Built Like a Brick....House

jan

Built Like a Brick....House

jan
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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