Tuesday, January 1, 2019

how to cope with people who criticise and undermine your new year's resolutions

in this blog article I share my tips for coping with people who undermine your new year's resolutions and dreams

Hopes, dreams, goals, New Year Resolutions, the things we want out of life - everyone has something they want, and this is the time of year we are most conditioned to think about them, and the chances are every single person who wants something in life and has voiced it has encountered someone who makes them feel really awful about their chances of success. You've had someone step on your dream right? Made you feel inadequate, whether intentionally or unintentionally?

My father has a way of wishing you luck that makes you feel like the most cursed and doomed person on the planet. Whenever I share a decision, hope, or plan with my Dad I am left shivering in my boots, wondering how he can foresee trouble in even the most mundane and non eventful life choice, certainly there have been many times I have regretted speaking to him.

For example, in preparation for (perhaps) leading a more public life (if I finish writing my novel and if I publish it) and because I sell online and don't want to put my home address any longer on the return labels of all my lovely Starzyia orders, I finally decided to get a PO Box for myself.

Last year I told my Dad, "I'm getting a PO Box" and he sounded so frightened when he said "well, I hope it works out for you" in such a way that I suddenly had visions of us huddling on the curb in the dark gazing upon the burnt out shell of our house and saying "sorry guys, I never should have got that PO Box"

That's the feeling he generates from something mundane and fully determined, in fact settled, so imagine the response to something really heartfelt and tenuous like a weight loss goal, wanting to expand my handmade business, or getting my novels published. His fear and doubt are so thinly disguised in his blessing that you want to run screaming for your pillow fort and not come out until next Christmas.

So, for everyone who has made a resolution this New Year, or has a hope, a dream, or a cause to pursue, may you find a kindred spirit who will not crush your confidence - everyone has a dream-crusher somewhere in their life, I just want to make sure you know that the confidence you had before you spoke to that person came from within you, and can be rekindled and nurtured and you can set the world on fire (just not my house)

I cope with my Dad more easily now than in the past, so I thought I'd share my top tips for coping with critics, cynics, and those who oppose your happiness or success:

find out how I cope with negativity towards my goals and resolutions

1. Determine whether you need to share your hopes, dreams, and goals with this person. If their co-operation or understanding is not essential to your success and they have a history of making you feel bad about the things you want to achieve, just start your dream without them. They may or may not catch on. They may or may not support you down the line, but if the beginning of something is fragile, I try to avoid sharing it with the toxic people where I can.

2. If you do need to share your dream with a potentially negative or known toxic person, brace yourself - know their pattern of resistance or the kinds of negative comments they are capable of and if possible fortify your heart. Their opinion of you is not your opinion of you. Don't doubt yourself or let your dream or goal be poisoned by someone outside of you.

3. Rally your inner "opposition defiant" qualities and decide that you are going to prove you are more than capable of achieving what you set out to do.

4. Before you share with a known toxic or nay-saying person, tee up a positive friend or family member who will talk to you after you have talked to that negative person, make sure you the last message you hear is a positive one.

 5. Separate people who mock you or challenge you for spite, from those who are accidentally hurting your feelings or doubting you out of a misguided concern - you may need to rise above them, especially if they are someone who is going to be in your life for a while longer. Remind yourself of their true intentions, and move on.

6. Remember what I said: the confidence and the passion you had for your dream before you encountered the negative influences and messages came from inside you, you are the source. Tap into your original intention and reinforce your goal by assessing how you will face any pitfalls and challenges that have been revealed in your conversations. You might be better prepared to succeed because you have addressed the kinds of obstacles - especially emotional ones or thought patterns - and knowing how to respond and cope with an external critic can really help you sort out your responses to your internal ones.

7. Practice some TLC, process what is happening, don't let it all build up until it overwhelms you and remind yourself that what you want for your life is your primary business, its not up to someone else to tell you what you should dream or try to achieve. 

So far these tips have really been sanity savers for me, as well as keeping a sense of humour about negatives - a lot of the Dad comments are being saved up mentally not to hurt myself with but to have a nice laugh about how my Dad really means me to have the best life possible. He just doesn't know how to say it.

