Friday, February 19, 2016

Getting Your Second Wind

A couple of days ago I received a message from a high school aquaintance who had been a caregiver for a decade before her mother passed away early this year. She noted that she was having trouble sleeping, couldn’t get motivated to do anything, felt…lost.

I pointed out that some studies show it takes 3-5 years to adjust to the loss of a loved one and she’s only about a month into her journey. I also suggested she see her physician for some counseling and help with sleeping and dealing with what sounds like an episode of depression.

At the same time, I’m running into some rough weather in life and yesterday was an especially difficult day. I had the TV on for background music and Billy Joel’s You're Only Human (Second Wind) came on. As I listened to the words I immediately felt a lift so I went online to check the lyrics. I’ve read them about a dozen times in the last 24 hours. 

Even though he wrote the song to address the issue of teen depression and suicide it is perfect for caregivers. Read through the song at least twice, check the notes at the bottom, and see what you think.

And, Billy, thanks…more than you know…

"You're Only Human (Second Wind)"

You're having a hard time and lately you don't feel so good
You're getting a bad reputation in your neighborhood
It's alright, it's alright
Sometimes that's what it takes
You're only human, you're allowed to make your share of mistakes

You better believe there will be times in your life
When you'll be feeling like a stumbling fool
So take it from me you'll learn more from your accidents
Than anything you could ever learn at school

Don't forget your second wind
Sooner or later you'll get your second wind
It's not always easy to be living in this world of pain
You're gonna be crashing into stone walls again and again
It's alright, it's alright

Though you feel your heart break
You're only human, you're gonna have to deal with heartache
Just like a boxer in a title fight
You got to walk in that ring all alone
You're not the only one who's made mistakes
But they're the only things that you can truly call your own

Don't forget your second wind
Wait in your corner until that breeze blows in

You've been keeping to yourself these days
Cause you're thinking everything's gone wrong
Sometimes you just want to lay down and die
That emotion can be so strong
But hold on
Till that old second wind comes along

You probably don't want to hear advice from someone else
But I wouldn't be telling you if I hadn't been there myself
It's alright, it's alright
Sometimes that's all it takes
We're only human
We're supposed to make mistakes
But I survived all those long lonely days
When it seemed I did not have a friend
Cause all I needed was a little faith
So I could catch my breath and face the world again
Don't forget your second wind
Sooner or later you'll feel that momentum kick in
Don't forget your second wind
Sooner or later you'll feel that momentum kick in

All copyrights apply to Billy Joel.

"You're Only Human (Second Wind)" is a song written in 1985 and performed by Billy Joel. The song deals with teenage depression and suicide. It originally appeared on Billy Joel's Greatest Hits in 1985 and became a top ten hit, peaking at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Joel, who had once attempted suicide himself, stated in a 1985 interview that he wrote the song as a way to help young people struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide.[1] In his original draft, he was concerned that the song sounded too depressing so he re-wrote it with a bouncy, joyous beat and melody with lyrics that stressed personal forgiveness and optimism about life. Joel donated all royalties from the song to the National Committee for Youth Suicide Prevention.[2] (notes from Wikipedia)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Reading through the obits/info about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who passed away Saturday at 79, a couple of basic observations keep forming: First, nice guy. Interesting, although argumentative; obviously loved his family and friends; the type of guy you want on your side. Second, not the person you want on the other side if you are saying, “Society changes and there are some things about it that might be different than they were 250 years ago, some things the Founding Fathers didn’t anticipate/didn’t experience.”

The best line of thought, though, was in The Washington Post. They noted that Scalia’s conservative arguments made progressives toughen up their own arguments, made them better/smarter/more persuasive. The paper quoted Proverbs 27:17, “ Iron sharpens iron.”

If you believe that life keeps sending you lessons until you get the lesson you’ll understand why I keep getting the message that there’s an opposite side to tough times. Obviously, it’s a lesson I need to learn.

If you’re trying to actually live life, with live being an active verb, there are going to be situations that aren’t blue birds and lemonade. The questions to keep holding in your mind are, “What can I learn from this? What do I want and how can I take these lessons and get closer to the life I want to live?”

Maybe we all need a Justice Scalia in our lives, someone from whom we can learn lessons. And, whether we like it or not, aren’t those the folks we appreciate all along the journey?

Thank you, Your Honor.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Let's Make Your Caregiving Life Easier

I don’t usually plug products, but there’s an online site that might offer products to make your life easier.

In fact, it’s

Have to admit, I don’t know how good their customer service is, but you’ll find a whole range of products for every use you can think of.

Good luck!