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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Self Acceptance January 18,2015

As New Year's resolutions begin to fade, I start to think of all the "bad" things I've already done this year. I bought a huge macadamia nut cookie at the food store--it was shining at me at the checkout counter in its Saran-wrap luxury-- and ate it all before I finished putting the rest of my purchases away.
AND I just added a half teaspoon of "real" sugar to my Sunday morning coffee which prompted me to write this blog entry.
Last week was a challenging one for me, but it also had such goodness I have been heartened rather than its opposite. My friends know I am always willing to believe in people, some call me gullible I admit. I trust easily , but I get SO disappointed when my trust is misplaced and I get "taken."

I lose my self-respect, I doubt my decision-making skills, I cringe and want to curl up with a good mystery novel and hope the problem goes away, or that my emotional involvement dissipates to the level at which my head can function to extricate me from the ensuing mess.

This pattern can and does happen to many of us. We set goals, we slide back a bit which we accept until something else in our lives disappoints us and we slide into dysfunction. Whether we choose alcohol or pills or food to soothe our bruised selves, whether we hide from life and disconnect from friends or act out aggressively in this less than balanced state, we need to recognize what is happening inside ourselves.
Awareness has to come first.Reaching out to family and friends comes next. "Fessing up" and letting your world know what has happened isn't easy. It feels like admitting to failure, to naiveté at the least.
My son read the offending letter I received, my friend suggested an attorney who phoned me directly and even emailed me at 8:05 on a Friday evening and offered to read the material without charge!!

Don't let the winter doldrums get you down for long! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bess Myerson Dies at 90 from Alzheimer's Disease January 11, 2015

Bess Myerson was Miss America in 1945, when that title was an important one at the end of the Second World War. As Miss America, she was set up for a series of appearnces in many cities across the country. However, instead of welcoming the New York extremely talented beauty, she was discriminated against because she was Jewish. She was not admitted to the country clubs and was not permitted to stay in the pageant-ordered hotels! Eventually she just went home.

She became an advocate; she presented the promise of the Miss America pageant and she became  outspoken about the racism and the bigotry that existed then and sadly, to some extent, exists still today. She had the courage to speak out and the pride in her heritage. She became the Consumer Affairs advocate for the city of New York and served under two mayors, Mayor Lindsay and Mayor Ed Koch. She also becme a television personality, she was on three shows. The most famous one was What's My Line?
She even declared to run for a Senate seat in New York in 1980, but was sidelined with cancer
In her personal life she was not lucky; she eventully was charged with bribery when she hired the daughter of a judge who was hearing a divorce case involving her married lover. She was acquitted, but she lost her job as commissioner.

After 1988, she moved from New York to be with her daughter. She developed Alzheimer's disease and died on December 14, 2014 three weeks before the press heard about her death.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Perseverance January 4, 2015

The dictionary defines the word as continued steady belief or practice regardless of difficulty. Its synonym is persistence.

Those who know me will agree that I keep on going, trying to find a solution to problems regardless of difficulty. I make attempts to learn something new, to write something better, to help others where I can, to advocate for other caregivers. 

I received a most welcome gift this week, however. A woman who had recently met me, then read my book, Put That Knife Away, wrote to me that I had persevered. My accomplishment, she added, is helping her to persevere through the newly diagnosed dementia of her husband.

Using the past tense of the word freed me somehow. She was correct I now realize; my struggles with caregiving have diminished. My husband is no longer angry; I have moved him to a quiet peaceful home instead of the larger facility where he had been living for the past three years. I can relax.

My caregiving is not over; I visit regularly, bringing magazines or his winter jacket. I witness his contentment and I am relieved that his needs are being met so well. I can now persevere in writing the sequel which will be called I Want to Go Home, a book about the various residential avenues my husband and I have explored and those that have been used by the members of my support group.