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Change the View, Sit in A Different Chair

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

I am always somehow surprised and yet know that I shouldn’t be but again yesterday I was asked “Why did you leave DAI”? People leave and change jobs, change homes, change communities all the time yet some somehow they are and seem surprised by my decision to step down from the DAI board. Its been months since I stepped down (June2021), so although I have talked about it when asked and I though I wrote about it earlier, I am once again deciding to write about it. So for the record “I did not leave DAI”, I made the decision to step down from my position on the board, for personal reasons, mostly medical. I worked with Kate Swaffer for months mentoring and talking with new candidates we were eager to see join the board, and given my personal circumstances I decided it was a good time for me to step aside and give the incoming the chairs, yes I could have stayed for one more year, but I am and always have been a firm believer that sometimes the greatest and hardest thing to do is knowing when its time to step aside. It has been and always will be a great honour to have served on the board and work along some incredible people. But to the disappointment of some who always like to think there must be a falling out, or infighting or some such thing, I am a total disappointment to them, again I will say I did not leave DAI, I gave up my seat, I know sit in a different chair. I have explained it this way on numerous occasions, I just changed chairs. If you liken the board room to chairs around the table those chairs are filled with board members, around the outer part of the room are chairs, this is where members and others working with and for DAI sit, I moved to the outer chairs. I did not abandon DAI, I made room for others to take their place at the table, I still work actively now from the chair I now sit in. Sometimes decisions are hard, sometimes even though you would have liked to stay till the bitter end of your term, you have to look at what you are contributing and if it is the best interest of the organization and yourself. For many months I was not able to contribute, this created extra stress for me, feeling like I was’t fulfilling my role the way I should. My decision was done based on what was best for all. I believe we all need to be kinder to ourselves give ourselves permission to do the things we much do for our wellbeing, society has created a beast in the sense that we are left to feel bad, to feel somehow that we have not done our best or our part if we change the chair, yet sometimes the view from the other chair brings a whole new prospective. I have had time to work on my health conditions, which as we all know are ever changing with dementia, but I am once again contributing to DAI and other organizations in a way that allows me to continue to contribute in meaningful ways, and maintain my well being. It is not anyone else that pushes us to push ourselves, it is hard to let go of the pressure we put on ourselves. It’s a lesson I am continually learning and growing in. I am always happy to talk about DAI and the other groups and organizations I work with, always happy to mentor and share, so I hope by sharing today, those of you who have wanted to ask but didn’t think they could, I hope this helps you understand, that decisions like the one I made are no different than any life decision you may have to make a times in life. For those who asked, thank you, for your courage to want to know directly instead of speculating, I applaud and appreciate you. If you are or know someone living with Dementia please have them join us here at .

Know to end this mornings blog off I decided to share some of my morning with you, laundry on the go, and its shower time for some of my family of houseplants. I love my houseplants and am getting quite a collection, I really miss my outdoor space and being able to dig in the dirt and create peaceful areas full of plants, shrubs and colour bursting everywhere. But my houseplants create a lovely indoor area that is peaceful and they do keep our air clean, they are all thriving, I sing to them, with my voice that is barley a whisper these days, that cracks and growls, but I put my music on every morning and sing and dance around the dancing is a good form of exercise and I think they actually enjoy it, and it sure helps get my day started on a good note. HAHA! I hope you enjoy meeting these members of my family.

Fred the Fig

By WWW.Chrissy's

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

3 replies on “Change the View, Sit in A Different Chair”

Christine, You are such an eloquent writer, and writing from the heart. What a strong message of responding to those that want to know why you left DAI. That’s been asked of me when I’ve left positions and now I have an answer so people don’t assume someone has done something to me that forced me to leave. People who know you would say on another journey, changing the world and be excited to find out what you and Phoebe’s plans are for the future. Where is your heart leading you now. “On The Road Again” comes to mind. Hugs Debbie

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