That title is less clickbait and more just me choosing something that made me laugh –and laughing is good, particularly when life is heavy. It’s nice to be back.
You might recall that I thought I might be taking a break over Christmas in 2017, and I left with exciting plans for the blog in 2018. Then a bunch of life happened, as John Lennon once quoted in a song. Additionally, the idea for the blog turned out so well that it’s being fleshed out as a book. Which brings me to today and the plan for 2019, which is to say there isn’t one. And I want you to help form whatever angle or shape the writing takes this year.
Here’s the two things I do know:
1) While I may touch upon it at other times, I want to dedicate one day a week on caring for someone with dementia because in caring for my parents I’ve realized that it’s a wonderful teaching tool. By understanding how we deteriorate we can better understand how we’re assembled when we’re healthy.
I also think it could potentially provide some guidance or comfort for people doing what I’m doing in caring for parents when dementia is involved. And for medical professionals who’ve never lived with someone with dementia, they too could likely also learn more about how to look for clues on how to connect that would be helpful to patients.
The fact that I’m sensitive to patterns has made watching the dementia process a very educational experience to have. It’s been a challenge for sure, but how we approach things can make a huge difference, and that principle still applies even in situations that are not this extreme.
2) In past years you’ve requested that I answer questions, that I write about various subjects, or that I speak to particular quotes, but there was nothing you seemed to like better than getting assignments. The biggest and most active period was when you were all getting a daily assignment to help train your awareness to stay awake. Admittedly, it was one of the things most likely to achieve lasting benefits for participants, and quite quickly too, so it is a good candidate to form my return around but, as I said, I do want your thoughts.
Now I know that above I said those two things were the only things I knew, but I do know other things; like how sewers were invented in their current form in London, in the 1800’s by a genius Frenchman. But, as you can see, those are not helpful things to know here, or anywhere really. But when life is very serious, as I noted, it is often helpful to make light, so this is my lame attempt at toilet humour. Back to business.
I have one idea to offer but I’m open to you emailing me, messaging me or commenting with your ideas. Here’s mine:
Each day I could present a challenge or assignment based on something I caught myself doing. These always exist both as superficial examples, and as principles. So being rude to one person is in principle the same as being rude to anyone. The source of a fear doesn’t matter as much as the principles we employ in facing it.
The idea would be that I would look for common daily events where I was urged to enter my thinking and get lost in some form of emotion (I can consciously rotate through all of them), and then I would include the part about how I mitigated it, or why I forgave myself if I couldn’t.
This would be followed by my urging people to find the same sort of events in their own day, and to review how they historically would react. As before, it would really help if people worked in pairs so they can discuss their results. Once we meditate on the reasons why some things bother us we are then free to see avenues as to how it might be done differently. Maybe people could even get comfortable enough to start sharing blog or social media comments describing their own examples, as well as a note on how their self-intervention went…? That would be both an assignment and not overload me while looking after Mom and Dad, and it might help me find ways to earn my living while doing so.
But how would you feel about that assignment idea versus some other plan? Would you like to find a partner and do daily exercises in awareness? Maybe you want 100% relationships instead? Or all about anger? Or sex? Or a discussion of contemporary issues and how we can learn to relate to those in a meaningfully healthy way? (Maybe you’re now fascinated by sewers and I’ve accidentally trapped myself in a figurative version of one.)
You tell me. You can do it in the comments, or on facebook or twitter, (he says, knowing most of you will email). But in the meantime I’ll just do some pieces that occur to me, at least until we set a course in a few days. I appreciate you joining me and I look forward to connecting.