Back to basics....

My many remakings are remarkable in their own way. Each, to varying degrees, includes body, mind, and spirit. Each requires being proactive, rather than reactive.

Running always provides the necessary rubric. Running enables me to: regroup; renew; rework; reorganize; remember; and reenergize.

Running is not static; it requires constant movement. So too do I. Running is my restorative.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Unexpected Benefits of Nursing Home Care

I didn't talk much about my Mom's living situation when she relocated to a nursing home.  Everyone has an opinion, and I wanted to focus on my Mom and not those opinions.  My Mom lived for over 2 years in a nursing home, and I mean lived.  In fact, I am convinced that when her body began to limit her living she and God decided it was time to leave.

Since my Mom's death,  I certainly have been sad -- I lost the only constant of my 52 years.  However, rather than focusing on what I lost, I am focusing on how lucky I have been.

My Mom's living situation provided many unexpected benefits.  One of them is that we were able to focus on grieving when she died, rather than dealing with stuff.  She owned so little at the end -- about 3 1/2 hours after her death, her stuff was packed up and we didn't have to return to the nursing home.  That was the easiest and quickest move....

Not having to take time to deal with my Mom's stuff left time to focus on her funeral arrangements, and then to heal and figure out how to live without her.  For a number of days following my Mom's burial, we contemplated the words to be added to the cemetery marker.  Focusing on that was better than focusing on a bunch of stuff.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that my Mom didn't have tons of stuff.  It's just that she had downsized twice already.   More than 10 years ago, I helped her move from the 3 story house in which she had lived for about 80 years to a 4 room condominium.  That process was quite a challenge, but we were prepared.  The second downsizing came with the nursing home.  There, she had a comfortable space with just a few select treasures.

A significant takeaway from my Mom's death is:

for your sake and the sake of the ones you will leave behind, everyone should consider living with less stuff.   Doing so will produce benefits now and later.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Adjusting to my new life

This is yet another time of adjustment, this one to my new life after the death of my Mom.  I am trying to figure out how most effectively to fill the hole that has been left.  Life's demands easily could consume the time that I had spent with my Mom.  However, I want to make that time matter, with productive pursuits.

Currently, I think that exercise will work well.  Given that I am not very fit, activity will suffice for exercise to some extent.  Running is not too cumbersome because even 30 minutes of running at a slow pace is significant.  This week, I intend to meet all 3 goals of my activity circles in my Apple Watch.  This is an attainable goal that will give me great satisfaction.

My days are so different and I will make the differences work for me, such that I will be a better Helen without the other Helen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Only the namesake remains....

My life changed forever a few weeks ago when on the morning of July 17th my Mom and namesake peacefully took her last breath as I sat holding her hand.  It was the end of the "2 Helens" and their many adventures.  It was the beginning of my new life as an adult orphan at 52.  

I am the youngest of eight children, and it was simply by chance that I was the only one with her when she died.   We had begun our 24 hour vigil (as we had done when our Dad died almost 20 years ago) 48 hours earlier after a day of constant visits by so many family members.  My 6 hour shift began at 6 in the morning.  With little warning, that shift ended at 9:35 when my Mom went to heaven. 

The next few weeks passed with so much activity.  This is the middle of the first full week that things are back to normal, but it is not normal at all.  I don't have to do my Mom's laundry, plan my 2 weekly visits, or wonder what and how she's doing.

I have to figure out how to maneuver through this transitional time, and what I want from my new existence.  I have to figure out how to fill the hole left by my Mom's death.  

Processing is crucial, and will be done here and as I get back more seriously to my running.  

What adventures await this Helen sans the other Helen? 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Remaking yet again....

It's the first day of August and I am very excited about filling this month with adventures.  Each day I will enjoy the outside because nature nurtures.  I also will journal to track my activities and emotions.

So much is going on but I know that I have to keep it slow and simple.  I have to be proactive, rather than reactive.  I will be in a good position if I do at least one thing under each of my five focus factors:  fun; family; fitness; finance; and food.  It won't be too hard, as I informally have been doing some of this.  More will be better.  

Today's activity was moving out or my thrift shop space.  During the six months of this adventure I learned tons.  However, I didn't make much money after expenses.  Significantly, the costs to the owners and the amount of time required to succeed led to my decision to search for the next adventure.  I'm not sure yet what it will be....

Searching and sorting will continue, with the #solutionsFORstuff adapting, as it so often does. 

#until ..... 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

New adventure

I have been focusing on my website and not as much on this blog -- there's simply not enough time....  My website is and it totally is in the early stages.  I am having fun working my solutions for stuff, by selling on eBay and Craigslist.  I also have space at a thrift shop.  Currently, I am thinking of offering stuff at a local flea market, which promises to be a fun solution.  The more places I can offer my stuff the better and the more solutions I can provide the better.  I am working with a few people who are realizing positive beenfits, from more space (by eliminating stuff) to more money (by selling stuff with me).  With this approach, everyone benefits.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Never say never

 A recurring mantra is never say never.

My Mom was never going to a long term care facility (okay, a nursing home, I said it) until she did, one year ago today.  It was one of the most difficult decisions I ever made, but one of the best as it turns out.  She is thriving.

My Son was never going to a catholic school until it was clear that one school in particular was a good fit for him.  Now we are planning for next year.

I was never going  to work regularly in an office again until it became clear that doing so would allow me to work smarter.  I hired someone, and training her in the office was most effective.  Also, I can time-block my days better by regularly going to the office.  Don't get me wrong, this office work is not 5 days a week, but it is much more than I ever thought I would want.

Allowing life to take its natural course is a favorable approach.  Follow the possibilities rather than fighting them.