Changing The Guard: Caretaking Your Parents

25 Item To-Do List EVERYONE Should Be Doing

I found this while Stumbling.  Great list!

25 Item To-Do List EVERYONE Should Be Doing

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August 12, 2009 Posted by | Take Care of Yourself, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are You An Optimist or a Pessimist?

When I was a kid I read an essay that said that pessimists are the lucky people.  The theory was that most things are disappointing which gave away the author.  He went on to say that optimists are continually disappointed.  If the plane lands a half an hour late, the optimist is disappointed.  If it lands safely, the pessimist is delighted.  Since it is late much more often than it doesn’t land, the pessimist is set up for a lot of happy times.

However, I tend towards optimism.  That is not to say that I don’t have the normal amount of anxiety and fear, or days of just wondering how I am going to do it: but I am an optimist.

I have feared that we wouldn’t get the right help for Dad, but I really knew that we would.  I worry about money, but know we will find it.

Optimism has worked for me.  Yesterday, I had a great day planned.  My appointments were lined up perfectly, five of them and I would be able to be home early.  Yea!  Then after #3 I couldn’t get my car out of park.  This had happened a few times, but I messed with it and I went.  Not this time.  I had to call a tow truck, glad that I had renewed by AAA.  He got it started so that I could drive to my mechanic, it took an hour and $40.  So what’s to be optimistic about?  Well, it didn’t happen when I was in the middle of no where.  The two missed appointments could be resceduled. The truck came quick and while I was waiting to fix it, I went to Third Place for lunch and met someoneI hadn’t seen in months.

There!  I was right.  Now, I could have looked at this from a pessimisitc perpectic.  Would I have been better off?

What do you think?  Is it possible to become more optimisstic, assuming you want that.

Me?  I think that it helps me with the task at hand.  Even if I’m wrong.

August 12, 2009 Posted by | Blessings, Joys and Frustrations, Take Care of Yourself | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pilattes and Me

You have to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on the kids.  You have take care of yourself to pilattestake care of an elderly parent.  I have an additional reason.

Dad has always been a hard working guy, never content to sit for too long without finding some work to do*.  But he’s a man of his generation and ‘working out’ is silly.   He never did it.   I can’t say for sure that it would have made a difference, but his two big problems today are his balance and that he can’t lift his feet high enough to walk safely.  I hate seeing him this way.  He is frustrated, he could fall and it is why he can’t be left alone for long.  My heart breaks for him.

And it terrifies me because I know I will live a long time and I don’t want it to be like that. So I have started back on my Pilattes.  This is a system that focuses on the core (abdominal) area, but is also great for Michelle Obama arms and other areas.  I find that I can build up a relatively decent heart rate. You can go to a gym 3 times a week and pay a lot of money.  You can get tapes and do it without a machine (waaaay too hard for me) or you can buy a relatively inexspensive home machine, like I did, two years ago.  I was doing it daily, until I stopped.  The rub, huh?

The first time I found that about a week and a half into it my shoulders naturally pulled back into a straighter posture as I walked.  I gave it no effort, it just happened.  Now, I have a good posture, one of the many gifts from my Dad.  Dad insisted that I walk straight and tall from an early age.  The involuntary straightening reminded me of Dad’s touching my shoulders showing me how to walk.

So I start again, with Dad and his current problems as a motive.

I find that one piece of wisdom from the fitness gurus isn’t true.  I have always heard them say that once you stop exercising you quickly lose all the gains.  Well, I have found its not true.  It took me weeks to do the ‘elephant’ advanced, but now I am ok.  Not as good as when I stopped, but much better than when I started the first time.  After a year and a half, I am still carrying benefits.  This is not a reason to quit, but a reason to do it, knowing that whatever you do, if you get good enough, will have long lasting effects.  Its just so much better when you continue.

BTW, there is lots we can do to stay healthier longer and even younger.  Is 60 the New 40?

*  When Dad was 85 he had quintupal bipass surgery.  They sent him home after 5 days with strick instructions, one of which was to not lift anything heavier than a milk carton.  A week after he got home, I walk through the guest house to find him turning my mother’s mattress over.  Hmmm…. “Dad, is that heavier than a milk carton”?   …   “Well, I can’t sit around being lazy forever!”  Dad was a hard worker, but not the kind that helped make him stronger in his old age.

July 2, 2009 Posted by | Blessings, Take Care of Yourself | , , , , | Leave a comment