Lists are the way forward

Recently I've been putting my mind to this new attitude I've discovered within me and wondering how I got here.  As you'll know if you're living alongside dementia it's been a long hard slog which began a long time before that diagnosis and at times it's been a roller coaster of emotions but I think the breakthrough came when I realised I couldn't live under a cloud for ever more.  This is my life as well as Ash's and it seems to me that the best way forward for both of us is if, more than occasionally, I focus on me and what I want to do with the rest of my days.  Those not closely involved can sometimes ask the question 'why don't you leave?' but that isn't an option here and even in the really bad times I've never  considered it.  We've been together of over forty years and he's been by my side  taking care of me for most of that time, in fact right up until he really, really couldn't so now it's my turn but that doesn't mean I have to lose myself along the way I just have to think outside the box.  I'm determined to make him happy and his life as easy as it can be but there has to be something else for me, something to make me feel whole again.  Living in the moment is all very well, as I've said before, but if living in the moment means getting used to staying at home and stagnating as a way of life then that's not for me.  I understand that others are fulfilled by their caring role but I'm not.  I do it because I love him, because he was my best friend and because I never thought I would have to live without him but I don't accept that this is the best my life can be so for all of you out there who really don't want to settle for a second best life here is my plan.  I've discovered lists; lists of places I want to visit in the future, lists of films I want to watch, lists of adventures I want to have, lists of holidays I want to enjoy, lists, lists, lists.  There seems to be no end to my lists and every one of them contains lots and lots of things to look forward to, my future in fact, and that's something I thought I'd lost a long time ago.

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Karen said…
Lists do give you something to look forward to. It is strange to think of the future alone but you have to. My husband would love to travel but his memory loss is so severe that if anything happened to me on a trip he would be unable to function. He would not know our hotel, what airlines we flew on or anything. The last trip we took he had totally forgotten about it a week later and I realized that I would rather spend travel dollars on me after he is gone. Selfish perhaps but there it is. We also would need to travel with another couple and I don’t want anyone to assume that responsibility. At home he can take walks around our town but anyplace new that would be out of the question. I just hope that I can travel when this stage of our life has passed.
Jane said…
We used to holiday a lot partly as a way to escape the trials and tribulations of work but now Ash isn't really comfortable out of the village and I realised on our last trip away which was only 4 days long, that there are better ways to spend the money. I used to look around the world and think 'where shall we go next' but eventually I realised I'd begun to think 'where can I cope with' and all the joy went out of it. but I'm determined to have a future.