Taking Stock – March 2023

March 29, 2023

It’s time for my first Taking Stock post for 2023!  I can’t believe it’s already been over 3 months since my last Taking Stock post in December 2022. In that one I used the A-Z word prompts dreamt up by Denyse Whelan. This time I’ll revert back to the original word prompts by the creator of Taking Stock – Pip of Meet Me at Mikes.

WARNING: I’ve been feeling quite overwhelmed and stressed lately, so this post will probably reflect that. I believe in being real and honest. This is real life. Let’s go!

Making: lots of phone calls and replying to lots of emails in relation to aged care
Getting: a bit too overwhelmed, stressed, tired and on the road to burn out
Cooking: meals for Mum every second Monday before I go over to stay a few days
Sipping: on a port nearly every evening. I know I probably shouldn’t!
Reading: it’s been far too long since I’ve read a book! 
Thinking: too much, all the time, way too much worry
Remembering: self care, self care, self care. Taking off for a few days respite tomorrow. 
Looking: forward to a few days away (leaving tomorrow) and our trip to NZ coming up in May!
Listening: to podcasts now and then – a good distraction – but sometimes (a lot lately) I can’t take anymore input and prefer to listen to SILENCE
Wishing: for improved peace of mind 
Enjoying:  watching art videos on YouTube
Appreciating:  those that assist me and us with the care of Mum
Wanting:  safety and good care for Mum & peace of mind for us
Eating:  well but snacking too much which is what I do when I’m stressed
Finishing: I’ve finished ALL art mentoring modules with Studio Yellow which is good but it’s sad to not have that regular activity anymore
Liking: the fact that hopefully soon the weather will be cooler?! Fingers crossed!
Loving: the fact I have two things to look forward to – a little getaway and a longer holiday
Buying: art supplies lately – still more I want – it’s becoming a little too much of an obsession I think!
Watching: I watched the Elvis movie for the second time with Mum last week. It’s out on Netflix! I actually enjoyed it more on the second viewing!
all the current hold ups and issues being experienced with regards to Mum’s care are soon resolved
Wearing: what in New Zealand? I still need to put my thoughts on what clothing I will need in NZ in May! I think a few purchases will be required! 
Walking: there will be quite a bit of walking (nothing too difficult for my dodgy foot) in New Zealand so I’ll need comfy hiking kinda clothes along with regular casual daywear and a couple of dressier options for evening.
Following: lots of artists on Instagram and YouTube. Gosh I’ve found so many ink and watercolour artists and urban artists and more that are so inspiring to me.
Noticing: that I’m heading for burn out and need a break so I’m acting on it
Saving: energy for what is most important at the moment 
Waiting: waiting, waiting, waiting for a couple of services that will improve our situation. It’s private so I can’t be specific but OMG the aged care system is so convaluted, slow and frustrating!
Bookmarking: No time for bookmarking anything lately
Coveting: Peace of mind
Feeling:  Um…think I’ve covered this one!
Hearing:  the hum of the fridge.

So sorry folks, as you can see things have started getting on top of me a bit BUT I will be ok. I recognise these things because I’ve been here before – though for very different reasons last time. I know what I need to do and so I am doing it. We have a few nights away coming up as I need time out from my normal daily life and jobs desperately. Of course there will be lots of nature involved as that always helps to restore and uplift me. Check out my social media over coming days and you’ll see where we go. It’s not far away. Then of course, we have 3 weeks in New Zealand coming up in May. These things will help to reduce my stress and overwhelm, restore some peace and calm, and return me to a better functioning person for all!  The last time I had a break was the short stint up at Mount Tamborine that we had in mid August 2022. The last time I had holiday that was longer than a week is a long distant memory that I can’t even recall so bring on New Zealand so I can remember what a real holiday feels like.

No photo collage this time because I really haven’t done anything of much interest to share except my art which I’ve already shared and also I needed to keep this post quick and simple this time. The next Taking Stock post though (due towards the end of June) will be fabulous! I will have been on my short getaway and my New Zealand holiday so there will be heaps of photos and hopefully I’ll be feeling the benefits from some time out and will be happily restored and full of energy again!

Do you recognise when you’re stressed and know what you need to do to help yourself? I hope so. If not – I’ve written many, many posts on Self Investment that might give you some ideas.

