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Archive for the ‘diet’ Category

Mr. Spock said it r first. We all hope to live long and prosper.

But living long is an art–if you’re going to do it with finesse.

And prospering isn’t all about money–it’s about the wealth we acquire when we live good lives and take care of ourselves.

Great docs such as Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen of the book, Real Age have compiled all the latest health data that if followed, can literally add years to your life. I took this info, along with several known preventative methods to deter Alzheimer’s and compiled it into a list. I love Dr. Oz’s You on a Diet, and You the Owner’s Manual–just enough medicine talk to teach me a few things in a great format I don’t mind picking up again and again.

You might want to post this on your frig.

Don’t feel pressure to do it all–just pick 2-3 things that you can incorporate into your daily/weekly life. That’s enough for now. Later, you can add 2 more.

The Health List: (Ranked in importance to some degree)

  • Embrace a positive attitude. This is number one. Squash those negative thoughts. Redirect them. How? Catch yourself in the act. Turn the negative thought into a positive one and say it out loud. Flood your car and other places where you mind wanders with music, informational CDs, or healthy conversation–continually correct those down/derogatory thoughts until they’re crowded out by good ones.
  • When you can’t, laugh it off. Sometimes life just gets chaotic and absurd. When the crap just seems to pile up, then laugh about it. Ask yourself if this will matter one year, five years from now. Most of the time, it won’t. If it will, then take action and do what you can to fix it–if not–let go of life’s steering wheel and enjoy the ride.
  • Let go of hurts and resentments–most people don’t mean to hurt you, and for those who do, why give them power by dwelling on it?
  • Breathe! When stressed, stop, place your hand on the place on your body where you’re feeling the most tension–head, stomach, and take five slow deep breaths. Count if you need to, if your mind needs something to focus on–30 counts in, 30 counts out–breath in through your nose and really fill up those lungs, and breath out through your mouth and empty everything out in that breath. Do this at least three times a day–stress or not–it’ll change your life. It’s great for stress and anxiety.
  • While we’re on breath, you gotta give up smoking. If you haven’t so far, make an appointment and get into a doctor quick–there’s so many ways they can help you–meds, hypnotism–you’ve simply got to quit. Know that each time you try, you get closer. So don’t give up. I have lots of relatives who tried for years, and you know what? None of them smoke now. Many smoked for 20, 30 years–and now they’re clean. So it can be done!
  • Get enough sleep. I’m talking 8-10 hours. Sleep deprivation will take years off your life,damage your body, and make life miserable. Create a sanctuary in your bedroom–declutter, paint it in a soothing color, get great sheets–look forward to going to bed. Not sleeping enough is responsible for more car accidents than drunk driving and is directly linked to obesity.
  • When you can, nap for 20 minutes. It’s restorative and will aid in your mental sharpness and creativity.
  • Surround yourself with people you love–a spouse, friends, build relationships and community in which to be a part of.
  • Walk 30 minutes a day. Don’t stop. Keep a steady pace. Music helps. It aids in weight loss, stress, diabetes and heart disease prevention.
  • Music is a great mood enhancer. When you’re down, reach for the ipod instead of the pills/booze. It’s known to be effective in dealing with anxiety, depression, and lowers blood pressure.
  • Make love! With yourself and others–being sexual is good for you. (If it’s in a monogamous committed relationship). Create an environment where sex, cuddling and fooling around is easy and relaxing. If not, explore why you’ve shut down in this area–stress? Lack of sleep? Unresolved issues? Take a look.
  • Do some weight bearing exercise 2-3 times a week. Lift weights, work in the yard–move your muscles and stretch those ligaments. It’s even more important as we age.
  • Play! While exercise is important, face it, it’s boring. What sport or activity did you love as a child? I was a bicycler. Now, I bike almost every day. Swim, kayak, install a basketball goal in your driveway–even if you don’t have kids around any more.
  • Stretch–everyone can stretch–any age. 5-10 minutes a day–along with your breath work is something caregivers and their loved ones can do together. Yoga’sgreat too, and there are lots of DVDs and online classes if you can’t get out.
