Thursday, May 22, 2014

Doing a "Got It Done" Journal

One of the areas in which caregiving will flat-out make you crazy is memory. I've written in the past about the research that came out last year, "The Myth of Cognitive Decline." The researchers say that as we age and get more of what we think is forgetful, we're really not forgetful, it's simply a case of our brains getting more full and we have to sift through all the info to get what we want.

The more I've thought about the research the more the impact of caregiving craziness hits me right between the...frontal lobes. 

So, I've recently started a “Got It Done” Journal. When I get things done during the day I write them down.

If you ever have one of those days when it seems like nothing is going right and you’re spinning your wheels the Got It Done Journal is a great way to look back and see that you DID get some constructive things done.

I list caregiving duties fulfilled, emails sent, things bought, personal tasks completed and  meetings held.

If you’re operating at a fast pace it’s easy to forget you made an important phone call, scheduled or didn’t schedule a meeting or accomplished a task you had planned.

If you’re doing a To-Do List you can look to see if the item is crossed off, but I’m increasingly liking the Got It Done Journal because I’m writing notes and doodling ideas about some of the issues and looking ahead to how they might impact other things/people/goals in the future.

You might want to try the Got It Done Journal for a week or month to see how you like it. Go to an office supply store and pick up a simple journal with a design you like (lined, unlined, graph paper design) and see how it works for you. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sweat Is Fat Crying

None of us like discomfort. We even come up with clich├ęs to explain it away.

Navy SEALS talk about, “The only easy day was yesterday.” Marines say, “Pain is just weakness leaving the body.” I saw a great T-shirt in a gym recently: “Sweat is fat crying.”

But, what if we acknowledge moments of discomfort as portals of understanding? What if, instead of looking at pain as weakness leaving the body (or our heart), we acknowledge it as the body or heart telling us, “There’s something here you need to look at more closely.”

That takes courage; courage to move closer to the pain in order to understand it. Instead of hiding it or covering it up you bring it out into the light and roll it around and look at it and talk to it….and you ask, “What are you?” “Why are you here?” “Where’d you come from?” “Where are you going?” “What can I learn from you?”

The discomfort and, sometimes,  pain of caregiving, is here to teach us some something. And, it can’t teach us if it’s pushed away or locked in a box.