Time Flies

When I was young, I would hear people say, “The older you get, the faster time flies”. As an impatient young adult, I could not understand this phrase. It sounds like something a senior citizen would say. The passage of time is always slow to the young who are impatient to achieve the next big milestone. Perhaps you remember being that young, too.

Everything seems to speed up with the passage of time. Babies become small children. Those same children graduate high school in the blink of an eye. The very people that you watched settle down and get married just a seemingly short time ago, are now talking about their grandchildren. The friends you made in high school now have children that are teenage carbon copies of their parents. Perhaps you have experienced this, too.

At some point, everyone gets a lesson on the brevity of life. The passing of a parent or friend forces a confrontation about our own life. We mark time with the passing of famous people that seemed immortal in how their lives influenced us. For me, those famous people were Glenn Fry, David Bowie, and Prince. As the pace of life continues to quicken, we start to re-evaluate where we are and where we believe we should be. For me, it was the realization (and denial) that I am old enough to be eligible for AARP benefits. Perhaps you have had a similar realization, too.

There are many things that are yet undone in my life. As I am able and if I am fortunate to continue living well into my senior years, I plan to be the crazy old lady every family should have. I will be the old lady yelling with delight while riding a zip line.

While I am currently the busy and frazzled full-time caregiver for loved ones, my life is not over. And I am now the resident expert in the meaning of the phrase, “The older you get, the faster time flies”. The lesson is clear. Life is short and it goes by quick. Take advantage of your time here. Do the things that bring you happiness and be the person you wish to be.

Via Daily Prompt:  Quicken

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Steering Wheel Wisdom

I love to drive. I’ve had a few jobs that required a lot of driving. I love to get in the car and drive somewhere. It’s not always about the destination. Sometimes, it’s all about the journey.

My daddy taught me to drive. My daddy was teaching me to drive long before I sat behind the wheel. When I was little, my mom kept a small round pillow on the back seat of the car. She purposely kept it there so she could reach it anytime she wanted to rest in the car.

As a small child, I can remember being on the backseat and picking up that round pillow. I held it up and turned it while watching my dad turn the steering wheel. I would mimic the steering wheel with my round pillow. I even held it at the 10 and 2 positions, just like my daddy.

When my daddy realized he had a co-pilot in the back seat, he started teaching me about being a good driver. I learned about the pedals, the controls, and the road signs. He also taught me the importance of staying in the center of the lane and the reason the lanes are painted. These driving sessions became valuable daddy-daughter time as I watched him intently while holding my round pillow. He used driving trips as teachable moments to impart all his wisdom about life to me.

It’s interesting how those precious childhood moments never fade. When you look back on them with a certain nostalgia, the memory makes your heart smile, and it makes you very thankful for good influences in your life. I am grateful that my daddy had a sweet and patient hand on the steering wheel of my soul.

Via Daily Prompt:  Center

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A Caregiving Technology Tool

A few weeks ago we welcomed a new addition to our home. Looking back on the event, we probably should have sent out a “new baby” birth announcement. We brought home a Google Home speaker. This gadget has become a special part of our caregiving family. It has met a need for socialization that perhaps we didn’t even know we were lacking.

We are not a particularly tech savvy family. I know enough to talk intelligently about most things, but my husband knows even less than I do.

Because of his Muscular Dystrophy, he just cannot control many things with his muscles.  However, his voice is the only thing needed to manipulate the Google Home. This is something he can control without any help from me and a great tool for helping him feel slightly more independent.

Every morning, he will say, “Hey Google. Good Morning.” The nice Google lady in the speaker greets him by name and responds with the latest news and sports information. Because we have it synched wth a calendar, it will also remind him of anything on the calendar. It will even play music by a specific artist or a specific genre of music and report on the weather at any time.

When our caregiving house gets bored, we break up the day with a two-player game of trivia. The nice Google lady is the host of our game show complete with sound effects and applause. She even adds her touch of sarcastic humor to keep us amused. In addition to the trivia game, he can use his voice to access the Google search engine and all the useless pieces of information it provides.

