A new year, sparked by old memories

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Many people use the new year to try and wipe the old slate clean, and create a new version of themselves that’s thinner or stronger or smarter. There’s nothing wrong with working out more, eating more broccoli and fewer doughnuts and resisting  vices. But what I’ve found in my 40-plus years is that the goals are less important than the journey we take each year on our life’s path.

Caregivers, former and present, understand that life can turn south at a moment’s notice, no matter what the calendar reads, and temporarily disrupt goals, dreams and projects. A “new normal” emerges, and it may not look like what one hoped for at the beginning of a new year. After my father died at the end of 2011, I thought there was a new beginning for my mom and myself, one in which every moment wasn’t spent worrying about my father’s well-being. But just six months later, Mom fell ill and wow, was I ever in for a change. I have no idea what my 2012 resolutions were, but they sure didn’t involve being a caregiver!

So I don’t make resolutions anymore, but I do have goals, which I’m all too aware are subject to change. I’m nearing the completion of my collection of caregiving essays, and I will be working on a prototype for my Respite Care Share concept, which will be presented at the Aging in America Conference in March. These things will keep me occupied for the year, and I’m sure other opportunities will come along the way. New opportunities, but tied to memories of my parents, their lives, the illnesses they battled, and their deaths. While the sharp turn in my life path in 2012 made no sense to me at the time, it got me to this place, where in 2017, I can hopefully give back a bit to the caregiving community.

There is much trepidation about 2017, even though for many, there is a great relief 2016 is coming to a close. Caregivers are survivors, a hardy bunch who push through and find a way to make it another day. Maybe 2017 is the year others will learn the value of caregivers in our society.

I wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year.

 

 

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4 Comments

Filed under Awareness & Activism, Memories

4 responses to “A new year, sparked by old memories

  1. On Sat, Dec 31, 2016 at 7:04 AM The Memories Project wrote:

    > > > Hi Joy. Great post!

    Could you tell me where the Aging in America Confetence will be held?

    > Thanks,

    Brian > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Joy Johnston posted: ” > > Many people use the new year to try and wipe the old slate clean, and > create a new version of themselves that’s thinner or stronger or smarter. > There’s nothing wrong with working out more, eating more broccoli and fewer > doughnuts and resisting vices. B” > > > > > > > > > >

  2. I wish you a safe and healthy New Year! Like others, I am glad to see the end of 2016. And I hope that 2017 brings good things to us and to our country.

  3. Good work, Joy. Wishing you a safe and blessed 2017.

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