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Quick job update:
Got a new, regular client (90) who's a challenge but also an amazing learning opportunity. She reminds me a lot of Nmother, but is more of a "steel magNolia." Smart, very charming, and very manipulative. She drives her two sons crazy and can be frustrating to deal with. Nearly every time, I must set boundaries with her. Doesn't sound like "fun" but in a way it is, because I'm getting to experience a healthy response to manipulation. And also experience assertiveness. I can enjoy her liveliness and warmth but say "No" when I need to. (She wants me to be "on call" and rush to soothe her, and I've explained that if she needs more time, she does have to reserve me ahead.) Everything that pops into her head she describes as "urgent" or "very important" so she keeps people around her in a state of agitation. Yet she has very serious health issues.

I could go on and on with stories about her but there's also a lot to enjoy if I keep it light but professional.

Compassion is still job one. She is in very poor health (failing heart, only one kidney--I've taken her to the ER twice) and quite afraid. Being kind but strong with her at the same time is a positive experience for me. And being paid for my time makes a lot of difference in how it feels.

Originial geNt is getting crankier, for health reasons I think. Also because he realizes I'm not quite as available for him as I once was. I think he's scared and lonely but is so rigid and controlling that he won't let anyone truly "in". Like magNolia, he's putting a ton of energy into image management, and is in denial about where he is in life.

I get a lot of lessons from this work. From these two, the biggest I think is to understand that when my decline-time comes, I want to accept help with grace instead of resentment.

My third lady is a joy to be around---kind, maternal and appreciative. Only sad thing is to watch her deal with so much pain and disability because of obesity. Makes me sad to take her grocery shopping and see what she chooses. But she's not stupid, she is addicted. And it's not my place to tell her what to do. Poor thing takes so much medicine it takes us an hour to fill up her pill containers...and one day, she won't be able to walk. Still, she likes to laugh and is just a dear.

I finally have enough hours to feel that if I can keep my employment at approximately this level, I'll be okay. It's good that it keeps me active (very good) but it's also surprisingly draining. You have to be constantly "on" and attentive, unlike at an office where you can take mental breaks. On balance I'm grateful for it...but not making progress right now with my writing. Tend to come home and conk out on the couch.

Personal discipline is still a handicap and that's my biggest challenge. But I think it's going to continue to get better with practice. I've been at it about six months now, only recently up to about 20 hours or so. It's the right balance if I commit to better scheduling and...alas...less time online!

Btw, if you need work, this field that is mushrooming. I offer "companion" care, not "health aide" or significant medical, hygiene or heavy-lifting. My folks are all mobile (with walkers sometimes) and clean and dress themselves. I did some homework and found out what common agencies charge in my area (if you work for an agency you might make $11 hour while the agency pockets $25, but on your own, you can charge $20--more in some places). It's a decent rate for work that suits me well. If you like old folks, make yourself a flyer and get the word out! I worried for months but word of mouth has really worked. Took about six months to get three regulars--but they're all at the same assisted living complex, so I schedule time with them back to back. And some of them are friends, and others I meet coming and going have asked for my flyer, so I think it'll continue to grow in a sort of ebb and flow. Of course, built into the job is that I'll be losing customers one day when they pass away or must move to nursing care, and gradually gaining others. I accept it, and am grateful for what I am learning from folks in this chapter of life.

Hugs,
Hops
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Aw Bones I'm sorry it is still a problem, depression is such a hard one to deal with, do you find it hard to get motivated?  I know that is a problem for me if I feel depressed, such a deep feeling of tiredness that is so hard to shift xx

Yeah, it's hard to find the energy to get motivated.  I get so frustrated with myself.

Argh, it's a cycle, isn't it, we want to feel better, do more and so on but can't quite pull it off and then we get fed up with ourselves for not being able to do it.  I hope it starts to lift soon, Bonesie, it's such a tough one to deal with xx

Thanks, Tupp.

What's also adding to my frustration with myself is that I recently got a new book to read and it's gotten buried in the clutter that I can't seem to get ahead of.  The more I try to declutter, the more exhausted I get.

This is when I wish we knew each other in the real world and that I only lived around the corner as I love decluttering, especially at other people's houses!  It's frustrating not being able to help in a practical way.  Can you manage the 'ten minutes at a time' approach?  I find that helpful when things overwhelm me (which they seem to a lot at times).

(((((((((((((((((((Bonesie)))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Thanks, (((((((((((((((Tupp)))))))))))))))))))))))

I've been trying to clear out trash to the dumpster in small increments since I have to walk down to the far end of the parking lot carrying both a cane plus the trash bags.  That gets exhausting after one or two trips.
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Aw Bones I'm sorry it is still a problem, depression is such a hard one to deal with, do you find it hard to get motivated?  I know that is a problem for me if I feel depressed, such a deep feeling of tiredness that is so hard to shift xx

Yeah, it's hard to find the energy to get motivated.  I get so frustrated with myself.

