Dementia's life changing effect

When Jake was little I stayed at home with him determined to give him the best start in life I could.  Problem was I wasn't very good at staying at home and if, when I woke up in a morning, I didn't have coffee planned with a friend I panicked.  He and I did lots of stuff such as dog walking, baking, singing etc.  (not tv because that was in a room which was unheated until tea time each day) but we went out a lot (to save me climbing the walls) and he learned to mix with other children, to socialise and to share all of which were useful skills I felt and all of which he's still very good at today.  So I don't think I did a bad job but when he went to school I was more than ready to go back to work and that's where I stayed until very recently.  Not only did I work but most of the things I've done over the years have involved spending hours and hours out of the house and the only way I could properly relax was to go on holiday, consequently we went away a lot.  Twice in my life (and for different reasons each time) I've had three different jobs at the same time so life was definitely not for leisure.  The holidays were lovely but meant even less time to spend at home so sometimes I experimented with having a week's holiday at home.  The first time I did this the people I'd left in charge phoned me with questions three times over the week and I noted the benefit of holidaying somewhere they couldn't contact me.  Even if I did have weekends when I wasn't at work I always ended up doing paperwork, rarely sitting down and just enjoying being in the beautiful place we call home.  Three years ago I moved to a different job where I worked fewer hours but those other years had taken their toll and I still found it difficult to relax so when I realised Ash was struggling when I wasn't around and I had to make that decision to give it all up I was, understandably I think, a little concerned that I would end up climbing the walls all over again.  And now I have to tell you that I've made a huge discovery.  Against all odds I love being at home.  I can spend hours doing absolutely nothing and frequently get to the end of a day without one single achievement.  I find I have no wish to fill my time, no need to keep busy but instead keep things quiet, calm and steady all of which seems to have led to Ash being calmer and more capable than he's been in a long time.  I'm not sure why I seem to have had a complete personality change but am certain it's not because I've settled for less more that I'm making up for all those years of solid slog.  I think I've a lot of catching up to do on the 'spare time' front and if that means the garden isn't yet perfect and the house still needs decorating from top to bottom I'm fine with that.  It'll all get done some time and in the meantime I'm working out how to keep up with friends, stay relatively fit and mentally alert without expending too much energy (or money - there's a downside to not working!).  And to think I would never have discovered this if it hadn't been for dementia.

Don't forget you can sign up to have this delivered straight into your inbox (just remember to click on the validation email which may not be in your inbox), you can share posts with others or you can email me at


Lesley said…
I think, generally, the pace of life is WAY too fast these days and learning to take things more slowly is a real challenge - well done for managing it and enjoying BEING rather than DOING. I am absolutely sure it is a far healthier way to live.
Jane said…
So am I. feel better than I've felt for years.