The Report of My Demise Has Been Greatly Exaggerated...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

To paraphrase Mark Twain, who apparently had an erroneous report published about him that he had died.

A similar thing happened to me in that someone with the same name--Carol Smith--died in our area a few days ago. When I saw that name listed in the day's obits in the local newspaper, it was somewhat of a shock. That name will appear one of these days, and it won't be someone else. It will be me. Which gives one pause. Given that I am of the age at which the best has probably already happened, I began thinking about what I should do with the rest of my life.

My initial reaction was to get to the gym that morning for a zumba class--no sitting around making excuses. And I will try to be more consistent with my workouts (at least whenever my driveway is plowed as now it is covered with about a foot of snow)!

But a re-evaluation must go further than that superficial resolution. The problem is my situation at the moment of being a caregiver for a husband who has developing Alzheimer's, which is sometimes severe and other times hardly noticeable. It could continue indefinitely.

I do have help with a live-in caregiver, but I am still the main one as far as he's concerned. So I can't do volunteer work--he gets upset when I have to be away for longer than a few hours. I can't travel, which I dearly love to do, because it wouldn't be right to leave him, and he certainly can't travel. So what is left?

A few things come to mind. First, my writing. I have a memoir in progress about his disease and am keeping a log regarding his symptoms. With some luck and determination I could probably turn it into something readable for a general audience.

Secondly, exercise, which has become an important component of my life and I believe the reason for my staying healthy and in pretty good shape all these years. So I must not let that slide.

Thirdly, there's my music. I've been continuing my piano lessons for about five years now and they are the main reason i keep playing my beautiful Steinway piano. Learning a piece keeps my brain active and gives me satisfaction and pleasure once I master a selection. So I will continue that and try to be more consistent in my practice.

Life has thrown me a wicked curve ball but I'm doing my best to deal with it...without losing my mind as I deal with his erratic and sometimes maddening behavior.
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