Port Thoughts

I have not yet arranged for the Transport
Maybe I will leave from an Airport or Heliport?
One thing is certain: I definitely will not Abort
For it was judicially decided that I am a Quart Short

Caregiving is a hard and long endurance kind of Sport
A marathon of ups and downs in providing love and Comfort
It is essential the caregiver finds an alternate means of Support

And when necessary a caregiver should be sentenced by the Supreme Court
To a time away for rest and relaxation as prescribed in the Report
A fabulous sentence that has been decreed by the High Court

The time has come to stamp the Passport
The time has come to find the nearest Seaport
The time has come to reserve that all-inclusive beach Resort

It is an overdue trip that the caregiver must not Thwart
It is a wonderful sentence from a very wise Court
Come away with me and let us quickly Deport!

Daily Prompt: Passport

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Sun Chairs

A dark storage room
Plastic folding chairs are kept
At the beach hotel

When the sun rises
Many chairs are set in place
To face the ocean

Chairs sit quietly
Sensing the warmth of the sun
Anticipating…

Then the people come
And unpack their bags of stuff
Setting up a camp

Folks relax at last
Thankful to reserve a chair
Loving good fortune

Watching children run
Playing in the sand and sea
Talk of summers past

The sun starts to set
Chairs are returned to storage
To wait the next day

Inside the dark room
The beach rental chairs will rest
Until tomorrow.

Daily Prompt:  Fortune

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Cold Elixir

As a woman of a certain age, I seem to be enduring days of “personal summers”. The air conditioner is my very dearest friend, but sadly, my husband and father-in-law are not happy unless the house is warm. The warmer the better and I’m a tolerant caregiver.  🙂

The most magical thing was delivered this afternoon by a small wizard in a UPS uniform. I ordered it to help me endure the endless summer inside my house.

I pulled it out of the box and removed the plastic wrap. I added the batteries to the remote and plugged in the new gift. I placed it on the floor in front of me and nestled in my favorite spot on the sofa. As I pushed the power button on the remote, there was a magnificent and cool breeze that flowed towards me. I sat there absorbing the glorious wave of coldness.

I’m not searching this world for the fountain of youth. That ship has already sailed. I’m not interested in drinking a mystical concoction to make me beautiful. That ship never left the dock.  I just need things to make my life easier and bring me little bursts of happiness.  And for this old lady fighting an inner battle with hormones, the elixir of life can be as simple as a fan ordered from the internet that blows cold air.

Daily Prompt:  Elixir 

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Purple Pansies

Located in town
A traffic circle for cars
Called a round-a-bout

Cars go round and round
Somehow missing each other
As they zoom around

At the center point
Lies a lovely flower bed
That’s hardly noticed

The star attraction
In this strategic bouquet
Was purple pansies

How could they not see
All the beauty in that space
All the purple-ness

Too many errands
Too many places to be
In too much hurry

The cars zoom on by
Never seem to notice it
But I love purple

Daily Prompt:  Purple

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Symbiotic Shoulder Cat

 

Symbiosis :  Interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both

I have a shoulder cat. For 17 years, he has enjoyed perching on my shoulder in close physical association. When he sits on my shoulder, he has a happy purr. When he sits on my shoulder, I have a happy feeling. Yes, there is definitely an advantage in this interaction for both of us.

Enough said.

Daily Prompt: Symbiosis

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Caregiving Math

A life is meaningless without a center or balance.  My life is balanced because my husband’s life is balanced.  Together, we have created a way to keep both of us centered, balanced, and our lives are full of meaning.

It is a fragile balance that must be maintained and nurtured by both of us to maintain that center.  We both require different things to maintain the center.  When my needs are met, I am able to ensure that his needs are met.  We must find ways to maintain that balance for both of us and I will do everything in my power to keep the meaningfulness in our lives.

