Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20 - A Five Year Blog-a-versary.

Today is my 5th Blog-a-versary!

Gosh.  Five years!
Has that much time passed
 since I sent a first post out into the blog-a-sphere??

I recently paged through a few old posts.  I changed a lot inside since those early days.

A bit of naval gazing seems appropriate now.

My blog was launched in 2010 during a busy and sad time of my life.  I was buried deep in elder-care issues for my mom having slipped into that role in 2006.  But by 2010 I was drowning in it.  Solitary  full time elder caregiving can devour you in a way that is hard to put into words.  It is a slow depressing slide down hill for the senior and the caregiver.  In 2010 I felt I was waving a white flag in the battle to maintain both our lives.   I was looking for a safe place to hold the "me-things" that were slipping off my radar.  This blog was my life preserver ... literally a preserver of a life I was putting on hold.

And it worked.

I wrote about everything including things important to me - not me, the caregiver, - but me, the "used-to-be" working professional, wife, mother, crafter, walker, friend ... the me who was still interested in everything life had to offer ... but had to put it most of it aside to be me, the caregiver and daughter.  That receptacle of "me" was this blog.

But even with that goal, in 2011 my mom started to take center stage here as well.  I felt compelled to share the struggles and the emotional turmoil I was holding inside.  I needed to let go of some of it in a controlled bleed rather than an explosive eruption.  That slow controlled bleed of pressure was a  series of blog posts called Through My Care Giver Eyes.   Writing allowed me to put some space between me and the life I was leading.  It helped me to look at things through my mom's eyes and see that all this struggle was ours together.   It cemented my love and commitment to her even after I had to let let go of her primary care to Brooke Grove Assisted Living.  I felt closer to her in the writing process.  We were walking this path together ... to the end.

In hindsight, I am glad for other reasons that I wrote about that journey.  Now that she is gone ...  those posts and memories serve another purpose.  The blog holds the story how I changed as a person because of her.  It also holds those precious life experiences that would fade from memory with time unless they were written down.  What started as a coping mechanism, became a tribute to the woman who was my mom.

The decision to bring mom into my home have far reaching impacts to this day.  Some of life's opportunities have passed beyond my reach because of that decision. Delaying things so many years at my age does not allow much wiggle room in achieving bucket list accomplishments.  But I don't mourn that loss.  Some life goals we choose for ourselves are frivolous with no real value.  The role of caregiver that I naively adopted with an open heart ranks up there for me with motherhood.  I made a difference in the life of someone else.

And I learned like never before about myself.  The world did not end when I pushed back on authority, when I let my rough edges show, and when I walked away from unsupportive relationships.  A black hole did not swallow me up when I fired a physician, demanded accountability and questioned medical opinion.  I am now more results-driven, less worried about what others think, stronger in relying on my own decisions,  and more reflective on what is really important.

Did all these changes make me a more like-able person?  Probably not.  I still have trouble filtering the comments that escape from my brain.  I have less patience and understanding for some people.  But I am more at peace with myself - because my life has value in my own eyes.  My life had value to my mom especially towards the end when she had lost everything else.  

This blog holds all that for me.

In other five years, what will be housed here, will there be another evolution of me tapping on the computer keys ... hard to know.  I might not even be blogging.  I don't focus as much on the future.  I try to live in the "now."   But I am so grateful to have captured a small important part of my past in this space and a small part but important part of my mom's past resides here with me as well.

Something to cherish.

Happy Anniversary, dear blog.
Thank you readers for being there.






17 comments:

  1. Honored to be following your journey, dear. I tend to live in the "now," too. This is not the easiest time in my life and I miss some things desperately that I currently don't have the time or money for, but it would do me no good to hope they will return in the future. I shall just have to see what comes! But I think I will always blog....

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  2. Did my comment just escape into the ethernet???

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    1. Hi Michelle.
      Your first comment was received. I moderate comments so there is a delay.

      Living in the now is a new thing for me. It has gotten easier. I had a sneak peek at the future and the possibilities with mom, so "now" is probably the best of the life left to me. I would like to think that I could affect my aging through life style changes, but I think that has limited impact. I believe that luck and genetics play major roles as well. For example - my husband didn't plan to be blind as a senior citizen and nothing he did in his past would have changed his future. Now is really all we have.

      Thank you for following along with me. I enjoy your blog greatly. Wish I was able to reach out in person and spoil your animals - especially that dear looking bulldog. Blogging makes the distance not so great.

      Elaine

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  3. Congratulations on five years blogging. I love the Mark Twain quote at the top of the page. It is TRUE.

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    1. Mark Twain is one of my favorite Americans.

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  4. Happy blog anniversary to you!
    Thank you for sharing your journeys with us.I hope that you will continue to blog for years to come.

    Living in the now...it's a work in progress here. I wish there had been more days to spend with my Mom. And I hope still for many more with my Dad.

    Wishing you a wonderful week! And please keep blogging.

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    1. Thanks, Debbie. I have made many wonderful blog friends.

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  5. Happy Blogaverary...you are a quarter of the way through your next 20 years.

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    1. Wendy ... hey, you are right. I never thought of it that way. So I guess I am committed to at 15 more years. Ha! Thanks for visiting.

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  6. It was a productive five years...and we all learned a lot from you,

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    1. Delores, we have learned a lot from each other. That is what is great about blogging.

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  7. Wow, it's been 5 years already!!! Happy Anniversary. : )

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    1. Karen, you deserve a special thank you. You where the one who planned the seed in me about blogging through your own wonderful blog. I still enjoy reading about all the joys of your every day life.

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  8. Happy Anniversary! I found you through your caregiving posts! We had much in common at that time and now both of our 'charges' are gone to a better world! Keep writing Elaine. I will keep coming to visit you!! I have learned a lot from you.

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    1. Dear Paula, you are so right. We walked this journey together in so many ways. And we still share similar experiences in missing those we gave so much of ourselves to. It was this kind of sharing that helped the most ... knowing that others knew EXACTLY what I was going through because they were doing EXACTLY the same thing. Thank you. I know you are coming up on a sad anniversary - my thoughts are with you.

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  9. Happy Blogaversary. I enjoy sharing your journey with you, as we make choices in our retirement years.

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  10. Indeed. Blogs can be a good coping mechanism for caregivers; not only do they get to pour out all their bottled frustrations through them, they can also get advice from people who might have been in the same situation as they are. It pays to look at these things from a distance, and to have a network of individuals sharing their thoughts and helping in carrying the burden. Caregiving is no walk in the park, but there are ways to make it easier for oneself.

    Rochel Badger @ Home Watch Caregivers

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