Sitting this morning enjoying my morning coffee, my little dog sleeping beside me I’m going over my coming week. Yesterday, I started getting things ready for my presentation in Lake Country, they have asked me to do a 30 minute presentation, which by any standards is a long time for a speech/ presentation. I am changing things up for this talk. There is so many aspects and talking points when talking dementia, often we have one topic we are specifically talking to. Be it Stigma, Technology, Rehabilitations, Living Well, and the list goes on, normally even 15 minutes is a long time to talk when presenting. So this time being given a 30 minute time slot I am changing it up, I will talk to many points, but a very large part of it will be interactive with those present.
I have decided to use the approach instead of doing what we know, time to do things differently. We often talk about how 30 years has not brought the level of change we want and that perhaps we need to do something different instead of running the same old tape so to speak. So this will be my first time changing it up. I am hoping that having direct interaction can have a more positive and lasting effect. Getting people truly engaged, instead of talking and knowing many are only half listening, thinking about other things, maybe engaging with them will allow a greater learning/ understanding dementia environment. I’m looking forward to it, I’m looking forward to it being genuine and authentic. Not being restricted about topics, or just being given a list and having to choose which I might like to talk to allows me to be creative with my presentation, it will be a mixed group, people living with and their partners, care providers, professionals, so engaging them should bring about some great discussions.
There is of course times when speaking engagements require the old tried and true, but it doesn’t mean that we cant also change things up when appropriate. I don’t want to become stale, not in my advocacy work, not in my everyday life.
Even living with Dementia, and even though when I think about it, and how for many with dementia routines are important as are being in familiar settings, it is in part why I still live where I do, I am comfortable here. But it does not mean we can not nor should never try to change things even if seemingly little things, like changing its my walking routes, eating breakfast at lunch and dinner at breakfast. We just have to make room for adjustments and changes, but they are possible, just like travel is still possible.
On that note, I am happy to say I have had two of my abstracts chosen for the Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference in June in London England. It seems surreal because it’s been so long since we have had the opportunity to go to these conferences and to see people we have not seen for a long time and meet new people. So lots of work ahead for that but the basis is done in the abstracts that I submitted.
Well I’ve just returned from a very very long walk, met up with a friend, she said I look totally different, from seeing me before the Christmas holidays, so more evidence of how much and how drastic of a change I am going through. Oh and did I mention, on top of being able to feel my cheek bones, I today noticed I am once again starting to be able to see the dimples when I smile, the little dimples that I had actually forgot I had. So much to be grateful for today, it was a beautiful weekend.
Tomorrow is Valentines Day, for many it is a difficult day because they are alone, it is a day that really for some is nothing more than a smack at them to remind them of that fact. For me, I always think about my husband, who I always received the most beautiful card from and one single long stemmed red rose. We always had a lovely dinner together, usually it involved prawns because we both loved them. So I don’t think a lot about the fact I am alone, I instead focus on being grateful for the memories. However, I do believe that we should treat ourselves, and be enjoy a nice dinner, give ourselves chocolates, or flowers or whatever we chose because loving ourselves is important and honouring that is a good thing. So I have bought myself a little bouquet of Tulips for Valentines Day. Love is Love and I hope whether you are alone, or you are sharing your special day with someone, I hope you remember to spread love throughout the year, not just on Valentines Day, because the world can never have too much love.