Back to School

I’ve returned to higher ed after 25 years. I am in my first course, Strategic Human Resources Management, in my grad program at UMass/Boston — Gerontology with Aging Services Management Track. My next big paper I’m starting to write is … Read more…

Scattered…and Overwhelmed

Ugh.  Today was one of those days I felt that I was going to implode.  The week started off well — I pulled off a coup and, despite a nor’reaster here in Boston, I really did my best to take Mom out for dinner for her birthday, surprised her with a certificate to her favorite store, pulled out the stops with flowers and all…then the week’s been so crazy, between my diverticulitis/IBS continuing to act up — no doubt, aggravated by pressures at my day job and, now, taking on a grad class with a big paper due soon.  I had just enough time on my way home from work, before running home to sit down and do more research, to stop by mom’s again to pick up some bills and help with some things.  Even dropped off some shopping she needed.

I couldn’t hide my frustrations and fatigue from the long week, let alone today — and I was not feeling well in my stomach again.  My mom could tell; and when I started to motion to leave, she started with The Mood, not being happy that I was leaving so soon.  She always simply has to voice it…she must say it out loud that it’s never enough how long I stay, and even though I live 2 miles away and we spent the whole day together for her birthday last Sunday, before my unreal schedule kept me from doing much else but work and studying all this past week.. This was the clinker; she shot at me: “C’mon, Gary, some moms see their sons 2 or 3 times a week!”

Read more…

Fall…This Time A New Season With A New Start?

Happy Labor Day, Everybody.  I know that sounds twisted…all most of us ever do is “labor” — so I mean that I hope that everyone saved some time for themselves to have a block of space of peace and serenity, even mentally, sometime today.  I think I’m like a lot of people that Labor Day Weekend pretty much signals a change of seasons already.  At the community college where I work, Fall Semester officially starts tomorrow; my mom’s cellar boiler is going to be replaced by (and costs covered by!) her energy affairs assistance program on Wednesday; and I begin my online graduate program in Gerontology Aging Services Management next week.  This will be, by and large, the first September in several years — at least since my late dad had been diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2003 — that there is something positive, forward-looking, and hopeful-feeling going on in my life which feels like it is for me, and not for taking care of someone’s illness, not for my boss, not for others.

I don’t mean that in a selfish way: I mean that I want and like to help others, but what I think are my talents and gifts have been constrained my unexpected hurdles and detours in the past few years.  I want to learn to be and help in all things that I can on the positive, administrative side of things, so that someday experiences and services and communications will be easier for the caregivers, and the caregiven, that come after all of us and everything we’ve had to do, be frustrated by, and go through.

Read more…

I feel like too thinly rolled-out pizza dough…

You know how it looked when Lucy Ricardo tried to make pizza, or when you tried to imitate your parents doing it as a kid — you’d beat, roll, and run over the dough, tearing it apart and making a mess?  I feel, particularly today, like I’m the dough and everybody and my responsibilities to them have been doing that to me.  And after they each get their corners and ends, what do I get out of it…I get thrown and burned into the hot oven!

I’m excited that I was accepted into my online Gerontology grad program starting next month.  Some new med regime has been beneficial to my IBS and colitis problems, as well as my limiting coffee to one cup each morning and devoting the rest of the day or evening to decaf green or peppermint tea.  I can handle, talk with, and do work for presidents, vice presidents, deans, instructors and students at my job…but when it comes to dealing with my elderly caregiven mom emotionally…..all the buttons get pushed.

Read more…