Taking Stock – December 2023

December 6, 2023
Nature

Nature

Can you believe it’s December and nearly Christmas? No, me either. There seems to be a pattern developing in our family whereby emotionally challenging times come around this time of year. Dad passed away on 2 December 2017, 6 years ago now. Mum was hospitalised the first time in November/December 2021. She was discharged from hospital just a week prior to Christmas that year. And here we are again November/December 2023 – a fall out of bed, hospitilisation, Covid, the need to move Mum to residential aged care, and more. There’s been no time to prepare for Christmas. All of our focus and energy has been on looking after Mum, and rightly so.

Anyway, I’ve not had time to do the next NZ Trip travel post so I thought I’d bring forward my December Taking Stock post for this week. It’ll be like therapy for me. There’s no telling what might come out so brace yourselves and let’s go!

Getting:  very little sleep for quite a while now. My mind won’t shut down. What’s happening in our family right now is life changing.
Cooking:  is not something I’ve been feeling like doing much of lately so I’ve been trying to keep it as simple as possible.
Sipping:  on a lot of water. I’ve been feeling dehydrated a lot. Maybe that’s a side effect of stress and worry?
Reading:  all the info on the new aged care facility where Mum is – wifi password, lift access, doctor visits, how the TV works, the petty cash (like) system, meal times, and much more!
Thinking:  too much about everything and anything that my brain won’t relax and settle for sleep, art or anything much.
Remembering:  and having lots of flashbacks of Mum when she was well and energetic and her real self.
Looking:  at Residential Aged Care facilities hoping to find one that would feel right for Mum. Thankfully we did find one and a vacancy came up there with a beautiful room for her. I think Dad was helping us out there. Thanks Dad!
Listening:  to The Tennis Player washing dishes as I sit here typing this. The exhaustion I feel is real. Thankfully the family are picking up the slack to help me out.
Wishing:  Mum’s current health concerns (not going to go into details) would resolve so she can enjoy her new environment and its activities and enjoy visitors too!
Enjoying:  A weekend at home. It’s Sunday as I type this. I went nowhere Saturday and I’m going nowhere today. I need some quiet time at home very badly.
Appreciating:  The nurses and doctors and all staff at the new aged care facility where Mum is that can now help carry the load of caring for Mum. It’s a rollercoaster of a ride.
Wanting:  Mum to embrace the change and new chapter and be happy and content.
Eating:  a complimentary welcome lunch and dessert on the balcony of Mum’s new home was very enjoyable. We were joined by some Kookaburra’s!

Finishing:  the phase of life where my sister and I rotate each week caring for Mum in her own home has brought with it a mixture of feelings – relief, guilt for feeling relief, sadness, grief.

Liking:  very much that I managed to get to my Art group’s final get together for 2023 – our Christmas lunch!
Loving:  the new aged care facility we found for Mum. It’s not only aesthetically beautiful but it’s conveniently located mid-way between myself and all my siblings and the staff are all very kind, caring and attentive. Here’s one of the beautiful Christmas trees Mum gets to enjoy.

Buying:  a small orchid for the little table on the balcony of Mum’s room as a ‘housewarming’ gift.
Watching:  cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix over the weekend in a bid to chillax a bit and get into the Christmas spirit – Catering Christmas, Genie, and A Brush with Christmas.
Hoping
:  for Mum to be well and for a happier and less stressful 2024.
Wearing:  Daggy comfy clothes at home over the weekend all in the name of relaxing!
Walking:  apart from incidental walking (quite a bit when Mum was in hospital – from where I parked to the hospital) there certainly hasn’t been any time for purposeful walking but that’s ok!
Following:  my gut feelings with all the decisions that have had to be made lately. My gut is usually right.
Noticing:  I’m experiencing grief and there’s been lots of grief for some time now.
Saving:  money in the Black Friday sales. I bought some new linen for the bed – sheet set was 30% off and the quilt cover set was a massive 70% off! I decided this will be this years Christmas gift for The Tennis Player and myself.
Bookmarking:  nothing – no time!
Feeling:  tired way too much lately but I feel like we are slowly reaching a place where we can relax a bit more and worry quite a bit less. Fingers crossed!
Hearing:  a mower going next door as I type this.