  • If you want to obsess about a body part, then concentrate on your waist size. Waist size reflects mid-section fat–the dangerous kind that’s close to your heart. Men should have a waist of no larger than 36 inches and women, 32 inches. So get out the tape measure and take deep breath…
  • Incorporate being active into your relationships. Meet with a friend for lunch–and then go for thirty minute walk. Sign you and your spouse up for tennis lessons or dance lessons. Shake things up. It’s easy to get sedentary in our relationships and build upon eachother’s bad habits.
  • Get out in nature. Nature’s benefits are endless. We are a part of this planet, and no matter where you live, there’s a dragonfly or cardinal waiting for you. Nature teaches us and heals us in ways we’ve yet to explore or understand. Do you know what prisoners miss the most? The sun–and being outside. Most of us can get up and go outside our front door. Do more than walk to your car.
  • Get your Vitamin D.How? By getting outside–remember I mentioned walking for 30 minutes? Do you know that your eyes and skin absorb just the right amount of Vitamin D in about 10-20 minutes and then it shuts off so you can’t overload? Vitamin D is crucial to your bones and is a real problem for the very young and the elderly–so even if you’re a caregiver–wheel your loved one outside and enjoy the flowers, dragonflies, and walk around the block.
  • Before you head out the door, slather on some sunscreen. No need to inflict damage to your skin, which isn’t pretty in the long run, or put yourself at risk for skin cancer. It’s way too easy to buy a moisturizer that has full spectrum sunblock and slather it on each day.
  • Speak up. When something is bothering you, begin to speak up. Say how you’re feeling. You can do this without blame, but stuffing your feelings is damaging and is known to cause lots of health problems. Speaking up is about taking care of yourself. It’s not always about fixing a problem, but voicing your hurts and concerns is beneficial for everyone. Risk the confrontation. Most people take it better than you think and it can be a great bridge to better communication.
  • Embrace faith. Whatever you believe, to whatever degree–embrace the sense of hope that faith embodies. It’s okay if it’s not the faith of your family or culture, it’s okay if it is–people who have some sense of life beyond, of purpose past self feel more at peace and more connected.
  • Look at your stress. Caregivers and those who are actively caring for others all hours of the day and night can really feel overwhelmed, but what is it that really gets to you? Everyone is different. Stress usually stems from a lack of control. For some, it’s the feeling of being trapped, of feeling like your life is put on hold, or maybe it’s the helplessness of seeing a loved one in pain. Is there one small thing about the stress that you could change? Ask for different pain meds? Try acupuncture? Take an online college class so that you feel like you’re doing something for you? Change doctors if yours won’t listen or communicate. One positive act can have a huge effect. You can’t fix it all, but knowing that you can do one thing can really help combat stress.
  • Learn something new. Learn a language, take a class at the rec center, learn to knit, take a computer course, do a tutorial of photo shop, learn how to make a great tiramasu–use that brain of yours!
  • Play games–in your downtime, reach for the crossword puzzle, chess set, or brain games. It beats re-runs of old tv shows and fires those neurons in your brain.
  • When is the last time you laughed? This is where friends come in handy. If you’re going to watch tv, then opt for funny because it does great things for your body and spirit. Make sure you have at least one “fun” friend who makes you laugh, and brings joy and play into your life.
  • Touch. Be affectionate. Hug, kiss, pet your dog. Touch is deeply important. It’s healing. Get a massage. Hold hands.
  • Practice smiling. If you haven’t smiled in a while, or you can’t remember if you have or haven’t, then start practicing. Smile in the car. Smile on the way to work. Smile in the shower. Smiling goes much deeper than just affecting the muscles in your face. Smiling and touching a part of your body is known as Qi Gong in Chinese medicine. It may sound silly, but you”ll feel better and sometimes we just get out of the practice.
  • Avoid the doctor! Whenever possible (not when you’re really/very sick) don’t reach for the anti-biotics. A cold will run its course. Getting in a medical mindset is unhealthy. Drug companies have corrupted American health care–and a pill isn’t always the answer. For simple things, go to the Internet, a health book and try the natural alternative. Now I’m not talking about cancer, heart attacks, etc.