So I wish you a wonderful life. I have no fear or doubt in your ability at all. You have everything you need inside of you to make good decisions, to take positive actions, and to fulfill those goals and dreams.

work hard and chase your dreams

Monday, December 10, 2018

not your typical mother - daughter power struggle

a family portrait that took blood, sweat and tears to achieve, literally

It would be fair to say that my mother and I have had our fair share of power struggles, but a recent flick through our family album has brought memories of one of our more unusual battles to light. Childlike stubbornness was never outgrown by my mum, and of course I am a strong person myself - strong but wise on most occasions. I was always a little more dignified than my parents with a sophisticated way of expressing my opinions (that didn't need to resort to the passive aggressive play book favoured by mum)

Which is why I'm absolutely pissing myself laughing about the time I made my mum shave my arm pits.

Not so sophisticated now, right?

But how could a mother end up being forced to shave their daughter's underarms and could you ever lose power so much that this could happen to you? Nah, it won't happen to you, because you probably would have course corrected and come to an easier solution.

You probably aren't slaving over the making of "going out" outfits for your kids (although I must wave hello to my Etsy friends who may be the exception to this, although running your own businesses you probably dress everyone else's kids before your own) but had you slaved over a nice sleeveless dress for your daughter only to discover before a family party that said daughter had developed a small forest in their underarms you probably wouldn't try and force them to wear the dress, at least not after they turned their mortified face to you and said "I can't wear that"

Honestly I am quite fortunate to have buried this story in the darker recesses of my mind until now, when I am of course, pissing myself laughing about mum and I screaming at each other about whether or not I would wear that dress

I can recall the words "no one will care" and hey, free parenting advice, if your kid is really upset about something, saying no one cares, or no one will care, or no one will notice are all things that make them feel like they are no one because believe it or not they care, very much, and are telling you they do. From their little heart to yours, and I know you can't cater to your child's every whim, but at least don't say their feelings don't matter. But you knew that right?

So it won't be you that ends up losing a heated battle and having their daughter scream "shave my arm pits!" before driving a long way to a family party and having them never take their cardigan off the whole time (yep can't even see that dress huh?) and you won't spend your life feeling like you are their body servant, although I believe you may feel like that for the first few years of diapers, bathing, dressing, and bottom wiping. But that's why mum's drink isn't it?

And that's the story behind this family portrait of me holding my first niece, who is now a new mum of a beautiful little boy named Owen, and may their power struggles be few and far between, but may they be fantastic and hilarious and easy to forgive when they do come. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

live-in aged care: our journey so far...

I'm in the trenches every day, first hand witness to the decline and change in my parents, something many people prefer not to witness when it comes to their elderly relations. I'm not here to condemn anyone who decides that living with their aging parents is not for them - there are many reasons why its a wonderful thing to do and many more reasons why its probably not the greatest idea in the world.

I wrote about role reversals in the parent child relationship in the post Every day is Freaky Friday and one of the greatest changes you'll note, besides the increasing feelings or protectiveness you have over your parents (its like having the world's oldest children "don't touch! hot! Don't climb on the shelves to reach something! Put the axe down now....") is that while they once monitored and assessed your development, you are now constantly appraising their declining abilities. The social niceties can be the first to go. Table manners of course fall by the wayside. The ability to assess what is and is not interesting, what is and is not important, and they probably lost their memory 30 years ago we just weren't there to observe its departure.

The constant losing of keys is one of my great stresses, its mostly Dad, but this one time with Mum last year was particularly stressful, here is my Facebook post from that night:  hello Barkeep, I need copious amounts of alkyhol, I know you don't know me, that's because I don't usually drink. And I don't care what you bring me I just need to blot out that my 80 year old mother lost her keys half way through locking the house up, and whatever can obliterate the screaming as my mother tries to explain (for the one billionth time) to my Dad that the keys are not out the front or in the garage she's quite sure because she locked the front door and then lost the key, and the door is locked so the key has to be on this side of the door, and he can't grasp it.... and whatever you recommend that will erase this I will take immediately, and more.

But mum is still going on very strong, at 80 she actually can still wield a hack saw out in the garden for a couple of hours at a time, and I don't usually know she's at it until she's dragging the corpses of tree branches into the back yard for disposal by me.