As you can see, my life has all revolved around Mum, caring for Mum, and keeping her safe. I do this because she deserves all the love and care in the world and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re not familiar with what has been going on with Mum then THIS post should explain and then THIS one on Facebook might update a little further.

If you want to take stock too you can visit Pip, the creator of the Taking Stock concept at Meet Me at Mikes for the prompts (scroll to the bottom of the post). This is my last Taking Stock post for 2023! The next one will be the first quarterly Taking Stock post for 2024 which will be sometime in March 2024.

Before you go – please have a read of the NOTE below my signature with regards to a little #WWWhimsy break over the Christmas/New Year period.

Ciao for now,


NOTE FROM MIN:  Advance notice that the last #WWWhimsy Linkup for 2023 will be on Wednesday 20 December and the first #WWWhimsy Linkup for 2024 will be on Wednesday 17 January. That gives us all a 4 week break. I believe in Self Care and I think that some digital detox time over the Christmas/New Year period is a good idea. Of course you’re most welcome to keep on blogging between those dates but the linkup will be closed for that 4 week period. Christmas is getting so close! Eeek!


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26 Comments

  • Reply Natalie December 6, 2023 at 6:43 am

    Hi Min, The care facility for your Mum looks beautiful and what a view to nature from her balcony. You’ve done an amazing job sharing care duty with your sister and finding an aged care place for your Mum. Elder care is complex and I’ve learned that it takes a village of health professionals to provide elder care, in addition to family love and support. Thank you for hsosting #WWWhimsy. Have a great week!

    • Reply Min December 6, 2023 at 10:04 am

      Hi Natalie, thank you for your kind words. It’s certainly time where we’ve needed to extend our ‘village’ so that care for Mum is provided 24/7. Hope you have a wonderful week too! xo

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid December 6, 2023 at 7:02 am

    What a rollercoaster you’ve been on Min – I’m pleased you’ve found a little bit of time to rest and recharge and hope you get more! I think it’s natural to feel some guilt but I hope you remember how much you’ve done for your mum and how much you’ve advocated for her – her lovely new pad is evidence of that! Hope she settles well and you all get to adjust to your new normal. You’re a fabulous daughter! Sending love xx

    • Reply Min December 6, 2023 at 10:19 am

      Hi Sammie, it sure has been all consuming and up and down and all over the place! I know in my heart that I’ve done everything possible within my capability for Mum and I know that it’s reached the point where more help was needed. She needs 24/hr care (7 days a week) at hand now and so it was time for change. Thank you again for your kind words and just generally for being the wonderfully kind and caring person that you are. You’ve supported me with messages and words of encouragement for most of this ‘journey’ (for want of a better word) and it means the world to me. Thank you! xoxo

  • Reply Debbie Harris December 6, 2023 at 7:09 am

    Thanks Min for the info about the break over the Christmas/New Year time, it’s busy enough for many of us so we will all appreciate the break I’m sure. I think these Taking Stock posts are like therapy and must do one before the end of the year. You are doing well with everything and I hear you on the ‘guilt for feeling relief’ but it’s all understandable and real. I’m so pleased you found such a lovely spot for your mum and that you can try to resume some of your own life and activities when you feel ready for it. Caring for someone like you’ve been doing is so hard and your mum must appreciate all your efforts. Take a deep breath and I hope you can start to find relief yourself from all this stress you’re under. Take care x

    • Reply Min December 6, 2023 at 10:22 am

      Hi Deb, yes I think a break to take a breath and be present in our days over the break is a good thing. I know I need it. We have more very hard things ahead for us in the new year – like selling our childhood home. That is going to be a huge wrench and I’m already feeling the emotion of that one. Thank you for your kind words and always being supportive, encouraging and kind to me! Hope you’re having a fabulous week! xo

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee December 6, 2023 at 7:49 am

    You have a lot going on. Look after yourself and rest up or destress when you can – you can’t pour from an empty cup. But when in the thick of it, a day can bring a lot of change. Hopefully you soon discover you’re past the worst and on top of it all. Hugs to you. Small those roses. Even the scent can give you an amazing lift.

