Today has been a great brain day, I treasure those days so much, when I can manage to do something that I rarely try to tackle anymore. Accomplishing things that at one time were so easy, getting so excited when I actually have it turn out, almost makes one forget even for just a few minutes about the monster lurking in the background, my dementia monster, when he runs rampant not much happens except floating through the days, giving myself lots of self talk about how its ok not to be ok, its ok if today I just try to navigate enough to get by. Today was one of those days where the monster sleeps. I had a great sleep last night, in bed early and then up at five this morning feeling good, no brain fog, no lighting bolts flashing through my head. I stood out on my deck as I waited for my coffee to be ready and just breathed in the lovely spring air. Later I went for a little walk and enjoyed the spring rain falling softly, no need for a sweater or umbrella, just enjoyed the raindrops as they fell on me. Back home I decided to try tackling making one of my artisan crusty breads, I made a garlic and rosemary crusty loaf, then I made a pasta dish, to bake,( pheobe loves pasta), she was standing at my feet just waiting, she some how knows. So although I rarely and by rarely I mean only every couple months do I actually have a day where I can accomplish anything in the kitchen. I rarely turn the stove on, I use my little air fryer, and my toaster oven, and eat things that don’t require cooking. So today I feel like I had great purpose, a great sense of fulfillment, hopeful that in the days ahead I may have occasion where the monster will sleep and give me this brief reprieve where once again I can feel this way.
The reason I am sharing this is last night a dear friend of mine called me, he and I talked for well over an hour, it was lovely to just chat. One of the things we talked about is that it doesnt matter if you have dementia, some other illness, are just dealing with aging, if you are young or old we all want and need to feel a sense of hope, to feel as though we have a sense of purpose, it makes us feel fulfilled, and at times we may be more prone to do things than others. Sometimes the most and best we can do is be kind and gentle with ourselves. We should not place such expectations on ourselves or on others that we don’t allow ourselves or others the time they or we need for self care. Self care is in and if itself purposeful, its needed and necessary, we can’t always give of ourselves, of our time, in order to feel we have purpose, sometimes our only purpose should and needs to be the very thing we are always made to feel selfish. It is in fact the opposite, for when we encourage others and allow ourselves time and space for self care, we are able to give more completely and fully to things that bring us that sense of purpose and provides us hope. So perhaps we need to offer kindness and understanding when people have to step away for a time, perhaps we should encourage each other more to the self care end, without having to know the why’s or whats of someone needing to take that time, just cheering them on for doing whats right for them.
We also need to understand that we can and should find our sense of fulfillment in the simplest of things, liking managing to make a crusty bread, or finishing a project, or just being, our sense of fulFillment should not always have to come from how much we are “ doing”, or contributing, but rather letting it be in whatever we are doing and knowing that is enough.