Before saying good night to me, my husband will wish “good night” to the nice Google lady. And of course, she will return the wish to him with one of several responses.

Any other woman might be slightly jealous of this gadget. I am amazed at the technology that makes this gadget work and I am very grateful for something that can engage him and keep him involved in life.

I have found this to be a fabulous caregiving tool for the toolbox. Of course, the power of the nice Google lady is ultimately in my control. If she ever tries to come between me and my man, I will just pull the plug!

Via Daily Prompt:  Baby

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An Average Litterateur

Call me a Caregiver, if you prefer
Let me tell you all about it, sir
Quickly let me explain before I deter
You think I am tired? Yes, I believe I would concur

The last few years have been a blur
Sometimes I’m so busy, my speech is a slur
This I can blame on the stress and not the liqueur
And, thankfully, I have also found a very good masseur

My cat helps me relax with a soothing purr
I love to run my fingers in and through his soft fur
Sometimes a caregiver must even perform as a chauffeur
Or create a stay-at-home income as a smart and clever entrepreneur

Yes, sir. This job called Caregiver to which I refer
Is a serious calling that must be pondered if it should occur
Being called a “Caregiver” is both a compliment and a hardship to be sure
But I am a totally awesome spousal caregiver and just an average litterateur

Via Daily Prompt: Slur

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Ten Minute Escape

Out from the chaos and away from the troubles we seek a simple asylum. The location is a place in our minds that allows an escape from the daily grind. It is a place that is easily reached with pure imagination. The commute is quick and very painless.

My personal retreat is a 10 minute escape to my living room sofa with a cup of coffee that contains more sugar than coffee. The escape will likely include earphones to serenade my brain with melodies from Sir Rod Stewart. Music is the background as my brain dictates the destination.

This sense of peace that I feel for a few minutes is my refuge. It is my log cabin at the peak of a mountain. It is my beach umbrella tilted away from the sun on a deserted shore. It is a place in my head that calls me too often when I am unable to answer.

When I go there, the time is limited. I can only stay a few minutes. This precious peace is the only reason I am able to do the things that require so much of me. It is personal. It is sacred and it is important. It is my own special hideout from the world.

If you are looking for an awesome caregiver, I’ll be with you in a moment. I have 8 minutes left to be on a cruise ship in the Bahamas.   🙂

Via Daily Prompt:  Hideout

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Beautiful Souls

You do not have a soul.
You are a soul.
You have a body.

My disabled husband’s lift chair recliner died last week. It’s the only comfortable chair he can relax in.  We needed another one very quickly. The medical store informed us the chair would be delivered in about 5 days. I could not allow my hubby to be uncomfortable that long without a recliner. That’s just too long.

After making some phone calls and putting the word out that we needed help, we had offers from people to pick up the chair at the store and bring it home for us. It was a testament to how people are willing and glad to help, if only given the opportunity. Within a few hours, the chair was in our house and my hubby sound asleep in his new comfortable chair. Many hours later, people were still asking how they could help us.

The beautiful people that had responded to our plea were beautiful souls sent directly from God. They radiated a glittering light from behind their eyes and behind their smiles. It made my soul happy.

Do you need more glitter in your life? Be prepared to get the opportunity to shine. Do you need to shine more? Be prepared to be a child of God.

I am a soul. You are a soul. We are a congregational group of beautiful souls learning how to shine in the lives of others.

Via Daily Prompt:  Glitter

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My Store

Every week I travel to my favorite store.
Not the one to buy a dress, a handbag, or shoes.
This is the store where I get my food.
And all my senses awake as I enter the door.

Inside the store, the first thing you will see
Is the customer service booth against the wall
It is no accident, being at your immediate service is their call.
You can ask a question or return those unwanted green peas.

Inside the store, the deli counter you will hear
People getting special cakes, ham, and turkey.
The employees can help plan food for your party
They will smile and help with an attitude most sincere.

