Some sage advice sent my way…

Image via googleimages.com and leadingessentially.com

Image via googleimages.com and leadingessentially.com

I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed, and in fact, like giving up blogging, FB, twitter and all of my advocacy. As usual, if one shuts up long enough to listen, the universe supports, and today I received some very sage advice:

“… honestly sometimes I think that with people with dementia that unless you give them specific things to complete, it is very hard for them to remember and to know what to do to help. I often experience some of the same problems and have such problems with time management and then when I work on things, it takes me so long to do things that used to take very little time that sometimes it can make you feel like giving up if you put too high of a demand on yourself.

So, my suggestion to you and this is just my idea, but I would suggest you prioritize what you are doing so that the things that fall lower in your personal priority, if they don’t get done then that is better for you than to feel overly stressed.

Remember, stress is supposed to be one of our enemies so don’t stress!

The world isn’t going to end if any of us doesn’t get everything we wanted to get done, so give yourself a break more.

That’s my advice anyway for what it’s worth. You get more done than most anyone I know living with dementia and how you do it, I haven’t a clue so make sure you don’t gauge people by what you are able to get done. I would have my head swimming if I even tried to do all you do along with feeling pressure to get other things in my life done. So, sorry to ramble on, I wish I had the answers!”

Thank you to my wise and very supportive friend for this advice, who is also living with a diagnosis of dementia. I love honesty, and know one of my challenges has always been to think that others will be as committed as me or as willing to put in the same amount of effort or focus as me. Wrong! And VERY rightly so! A helpful, gently and very timely reminder for me.

31 thoughts on “Some sage advice sent my way…

  1. Kate, we share a driving need to bring about change (not only re dementia). For that, we summon adrenalin from god knows where to feed our “type A” personalities 😉

    That’s simply not physically good for us.

    We “fly” because we don’t want to crash. We miss out on presentness. Even meditation, Pilates, yoga, walking become “TO DOs” that we use to balance our mad lives.

    I worked 70 hour weeks for 12 years while supporting my late partner. We felt we were living on borrowed time because of her health. 3 years after her death I resigned from the job I’d loved – burnt out, exhausted, left with a permanent spinal disability and chronic pain at just 53.

    “Listen up sista!”😉 When V was diagnosed I stopped everything I’d been worrying about up till then (including my consultancy) and decided to live as closely as I could to her reality, because I’d learnt meantime to see clouds, birds and stars (V has a telescope), because my garden was still producing glorious roses, because the sea is a 5 min walk away and never stops changing…as simple as that.

    I think we all need to just “stop” sometimes, take off the watch, be physically still and re-discover what makes us breathe.

    Turn off Twitter for 2 days!! There’ll be the surprise of all those notifications waiting for you when you come back to it, so you can have a right old binge!😉😄😚 I know, I can talk..

    Love to you and thanks always for giving me so much of your time. Lxx

  2. Reblogged this on call-to-mind and commented:
    I often have such high expectations of what I can do in the day or week, that it’s so easy to set myself up for failure. Much better to appreciate and note down all the things you have managed to accomplish, and enjoy!

  3. Kate, you have been an inspiration to me. I only blog every two weeks. I couldn’t do it every day, as you attempt to post so often. Perhaps rather than giving it up completely, go to once or twice a week to conserve your energies! You make such a difference to so many people, I would hate to think that we wouldn’t continue to get your valuable perspective here in the USA if you stopped blogging all together.
    Vicki Kaufmann

    • Thanks Vicki. Actually re blogging, there are some weeks I go without blogging all week, sometimes longer. I blog these days, only when I feel I ‘need’ to. Either I really want a message out there on a given day, or it is therapeutic for me! Oh, and often, it is just for fun, as one of my hobbies and recreations is actually writing. Some people knit, I write… so in fact, this is not much of a pressure at all on me, but a pleasure. x

  4. Reblogged this on memory issues and commented:
    Today’s blog from Kate makes a very salient point: I can’t expect everyone else to share my enthusiasm for improving the approach to dementia in North East Lincolnshire. That must not make me disillusioned or affect my enthusiasm from carrying out my own little campaign to improve things in this area.

    • That is definitely the trick, not feeling despondent, or like giving up, when others are not as passionate or committed in the same way you are. One of life’s big lessons I suspect…

  5. Grateful thanks to you and your friend for this essential advice, it could not have come at a better time for me! Reminds me of John Milton’s wonderful poem about his blindness, which ends with ‘they also serve who only stand and wait’
    give yourself a hug
    Peter

  6. True yes Kate et al. I often ask people ‘How much will this very thing matter in a year’s time?’ If it will matter, it might be worth concentrating some effort on. Often though, it wont matter a jot in a year – so enough said.

    x

    • Thanks Tony… and if I do stop doing what I’m doing it might just give up earlier? I am taking lots of good advice though, and even though the roses were recently pruned, I’m looking for flowers to smell!

  7. Kate, you’re not the only one to feel overwhelmed and to want to quit from time to time. I’ve almost shut down my amazingwomen rock Facebook page at least five times in the last eight years. I’ve almost thrown in the towel on everything else almost as often.

    I too constantly feel overwhelmed. I just try to do too much, which is hardly surprising, given there’s so much to do!

    In the end, I just do what I can, which is all anyone can do really…

    you are amazing. but then again you already know that 🙂

  8. Very pertinent advice which we could all do well to follow. A very wise person once suggested I ask myself the following if I was feeling overwhelmed and overextended: ‘ Will someone die if I don’t complete this? Will I die if I don’t complete this and is my world going to end as a result?’ If you can answer in the negative then obviously this too can wait til another day!!!! And yes, I think you should give yourself a break more!! No point in doing all that you have taken on if at the end of the day you are too exhausted to ‘take time to smell the roses!’ You are amazing in all that you do and have taken on, however, have you taken time to ask yourself why you have to be ‘so driven’ ALL of the time? And you are very correct when you say that it is wrong to think that others have the same level of commitment or are as focused as you. We all have our own unique way of getting to where we should be. As noted in the book – ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’ – ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard!!!! Just saying my dear friend!

    • Thanks dear friend… and yes, I do take time out, but not for too long, primarily because Pete and I are almost terrified of ‘dementia symptoms’ catching up with me. No doubt, one day I will have NO choice about that, but for now, it feels like a choice, and I’d rather be overwhelmed occasionally, than not able to function! hugs xox

      and my most useful motto, which can keep me working too much, is, “will it be a problem in a year?”. It if will be, then work on fixing it NOW, if not, forget it. xx

  9. Thanks for that very wise advice. Yes, I believe the universe opens up to us when we need it. We may not listen and there are consequences but if we listen WOW. In the past 18 months I have been diagnosed with three autoimmune diseases – the latest being rheumatoid arthritis. From being a person who could do so much – work, home etc, I now feel so depleted by the simplest task. You are one amazing lady Kate (I said that when I left a comment on your blog yesterday but I repeat it today). You are an inspiration to everyone Kate no matter what disABILITY they have. So THANK YOU AND HUGS. Bron xo

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