Today's going to be a great day. So many people want to know how I can find joy in this situation. Well, I'm not going to give any sermons, but all I can say is adjust or self-destruct. Once acceptance is gained, the coping can begin and in coping, hopefully humor and joy can be found. First of all, I needed to quit trying to be superwoman. I think "retirement" brings it's own challenges; the challenge of feeling productive and purposeful. Caregiving was not exactly my idea of being purposeful. After all, I had raised the kids and it was time to be free! I think I would have rather been a famous artist and "contribute" my "talents" to society. Yeah, right! Like the other 10 millions artists out there. We know what the world thinks of artists. NOT MUCH! Or, maybe I could have been Mother Theresa...a famous missionary helping throngs of underprivileged. Surely that would have given me tons of jewels in my crown.
I still struggle with what I wanna be when I grow up. I think we all do. Once I was in Alzheimer world, I was forced to adjust. Forced to accept the situation because there was no getting out of it. I mean, what was I going to do? Run away? Sooooo, seeing the path laid out before me, I figured that I'd better start working on a new career for the second half of my life. A career that I could do while still having my sidekick around. We've been fortunate that Jerry was a good provider and we worked on paying off our house. So we did not have any debt. Thus, we can manage on disability and social security. IT"S A VERY TIGHT SQUEEZE. So in order to do anything extra, eat out, maintenance, lawn care and manage caregiving expenses I've got to have some extra income.
So painting is it! Now, no one can make money painting, however, I can make more selling a painting than I can working at McDonalds..."Can I supersize that for you?" Right! I'd be supersizing ME. You'd think a 20 year career with an airline might qualify you for more ....NOT.
Being able to create something out of nothing makes me smile. Doing it to flamenco music makes me dance. Doing this in a house full of windows makes me happy. Happiness is something to cling to and it's important not to let the grumpies get to you. If I ever get near the drain of depression, I back away as fast as I can. That drain will suck me in so deep that I can't get out.
It's important to socialize. Being around funny people keeps the mood up. I must admit that I get a little resentful from time to time when I see adults our age out on their boats or kayaks, or mountain climbing, or sailing. But, I have to give those thoughts a huge shove out of my mind. Negativism can only discourage and destroy.
Course, it helps to have help. I've finally realized that I need help. So, I've hired a companion to come in 2 afternoons a week. Since they are good able bodied men, I like to give them men duties...take care of my car or run errands to Walmart. This time they get to have sidekick and I get to have my own time. It works like a charm.
Hope this helps anyone who's in my boat. We need to keep our boats afloat and not let them get too full of water, lest we sink. Talk to you later.