THE FOOD LIST:

  • Eat well. Food is a celebration of life and culture. Eat what you love. You may think you love Fritos and Ding Dongs, but I bet you love other things too. Make your plate a work of art. Eat on a real plate, sitting down at a nice table. Eat with those you love. Surround yourself with beauty as you eat–a candle or a flower. Think about the food you’re eating. Turn off the tv and enjoy what’s going in your body.
  • Have an eating plan. If you know you’re going to be extremely busy, then take a sec and plan what you’re going to eat. There are almost always decent alternatives. You can eat decently from a quick stop, so no excuses. Stress eating leads to junk food eating. Create a fall-back plan for when life is crazy and incorporate at least a few healthy alternatives. Love salty? Go for salted nuts as opposed to chips. Love sweets? Go for Twizzlers or other candies with no fat–or a bag of grapes. Mindlessly eating? Grab a bag of carrots. Some gum, or popcorn. Know what it is you want–to chew, something creamy and homey–have those comfort foods on hand. They now make a Mac and Cheese with only 2% fat–and it doesn’t taste half bad. 
  • Know your weak spots. I know when I’m overworked and exhausted that I eat crappy. I’m working on a plan–foods that aren’t terrible for me, but I still find comforting in times of stress. I also know that during those mindless eating stress times I need to take a bath and put myself to bed. I’m not craving food as much as I am self-care and rest.
  • Cut way, way back on fried foods. Now I know you love them, but save them for truly special occasions–birthdays, anniversaries. If you need a fix, then consider oven frying your food at home–country fried steak, and fried chicken still taste good from the oven and it really cuts down on the fat.
  • Eat at home. It’s the only way to control your portions and calories–and quality. There are so many hidden variables in eating out it’s hard to know where to start. Make your home a place of serenity and beauty and take pride in the food you fix. It’s a much more satisfying experience. Learn to make one or two new dishes a month–and enjoy the experience.
  • Embrace fruits and veggies. You know you should–start with those you already like. If you grew up on green beans and corn, then start there and always have those on hand. Try a few more–see what you like. There’s a million ways to make a salad so get creative. The darker green the veggie, the better–the brighter the fruit, the better. Color rules!
  • Go green and buy those fruits and veggies from a local stand–you’ll not only help out your community, but you’ll get fresher produce.
  • Look at your palm. That’s the size and thickness a piece of meat needs to be. You only need one of two of these palms a day. Not enough food? Then pile on the veggies! Have a piece of fruit before your meal–or after.
  • Avoid white–white bread, white rice, have small portions of corn and potatoes. Choose grains instead–brown rice, wild rice, all different kinds of bread–seek out a local bakery. Potatoes and corn are good, but know that you don’t need a huge plateful.
  • Avoid the other white stuff–mayo, full calorie dressings, gravies–all should be used sparingly and the low-fat version is a better choice since we tend to over do it in these areas.
  • Dairy is okay for most people–especially women. Americans could eat more yogurt–the yogurt cultures contain acidophilus and is great for balancing our digestive tract.
  • Curb your appetite with a palmful of nuts. Keep lots of nuts on hand (raw is best, but just get used to eating them regularly at first). The best nuts for your brain are walnuts, almonds, and pecans. They’re great in salads too. It’s a good idea to eat a small handful before a meal–they curb your appetite, have a healthy amount of oils, and you’ll be less ravenous at your meal.
