Fresh Starts

The new year started on August 27th. No, I’m not crazy. To me the new year starts on the first day of school, and both Steve and our son started school that day. The start of the school year is a time of change for all of us. It includes new school supplies and new clothes, plus new routines and challenges.

Our son’s schedule will keep him on his toes this year. He had French 3, finite math, and three AP classes (chemistry, English composition, and US History, nicknamed APUSH). He’s no longer in band, but he’s now running cross country at the varsity level. On a good day, he gets home from school about 4:00. A late day can be after 4:30. Coming home the ritual is lots of Gatorade, a snack, decompressing, and a shower before anything else can happen. Evenings involve homework and more homework. He’s trying to juggle practicing driving, friends, and other outside activities. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s just joined a brand new medical Explorer Post that started. He’s even talking about running for an office! There have been a few bumps into the road, but that’s part of the leaning process for me as well as him.

Steve started out with a crazy schedule: Spanish 1, painting and acting. Spanish is a five unit class requiring seven hours of outside work a week. It would be more than that for Steve. The second day of class they were expected to write a sentence in Spanish. Steve decided it would be better to drop the class and focus on his other two classes. Steve’s working hard on his painting class. So far they have painted squares of color – brights, darks, that sort of thing. Nothing yet that he can enter in next year’s art show, but watch out! The art class is Tuesday and Thursday morning and the acting class is Tuesday and Thursday night. Steve is enjoying the acting class. It includes stretching exercises, meditating, and games that cause you to be in the moment as well as acting exercises. He doesn’t realize that it’s also exercising his memory, because Steve comes home and tells me all about his class. Steve experiences “fluctuating cognition” which means sometimes he can do something like read, and other times he can’t. This week he can read and has read seven chapters in his assigned book for the acting class. Tuesday and Thursday Steve naps in the afternoon to recharge between classes. Wednesday and one other day, Steve spends hours working on his homework for the painting class. It’s really good because it keeps him busy, focused, and working on a goal.

Steve’s decision to take two classes instead of three is proving to be a good one since it’s a better schedule he can manage. Daily we adjust to life and what is and isn’t working and make changes to our schedule or adjust our attitude. This year I have been reminded that each day gives us a fresh start, a new day that can be the start of a new year and all it brings.

Avatar of G-J

About G-J

I am a caregiver for my 59-year-old husband, Steve, who was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment in December 2009. His employer put him on disability and he had to retire one year later when he couldn't return to work. I am also the mother to our son who is now a high school senior. We have a cat, Sagwa, who rounds out our family. In addition to blogging here, I volunteer at my son's high school in the scholarship office, teach a class I created called, "Keep Your Brain Buff" at our city's Senior Center, lead a writing group at the Alzheimer's Association, and advocate for people with all types of dementia. In November, I will be participating in my third Walk to End Alzheimer's.

3 thoughts on “Fresh Starts

  1. Avatar of ejourneysejourneys

    WOW, G-J! You are the Dynamic Trio! :D

    I love your combination of activity and flexibility. And teamwork, because you are all learning together.

  2. Avatar of DeniseDenise

    Well, I can’t wait to see what Steve submits for next year’s Art Show! How do you feel about this new routine?

    I’m not familiar with Explorer Post–can you tell me more?

  3. Avatar of JaneJane

    Hi G-J:

    Wow, your son does have a full plate this year… is he a sophomore or junior? I agree with Denise that Steve should enter next year’s art contest :)

    I always think of a new year when school starts in a way also. It’s like starting new.

    I hope both your son and Steve do well with their classes.

    Jane ~ mom to Nicole, 17 yo, VSD, PAH, Eisenmengers (dx 1/22/10) BHJS (dx 2/4/11)
    “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”


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