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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

preparing....a difficult topic

I have been absent for several days. Spending time with my mom. Making preparations. 

I am like many women. Part of the baby boomer generation, I am now at an age where I have an elderly parent. There are difficult decisions to be made. Conversations to have that are not easy. 

My mom's recent emergency admittance to the hospital and the procedure to put in a temporary stent to bypass an extremely large bile duct stone was a wake up call. The first questions were "does anyone have a medical power of attorney?" and "does she have a living will?". Hmmmm!!! No to the first question and she has lost it to the second question. 

My mom will be turning 90 years old in August, and tomorrow I will be driving her up to Indianapolis to have electrohydraulic lithotripsy. They will hopefully be able to blast that stone away and have her feeling like her old self again. But, because of her age, it is a risky procedure. So, I knew it was time to have some difficult conversations. Time to prepare for what my mom wants to happen at the end of her life and what I need to have in order to help her. 

So yesterday we spent nine hours taking care of the important things. Believe me we were both physically, emotionally , and mentally drained at the end of the day. 

Here are some of the things we did.

Visited her attorney. He is an old family friend who grew up next door to me, which made things easier. He updated her will, drew up a general power of attorney, and a had her sign a new living will. He also gave us some advice and a referral to an elder care attorney. 

Met with her personal banker. We added my name to her account so that I am able to write checks for her if she is unable. We added my name to her lock box and then went through the lock box, removing old unnecessary papers and adding the new ones from the attorney. 

We then made the most difficult stop of the day. We went to the funeral home to prearrange her funeral and to take care of the expenses. 

I am the go to person for mom. I am the primary executrix of her will and the first decision maker on her living will. These are not things to take on lightly, but I know that my mom needs to know that someone is there for her. 

I know that there are many others of you who are facing these same conversations and decisions. Even though it is a difficult process, it is a relief to get these things taken care of. I think that it is also a relief for the elderly parent. I know that my mom and I can now go to Indianapolis tomorrow feeling that sense of relief and looking forward to what I hope are many more years together.  

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

the beauty of spring

Spring is in full bloom here in central Kentucky. 

The sun is shining, the air is warm, and the trees are putting on a wonderful show.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend. 

P.S. No biting off the heads of the children's chocolate bunnies is allowed.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

transformations....going your own way

I am a woman and for most of my life I have been conditioned to be a caregiver, a pleaser, to listen to the choices of others, to follow the paths that others set out for me, to put myself second. 

It was as if I wasn't able to make good choices for myself. I was a girl child, a teenage girl, a young woman, a mother, and an aging woman. Through all of these phases there was always someone telling me how to live my life, and although I would attempt to rise up and rebel, my voice seemed muffled. 

Do it our way they would say. We know what is best for you I would hear. Don't try that you will fail. 

So I would take one step forward and two steps back. It was as if there was a tune playing in my head that only I could hear, but I was trying to dance to the tune that others were playing, and their tune was drowning mine out. 

What I have learned is that we can never be full happy if we are living our lives according to someone else's wishes. Yes, we will most certainly fail at times, but we will be failing on our own terms, and through those failings we learn who we are. We learn to pick ourselves up and continue on our own unique path. 

It is never to late to follow your own path, and some of us start much later than others, but by listening to your inner voice you will learn just who you are. You will learn to spread your wings and fly. You will learn that your path is uniquely yours. You will find your voice. 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

writing from the heart

I have been giving a lot of thought lately about my blog, my writing, my sharing of thoughts. 

Saturday I wrote here about needing some alone time and my afternoon spent wandering the backroads. 

I am a self supporting woman. I rely on myself and my own abilities to bring in an income. That income has not been sufficient the last few years and that has caused me a lot of worry. 

When I first started this blog it was to promote my Etsy business. It has since evolved into something much more. It is an expression of my feelings and a way to reach other women. I want to inspire, to let you know you are not alone, to reach out across the miles. I have incorporated my training and experience as a counselor to share and hopefully to help heal. 

So how do I tie in my writing with my need for an income? This is what I have been trying to determine recently, and I haven't reached a conclusion. I have even thought about giving up my blog to focus on my vintage and antique business, but through meditation and prayer I have realized that my blog helps to feed my spirit. 

Advertisers seem to want blogs that are more about home decor/gardening, and as much as I love to decorate I am not in my own home so that is not what I am about at this stage of my life.

I think there is a need for women my age to connect, to share, and to inspire. We have a wealth of experience and knowledge that we can pass on not only to each other, but to those coming behind us. We have stories to share.

So I will continue to contemplate. I may not write every day because other things in life are calling me right now. The care of my mother. The need to earn a living. Other family obligations. I will continue to write, though and I will hopefully have more time for visiting. 

I would love to hear your thoughts. They are important to me.

P.S. I know that Google+ keeps reverting my blog to a no reply blog. I am not sure why, but I will try once again to fix it. 

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

alone on the backroads

I have been desperately in need of some alone time and today seemed like the perfect time for it. 

Yesterday was not the best of days. My mom called me early to tell me she was in terrible pain again. I had to remind her that the doctor said there was nothing more they could do until they were able to get her into the hospital in Indianapolis for electrohydraulic lithotripsy. Although it is three hours from us it seems to be the place where we will have to go. Then I got an email saying that my mom's beautiful platter that I sold on Etsy had arrived to the buyer shattered. To top it all off my granddaughter was bitten by a dog. SIGH!!!

So yes, I needed some alone time. 

Today seemed like a great day for wandering the backroads. It was one of those perfect days. The kind that you want to grab up and stick in your pocket. Because you know that next winter there will come a time when you will want to rummage around in your closet, find those white summer pants, dig down deep in that pocket and pull that day out just so you can savor it again.

The day was perfect. All the colors, which had seemed muted for so many months were at their most brilliant. The bright blue sky held a sprinkling of marshmallow clouds. 

Spring was popping out all along the road

with color everywhere.

I think even the cows were happy for such a beautiful day.

After a couple of hours of wandering around and thinking I was lost several times, I came back home much more relaxed.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

transfromations....shine your light

I often wonder, as I write my posts, if I am reaching anyone. I mean REALLY reaching anyone. 

Then I take a step back and think. If even one of my posts makes a difference in one person's life then it is worth it. If even one of my posts lets someone know that they are not alone in their struggles
then it is worth it. If even one of my posts puts a smile on one person's face, even if only for a moment, then it is worth it. 

Because I know that even the smallest things can make a difference in my own life. A smile, a kind word, a simple gesture. These are all things that can brighten my day. So I try to pass these things forward. 

I may not be rich with things or money, but I am rich in so many other ways. So I continue to smile and say hello to strangers. I hold the door to let others pass through. I start each day with feelings of gratitude, and I write my blog in hopes that it brightens someone's day somewhere. Because even though I may feel that my light is small I never know just where it may be shining. 

So keep your light shining. Each of you has made a difference in my life.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

signs signs everywhere signs

I can read the signs. 

They are everywhere. 

They are both outside and in.

They are telling me in no uncertain terms that spring is here to stay.

I for one couldn't be happier.

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