Hi, I am back. I’ve been on a sort of sabbatical the last six months due to extreme care-taking, settling an estate and dealing with the loss of a loved one.
It is great to be back and getting into the swing of things. While on my sabbatical I have managed to keep up my reading and researching. This year my reading goal is 75 books. For fun, I recently went to a 3-D Printing Workshop and found the process interesting and I definitely believe the availability and cost reduction of 3D Printers will start changing how we manufacture many things.
Professional I just re-certified in my profession getting my CPO-CD and Master Trainer status renewal from the ICD for another three years. I also completed my ICF coaching credential audit for full membership.
The Three Losses in 5 years Syndrome
Over the past 10 years, I have come across a subset of individuals who begin a sudden onset of chronic disorganization. These are individuals who are serving as family caretakers who have experienced at least three significant losses in their life over the span of 5 years. This subset has usually served as primary caretaker for either parent(s), spouse or sibling(s). Many of them also serve as the executor of one or more of these estates. Many of these individuals seem to take about 7 to 12 years after the final loss to come to terms with this in their life.
What I would like to see is a more active approach to treating this, more on the onset prevention than as an after effect treatment.
It would be beneficial to have physicians and their staffs work to identify caretakers who are already at two losses in five years, and encourage them to get additional support through grief counseling, caretaker support group participation and for those financially able, consider the services of a skilled professional organizer. A skilled professional organizer can do wonders to help the “primary caretaker client ” in terms of time management, goal setting, project planning and management. Many professional organizers can help establish bill paying and document management systems to handle the growing paperwork that complex and long-term medical conditions usually entail as well as documents for estates probate. A professional organizer can help the client simplify his or her life and environment as well as serve as a body double for difficult and often procrastinated tasks.
While a professional organizers services are not inexpensive, they are a valuable tool that may help the primary caretaker live a more vibrant and fulfilling life while and after experiencing heavy losses in their life.
The Three Losses in 5 Years are primarily death losses. For some, however, one of those losses can be the loss of a pet, divorce or significant job loss.
I believe more research and education is needed in this area. Let’s hope that this syndrome can be more clearly understood and helpful strategies for success developed and promoted to the general public.
This is a best of post from 2010.
Have you reviewed your calendar lately? A calendar review is a great way to get insight into your productivity. To do this helpful exercise, open up your online or paper calendar and review your past 12 months of listed activities.
- Do you have significant and functional social time with friends, family and loved ones?
- Have you included physical exercise and healthy activities to reach your health and fitness goals?
- Are you including enrichment and life long learning activities into your schedule?
- Are the associations and organizations that you belong to and attending fulfilling your needs?
Your calendar can give you valuable data into how you are spending your time. It can also flag activities that you list but do not attend. Take some time to review your calendar, it will be time well spent.
This is a great exercise to do yourself or with your clients.
Have you ever looked at your activities in terms of “too much” or “too little”. For example, lately I have been blogging too little and writing too much. Obviously I have not been writing my blog, but other things. When you make a list of too much or too little, you can work to balance out your actions to “just right”. There are times when you have to do a lot in order to get things done. This is usually the case if you are behind. However, you may be behind because you have been doing too much of something else. For example, playing Words With Friends, or Facebooking beyond reason. However, if you find yourself with “too little exercise” or “too much chocolate ice cream” you may also want to make some changes.
There are times when resting is the only possible option. Resting is a good thing to do when you are ill or recovering from surgery.
I believe there are those who rest well and those who have a hard time practicing this skill set. Productive resters set their mind on pause, while the unproductive resters bemoan the things they are getting behind on.
Unproductive resters are those who squeeze in a few small “necessary” tasks. This takes extra energy and exertion that is overall unproductive to their recovery.
Being a productive rester is a choice, and a practice. Next time you are recuperating – choose to rest productively.
What is normal? According to one of my more enlightened friends – the only thing that is likely to be “normal” is the washing machine setting with such a name. Actually after examining my own washing machine settings I am hesitant to even write this.
Normal is when we go about our day in a standard way. Normal is no deviation from the usual routines or patterns. Normal can be boring but normal can also be nice and safe.
Take some time to think about your “normal. Here are some reflection questions to get your started:
How do you handle normal?
What does normal mean to you in terms of your daily life?
What signals do you have that “normal” is changing?
Can you ever get back to normal after a big change?
Here is a post to make you think about restoration of one’s self.
What do you do to “solo rest” and rejuvenate yourself? For me I rejuvenate by, reading a book, talking a walk, looking out my windows at nature (be it at the sky or in the tree’s). I also work on taking a break – such as going to a cafe for a cup of coffee, or even enjoy taking a stroll in the produce section of the grocery store.
In my mid twenties, one of my favorite breaks was driving to a country nursery and wondering around the plants and indoor greenhouse. In my college years, I went to the Dewitt Mall and ordered chocolate cake, sitting solo with my thought. On a good weather day I would go up the hill to the Johnson Museum and observe the art on display. If I was short of time I would go to the snack bar on my own campus and order a bagel and cream cheese.
When I worked in New York City in the early 80’s, I would, weather permitting, go to the park with the waterfall wall and eat a sandwich at lunchtime. In the rainier or cooler times I would go into the then Citibank atrium and enjoy the chatter of fellow restaurant and cafe patrons and savor a cup of coffee.The reason for me telling these tales is to get you to think about what you do, primarily in solitude, to restore yourself.
These days, I look out my window at the large oak trees and pines that surround the house, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in my favorite chair. I also walk my dog or spend time petting him and watch my cares go away.
So what do you do to restore yourself? Knowing some of the activities you can choose, helps you to select your options. A rest break, short or long, can bring you energy and revitalize the rest of your day.
From working with client’s perspective, you can help your client make a list of restoration activities and discuss how fitting them into their schedule is a boon to productivity and success.
This is a modified post from my Transition You Life Blog.