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accepting challenge or accepting change?



It's to early to really know what life will be like in 2014. I haven't decided what my resolutions are, the choice is between "accepting challenge" and "accepting change". I know I will have to do both. The world for last year FUN became a reality toward the end of the year when at last I started to accept invitations without thought. It had taken me that long to realise I didn't have the ties, the need to get home, the need to be in a routine. I no longer had to worry about Ray and Mum. I guess that is part of my recovery.


In two weeks time my younger son who was such a help to me during Ray's years of illness and his family will move to Broken Hill. That is where accepting change comes in for me. I feel probably as my Mum and Dad did when they saw my family go off to Yass, a five hour drive away and then my sister's family go off to Tasmania, a plane trip away. It is hard for parents to let their children go. For our family Christmas 2013 may have been the last time we will all be together for a while. It is sad but it is a part of life that children will grow and move away. How far away is a different matter. This is a 15 hour train journey. It is too expensive to fly as the price is geared to the mining industry not the tourist industry, so high fares.


I spent New Years Eve alone. That was not so different as in previous years when Ray had been here he was in bed by 8.30pm so I had the rest of the evening alone. There was a very noisy band one street down and I could hear the words of the songs even in the bathroom so I didn't feel alone, I felt as if I was in an auditorium! The music went on till 2am! Then some of the guys talked loudly in their backyard so sleeping was not an option. It did remind me that young people like noise and old people like peace and quiet...lol.


Yesterday I did chat with our regulars plus Sandy (SandyCaregiver) who was able to come in for a while. I then went off to visit old friends for lunch. It was a a pleasant afternoon, we swam in their pool, had a light dinner and came home. I had a long chat to MaryJo on Facebook late in the evening (morning her time), we are both widows now, both looking for what will happen next in our lives. Our conclusion is that you just go on with what has to be done and if changes come you just try to cope with them in the same way as you always have, one thing at a time.


Accepting challenges. There are events ahead of me, moving is possible one of them. I know I will not be able to improve this house, could never afford to re-roof or put in all new windows, painting both the interior and exterior will be needed soon, re-carpetting and other large expenses. The decision will be: to move or not to move. Ray and I purchased this house in 1969. We lived in it all but 10 1/2 years of our married life. It is our unique family home. It is also over 60 years old in parts and the wild coastal weather has nor been kind to it so it is somewhat weather beaten. If I sell it the new owner will either renovate extensively or knock down and rebuild a McMansion like the one recently built next door. I am too old to want to make either of those choices.


Another challenge that is more personal is how to fill my time. I like to do something that I consider worthwhile. I know that if I put out an availability sign I could find myself working for any number of charities. Charities are always after wiling workers. There are so many people of my age living the life of Riley, jaunting off overseas, going around Australia in a caravan, fishing, bowling, playing golf that the community-minded, settled people in my age group are few and much in demand as charity workers. The problem is I don't really want to be too tied down so any charity I join will have to be pretty flexible. So that is a challenge both in matching my abilities to what needs to be done and finding a charity where I can work the hours I have available.


The next challenge is maintaining my health, physical and mental. One friend told me you have to put all the energy you put into taking care of Ray into taking care of you now. What she didn't understand was that taking care of Ray was crisis driven. We seemed to lurch from one emergency to another in the last five years of his life and that meant thinking on my feet all the time. I need to look at maintenance not crisis care for myself. And I don't know a lot about that. That is where I wish I had someone to confide in. Instead I have a lot of more distant friends who I can interact with but not on that intimate basis. Okay, another thing to get used to.


Challenge number three is in maintaining relationships. The people I once thought of as good friends left long ago but recently I have had a couple of tentative reconnections, people I was friends with from before Ray got really ill who wonder if I would like to do ...whatever it is they do. In some cases the answer is yes but you know I don't feel as if I can trust them. It is a strange feeling, they are as they have always been but I am no longer the person they used to know. Caregiving and all the challenges it presents does change you, it both softens you and hardens you. In my case it made me more compassionate and more cynical. Listening to health care workers and their grasp of unreality tends to make you listen very carefully for sincerity in others. So are these old friends worth spending time with? I don't know.


So that is my thoughts on the New Year. I wish you all a Happy New Year and the ability to cope with the choices and challenges ahead of you.


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Sue :


wish you happy, healthy & Prosperous New year. your blog has nailed it what I feel about my life. I was reading Jean's blog & loved her new resolution for new year which is seek contentment & I am planning to make that as my new year resolution too. I constantly feel other than family I don't have great set of friends I can depend on. So always feel I need to work on that part of my life.



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Happy New Year Sue. It was wonderful to share it with you in Chat - mine arriving, yours come - LOL.


So much on your plate. As you sort through, please do share. But I do agree that the health issues need to take a priority. Just a page out of your own book, Miss! LOL Get a complete physical, all the sides and maybe discuss a light exercise routine. You do love to swim.


Interesting point you made that got me to thinking and will for a while I think - about the reconnecting with friends. Best and so glad your outing was fun. Debbie

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Sue even though i still have dan in my life ( and i am so grateful) i know exactly what you mean in terms of meaningful things... i am struggleing with that as well... i want to commit to something but i can not commit to anything with dans frequent health issues....... i am not a frivolous person and take no pleasure from "mindless" shopping or gambleing . i want to be productive, and useful...... but with no ability to commit i am useless. and i get the old friend reconnection -- i have a few who wandered away ( actually almost everyone) who now try ... i am not interested.. i can't i know when the chips are down they are gone.. so it is a one sided friendship for the most part... so with FEW exceptions i am alone.... even with a houseful of family . but i raised my kids to be my children not friends as they should be.... so i sit alone typing on strokenet - wishing i could work , but i can't i have no ability to be reliable.....

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and yep i need a physical to , my reason no insurance or time ( office hours) ... have insurance now thanks to obama --- so i to will schedule .... lets make a pact...

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challenge or change ? probably challenge and change. its right to try to limit the challenges to what you can do or be slightly successful in doing.

and many of the changes are not of our choosing, as where your children are.

its like what we really can't change, so be it, and not to focus on those things.

as for a house my own feeling is that it is really not useful to be larger than you need, and if you downsize I think it will simplify your life and what you need to think about.

best wish to you for the new year ( and forever for that matter). I do appreciate your comments to others and to myself.




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Sue, so many decisions, I feel the turnings and uncertainties. I can only share what I'm finding help with here. I am finally feeling like there is room to think about my own plot in life and I began to search for an old book that gave me so much strength before. It appears it is in hiding from the move. I miss it so much, that I'm considering buying the kindle version at amazon. I don't have a kindle, but have their free kindle app on my laptop. It is daily readings, and I just got my fix reading Jan 1. The chapters start with an opening for the month, then go on with an entry for each day. They are small and easy to read, but heavy in meaning. I don't know if you know this book or not, but I'll leave the link so you can 'look inside' and see if it does anything for you, or not. I expect to get much from it... again. I used to read it every year, but since we moved to this house, not. I'm ready.


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Sue, happy New Year, please go and get a check up.

Reading your blog's always get me thinking. For me, Iam seeking what purpose do I have? I do not work or drive, so I feel lonely. I have strokenet and I do walk in the morning. I have memory , focusing and contraction problems, sometimes pain on my right side, but feel I can help my fellow man. I walked to a nursing home, offering my services, I was turned down! Never mind, have to work out how I can get to a hospital, or another nursing home.

Take care Sue, God bless you





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