Ciao for now,


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  • Reply Sue from Women Living Well After Fifty March 29, 2023 at 6:22 am

    Hi Min, it is a difficult time trying to organise aged care and it can be very draining. You are wise recognising that you need to take care of yourself and I hope the trip to NZ will go some way to helping you feel more relaxed. Only another month to hang on until your holiday so step back, take care of yourself during April so you are ready. Sending hugs to you. xx

    • Reply Min March 29, 2023 at 11:41 am

      Hi Sue, thanks so much. I know you’d understand. I’m very much looking forward to driving off tomorrow for a few days away. Hopefully that will help restore me enough to help me hang in there until mid-May when we go to NZ for a few weeks. It’s not the physical doing of what I do – it’s the mental and emotional toll I think. I just need a mental/emotional break from it all. Thank you for the hugs which have been very gratefully received! xo

  • Reply Debbie Harris March 29, 2023 at 8:51 am

    I can relate to your feelings of overwhelm Min and maybe the reasons too, and I wish you well. It’s so hard to navigate aged care and shouldn’t be that frustrating. Your few nights away then a longer thrip to NZ will be just what you need to help restore your usual balance I’m sure. You’ve reminded me that I should be due a Taking Stock post soon :), I do love them for getting things out of your system. We have six weeks until our trip to the UK to see our daughter and granddaughter again, so I’m counting down and bonus it will be spring over there! Take care and enjoy your break x

    • Reply Min March 29, 2023 at 11:44 am

      Thanks Debbie – yes the few nights away and then the longer NZ trip will go a long way to restoring me back to a better version of myself! Your trip to the UK to see your daughter and granddaughter is a lovely thing to have on the horizon to look forward to! I look forward to seeing photographs of Dottie’s gorgeous little face and how much she’s grown! xo

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au March 29, 2023 at 10:46 am

    Hi Min – it’s such a shame that our aged care system makes things so difficult and stressful for those who are already pretty much at the end of their tether trying to find somewhere safe and caring for their loved one. I hope things sort themselves out and you find some resolution to all this that puts your mind at ease and makes your mum feel like she’s in a good place. Enjoy the break and try to keep finding those peaceful moments in the day to breathe and restore some calmness. x

    • Reply Min March 29, 2023 at 11:47 am

      Hi Leanne, the aged care system is convoluted and ridiculous. Honestly, without meaning to sound sexist, I do think it must’ve been designed by a man. It’s clunky, it has big holes in it, it’s slow, it’s confusing. It needs a major overhaul! Anyway, I just want my Mum to be happy and safe and until I feel better about things I have way too much worry day after day and that takes a toll on a person. I’m very much looking forward to my brief little break away and then my longer one in May. It will go a long way towards helping me to feel restored, uplifted and re-energised to keep going! Thanks Leanne. xo

  • Reply Deborah March 29, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    Oh Min, it’s so hard as parents age. I’m grateful at least I’m near mum now as I know I struggled when mum was dad’s carer and I was hours away and couldn’t offer respite or support.

    I hope you get your supports in place soon but I’m also really glad you’ve got your upcoming holiday to look forward to!


    • Reply Min March 30, 2023 at 10:04 am

      Hi Deb, thank you and yes it sure is hard. If Mum lived closer it would be easier. We’ve got ‘some’ help in place but need more. I am happy to care for Mum so it’s not the physical doing of it. It’s just all the mental and emotional toll of it all. I’ve been living and breathing aged care for a long time now without much break so I guess this tells me I need more regular breaks for my own self care.

  • Reply sherry March 29, 2023 at 4:17 pm

    take lots of woollens for NZ! It will be cold! Esp. if you’re going to the South Island – ’twill be freezing! Hope you feel better soon and that all is sorted with the aged care. I remember getting hubby’s mum sorted and into a good home and selling her house etc was a nightmare. And there were 6 siblings in his family to do it all! Cheers Sherry

    • Reply Min March 30, 2023 at 10:06 am

      Hi Sherry – yes we’re going to the south island so I guess it will be cold! Luckily I quite like the cold. I’m planning on dressing in layers as I can still get overheated in cold weather, especially when indoors where it can be stuffy and over heated. I don’t mind caring for Mum. She deserves the best as she’s been a wonderful Mum. It’s just all the dealing with Govt agencies and all the worry that starts to take a toll on me. So I guess I need to take more regular breaks so that side of things doesn’t get to this point again.

