Tag Archives: goals

Should we reconsider our bucket lists?

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Setting new resolutions and goals is a big part of a new year for many people. I’ve never had an official bucket list, but after watching my parents move on from this world, I couldn’t help but wonder if they had any unfulfilled wishes. That in turn, made me think about my own “bucket list.”

But an article I read recently in Aging Today has me rethinking the whole bucket list concept. I discuss this in a post I wrote for The Caregiver Space. The gist of the article is that we may be better off aging with purpose and participating in activities that offer deep engagement versus waiting until we are retired for that dream vacation or grand adventure. The doctor who wrote the article doesn’t think bucket lists are necessarily bad, but encourages a broader perspective so that we can live more fully in the here and now.

I like this approach. While I hope to enjoy a grand tour of Europe some day in the not-so-distant future, I also want to find joy and meaning in the present. Learning and trying new things, writing more and hopefully getting published more, and helping other caregivers, those are more immediate goals that offer true fulfillment.

What do you think? Are you a fan of bucket lists?

 

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Hopes for a new year

It’s that time of year where we analyze the current year ending, and create new goals for the next year.

I’ve never been big on making resolutions but the start of a new year does give us all a good opportunity to introduce new goals. Of course, as caregivers there are many things beyond our control, so those fall into the hoping and wishing category.

2014 has not been a bad year for me. I finally was able to reestablish full-time employment and I’m very happy with my job. The ability to work remotely from wherever I want is a huge burden off of me, in case I do need to leave my home city for an extended period to take care of Mom again.

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I had a story published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias.” That was an exciting accomplishment.

I was able to begin chipping away the debt I accrued while taking care of Mom. While I haven’t reduced my debt to nearly the point I want to, I know it can’t happen overnight, and am thankful that my job allows me to pay off significant chunks each month. Slowly but surely on this goal is the only way I will succeed. (Or winning the lottery, haha.)

Mom’s health has been a bit of a roller coaster ride this year, especially the last half of the year. Today she is supposed to finally meet with the surgeon, but there is a snowstorm in her area and I don’t know if she will make the appointment. The delays in securing a diagnosis is frustrating. I can only hope that we figure out what is wrong and get her the treatment she needs soon. I’ve helped stabilize her financial situation by picking up most of her bills to pay myself, but I hope she can continue to live independently so we can avoid another financial crisis.

I’m taking a writing class in January, a weekend workshop kind of thing. I’m finally starting to pull together a plan for a book idea. We’ll see what comes of it, but it is definitely a goal of mine this year to continue writing, and that includes blogging!

Thanks to all of you who read my posts and take the time to comment, it is greatly appreciated. I hope 2015 is good to you and your family.

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Preparing for a new year

As the old year winds down, many of us judge ourselves too harshly. Which new year’s resolutions did we fail to keep? What goals did we come up short on meeting?

And then we go and make new resolutions and goals and start the cycle all over again.

I’ve actually been feeling guilty about my shortcomings this year for awhile now. I’ve always been my harshest critic.

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I’m disappointed that I haven’t been able to build a more lucrative freelance writing career this year, when I’ve been working from home full-time. I have one main writing gig right now, but it doesn’t pay nearly enough to pay the debt I accrued during Mom’s illness last year. The job market is tough, and I have been humbled and educated. So far, I’ve landed a few interviews but no job offers. I hope to be starting 2014 on a positive note because I have a job interview scheduled for the first week of the new year.

As for writing goals, I’ve pretty much met my goal of writing on this blog a couple of times per week. That includes reposting other people’s blogs, which I want to continue to do in the new year. The first year of The Memories Project, I focused on personal memories. This year I focused on awareness and activism. I’m still working on next year’s theme, but my general goal is to focus even more on the hopes, struggles and successes of other families dealing with dementia.

I think where I’m most disappointed is the novel. After Dad died, I had started working on a novel and had a pretty substantial outline developed. I even pitched the concept at a writer’s conference. Then Mom got sick. The agent I pitched the memoir concept to stated that the memoir market is oversaturated and I might want to consider converting my idea to fiction. I’ve had a whole year now to mull a new concept and I still haven’t fully formed a solid new outline, let alone written a complete novel like I had hoped. In 2014, I hope to complete that outline and begin novel writing in earnest.

On a positive note, I’ve written several poems and short stories and submitted them for publication. Have any of them been published? No, but I did get an anecdote about my mom included in an anthology, so I’m counting that as a publication credit!

I’m also disappointed that I didn’t do more to actively support Alzheimer’s awareness. I missed the local walk and I didn’t volunteer at a local nursing home like I wanted to. I did faithfully write to my congresspersons when Alzheimer’s-related funding bills were on the table. I’m also an active member of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry.

What are you most proud of this year and what do you plan on working on next year?

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