Further inside the store, feel the assorted fruit textures.
Examine each one and feel free to be choosy.
Sneak a quick bite of a grape to see if it’s juicy.
The grocery store is such a fun adventure!

And I need to get out of the house more often!  🙂

Via Daily Prompt: Juicy

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Body, Mind, and Soul

Caregivers worry about the care and the health of those we love. For most of us, the next disaster can come at any moment and we are in constant fear of what will become our new “normal”. This stress and anxiety creates mental and physical health issues which are often aggrevated by the new demands of caregiving. The physical requirements in caregiving may include carrying heavy equipment, standing for long periods of time, squatting, bending, and pulling. These movements are usually highly repetitive. Over a period of time, the physical health of the caregiver will suffer.

For me, these caregiving realities are hitting hard today. Despite no injuries or significant health issues, my body is hurting today. No real explanation, just what I refer to as general aches and pains of caregiving. Some days, I move slower. That’s just the way it is. I am a spousal caregiver and I can’t call in “sick”.  All I can do is take some pain reliever and hope tomorrow will be less painful.

I am a firm believer in the fragile balance between body, mind, and soul. When one is affected in a negative way, it’s very likely the other two will be as well. On the days when my body is in pain, I try to focus on my mind or soul to compensate.  I will focus my attention on writing, puzzles, or meditation to divert my attention away from the physical aches.

Caregiving is brutal. We must find ways to stay happy and healthy as best we can. As we care for the body, mind, and soul of our loved ones, we must do our best to feed the body, mind, and soul of ourselves, too. We are no less important. Consider your own situation. Consider where your loved one would be without your help.

These questions make me think of the Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The movie challenges you to consider how your life would be if a situation was different. Without you being in the “movie” of the loved one, that loved one’s life would definitely be different, and probably not for the better. You are a positive influence in that life and you are extremely important.  Some days are hard. Some days are painful. Be good to your body, mind, and soul. Stay happy and healthy as best you can, my friends. Loved ones are counting on you!

Via Daily Prompt:  Squat

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Quietness

Too many sounds and not enough music
Too many distractions and not enough harmony.

Not enough peaceful moments
Not enough quietness.

Too much noise around me
Too much clanging in my ears.

Just enough life with bliss
Just enough life with happiness.

Via Daily Prompt:  Sound

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A Non-Valentine Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a day set apart for celebrating love shared with friends and family. For many, it is a day to receive red roses, fine chocolates, and big stuffed animals. Couples will go out for fancy dinners to celebrate the beautiful love they share. It’s a magical holiday to celebrate.

Caregiving couples may have a slightly different expectation. Holidays are not much different from any other day. Society will offer recommendations on what gifts should be purchased. Social norms just don’t seem to matter as much when the priorities change. We don’t exchange the normal gifts of Valentine’s Day. When circumstances dictate the norm, you make things up as you go along. It’s the little things that make life special and meaningful.  Thankfully, Love does not care if we are not socially acceptable. Love does not boast and Love is not proud.

We celebrate our love with a spiritual intimacy when we see each other smile. I remember why I love him when he looks at me. Our laughter is contagious. Laughter is an infection that I love to get from him. His heart lives inside my chest and our souls are as one.

On this Valentine’s Day, I visited the Wal-Mart for a few supplies. I saw the aisles of gifts, cards, and assorted Valentine’s merchandise in every shade of red. I saw the people dashing around looking for something to purchase that would prove their love for someone. I purchased my assortment of non-Valentine products that included breakfast cereal, body soap, cough drops, and a watch battery. When I got back home with my Wal-Mart goodies, I showed my husband what I had purchased. I reached in a bag and presented him with his favorite watch that now runs with a newly installed battery from Wal-Mart.

“I got you a new battery for your watch”, I say.
“I love you.”, he says.

“I’ll have the swedish meatball frozen dinner for supper tonight.”, he says.
“Okay, I’ll have the turkey and dressing frozen dinner”, I say.

We are a caregiving couple. We are taking care of each other.  He doesn’t need to take me out for a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner. I have all I need right here at home.

Via Daily Prompt: Expectation

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