I also must for the most part, take care of my Mom too. She will be 80 years old in August. That totally seems impossible. Yet, I can tell over this past 18 months, that she is much more "feeble", "forgetful", almost "frightened" over everything. For example, then I will move on, she desperately needed a new television. She was still watching an old analog TV, with one of those "converter" boxes from an outside old antenna that had been up there probably at least 50 years or more. So, when that "converter box" bit the dust so to speak two weeks ago, I explained it was a waste of money to put into a converter box, when the television could go at any moment. So, I did the research, found a HDTV that was the size she needed and a new inside digital antenna that should bring in enough channels for her. In fact she has more channels now than with the old one. I get it set up, get everything programmed in. She only now has to deal with ONE remote. And it was simple. The on/off button - red. The up/down channel buttons for stations. And the up down buttons for volume. It could not be any simpler than that. I did notice the TV seemed to be not as loud as it really needed to, so I even went and bought an inexpensive set of speakers, put those on it last week, and 'Voila the sound is great. Well, when I had asked her about the TV and the difference in the colors, and how much brighter and crisper everything was, basically I could tell she rarely turns it on. Now this is a woman that watched TV late at night, and during the day off and on a great deal. So, I could tell by her answer something was amiss. She could not "remember" how to get the channels up and down, or turn up the volume (so honestly she never even heard it at full volume), and basically I could tell she was not watching it much. This is what I am talking about. As "simplified" as I had made it. Even simpler than the other old way, with two remotes etc. She is too "scared" to touch the remote. She is too frightened to try to get the volume up and down, and said she did not "remember" how I told her to do it!? Then why had she sat there (and I had been over several times since putting the new one in). that she was not sure how to operate the remote and ask me to show her again? Those types of things are what truly add so much more "stress" to an already stress filled daily life of dealing with my own house hold, illnesses, etc.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I have a couple of things I do to try and "wind down", when things get too much for me. Sometimes it maybe just going in and baking a cake, or something sweet. I had mentioned I did like to bake, so that sometimes takes my mind off of all of the "gunk" in happens to fall upon my shoulders. Other times I may go outside, tend to my flowers coming up, take a walk for awhile around my long driveway. That is how I exercise during all of the pretty months of the year. I walk daily outside circling my driveway "so many times" that equal the amount of miles I want to walk daily. I may listen to my I-Pod and let "Matchbox 20" help to melt the stress away, or even as nuts as this may sound, I "talk things out to myself", when I walk, or if I am driving around running errands. I know some probably understand and others think I am crazy. But, just being able to "voice" the stress and strain that is truly on my mind, and listen to it my own self, helps to take away that ever spinning bunch of stuff that seems to fill my mind daily. Other times it maybe "sofa" time with the pups. As I had mentioned in the post about them, a movie with each one beside me, can also let me unwind from the stress of a bad day.
Other times, I may "splurge" especially on some Sundays. We allow ourselves to run down to the "no-no" shop as I call it (the donut shop) and pick up of course all of those things we should not eat. But, sometimes once or twice a month, that bit of "extra splurge" kind of also helps to feel like you have "treated yourself."
The very MAIN thing I love to do when ALL of the "rat race" of bills, illness, medications, bills, doctors, cleaning, cooking, laundry, and more just push me to the :overload" button, then I take my Mom, and we go for either the day or usually we spend a "free" night at the Casino in OK. It is the Winstar, and once you step into the noise, the lights, no windows, no clocks, the sea of people to watch, the pick of foods... all of that suddenly takes and melts away all of the "horror" of our usual days in life. I can't think of anything as grand as getting completely away from this small town, away from the house, away from phones, mail, bills, and all the encompass having chronic illnesses and chronic pain;; as going to where none of that matters for a few hours.
It is "freedom" for me. It is "no worries" other than which "penny slot" machine I want to play next. Vacations are awesome, yet with all of the things that you need daily, it is difficult to really go on a true "vacation" without still worrying about medications and so forth. But, going for an overnight trip or just an all day, get up very early and leave on a Sunday morning. Zoom through Dallas when it is a rare occasion of no traffic, stop at our "favorite" stopping off place for a small breakfast, of all places "McDonalds", then heading up the road just another few miles to the Oklahoma State Line, and immediately seeing that huge Casino just another mile or two away. It has, and probably will always be the very best way for me to "leave it all behind" for a day or overnight, and recharge my batteries, so I can come home and feel some of that stress has been melted away. Also, the next best thing is "planning the next trip"! Usually we try and go once every couple of months. But, that depends on the weather, how we are feeling, and so on. It has been a "day off" long overdo right now. I am much MORE than needing that trip away. If our "tornado season" weather could give us a break this month, I hope to be up there "watching those reels spin" my troubles away.
Rhia Steele 04/12/2015