  • Know your super foods–not all food is created equal–here’s a list of the best of the best:
    • Beans
    • Blueberries
    • Broccoli
    • Oats
    • Oranges
    • Pumpkin
    • Salmon
    • Soy
    • Spinach
    • Tea (green or black)
    • Tomatoes
    • Turkey
    • Walnuts
    • Yogurt
  • Nix the plastic bottles of water and install a water filtration system on your faucet. Plastic isn’t good for you–fumes and all–and most city’s tap water is just as clean, if not cleaner than the stuff you’re paying for.
  • If you want notch it up, go for organic meats and eggs that haven’t been injected with hormones. It’s more expensive, but realize you need to eat less amounts of meat any way. We don’t need all those hormones and antibiotics.
  • Take a multi-vitamin–while research goes back and forth about supplements, if you’re eating well, you don’t need too much else. If you';re dealing with a certain condition–UTIs, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, then this is the time to incorate a few more supplements. Some research indicates that Vitamin C and E helps stave off Alzheimer’s. A great source to know what to take for what disease/condition is at Dr. Weil’s site.                                       .
  • Enjoy a glass of wine! Ladies, on a day is enough. Red is better (although I’m a Riesling fan). Beer’s okay too.
  • Give up the Cokes/carbonated drinks. Nothing good is in any of them. Treat yourself to one occasionally–if you really like the way it tastes, but don’t keep them in your house. They actually suck oxygen out of your bones, has been linked to Parkinson’s, and new research says it might actually damage your cells. And have you seen what it does to your car battery? 
  • Have a cuppa coffee! This one made me particularly happy. Studies show that coffee’s good for your heart–and for Alzheimer’s. It opens up the blood vessels.
  • Give up the artificial sweeteners. They’re all scary. Go with steevia. I know, it’s hard for me too.
  • Go with real butter as opposed to the fake stuff–but a little dab’ll do ya.
  • Go with olive oil whenever you can. Other than desserts, you can cook with olive oil–and we already said that cakes and cookies are a splurge item.
  • Fish rules. Try to incorporate 2-3 fish dishes into your weekly diet. Salmon is great choice. So are all the white fishes–this is when white is good. Go local when you can. Broil or pan cooked fish only takes minutes to fix.
  • Desserts such as cakes should go with life’s celebrations. Enjoy them on birthdays,  anniversaries and holidays–as well as break ups and other life tragedies that only a cake can help. Other than that, have your glass of wine, dark chocolate and some cherries–not a bad way to end a day. If you love your icecream, then go with a low-fat frozen yogurt. Experiment and find your favorite kind.
  • One great dessert you can have it dark chocolate. I keep it at all times. Seriously. I have a small bar each day. I like Dove dark chocolates. I need it be a little creamy. Some of the European high cacoa varieties are too bitter to my liking. Four of their little squares makes me very, very happy. I also like Ritter–and they have one with hazelnuts that’s to die for. Dark chocolate has anti-oxidants which lowers blood pressure.
  • Incorporate flax seed or flax seed oil into your diet–a spoon of the oil can be added to soup, rice, or other dishes and isn’t even noticed. This gives the body Omega 3’s which is great for your heart and is also high in fiber.
  • Women and seniors probably need to take a calcium supplement. We just don’t get enough, and we don’t lift enough weights to offset gravity’s pull on the bones and spine.
  • Best spices are cinnamon (regulates blood levels and is good for diabetes), curry and cumin (heart and metabolic effects) and garlic (heart again). In fact, spices are great all the way around.

