Any Animal, Any At All

My mom knows this– petting any animal brings her joy. I’m a big believer in the serenity animals can bring. They lower stress by releasing the hormone oxytocin.

I wonder if printing does this for me, too.  I know. It sounds silly, but there is a calm that takes over. Perhaps it is the focus or maybe it simply takes my mind away from stress to something pleasurable.

These days we need to work hard not to let our emotions be hijacked. Nourish yourself with whatever takes you back to you.

Listen to Those Feelings

I printed this card recently. In trying not to be so hard on myself (listening to the voice that says, “you’re not doing enough), I attempted to block the emotion.

The truth is that sometimes we need to listen to the voice, even if only for a minute or two.  Nancy Jane Smith writes about this here, saying “what if there is no happy ending?” And, of course, for me with mom, there isn’t. Her dementia will worsen. One day, she won’t know who I am. Even if she does, she won’t for long as her memory seems to last about an hour these days.

What if that thought is actually freeing? What if that means you can stop hustling, reframing, pretending, changing your thoughts and changing your vibrations all the time? What if you could just be whatever you are without always trying to find the happy ending?”

I have struggled the last ten years to unlock a lifetime of emotions. Yes, I wish I had started earlier. Don’t we all? But dealing with these feelings now is freeing, as Smith says. I hope printing and sharing my cards helps others deal with theirs, too.

Dementia has taught me much about the brain, memory, thinking, and feeling. Grief has its own gifts.

Storms Ahead?

As I headed into an appointment today, I glanced over my shoulder.
I was hoping this was not a metaphor for my life, or a sign of what was coming. My Mom has Alzheimer’s, or at least dementia that gives her very little memory. I never know from day to day if she will need me, or if I will have to make some life changing decision about her care. Yesterday, I did.

We are moving her again to a different facility. These changes are hard on people with memory issues, but as her caregiver, I often need to make these difficult decisions. So, storms are on the horizon. But, perhaps we will get a reprieve. Perhaps the clouds will pass, and she will settle in. That’s really all I want for her. A way for the end of her life to be calm. For her to know I love her.

I printed this yesterday, and the work gave me a chance to pause.