Ever since I watched Young @Heart (for the second time) on PBS last week, the lyrics to one of their songs "stuck in reverse" has been rattling around in my brain. Someone posted on Facebook how challenging his New Year had been so far, and that has been the same feeling I've had - things seem just stalled, or worse.
I worked "relief shifts" thru the holidays for a very nice woman with a lot of dementia, and started the first Monday of January wtih a new agency and a new client. The agency was not responsive when I brought a situation to their attention - the client's constant irritability indicated to me that she was suffering from anxiety/depression, and I felt she needed a professaional evaluation. The agency did not contact my case manager colleague/friend and I declined to continue. I felt sorry for this woman but I was not willing to be chewed out for putting a glass on the wrong shelf etc. So back to Craigslist, networking and the constant effort to keep the proverbial wolf away from my door. I even ran an ad in a local freebie newspaper, hoping to get a private client or two. A person advertising as a caregiver is just a name and a phone number - I remember back when I was hiring, that didn't mean much. People are brainwashed by agencies about problems with theft and people tend to put (sometimes too much) faith in agencies where background checking is concerned. Agencies spend a great deal on advertising and recruitment, background checking can be quite cursory.
This year, I am reinventing my blog - I debated deleting my old posts but decided to let them languish at the bottom of the archives. I started Aging Hippies Guide to Aging back when a blog was (at least to me) an online journal, so I just rambled on. Now, the blogosphere rocks with special interests, Twitter, Facebook and much so much Web 2.0 interaction that I knew nothing about back in 2005/6 when I started. I'm still pretty much a novice with serious blogging. So anyone who reads thru my old stuff, apologies in advance for my lack of focus. Focus is not my long suit anyway. I will attempt to set up a blogroll, links, respond to comments and do some self promotion, although Arianna Huffington I will never be. I am amazed how many blogs I've discovered recently on aging. Having "competition" is a very good thing! Issues of aging tend to be swept under the carpet, and it will be helpful for the elders of today and for ourselves, the elders of tomorrow, to have light shed on these many topics.
I have gotten a bit more active on Facebook and LinkedIn. I especailly like LinkedIn - most of my posts are not "social" in nature since through the years of family caregiving, my social life disappeared and I have not sufficiently revived it to date. Hermit is the word I'm looking for! Been busy and preoccupied keeping my head above water financially - the whole life reinvention challenge has been kind of all consuming last couple years. I live a simple life, still revolving around my home and my pets. I keep threatening to make a bold move, but here I sit, maintaining the status quo. But the year is young! If the world economic news would just pick up a tad, I'd perhaps be feeling bolder.
So begins another New Year - what to leave in, what to leave out, lyrics from another song. As in prior years, the challenge of balancing control and surrender is in the front of my mind. Shift happens.