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Advocates Advocating Christine Thelker © 2020 Dementia For This I Am Grateful Living well with Dementia Silver Linings

A New Way

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January 4,2021, the first Monday of this new year, I’m sitting watching daylight unfold, the snow is falling, enjoying my second cup of coffee, sometimes I think I enjoy the second more than the first.
Todays snowfall is in stark contrast to the beautiful warm sunny day of yesterday. I’m glad I took the opportunity yesterday to get outdoors with Pheobe. We went for a short drive, stopped to have a walk, the sunshine felt good, and I must say that normally I really struggle herein the winter months because it’s so grey and we see so little sun, but this year we have been blessed with mild temperatures and lots of sunshine thus far. so although we are to be in our bubble of just our households, for me that means my dog and I, the weather has given us the gift of being able to get outside with greater ease, and times seems to be moving rapidly.

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I’m not making any hard plans for 2021, instead allowing the year to unfold as it’s meant to, often times we try to force things to happen as we want them to or think they need to. This year I will allow the year to be what it needs to be for me. I will listen to my instincts, I believe where I need to be and what I need to be doing will come to light without forcing the many thingsI think should happen.
I have lived mostly in the here and now since my diagnosis, yet somehow still had to feel like I had many things that I “had to” get done, or accomplish. I am much happier and content to just be at this stage. It doesn’t mean I won’t be doing the things that are important to me, things that bring me joy, things that give me purpose and provides hope, it just means I will be doing them differently. I will not be putting so much pressure on myself. I never realized until recently how tired and fatigued all the work I have been doing had made me, mostly because I wasn’t stopping long enough to recognize it. Even while having serious health battles for the last 11 months, I pushed myself. I have stopped pushing. I have stopped because my health says it’s necessary if I want a few more good years, and yes even though my dementia progresses, even though I have new health challenges, I still can maintain a good life, mostly because I choose to and attitude is everything.
so I’ve stopped pushing my body to it’s limits, instead I listen to what it’s telling me. I will continue to do the things I do, but without pushing, if I’m not up to a meeting I will excuse myself without quilt, if there’s a project I feel is to much for me I will sit it out, no more overloading, the price is to high.
Last year was extremely busy, Covid-19 added to that, contrary to what we believed, that it would slow things down , the world learning to use zoom actually increased the number of meetings and the ability to push more projects forward.

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The slow down between Christmas and know allowed my body to exhale, it has done my health a world of good, it has given my brain the ability to relax, not fight to keep up and manage, it allowed my body to rest, the calm the quiet has shown me and allowed me to recognize what my body has been trying to tell me. My quality of life depends on whether I chose to listen to it or not.
So this year, will start another new normal for me, one in which I listen to my body, to hear what my soul is saying, and let life happen. I’m not sure what it will look like, I’m not really concerned about that as I believe it will be as it’s meant to, and somehow I feel like I will be happy in it.

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By Chrissy's Journey

I am an advocate for people with dementia in Canada and globally, having been diagnosed with younger onset dementia myself a few years ago.

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