It's All Your Fault (or A Thank You for Making Me Whole Again)

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It's All Your Fault (or A Thank You for Making Me Whole Again)

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music-581732_640To My Peers:  I apologize for not updating you on recent activities lately but you know how it goes, life gets in the way of living.

To My Friends:  It's all your fault!  It's your strength, wisdom, insight, and motivation that helps me to keep going knowing that there are so many of us, in this world of Caregiving, provides me motivation, and a place to share, vent, learn, and communicate with my favorite people: Caregivers.  So, by me saying, "It's all your fault" I mean "Thank You" in a kind of snarky way. ;-)

Now, where should I start on this update - probably at the beginning, I suppose - seems logical.




It is very easy to lose yourself, to forget your purpose or what drives you to be the best you.  What makes you do what it is that you do?  For me, it has always been about putting a smile on the face of those around me, to know that I had a positive impact on their life, if only in a small way. The intrinsic value of helping someone find a way to smile through the pain, or to make their life easier in even a small way, has been my foundation since I was a child.  The need to help people became important to me after losing a dear friend and the impact that my NCO had on me in a time of need and disillusionment stays with me to this day.  Knowing that I can never undo things that I've seen, that I've experienced, or that have happened to those around me makes it ever more important to me. Leave someone with a smile, and leave them better off than when you found them.  I've lost too many people in my life to not care about how others are, what's affecting them and addressing anything that I can in order to be able to lay my head down and not have worries that I didn't do everything I could possibly do to insure that they are enabled and not disabled.

During the course of being me, I found myself forgetting about me - what makes me whole?  My happiness does not depend on others' happiness, to be sure. However, knowing that I've made someone happy is part of who I am...only a part.  What truly makes me happy is solitude (yes, I recognize the ironic dichotomy).  To be alone, for a few minutes, or better yet, a few hours, so that I can commune with my own inner-peace--to write music, or listen to others play.  To sit back with an ice-cold beer and music on is what truly makes me happy.  No distractions from my distractions.  To put it into one word: respite.

So, how do I find respite?  What IS respite?  Who is this Respite that everyone is talking about, but no one seems to really know?  Does respite have a phone number, or an address so that we can call him/her?  Well, it turns out that respite DOES have an address, phone number, and a web-site (several, in fact).

If you are not familiar with Easter Seals, connect with them on-line; they have respite programs, and local offices in many states (when I need some me time, that's who I call).  There are many friends that I call upon often (too often probably). However, since they love Yvonne and Bonz, they tend to jump at the chance to come and hang out with them.  That is a blessing that I have. However, what about you, Dear Reader?  Who do YOU contact; and, if the list is empty, consider the Easter Seals program.




OK, new subject, same entry:

If you were to assemble a Caregivers Playlist of music, what songs would be included in that list?  This question is a little more important than you may initially believe.  Take some time and think about it. No, go ahead, I'll wait.

I ask the question for several specific reasons:

  • What music motivates you?

  • What music relaxes you?

  • What music does your Caree enjoy?

  • Where do questions 1 & 3 intersect, musically speaking?


Music resonates in our minds more often than you may believe.  Remember when you heard the rhythm of the dryer or washing machine, maybe the steady beat of rain drops slapping the patio outside, did that rhythm stay with you for a moment?  Admit it!  You had some sneakers in the washing machine, and unconsciously began tapping your foot to the rhythm. ;-)

Think about that...music...rhythm...Caregiving...Caree...MEMORY.

Sometimes, I'm able to turn a bad day into an awesome day simply by turning on some of my Wife's favorite music.  She loves various artists, some way more than others and her favorites from then and now are loaded onto every computer and mobile device in our house.  When she begins getting frustrated, I hit play on the music and slowly turn it up from 0-10 over the course of about five minutes.  Soon, her frustration turns into delight.  She recalls the lyrics to the songs and we'll sing them together (Bonz sometimes joins in as a chorus ensemble).  Before she knows it, she's smiling, and the frustration of disappearing memory blocks is kept at bay for a little while (she remembered the lyrics, or the beat, or how cute Sam Cooke was).

So, let me know what would be in your Caregiver's Playlist.

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yolanda

I love music. I don't listen to much now unless I'm in the car which is not much. I've been on a country kick for the last few years. Someone asked me what I love about country music and I said \"I want to be loved like a country song.\" If I Die Young by The Band Perry makes me think of my Grandpa because I would think what's young to the people who are left behind Grandpa was 90 when he passed but what I wouldn't do for one more day with him. My Mom only listened to the oldies station so my childhood was filled with The Beatles, Elvis, Otis Redding, The Supremes. I also worked at Virgin Megastore which was a lot of fun until it wasn't but that another topic lol. Great post thank you!

Denise

Hi John! Right now, I'm loving anything from Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars. They energize me and make me feel young again. :)

jan

Great questions, John. I like all music except country and rap. However, we have a local radio station that plays oldies (as in 50's, 60's, 70's) which I started listening to because I thought my mom would enjoy Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett. At this juncture she doesn't enjoy anything so it is a mute point so I play whatever I want. Godspeed, Leslie Gore! You made my life complete.\r\nTo relax I listen to \"The Standing Stones of Callanish\" by Jon Mark and \"Mystic Canyons\" by Soulfood, both New-Age-y kind of stuff. Both great.

Hussy

Where to start, John...my husband is an audio engineer and musician (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals, sax) and he has a recording studio at our home. He records and mixes local musicians. We ought to have a revolving door for our back door to accommodate the constant stream of musicians trudging up and down the back stairs! I swear we have more musical equipment in our house than furniture.\r\n\r\nAnyway I won't make this post too long. Just a few random thoughts.\r\n\r\nMy favorite song that my husband performs: Walking In Memphis. It's perfect for his voice.\r\n\r\n\"Our\" song: I'm Yours. As a surprise for our wedding day, Michael arranged for some musician friends to perform it because he knew I loved the song. I thought we were just getting married at Hank's Dairy Bar (where we had our first date) by a JP so I was really surprised when I arrived and they were there all set up and ready to play.\r\n\r\nRenee Fleming's album of Handel arias is my go-to album when I'm painting furniture, which I find very relaxing. Ombra Ma Fui is achingly beautiful. \r\n\r\nCannot wrap Christmas presents (also relaxing) without listening to the Messiah. My favorite songs are For Unto Us A Child Is Born and I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.\r\n\r\nMichael's favorite band would have to be Kansas. \r\n\r\nThanks for a fun post!