Argh, it's a cycle, isn't it, we want to feel better, do more and so on but can't quite pull it off and then we get fed up with ourselves for not being able to do it.  I hope it starts to lift soon, Bonesie, it's such a tough one to deal with xx

Thanks, Tupp.

What's also adding to my frustration with myself is that I recently got a new book to read and it's gotten buried in the clutter that I can't seem to get ahead of.  The more I try to declutter, the more exhausted I get.

This is when I wish we knew each other in the real world and that I only lived around the corner as I love decluttering, especially at other people's houses!  It's frustrating not being able to help in a practical way.  Can you manage the 'ten minutes at a time' approach?  I find that helpful when things overwhelm me (which they seem to a lot at times).

(((((((((((((((((((Bonesie)))))))))))))))))))))))))))
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This might be off base, but what popped up for me when reading your latest post, Tupp, is "beware the Geographical Cure..."

((((((((Tupp)))))))

hugs
Hops

It's part of my plan for creating a life that I want, Hopsie, rather than having to make do with circumstances created by other people :)  The last ten or eleven years I've lived in places because of things my mum did, which pushed my life down a certain road.  None of those places were places I'd have chosen myself, including where I live now.  There are other places that I would much prefer, so it's part of my push to take back control of my own life and not to have to keep working at being happy with something I didn't want (which isn't working anyway as I feel thoroughly miserable most of the time) :) x
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This might be off base, but what popped up for me when reading your latest post, Tupp, is "beware the Geographical Cure..."

((((((((Tupp)))))))

hugs
Hops
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Aw Bones I'm sorry it is still a problem, depression is such a hard one to deal with, do you find it hard to get motivated?  I know that is a problem for me if I feel depressed, such a deep feeling of tiredness that is so hard to shift xx

Yeah, it's hard to find the energy to get motivated.  I get so frustrated with myself.

Argh, it's a cycle, isn't it, we want to feel better, do more and so on but can't quite pull it off and then we get fed up with ourselves for not being able to do it.  I hope it starts to lift soon, Bonesie, it's such a tough one to deal with xx

Thanks, Tupp.

What's also adding to my frustration with myself is that I recently got a new book to read and it's gotten buried in the clutter that I can't seem to get ahead of.  The more I try to declutter, the more exhausted I get.
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Summer Solstice today and I've spent the day pondering and thinking 'what next' and do you know what, I'm ready to leave my old life behind.  The fear, the failures, the endless running round after people, bending myself in all directions to make everyone happy, always putting myself last.  I want a life that I have chosen, not an endless procession of reactions to other people's mistakes or their failures to deal with their own problems.  I don't want to keep worrying about what people think, I want people around me who accept me, warts and all, or go away people.  I want to really get away from my past.  I think that will mean moving again, further this time and cutting off ties when I do it.  Still finding memories and people who elicit certain responses or feelings in me.  Want to feel like I am living, rather than having to cope with living.  Ready to leave it all behind now.  It's very hot here at the moment!
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Aw Bones I'm sorry it is still a problem, depression is such a hard one to deal with, do you find it hard to get motivated?  I know that is a problem for me if I feel depressed, such a deep feeling of tiredness that is so hard to shift xx

Yeah, it's hard to find the energy to get motivated.  I get so frustrated with myself.

Argh, it's a cycle, isn't it, we want to feel better, do more and so on but can't quite pull it off and then we get fed up with ourselves for not being able to do it.  I hope it starts to lift soon, Bonesie, it's such a tough one to deal with xx
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Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Becoming "me"
« Last post by sKePTiKal on June 21, 2017, 08:00:48 AM »
I've been out playing bushwacker - clearing a decent path for the service guy to get the a/c unit in the studio. Almost there - had to quit for food at lunchtime. My hands hurt from the pruners, so I shifted over to mowing more of the tall grass around the house (I keep pushing it away). And of COURSE, I got bit by something - skeeters, no see ums, I literally did not know I was being bit and the bites are where I was covered, actually. Big, red, hot, itchy welts.

I was getting them when I worked out in the "wilder" areas at the beach too. Somewhere I have lots of suncreen and bug spray. But since it's not the place and it's bugs (happening both places) I have to assume that my allergy to bites has increased, for whatever reason. Nothing I've tried in the past, really helps - not even oatmeal baths. But I remembered the tip I got from a guy who plays "mountain man"... soak black tea bags in cold water, wring out and apply to bite. The tannins in the tea draw out whatever causes the itching.

Passing it on, for anyone else who has this problem and find that NONE of the usual OTC remedies work.
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