Built Like a Brick....House


Built Like a Brick....House

Thirty years ago my girls was small. We lived in Michigan's EUP, an hour from the closest McDonald's or KMart. School notoriety came from the Girl's Basketball Team. That was as good as it got.

I knew my girls would never be athletes. Our family drifted towards books, music, and art. I wanted to do my part to enrich the lives of the other children.  I heard about The Junior Great Books Program, where each week students read and discuss good literature.  I took the Great Books training and met weekly to help those young minds process, analyze, wonder, find meaning and relationships, THINK. It was at that point I realized, I'M NOT a very good thinker at all. I don't have a clue about asking good questions. My mind is so concrete in its processing, it's Shea Stadium sized-concrete. I'm great about completing a task with given rules, plans and diagrams. But knowing when to say "how" or "why" is not my gift. The children knew I cared about them, but they were never going to have any ah-ha moments with me. I felt like a big fat fraud. I forgot what that felt like until now.

That's how I've been feeling about taking the Certified Caregiving Consultant Program that Denise is offering here. Her class distills a lifetime of hard work and innate wisdom. It's smart, helpful and insightful.  At every turn you find yourself saying, "Yup, that sure makes sense." It offers a natural progression for caregivers who want to do more and be more. I would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone.

My problem is Me. I can ensure that a family caregiver fills out a form on time, or gives the correct pills twice day. But to ask good questions, I am a complete blank slate and Black Hole. I would never consider myself a critical thinker, or even a quizzical thinker. As a Caregiving Consultant I potentially would offer a fellow journeying family caregiver the opportunity to answer thoughtful questions, or find helpful solutions. That is, if I knew what to ask! I don't feel any more comfortable pulling out my cheat sheets at the present than I did 30 years ago. The kids knew I was not in my Wheelhouse. I'm sure another family caregiver would know the same.

I am stuck between embracing what makes me Me, the solid parts, dependable, no-nonsense pragmatic parts and the other Me I'm supposed to be. Give me a job I can do every day, the exact same way, for days on end, and I'm satisfied. I'd enjoy the challenge of striving for sameness and reproduce-ability, and I do it well. I can sit politely and listen to another family caregiver with my eyes open wide while they rant, uninterrupted. But expect me to fly into parts unknown, explore possibilities and solutions and take someone with me, and it feels like a recipe for disaster. I feel more like the participant in the television show, "Extreme Weight Loss", who is tethered to an airplane and drags it a mile across the tarmac.


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Lillie Fuller

Jan, thank you for posting this! I so get it! I'm feeling it, I wish I had words to express myself as you have. I really am not feeling like I belong and this puts everything into words for me. Thank you for being so honest. <a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/janshriver/' rel=\"nofollow\">@janshriver</a>, i hope to see you in CCC chat today!


<a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/janshriver/' rel=\"nofollow\"><a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/janshriver/' rel=\"nofollow\">@janshriver</a></a>, Have been thinking bout you. I am somewhat surprised by this because your blogs and comments_mysql are always so insightful and wise. But I totally feel like you do at times. When I see what Denise says and asks, I think wow, she nailed it--I didn't even think of that...\r\n\r\nDenise's question to you about \"stage fright\" made me remember how horrible I was at \"role playing\" while a student and found I was much better in \"real\" situations. Once an intern, then as a counselor, watching my co-therapist work, I was in awe, he was soooo good. I had a hard time jumping in and he constantly was coaching me to join in more. (We worked with 2 counselors in group therapy- male/female team when possible). It took my very wise boss to move me in time, to a new partner, less experienced to push me to step up to the plate... so to speak. I did fine. I think I really had performance anxiety in front of such skilled therapists. I don't know if that is your case, but I think you are so incredibly insightful. I think you will find the right fit for you, whatever direction you choose.


Jan, You are better than you think you are. You are a gifted person and have so much to give. Everyone has different gifts. Maybe this one is just not yours. If you enjoyed taking the classes, then take away a happiness in just trying. That information might just come out in the future. Don't be your own worst enemy. Take it from one who knows what that is like. Hugs,\n\nAnita


Jan, I've so enjoyed having you in the class.\r\n\r\nJust a thought: Could the brick house be nerves? Perhaps it feels like you are on stage, which causes some stage fright which then causes your mind to just freeze? \r\n\r\nWhat can we do to help?