  • Reply Elizabeth March 30, 2023 at 1:59 am

    Hello Min, caring for your mum is difficult enough without the added stress of navigating the system. It’s good you recognise you need a break, as it can be so easy to press on when you are struggling. Enjoy your trip and I am sure a few days in nature will help you relax. The NZ trip is not too far away so that is something nice to look forward to. Take care xo

    • Reply Min March 30, 2023 at 10:09 am

      Hi Elizabeth, I don’t mind caring for Mum. Its a privilege actually, to be able to care for her after all the years she cared for me and she’s been a wonderful Mum. It’s all the stuff I have to deal with – medical people, govt agencies, etc etc … and the worry of Mum being alone and at least a 45 minute drive away from me. We have some care in place to help but need some more so the dealing with Govt agencies etc etc continues. It gets very draining. I’m looking forward to my getaway later today and then NZ. Thank you! xo

  • Reply Elizabeth March 30, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    Min, I don’t think I worded my comment very well. I meant difficult emotionally rather than physically. I helped my dad care for my mum and, like you, I am so glad I was there for her when she needed me. x

    • Reply Min April 5, 2023 at 6:10 am

      Hi Elizabeth, it’s ok – I knew what you meant – don’t worry. I just worry people might think I’m whinging so clarified that I care for Mum because I want to and she deserves the best we can do for her. You’re right that it is very hard emotionally! xo

  • Reply Denyse Whelan March 31, 2023 at 11:46 am

    Gosh Min, I would be feeling this way too. And you can’t just let it go because it IS a huge responsibility. I know that there are people who can help you navigate this situation (probably you have to pay them) but also keep your Federal MP in mind as it is all under their jurisdiction. I think you need to make “loud” noises when it is not happening as fast as you might have thought. As always, I am grateful that you shared your post for Wednesday’s Words and Pics. See you again next week, when no more daylight saving in Australia for 6 months, means Eastern States will be all on same time! Denyse.

    • Reply Min April 4, 2023 at 10:43 am

      It will all work out in the end Denyse. We’re waiting on an ACAT reassessment as we need more hours of care to help us cover the week. Haven’t heard back yet to book in a time. Eventually I guess. Have a great week! xo

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee April 2, 2023 at 8:21 am

    It is a lot to deal with – a LOT. At times like this, you just have to push thru on that and focus as much as you can on you. Because you can’t pour from an empty cup. Cut out what can wait. Priorities exercise, and things that will lift you, so you can keep pushing for her. If it helps, think of it as a window until NZ. THen it’s a ‘short’ time frame rather than a never ending one, which is where the overwhelming aspect comes from. I really feel for you. We don’t realise how bad ‘the system’ is until we are in it. Take care. #WWandP

    • Reply Min April 4, 2023 at 10:45 am

      Thanks Lydia – yes it is a lot. There’s lots to deal with – not just the govt agencies but much more. I’m usually fine with it all – just need more regular time out from it all. The little getaway has helped a little but I need a longer break that is for sure so NZ will be perfect for that! Hope you have a great week! xo

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan April 22, 2023 at 7:34 am

    I remember dealing with all of these issues little more than a year ago. Where to put mom. How to get her the help she needs. And trying to do it from 1500 miles away, or on my visits to see her. Covid complicated everything so much. We moved her 3 times in about 18 months. And during Covid I would fly up to see her and stand outside her window in the cold, rain, or sun so she could see us while talking to us on the phone. It is just a very, very difficult season in life. For us – the ‘children’ and for our parents who become more like the children.

    Hoping you can enjoy some down time here and there. A bath. An hour with a book – even listening to one in the car. But I totally get just needing quiet, too. There is sometimes so much noise in my head that listening to anything just compounds things.

    Glad you have the trip to New Zealand to anticipate and look forward to. We are going on a little getaway the middle of May before my husband has surgery for cancer on the last day of May. Hoping the change of scenery and down time will help us through his surgery and recovery.

    Keep up the art!! Even if right now it is just buying the supplies. You will return to it. Take you Day in the Life sketch book with you and sketch when you can. And know that this too shall pass.

    • Reply Min April 27, 2023 at 9:58 am

      Hi Leslie, oh gosh that would’ve been hard from 1500 miles away! I find it hard enough being a 45-60 minute drive away (depending on traffic)! It’s all very hard and very sad. Thankfully we’re past the early days of Covid and so not restricted by lockdowns anymore. I’m finding it very hard to relax at the moment because my mind is overloaded with so much that needs to be done … but I still do my yoga and pilates every morning and that’s helpful to still my mind. The NZ trip is much needed and should work wonders. Thanks for your kindness and support Leslie! xo

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