Oct 20, 2010

To Blog or Not?

By Kerry Runyeon
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Over the weekend Bob DeMarco forwarded me a post from his personal email regarding Pamela Kelley's article titled Reflections on the Alzheimer's Disease Caregivers Survey.

Normally Alzheimer Reading Room posts come daily to me directly from the site. I don't know if he intentionally did that or not. Nevertheless, it spurred me to address those uneasy feelings which have been brewing in me lately related to my blog or more specifically my lack of blogging.

The lines below resonated with me:

"I feel guilty about not making the time.  I feel angry at feeling guilty. Yep.  That's a stressor." 

"Sometimes too, while giving care everything seems like work."  

"At times, the path of benign neglect is chosen only because I've heard that I can't do everything, and have to choose.  Often, the path of least resistance is the one that requires less time and less effort."

Prior to Mom's moving to a nursing home I loved to blog. What an outlet for me that was. Why not now? I do know I felt very challenged for the last 6 months with 2 kids graduating, one from college and one from high school, a vacation out west which provided much needed closure (yet to be written about), preparing for one child's move off to college and one child's  move to Tucson, overseas visitors for two weeks, 2 other trips, and of course moving Lily to a nursing home.  Looking back  I realize I actually did have a lot going on.

The last couple of weeks I have also had to address another area of my life that has kept me going the last few years as I fought through the battles associated with taking care of Mom.  More specifically running.

Recently I hit a crossroads when it came to my running. For those of you who don't know me, I had never run a day in my life before the age of 50. I always hated running and certainly never thought I would do it. As happens sometimes in life with the right set of circumstances and people you do what you thought you never could. (kind of like caregiving, huh?)

I met my running mate who was looking for someone to WALK a Team and Training marathon in San Francisco, and I liked to walk so I was open to that. Before you knew it we were running and we haven't stopped with a couple of marathons and several halves now under our belts.

However, last winter with my son entering his senior year's basketball season and not wanting to miss anything I missed a marathon and we have not gotten back in sync. We are now on different schedules and I was at the point a couple of weeks ago of saying well that is it.

Maybe I should just quit and move onto something else.

I think I actually made that decision but within hours was questioning myself. Was I really ready to let that part of my life go just because the last few months have been so full?

Life is now just getting back to my new normal. Family of five down to a family of two with much more free time. So I made the decision that I am going to train and keep on keeping on, even if my running mates aren't there with me. Perhaps new ones are on the horizon.

Along with running was blogging which has slipped from my priority list. Both huge areas of my life which have given me motivation, purpose, and an outlet providing me sanity during the most stressful of times. Did I stop blogging because mom is now in a nursing home? Does this lack of enthusiasm relate to my lingering guilt for placing her there and somehow I am no longer qualified to write? Or is it simply falling off the horse and one day turns into the next without getting back to it which leads to further neglect.

So while all this is going through my mind, I received the post from Bob. Time to act. Time to decide. To blog or not.

To give up what I have so enjoyed or to commit to getting back on task. So, as of yesterday, I have commited 3 mornings a week to blogging. Away from my home so I will not be disturbed. Just there to write and, of course, drink my coffee.

Will I always just blog on Lily and Alzheimer's? I don't know. I think not as I do have other ideas and would like to expand on that. For now though, I must say, this morning as I write this......

It feels good. Damn good!

Kerry Runyeon, RN, BSN is the primary caregiver for her mother Lily. Kerry chooses to focus on the humorous aspects of her journey with Alzheimer's disease. Her blog Living in the Moment with Lilybird is a reflection of her experience. Kerry resides in Dayton, Ohio

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,880 articles with more than 95,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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Original content Kerry Runyeon, the Alzheimer's Reading Room