Am I still a creep for laughing if I’d be crying otherwise? Grasping for Gratitude.

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My Mom has always loved the holidays.  And she took great pride in her present wrapping.  She would mail everything to us two months before Christmas because she was that prepared. (She was an uber organized, list making, cleaning machine to be reckoned with.) But now that her Alzheimer’s has progressed to the point that she has no idea what Christmas is, it’s hard to figure out what to get her that she would enjoy opening.  I know how much she has always enjoyed wrapping and unwrapping and I can still see a sparkle of  recognition in her eyes when she unwraps a present.  But the options are slim these days.

While I was on my mad Amazon present shopping spree to get everything ordered and on its way (Amazon is the BOMB and where I buy almost everything with my Prime free shipping account), I struggled to figure out what to get her. I found some great puzzles for people with Alzheimer’s – easier than the ones I’ve gotten her before which are now too hard for her. And I ordered her favorite Russell Stover’s cream chocolates which I have bought for her every Christmas for the last 25 years (she has NOT forgotten that she is a chocoholic).

Most other things that I would have gotten her in the past would not be of  need, use or value to her now.  So I had a brainstorm – since my stepdad is having trouble getting her dressed and undressed each day (sorry I know this is depressing but it is what it is), what if I could find clothes that would help make it easier? There had to be something out there like robes and nightgowns with velcro fasteners, that kind of thing.

So during my search I came across some items in this general category that made me laugh outloud and then stop myself.  Because I felt like a creep for laughing. But I figure at this point most of the time when I’m dealing with my Mom stuff, I’m laughing so that I won’t cry. And I’m telling myself that makes it less creepy.  Same as when I make Alzheimer’s jokes about my own memory and it freaks people out and they don’t know what to say. Anyway, just go with me on this.

So here we go, the first item of interest: the Anti-Strip Suit. 

Product Description: The Latest, Most Effective Anti-Strip Suit in an innovative fabric that resists tearing like never before. Sewn down collar, embroidery detail. Incredibly long zipper that extends to below the knee for easy assisted dressing. Dome closures at neck helps prevent disrobing. Elasticized waistband and roomy seat for an easy, comfortable fit. Strong polyester-cotton knit. Machine washable.

(Apparently this is so people won’t randomly strip – we’re not to that point yet.  But it gave me a hard-core chuckle. And what a great idea for a product.  I guess there is a whole industry of clothing like this that I had no idea about.  Pretty genius actually.  Do they sell these for teenagers?)

Next up: the Fancy Gold Lamé Adult Bib.

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Product Description:No danger of ruining your holiday or special event finery with this whisper light GOLD Lamé  adult bib. Measures 14.5″ long from bottom of neck, and 13.5″ wide. Velcro closure. MADE IN THE USA!! Fun and glamorous, perfect for home or restaurant. This bib is NOT intended for heavy duty use. CARE NOTE: Bibs may be laundered in cold water and hung dry, but do not attempt to spot clean: If rubbed, the gold will delaminate. Do NOT iron, fabric will melt.

(We are not to this point either but the gold lamé  part cracked me up.  They had others with leopard, bowties and  fake jewelry embroidered on them.  They just needed some with a bikini outline like on those corny T-shirts you see in catalogs where it looks like you are wearing a bikini.  But then you’d need the anti-strip suit for the rest of the table I guess.  Maybe that’s a bad idea.)

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At any rate, I found a few items to order.  And I’m grateful that I got a chuckle out of some of these items, even though it still feels a little creepy to admit that.  But I’m sticking with my story that it’s better to laugh than to cry and that takes the creep factor down a notch.

I’m also grateful that I got quite a few holidayish things done today. I will breathe easier as I lay my head on the pillow tonight.  I’m also thankful for you, my readers.

What are you grateful for today?  (Even if you have to grasp for it.)

36 Windows Open and Counting. Confessions from an Extreme Multitasker. Gratitude Experiment: Day 15.

This is a definite trend with me.  Taking multitasking to an almost dangerous level.  It gives me some kind of adrenaline rush I think.  Maybe I should be worried?

I just counted and I have 36 windows open on my computer right now.  At least nine pertaining to work including several Word docs and Adobe PDF files, plus a few blogs that I follow, Amazon and Steve Madden shopping carts open with things I am on the fence about,  and several emails that I don’t want to forget to act on –  about work projects, writing, kid school stuff, kid sports stuff, you name it.  Oh, and I’ve got a painting behind me that I’m working on every time I walk by it.

My family has a feeling this is what the inside of my brain looks like.  And it frightens them. My husband jokes that he will never have memory issues as long as he’s married to me because I change topics so much it keeps him on his toes.  And my boys love to make fun of me for the random unrelated comments I make all the time, out of nowhere.  I’m so very glad that I give them such great material to work with on a daily basis.  I should charge them for it.

Any friend of mine will tell you that every time they walk in my house the furniture is rearranged or a different wall is painted or the chairs are recovered.  Something will be different.  They’re probably checking to see if I switched my kids out for ones who like me more. Maybe it’s a condition, keeping things moving and changing and happening. I’m not sure but it would make great fodder for reality television.  “Brain Seize. Extreme Multi-tasking” — new this fall on TLC.

Speaking of extreme, I’ve also been known to take my multitasking feats to extreme levels.  Many will tell you (as they choke back their laughter) that I’m not the most graceful person and especially when I’m multitasking. I’ve been known to trip and fall and bruise myself  regularly.  Usually it happens when I am watering the plants, talking on the phone, jotting a note down and checking my email on my phone or something — all at the same time while balancing with one foot on a step stool.  This must be inherited because my sister was the exact same way.  My dad tells me I just like to get things done fast.  He also regularly tells me that I need to slow down.

And as a true stacker type personality (if you are one you hear me), I must have these things visible – windows, files, papers, notes, husband, kids, you name it.  Things on most days are orderly at some level and grouped by category, but they’ve got to be out where I can see them.

The average person would find either of my desktops – physical or computer – enough to drive them mad.  And being around me when I’m on a multi-tasking high just plain exhausting.

So today I am grateful that my computer hasn’t shut down on me.  And my family hasn’t locked me up.

Coming Clean. Gratitude Experiment: Day 9.

Okay I have to come clean on something.  I’m starting to get a complex that every day I need to have something profound to write about on my blog.  However, I’m finding that it’s not always that easy.  And I have enough self imposed guilt trips that I am not going to feel guilty about this too.

So, some days I will just list a few things that I am grateful for while ideas for more profound posts percolate in my head (I promise some good ones are forming up there).

– I am grateful today that my family is safe and healthy – I have heard lots of stories this week in our community of those not as fortunate and they are in my thoughts.

-Also thankful that I have a career that is flexible with nice clients (although I really need to quit procrastinating on my work projects – this blog is way too good of a procrastination tool.)

-And grateful for my dear husband, who puts up with all my bad habits and neuroses, making him  the most patient and kind human being on the planet.  For real.

***Can you think of one or two things that you are grateful for right now?  Think about writing just one to three things down each night before you go to sleep on a notepad you keep under your bed.  Nothing fancy required.  Keep a pen by your clock to remind you.

Studies show that those who practice daily gratitude feel better about their lives overall, are more optimistic about the future, and report fewer health problems. Studies have also shown that those using daily gratitude  get more sleep.  With less time spent awake before falling asleep, they end up feeling more refreshed in the morning — and who couldn’t use that?  Other studies show that gratitude can even have a protective effect against heart attacks.

And… it’s cheaper than therapy by a long shot.  Try it tonight. You will thank me later, I promise.