Dad was the handiest guy in the world. He could design and make anything, he could repair anything, and was genius at substitutions for broken or missing parts. Somewhere along the way of course, certain jobs become physically too hard - not that he can admit it, and I'm still fighting a losing battle of stopping him from doing things he really shouldn't do. Just the other day he asked me where the little saw was he could use to cut up some hard roots invading the garden drain. Yes, at 85 years old, previously had two heart valves replaced, got dodgy knees, and a previously broken hip he wanted to get down on hands and knees and hack away at something. Its now at the point where I don't want him to do things anymore, that's to be expected, right? But now I can't even consult with him over how I should do things.

How I discovered this? Well, and this just came up in my Facebook memories from a few years ago, I wrote at the time: My Dad is making an adjustment to my furniture. This involves taking it apart, reassembling it with glue on the screws, dowels and bolts, and adding some support brackets.... but why has he come inside for a box of matches? I am so afraid to ask. Please don't burn my furniture Dad!

That would be about the last time I asked Dad for a favour. I actually sneak around now when I need to assemble something, or book a friend in to help me if I think I can't figure it out on my own.

Of course I'm here to basically do favours for my parents, that would be the service I provide them in return for economical living and a permanent address. Mum just comes straight out and asks me for things, and that is wonderful. Dad asks me in a way that arouses the most fear and dread possible. In the time it takes Dad to get to the point and ask me for a favour, which begins with "can I ask you a favour?" (and then descends into a rambling stroll through the Valley of the Shadow of Death) the sun has shifted significantly in the sky, I have imagined 50 things I hope he's not about to ask me, and a new billy goat hair has sprouted out of his ear. All to ask me if I have change for a fiver.

And those niceties, the little social graces, the supportive parenting statements.... its safe to say those are gone. Not long ago I was showing my mother some new photos of myself, they were nice photos taken so I'd have something to use if someone asked me for one for an article or a feature, of course Dad wanted to be included and asked to see them too. No problem, here you go, Dad.... "you've turned ugly!" he exclaims in horror. WTF? If those photos are ugly there is no hope for me as I am with no makeup and my hair not done the way he sees me every day. Stings a little, coming from my Dad. Oh wait.... he's got massive cataracts and he's not wearing his glasses. Crisis averted. "You can't see properly!" I exclaim "you're not wearing your glasses and you've got cataracts". Oh be fucked, that was the wrong thing to say he flung the photos down and screamed "don't show me anymore pictures then!". And he's the injured party. I won't lie, I was pretty upset after that. Not that he noticed.

And that's why I say that aged care is not for sissies. You just have to get out of bed every day and hide the damn hack saw.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

the chair that nearly started World War III

Today it is my task to relate to you the story of the chair that nearly started World War III and it wasn't the squeaky chair at the G20 Summit, it was the Kalmar Chair in Grey that boasts a sturdy and comfortable construction suitable for up to 5 hours of comfortable sitting at a time but couldn't deliver actual ability to be assembled in full, not once, but twice.

It may only be one woman's quest to obtain a comfortable chair for her home office and studio to you, but to me it has been quite the emotional roller coaster a tale of highs, and lows, judgement, recriminations, screaming, a LOT of curse words, exhaustion, and tears. So sit back, and observe how perilously close to the edge I have been brought by how utterly impossible it is to buy furniture that does not require assembly before use.

On the 27th of June, I decided that I would treat myself to a new computer chair before the end of financial year. This was quite a decadent decision on my part considering it would be the first time I purchased a chair before the current chair I'm using physically broke, and the only flaw of the chair I am currently sitting on is that it was cheap fake leather that is shedding large flaking patches of black all over the carpet and then distributed through the house by pets and shoes. I also felt I deserved a more ergonomic and comfortable chair considering the hours I sit in it and my back, neck, and shoulder problems.

My main priority in choosing a chair was to avoid a repeat of the fake leather shedding which has been raining down prolifically for years, so I wanted a fabric chair, with arms, tilt and tension adjust, and a high back. I started at Officeworks online, and was shocked by the price of the Kalmar at $199 - more than any chair I'd previously bought and I kept looking. Well prices just went higher and higher no matter where I looked it came down to it that the Kalmar was the best of the bunch (or so I thought) I felt guilty about the price but it was going to be hard to find a fabric chair with the same comfort and I decided that I would just not confess the REAL PRICE to my Dad, as I felt sure he'd be shocked by it.