I hated Math, but I’m seeing this as a Meaningful Caregiving Equation:

His needs are:    Hope  /  Love  / Happiness  /  Memories

My needs are:     Quiet Time / Self-Care  /  Sleep  /  Socialization

X = His Needs                Y =  My Needs

When X=Y, both our needs are being met

My life has meaning and his life has meaning.

When X=Y, the two sides are balanced and centered

OUR LIVES ARE MEANINGFUL

LIFE IS GOOD

Daily Prompt:  Meaningless

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Green Monster

When the house was born
The builder made a good choice
A small bush out front

Under the window
It was meant to remain small
Neglected it grew

Two decades later
The little bush is immense
Overgrown indeed

This one little bush
Is now the size of seven
All along the house

Prickly branches reach
The walkway to the front door
As guests walk around

Christmas lights are strung
All over it and it was
Named “The Green Monster”

No ordinary shrub
One day soon it will be gone
Mama hates this beast

Via Daily Prompt:  Ordinary

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Hidden Inside

Some things are quite obvious and obviously, some things are not. Objective things are quite evident to everyone. Things that are subjective and noticed only by you are symptoms.

People looking at your caregiving situation from the outside have an objective understanding of the things you do every day for a loved one. They can clearly see how much you do for others. But what are you feeling inside that others cannot see. What symptom are you hiding and what can you do to treat it?

One of my hidden symptoms is joint pain. Some movements and muscle flexes are somewhat uncomfortable for me. I can’t associate these symptoms with any obvious diagnosis other than what I refer to as “Caregiver Stress”. I can fit several general aches and pains under that caregiving umbrella, and no one really understands them but me.

What symptoms are you hiding? We can’t do everything for everyone, but we can do one thing for ourselves. Think about one thing you can do today to make yourself feel better in a small way. Today, I’m feeling tired. I’m going to listen to a hidden symptom. I’m going to take a nap.
What will you do?

Via Daily Prompt: Symptom

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Patiently Waiting

A scared new patient
Sitting in the waiting room
Looks around and stares.

There is no music
To distract nervous people
Playing overhead.

The silence is loud
Magazine pages turning
Sounds of restlessness.

Nurses open doors
Patients enter and come out
Announcing each name.

Something is spoken
Laughter spills from a corner
And floods the big room.

Folks look up to see
Smiling and relaxed faces
Nerves have become calm.

The waiting room chilled
There is a warm acceptance
Patients are now friends.

Via Daily Prompt:  Acceptance

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Just say YES

My mom had a refrigerator magnet that said, “I must learn to say NO”.
It was hard for her to say NO when people from a group would ask for her assistance. People loved her spirit and her passion to help others. I don’t know if she bought that magnet or if someone gave it to her. She would always be glad to help, but she knew her personal time was just as precious. It was the special time with family and friends that gave her the strength to be so highly involved with these important causes and groups.

My life has mirrored my mother’s in some respects. I share her passion to be involved. My immediate passion is the care and safety of my husband and his father. I will always be available to help them and care for them.

I need to remind myself that it’s okay to say NO, but how is it possible for a 24/7 caregiver to say NO to a loved one when everything that loved one needs is dependent on YOU?

I need a different magnet that says, “I must learn to say YES”. I need to tell myself that it’s okay to say YES to getting help with my caregiving responsibilities. It’s okay to say YES to substitute caregivers. It’s okay to say Yes to free time for ME. It’s okay to say YES to time with friends and family who have probably grown tired of hearing me say NO to them too often.

We, as caregivers, need to start reminding ourselves that it’s okay to get help for ourselves. For me, I’m going to start with a minimal commitment of just a few hours a week. This is time for me to get groceries or just be out of the house. This is time for me to gather strength so I may continue being an awesome caregiver.

I know that caregiving guilt is real because I feel it. Do you feel it, too? I’m trying to find that delicate balance in my caregiving role. I’m trying to say YES to friends and family more often. I’m trying to say YES to myself more. I’m trying…Will you try, too?

Via Daily Prompt:  Minimal

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