.

It's funny how you can get so absorbed, so mired in the daily muck that you cannot see things for what they really are. It's like when an old record starts skipping and the rest of the tune never gets played out. You are stuck on that loop sometimes to the point where your life is all but used up and it's too late to form lasting relationships of your own.

I care about people. I am a nurturer and I try to help people avoid personal disasters. If that means getting 'hard' so be it.

I thank you for the respect you have shown me and I sincerely hope I am more of a help than a hindrance.

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