I bought the chair that very day, online of course, and was pleased to have the chair by the 29 of June, wow, that was fast. Awesome. I hadn't been well for a long time but I spent the energy assembling the chair, of course the last part is attaching the arms - wait a minute, the holes don't line up, off by a good inch on the right arm and can't be attached. I was so disappointed, but oh well, I gave the customer service line a call and let them know. They said they'd get back to me.

I waited a week, no call back, so I spent more energy taking the chair apart and we drove it to the local branch and they ordered a new chair for me. I waited a few days, a bit longer this time, but my chair came and I started to assemble the second Kalmar. All was going well until, hold your horses, the right arm again, same problem, the holes didn't line up by about an inch. This time I did not take it calmly. There was yelling, swearing, I'd say I banged some tools around, but honestly how much sound does an alan key make when you throw it down in disgust? Surely not loud enough to be heard over my anguished cries.

Another call to customer service was placed, and they were very kind, and when I said I did not wish to receive a third Kalmar they let me know they would authorize a return for refund, all I had to do was put it all back in the box it came from so their courier could collect it, and my refund would be processed after they got the chair back.

Hahaha, all I had to do was put it back in the box - okay the first chair that I took to the local store, I only kind of took it apart, but not all the way, after all I only had to fit it in the car, not the box. But how hard can it be? Um.... really, really hard. I asked my Dad if he knew how to get it apart, and he monkeyed around with it for a few minutes before telling me that "you buy rubbish" (and I never even lied about the price). This is the exact moment of the figurative gunshot heard round the world, aka the start of World War III.

I work hard. I felt guilty about the amount of money I spent on the chair. I didn't think it was cheap crap, it felt like an indulgence to me. I had twice assembled a chair I couldn't sit on. I had no part in the manufacturing process but was its victim. I was tired, and sick and emotional, and I cannot for the life of me find a store locally or online who will sell me an assembled chair, there is nothing to do but keep the chair I have (which will eventually break one day I'm sure, and isn't doing my back any favours in the meantime) or buy a chair that requires assembly. Words were had over this damn chair, angry, bitter words.

And I still couldn't take it apart completely and cram it back in its damn box.

So we drove to the local store and begged them to get a mallet out and take the base apart for us as the courier won't take it if its not in a box. Then wondered when the courier would come (sometime in the next 5 days) meanwhile I shopped online again from scratch for a chair, because hey, I had a hankering for a new chair and now by hook or by crook I will frigging get one, and it had better be comfortable.

Well, I couldn't find another fabric chair that has the armrests and high back, or can tilt etc, so I decided that I would have to risk getting the best quality PU I could get - hopefully for the price tag it would be thicker and more durable than the flaking horrible crumby chair I am hoping to replace.

At least it cost less than the Kalmar. But still, more than any chair I have bought previously. Enter the Knoxville. I still bought it before I got the refund from Officeworks, but oh well. I should at last be happy. It looked like it would be ridiculously comfortable compared to the shapeless black monster I'm on now.

Well the Knoxville came and I started to put it together, more energy, but hey, looks like a nice chair.... um, wait a minute, the sides of the back rest don't have holes cut where the screws of the arm rest are supposed to go in. OH FOR FUCK's SAKE!

Email support, wait a week, get told they will send me a new back. Okey doke. Wait a couple of weeks to be informed the back was in fact shipped. Wait a week to get it. Came today..... the bit that comes out of the back isn't long enough to attach to the seat of the chair. NUCLEAR IMPLOSION.

How is it possible that for a decision I made on June 27th, to treat myself to a new office chair before the end of financial year can have lead to weeks of having very large boxes of half assembled chairs taking up the available space in our front room all this time? How can I still not have a chair? Have I offended the God of Chairs in some way? Should I have paid through the nose to reupholster my current chair (that would cost more than buying a new chair but now wish I had done) Please, just, please, don't let office chairs defeat me. I really am not a bad person. I just wanted a nice chair and felt I deserved it. Please, please, a chair! My kingdom for a chair!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

it turns out I needed some time to just enjoy this....

Well, I did it, at last, I started my bedroom makeover. No photos yet as the other half of the makeover will be after I get back from Etsy Captain's Summit in Noosa. But so far, it has been the first real action since culling belongings on and off for a year, measuring, making furniture arranging possibility sketches, making little pencil marks on walls and sticking pins in my curtains to show where certain pieces would be positioned. Saving money, ordering flat packs, assembling, freaking out that the bed head I bought to go in front of my window was too high and having to make a whole new furniture arrangement, packing all my belongings, moving everything, and putting everything that made the cut back in the room. To be honest I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. I also had sinusitis and for a few days I didn't even make it to lunch time without needing a lie down. It turned out I needed to spend some time just looking at the water and doing basically, jack. Look who also enjoyed the down time...