    • Reply Min December 6, 2023 at 10:25 am

      Hi Lydia – and thank you! Yes lots going on and my poor ‘ol cup is nearly empty but I’m trying to find pockets of time now to rest so it can fill up again. There is lots of stuff ahead that I will need a full cup for – I’ll try and tackle one thing at a time – next will be Christmas! Hope you’re having a great week! xo

  • Reply Denyse J Whelan December 6, 2023 at 8:55 am

    Dear Min, such a heartfelt post and one where I can sense and read the inner stressors coming from you. It’s been DARNED hard yards for you (and your siblings) to manage a very tricky and sensitive care situation with your Mum. Getting her to where she is now, is a huge relief and you can begin to sense a life without all the trips etc to care for her.

    But here’s what I sense is happening and does affect us as we pass the events that are so BIG and milestones that are so emotionally driven is that your mind and body need to do a LOT of processing in recovery.

    Taking your social media time out it is one way, and nurturing yourself as you can with rest but also with going outside and sharing some times with friends again.

    Tbank you for telling how it is to be a carer with the heart and soul based on connections of love and compassion.

    Take care,
    Denyse

    • Reply Min December 6, 2023 at 10:31 am

      Hi Denyse, I’m glad my post felt heartfelt because it was honest and real and each prompt was answered with whatever first came to my mind. I knew it would be very ‘Mum’ centred because that has been my life for quite some time (over 2 years now). Yes I have a lot of processing going on. Lots of grief and emotions of all kinds. We will have to sell our family home in the new year and that is weighing heavily on me. That has ALWAYS been there for me my entire life. Mum and Dad built and moved into that home 60 years ago. It’s my whole life and history and is full of memories and will be a wrench to let go. So there’s still more challenging stuff ahead for me, hence the need to try and get some time out where I can to fill my cup up so I have the strength and capacity to face them and get through them. Thanks so much for such a caring comment and for always being there to support and encourage me! Hope you’re having a great week. xo

      • Reply Denyse J Whelan December 6, 2023 at 3:30 pm

        MIn, It IS hard when the family home is sold…but, if I can offer this….from when it happened for us. Dad’s furniture left on the truck for his new unit and he was taken there by my SIL. Because of settlement happening at midday my brother and I stayed at the house for Dad’s cleaner to finish and the call from the solicitor. In that time, I literally wandered through each room, taking photos and acknowledging the wonderful shelter and care the house had given our family (extended one too) from 1959 until 2011. I also made up a little book for the new owners, who were a family coming in with kids under 10, and wrote them a bit of our family history and more about the place and us. They were from UK and were so appreciative. In the most recent times, as architects they have completely made the block and the shell of our house theirs. I accept and understand that. Not everyone in our family can. Hence making the memories can help. It did for me and I hope some of this helps you. Denyse x

        • Reply Min December 6, 2023 at 5:18 pm

          Thanks Denyse for sharing your story with me. You know what – I had already decided I was going to write a bit of history to stay with the house and for the new owners. The house has only ever been ours. Mum and Dad built it and moved in over 60 years ago. It’s had an extension since the original version of the house. Dad made the front stairs and tiled the front patio and much more. There’s lots to tell and there will be photos of the house back in the 60’s and decades that followed in photo albums at the house. It helps me to let go of it if the history of it stays with it and that people that live there in the future know about the original owners and their story etc. Thanks Denyse xo

  • Reply Sue from Women Living Well After 50 December 6, 2023 at 9:00 am

    Hi Min, it is certainly a very difficult time for you and your family but I know from experience that you’ve made the right decision for your Mum. I remember leaving Luisa the first night at her aged care facility and felt I’d left my child at boarding school! However, in her case it was the making of her and her last few years were very happy. Just know that you have done all you can for your Mum with love and support but she really will get the full on care she needs and you will regain your energy levels to cope with what is to come. Take care of yourself Min and always here if you need a chat. I would love a coffee with you in the New Year as we live fairly close to each other now. Thanks for the link up and I’m back after our European sojourn. x

    • Reply Min December 6, 2023 at 10:38 am

      Hi Sue, it speaks volumes of how much you loved Luisa when you said you felt like you’d left your child at boarding school! I felt like that with Mum but I think I used the reference of leaving my child at day care at the time when I was trying to explain it to someone. I hated to leave her. I hoped she would be cared for with love and respect like I have always done. I hoped she wouldn’t be neglected. I hoped she’d make some friends. I hoped people would be nice to her. All the feelings!! I hope that Mum will adjust and start to enjoy it. The other day I’d been visiting and took her to the dining room for lunch. She sits at the same table with the same people each time. As she sat down she looked to the lady on the left and said “hello Elizabeth” and i felt like an excited parent wondering if Elizabeth was her new friend. I know that I’ve done all I can to the fullest of my capacity to look after Mum and I know it has reached the point where more help was needed. I’d love to catch up with you Sue. In the new year would be good! I’m sorry I didn’t follow your travels or comment on any travel posts. It was the same with other friends who have been travelling and holidaying. I was absent from commenting and following. Unfortunately a lot of people’s travel coincided with when everything happened with Mum and I’ve been snowed under with all that. I hope you had a wonderful time and when I get a moment I will catch up on all the travelling my friends have been doing! Take care and have a wonderful week! xo