A Few Last Words:

Trust your body. If you’re craving lemons, then eat lots of lemons. If you’re sleeping ten hours a night, then tuck yourself in early.

Our bodies are incredibly intuitive. It knows what it needs. Also know that it’s about 3-6 months behind, so the stress you’re experiencing now (say, a bum knee or a heal spur) might be because of the stress and strain that was put on it months before–also know that your spirit works the same way.

If you’ve experienced a huge life change, then realize that your body and mind may be reacting to it months later. If you’re weepy, angry, mopey, it may be that your body needs to play catch up. Let it feel what it needs to feel and trust that it won’t last forever.

Get rid of negatives. Negative people and work situations can be difficult, if not downright impossible to overcome. If you’ve tried to remedy the situation–you’ve spoken up, offered solutions, tried to be amenable and it’s still not working–then consider a change. Money isn’t everything, and if your relationship is unhealthy, then choose to be alone and trust that if you ask the universe for something better–and then wait–it will come.

If you’re in a stressful situation–caregiving, the end of life, a messy divorce, recovering from a car accident, then be gentle on yourself. Life ebbs and flows and know that this difficult time will pass.

Sounds like a lot, huh?

Focus on one thing. If you try to be uber-good, it’ll back-fire and you’ll wind up overdosing on Ho-Ho’s in your car. One change is a good change.

If I’ve forgotten something important, then email me and I’ll add it to the list!

According to the death clock, I’m living to 100. Now, I’ve seen what 90-100 looks like for most folks, and I’m on a mission to improve my last decade. I plan on dancing at my great, great granddaughter’s wedding!

Live long–and prosper!

 Carol D. O’Dell

Family Advisor at www.Caring.com 

 

 

 

 

 

Syndicated Blog at www.OpentoHope.com

Kunati Publishers, www.kunati.com/mothering-mother-memoir-by-car/ – 95k

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Ever heard of the freshman 15?

That’s where kids heading off to college gain 15 pounds because they’re eating pizza, drinking beer, and stressed out?

Well, I’m here to tell ya there’s a Caregiver’s 30!

I gained over 30 pounds in the almost three years I cared for my mom full time. You would think lifting and helping something with Parkinson’s, and chasing after someone with Alzheimer’s (she had both) would be enough exercise.

Why? Stress, #1–that whole cortisol thing

Lack of sleep, #2

One for you, two for me, #3

Here’s why stress causes weight gain:

Chronic stress and cortisol can contribute to weight gain in the following ways:

    Metabolism —  Too much cortisol can slow your metabolism, causing more weight gain than you would normally experience.Cravings — People experiencing chronic stress tend to crave more fatty, salty and sugary foods. This includes sweets, processed food and other things that aren’t as good for you. 

    Blood Sugar — Prolonged stress can alter your blood sugar levels, causing mood swings, fatigue, and conditions like hyperglycemia. Too much stress has even been linked to metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health concerns that can lead to greater health problems, like heart attacks and diabetes.

    Fat Storage — Excessive stress even affects where we tend to store fat. Higher levels of stress are linked to greater levels of abdominal fat. Unfortunately, abdominal fat isn’t attractive, it’s linked with greater health risks than fat stored in other areas of the body. This info is from http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/weightgain.htm

Mother’s eating habits became atrocious, although I have to preface that with if you’re in your twilight years you should be allowed to finally eat anything you darn well please. The only problem was that I’m not in my twilight years.

As I unwrapped her a Klondike bar, I might eat one myself.

When she wanted peanut butter and crackers for a snack, I ate them as well.

When she woke in the middle of the night, I too, had to get up–and then I couldn’t sleep, so…a handful of Cheese-Its and a glass of milk.

Add the fact that I’m a sandwich generationer with kids still at home. I had teenagers into the mix, and the pantry always had chips or crackers or something naughty. And it was my saving grace to order pizza or wings after a particularly stressful day.

You can see? It adds up.

It didn’t feel like I was eating a lot, but I don’t think it was just the food, it was the stress and the kinds of foods I was eating.

I know food is comforting. I know the boredom, the hankering for something to just hit the spot, the problem was, my back end was spreading, and that made me feel miserable.

Also…I stopped getting on the scale. I ignored the solution. I didn’t want to face it. I told myself I had enough on my plate (pun intended)–that I’d deal with it later.

I’m grateful diabetes didn’t kick in, and I’m grateful it was 30+ pounds, not 60, but if I had to do it again,

I’d pay attention to me–first.