But I'm back up and energized again, and since it has just been my parent's wedding anniversary, and we actually did nothing (I remembered a day late, and they didn't remember until I mentioned it) I thought I'd tell the story of how we celebrated my parent's 40th Wedding anniversary in a Coffee Club.

First of all, my parents eat at the senior citizen mandated dinner time of 4.30 pm, a time that fancy restaurants are not ready to take you, and if they did, my parents would still rather be at home squabbling about who is talking during the tv (Mum won't let Dad talk during The Bold and the Beautiful, Dad won't let mum talk during the news) and getting into their pjs and locking all the doors and windows by 5.30pm and thinking how contented they are to have their work done for the day.

So to celebrate a special occasion, we eat out, at lunch time. In a place that Mum chooses, because she is wildly difficult to please, and there are maybe two Mum approved restaurants in all of Mandurah. It has to be a place that you can walk in without a reservation somewhere between 11.30 and 12.00 and lately, for the past few years that place has been Happy BBQ Chinese Restaurant. Of course Mum does absolutely no pre-special occasion research, so once we turned up on a day that they were closed.

The year of the infamous 40th Wedding Anniversary, I recommended to Mum that she check that Happy's would be open, and she swore black and blue and two ways to Sunday that there is absolutely no way that they would not be open. However, when we arrived, they were, indeed, not open for business. So we were standing in the carpark at the mall, and I'm thinking, thank God we can go down to the foreshore and eat at one of the many wonderful restaurants in the area that I love. But NO, Mum thought that driving somewhere else when she was HANGRY and having to REPARK the car was too much effort so she suggested we go into the mall and eat at The Coffee Club.

We found a table for 4 (though really it seemed like it was only comfortable for 2 people) in a room packed with at least 50 people all talking at once so loud that no one at our table could hear each other and we sat more or less in silence for an hour, celebrating a Ruby Wedding Anniversary with grilled fish and chips.

Oh and when the waitress brought my meal, somehow, the fish came off the plate, flew through the air and landed in the palm of her hand. I know, what the? And she put the fish on my plate and then asked me "Oh, would you like a new piece of fish?" By the way, if you happen to be in food service, this is a terrible position to put your customer in - by making me the hard arse if I would prefer a clean piece of fish for my lunch. The correct thing to say is "let me get you a new piece of fish". I did very awkwardly and with much embarrassment request a new piece of fish, and I tell you that fish came back pretty freaking quick. I hope she just grabbed a piece of fish (not with her hands) that was about to be put on someone else's plate and make that someone else wait a little longer for their fish, but I admit there is a 50-50 chance that I got my original fish after a 10 second trip to the kitchen.

And so its probably just as well we did not attempt to celebrate, in any way, the passing of my parent's 42nd wedding anniversary. Its also lucky that I accidentally observed aloud the other day, that Happy's is open in a new location, after the anniversary had passed, though I guess we'll go there for Mum's birthday, in July, if they are open.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

stuck in the middle with clowns

"Clowns to the left of me, actually they're to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with clowns"
Its not just that I share my office with clowns that disturbs me, its that the clowns are smothered in plastic sheeting and they are really angry about it. I don't like clowns, that doesn't help either, I think they know it. THEY KNOW EVERYTHING.

The clowns aren't mine, they were handmade by my mother about 25 years ago as a series of baby mobiles that she never sold, and stopped making, and here they are, haunting my office, hanging around in the corner with dust sheets over them and their big eyes staring at me all the damn time.

There are 6 clowns right now, in my office and there's nothing I can really do about it. I had a photographer from a newspaper come to take photos of me in my office, and I had to say, hey, let's shoot this way so you don't get the creepy ass clowns in the background, and he looked in the corner and shuddered. He took a couple of photos in my office and then said "let's go outside to shoot" voluntarily making his job of photographing me and my jewellery designs almost 100% more difficult just to get away from the clowns.