  • Reply Cathy December 6, 2023 at 10:52 am

    Gosh it’s certainly been a difficult few months for you (and your family) Min. Here’s hoping you are all able to relax knowing your mum is now safe and reasonably comfortable. Such a beautiful view from her window should calm her and provide interest and stimulation for her mind – and hopefully her spirit. That would be something for you to look forward to when visiting her 😊
    Take care
    Cathy

    • Reply Min December 6, 2023 at 5:14 pm

      Hi Cathy, it’s certainly been challenging times and more to come no doubt. I’m very happy with the aged care facility where she is and her room is just lovely and so nice she looks out at trees – just like she did at home. Thanks for your kind words! xo

  • Reply sherry December 6, 2023 at 11:50 am

    wishing you and your family all the best in the festive season Min. It’s so hard when the parents get old, and all the stuff around that happens. Thinking of you
    cheers
    sherry

    • Reply Min December 6, 2023 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks Sherry – it is hard but it’s something that no-one escapes. We all face it at some point. Thanks for your kind words and thoughts! xo

  • Reply Natasha Mairs December 6, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    sending love to both you and your mum xxx

    • Reply Min December 7, 2023 at 3:24 pm

      Thanks so much Natasha! xo

  • Reply Joanne December 7, 2023 at 2:31 am

    I’m glad you found a great care home for your mom and hope that as she settled both you and your family will be able to relax and rest more as well.

    • Reply Min December 7, 2023 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks Joanne. Mum seems to be settling in as the days go by. I visited today and she said she felt much safer so that’s a good thing! xo

  • Reply Christie Hawkes December 7, 2023 at 7:18 am

    Hello Min. Wishing you lots of love and support during this challenging time. My mother passed away the day after Christmas four years ago. I miss her most this time of year, but I also relish the many happy memories. She so loved the holidays.

    • Reply Min December 7, 2023 at 3:28 pm

      Hi Christie, thank you! I’m so sorry for the loss of your Mother 4 years ago. It was 6 years ago we lost Dad so I know how it feels to lose a parent. Christmas certainly is a time where there are lots of family memories and traditions and the pull on the heart can be even stronger. If I start getting too sad, I remind myself how lucky and grateful I am that I had Dad until I was 53 and Mum is still with us now that I’m 59 and the big 60 next year. There are also a lifetime of wonderful memories to draw on. xo

  • Reply Jennifer Jones December 7, 2023 at 7:41 am

    I love writing a Taking Stock post and reading them. I find writing them focuses your mind back to what has been going on in your lfe. I usually end up stopping and thinking about things as I write. I enjoyed reading your post with it’s vulnerability. It’s clear you’ve had much to worry and think about. Mum is 89 now and after my visit yesterday, where she was starting to look frail, for the first time, in my eyes, I felt sad. I came home to read your post and felt happy that you had managed to get your Mum’s issues sorted out. I’m pleased you’re taking a blogging break over the new year perios. I’m sure you are in need of it. I’m taking a break until about then also.

    • Reply Min December 7, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Jennifer, yes Taking Stock posts are interesting. I never really know what each prompt is going to pull out of me and sometimes I surprise myself. I always stick with what first comes out and I’m always honest. I may not share it all but I share the truth of how I’m feeling. It’s hard when they start to look frail isn’t it? Mum was looking so frail in hospital – it was worrying. She’s looking a bit stronger now thankfully! Mum is 82.5 so a spring chicken compared to your Mum! I sure am in need of a break. I love blogging so unless I force a break on myself I don’t do it. I know I need one – a proper digital detox. More time outside in the pool and garden is needed and getting out and about doing some fun things. I hope you enjoy a break too. It’ll be good for us! xo

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