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

On Turning 36… oops 63

Treating myself to a birthday cake

Today Is my 63rd birthday, I’m sitting having a quiet coffee, this morning. i have disconnected over the weekend from social media, choosing to spend some quiet and joyful time with my little dog Pheobe,she will be 18 on May 4th. She is winding down and I see it and feel it, so I took her for a nice drive, some exploring in nature, and just spent some time in quiet of Nature, some lovely time some pictures scattered throughout this blog.

Marmot, watching me watching him

Funny age has never bothered me, I feel young inside, I still am in awe of our natural wonders, of our animals, forests, everything our earth has provided us. I am in awe of the natural order of things if man gets out of the way, I have come to feel as though man is the worst of all that roams and lives on the planet. I wonder if this sort of reset we experienced with the pandemic has been enough to really make us pay attention and do better at looking after our earth.

Anyways back to aging, this year it has been different regarding my birthday and aging. Two recent TIA’s, progression of dementia, changes I am aware of , and although small compared to changes that happen with some people with some types of dementia, its changes, its reminders that I must be grateful for each and doing things that bring me joy. Sometimes its east to and perhaps even understandable that the days happen where you feel angry about it all, about being robbed of your life plan, your highest earning years stripped away, having to eat through your savings faster than you could have e er imagined, not being able to build your retirement, and I do have those days, where you just sit and cry at the shear magnitude of losses, but those days happen less often know, instead there is more inner peace, more finding and seeing the joy in the simplest things in life.

But this year turning 63 has brought about different thoughts, different knowings, for turning 63 means Ihave a window of approx. 18 months starting today, so the clock is running, 18 months to figure out and navigate the changes coming. At 65 my disability stops, another decline in my already very meager income, along with my blue cross that covers some of my medical costs, so my living arrangements will have to change yet again, the cost of rentals and cost of living are already impacting me, I have no idea how to navigate whats coming, buying a tent may be wise. Becoming one of the many of our senior and people on disability population who are becoming homeless is to real and frightening thought. I know so many people think it can or never will happen to them , but no matter how well you think you have yourself covered off it doesn’t mean that you are immune to it happening to you.

So I will be working at getting my self ready for the next phase, if I am blessed to get to the next phase. So changes on the horizon, I will get the help of my volunteer and my doctor to help navigate it all. And I will try to remain positive and just focus on the joy and beauty of the simple things in life.

My dog winding down her life weighs heavy on my heart so my focus has been trying to ensure her days are joyful as well for she has given me so much and with her I have never had to feel lonely or alone, and as much I try to prepare losing her I know I will never be ready and the thought of how alone I will truly be is unimaginable. So for now its enjoying every minute of the gift I was given in her.

So as I move through what appears to be a monumental birthday, funny usually its the big 50 or 65 or such for me its this my 63rd birthday. So I will be grateful that I am here, I am still standing, still independent, a lot to be grateful for, for those who have stayed by my side through all the ups and downs, to all those who have helped me along the way, yes I have much to be grateful for so I will celebrate this momentous birthday, I will enjoy my cake, a slice each day for a week, and then I will get down to business of sorting out the rest, but mostly I will just be looking to fond joy, happiness, love and laughter. So thank you for being part of and sharing my journey, for your inspiration, for your encouragement, you have helped me be able to see this my 63rd birthday.

And I leave you with a verse that really speaks volumes for me and a picture of what 63 looks like for me today.

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.

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