We recently had a technician sent to our house by our internet provider and I left him sitting in my office chair facing my computer, when I came back he had turned the chair. Now, turning the towards the hallway would have allowed him to stretch his legs out and easily see me if I returned, but he turned the other direction, a rather unnatural and unusual choice but it meant he was facing the clowns, no way were these sick bastards going to sneak up on him!

They won't sneak up on me either - my dog sleeps in my office overnight, and he has my permission to tear them to shreds if they give him any provocation.

So how do you feel about clowns? Just in case you're not too fond, I have a bonus story to end with, about how my mum nearly flashed the Telstra tech when he was here.....

I was sitting at the dining table with my Mum, in the afternoon and she was complaining about it felt like she had an ant in her bra, after she'd been in the garden. I was doing some work and then the next thing I know, I look up and my nearly 80 year old mother had her shirt pulled up at the table, to her credit she did find an ant in there, however I was completely shocked, I said "don't forget there's someone here" and I swear, 2 seconds after she put her shirt down the guy walked in. I was nearly dying from not screaming with laughter.

Friday, February 17, 2017

the positive side of living with elderly family members

I've written a lot about the challenges of living with my elderly parents, and I will continue to do so - because it's honest, and it's important - no one should go into this blindly, and because I need to communicate and to laugh in order to cope. Its also really important I take some time to say that living with elderly family members can be really wonderful and beneficial to both old and young.

Of course I need a break from the bickering, of course I'd like the house to myself more often, of course the needs of my parents override my own, and life is very much focused on their medical needs and issues as a priority while scheduling for myself takes a back seat - but I can work on that.

In spite of needing to fight stress with laughter and go running to someone to say "guess what just happened?" a good 10-20 times a day, I also get quite a lot of peace of mind having my parents with me.

If my parents were living alone I'd be worried about them a lot more than I do now, even if we had a daily check in call, or they had a duress alarm with them at all times, things can go wrong. Someone can fall after their check in call and lie in pain for nearly 24 hours, and its hard to press that duress button when you're not conscious. With my parents here I know their baseline - I can easily see change and decline. I know they are eating, sleeping, going to the doctor when warranted, not climbing up ladders to change light bulbs, and they aren't shy about asking for what they need done for them - whereas if I lived out of home they might not want to bother me with requests, or they might not want to wait to get that light bulb changed - its all fairly immediate and the temptation to take risks is extinguished.

My parents are also far less vulnerable living with me, my presence helps deter scammers and intruders. I was shocked by the amount of scam callers my parents were receiving at home, but with me here to answer the phone that quickly stopped. Having someone young seen coming and going from the house all the time - and my trusty dog - helps people think twice about targeting our house for a break in or vandalism. My poor grandmother and aunt were constantly experiencing home break-ins in their final years, both were elderly and my aunt was vision and hearing impaired. It was very stressful and my grandmother was very lucky not to be beaten (it kills me that we have come to saying its lucky an old woman wasn't beaten in her own home) because she caught a guy in her room at night and started hitting him with her hot water bottle.

I watched my mother stress for many years because she lived interstate from her family at the time they needed her the most. Its very hard to be apart, not that being together is all roses either but it does allow a family to be able to personally care for and protect each other. My grandmother made it to 97 still living in her own home to her last day, and I'd like to think my parents won't need to leave their home either.

Living together with family of different generations is one of the most amazing experiences - it gives an incredible perspective of life, it challenges and engages both old and young alike, and builds connections and empathy that I can personally attest were lacking in our family before this chapter of our lives began.

I carried with me for many years an incredible amount of pain and emotional baggage from the relationship I had with my dad when I was a child. His constant refusal to acknowledge or empathize with me caused more and more damage along the way and we just could not get along. The journey of living with my parents, feeling protective of them, caring for them, and even facing the possibility of losing them at different crisis points, has given me the opportunity to build a relationship in the here and now and let go of the need for a really very specific vision of closure that I had, and get actual closure.

As difficult as this journey can be, it has been the very thing I needed, and I believe has been essential and good for all three of us. My parents are safe with me, and I am here to enjoy them and be part of their lives and to share my life with them.

However, my friends are not facing this journey yet, and caring for seniors and the elderly can be fairly isolating and I am looking to build a like minded community for support, friendship, laughter, and inspiration. I'd love to hear from you if you have older parents, grandparents, or family/friends that you care about. Your comments, experiences, questions, and basically anything you would like to share can be so very helpful and will really be appreciated.