My mother passed away at the age of 92. A good long life. For the most part, she took good care of her health, and still, she wound up with two debilitating diseases. It took almost a year to drop my “caregiver spread” and I’m grateful I had the momentum and ability to do so. It wasn’t easy. Paying attention to your health is something we simply have to incorporate into our very core. We especially need it in our caregiving years.

~Carol D. O’Dell

Author of Mothering Mother; A Daughter’s Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir,

Available on Amazon and in most bookstores

Kunati Publishing

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Top Ten List: You Know You’ve Crossed the Caregiving Line When…

1. You eat more prunes than you dad does. And you like them.

2. You ran out of feminine pads and you actually wore your mom’s Depends.

3. More than two things you’ve eaten today have oatmeal in them.

4. Your daily pill case has too many pills in it to shut the lid. You buy drugstore glasses in bulk.

5. You can spell Alzheimer’s without looking it up. You’ve already used the word, “dementia” today.

6. You actually look forward to the latest AARP magazine. You have a stack of Reader’s Digest (large print version0 in the bathroom.

7. You’re great at trivia–as long as the questions are from 1970 or before, but…you’re not sure if the world wide web and the internet are the same thing.

8. You find yourself saying, “One for you, and one for me” on many medications–and you have more than one container of Citrucel/Fiberlax/and stool softeners in the medicine cabinet.

9. You hoard in your mom or dad’s dr. appointment time to ask questions about your ailments.

10. You wear “granny panties” and argue they’re roomier/more comfortable and you need the coverage.

My advice?

Run to the store and repeat over and over, “I am not old, I am not old…”

Buy a Cosmo, a thong, and a box of hair color. (this applies to both men and women!)

Seriously, if you’re feeling stuck in a caregiving rut, remember, you’re not the aging/elderly/infirmed one–and it doesn’t help anyone for you to think or act that way. Use your humor, your wit, your sarcasm, your brain, your bod!

Take a break, learn something, act YOUR age, not theirs!

Our loved ones need our joy, our energy, and our passion!

Lighten up! Smile! Tell a bawdy joke, get out that rusty bike, sign up for yoga class–for goodness sake, live a little!

~Carol D. O’Dell

Author of Mothering Mother: A Daughter’s Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir,

available on Amazon and in most bookstores.

www.mothering-mother.com

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Chaos. Bad Connotations, right? Not necessarily.

I recently reviewed a book on Amazon, “The Perfect Mess.” It’s about rejecting the need to be perfect and neat and trade it in for more creativity and trust. I get that. I’m one of the UNneat. My mantra is, “Organized People Are Just Too Lazy To Look For Things.”

If you ring my doorbell, I’ll greet you with a sheepish “I’m sorry my house isn’t perfect,” but if you’re not looking down your nose, I’ll invite you in, make you a cup of hot tea or pour you a glass of wine and we’ll chat about art, faith, lack of faith, good food, history, astronomy, who knows, then I’ll whip something up for dinner. But you’ll have to overlook my office, and maybe some dishes soaking in the sink, and the stack (stacks with an s) of books (with lots of s’s) next to the couch, bed, chair…I’m not into perfection. I don’t have time for it. I have better things to do–like writing, finding places to speak about my book, Mothering Mother, cooking, gardening, painting–anything other than mind-numbing endless whine of the vacuum. So, I’m in yoga the other day (at Y Yoga–hey Liz) and my instructor tells me that we need to create MUSCLE CHAOS. My Favorite Martian antennas raised on my little head.

After class, I asked her to explain:“Push your body past its norm–shake it up, do something different or longer and your body senses “chaos” That chaos creates new synapses and your muscles respond/sense that something’s up, go on alert, and DELIVERS”   So, I got to thinking. The same principle works for artists, creators, (human beings of all sorts). If we only give our body, mind, spirit, relationships–what it expects, it will in turn, deliver the expected.

How do we get more? CREATE CHAOS.

Liz (my yoga teacher) tells me yesterday (as we were talking about the various and amazing uses of the ball) that “INSTABILITY CREATES STABILITY.” Antennas. She explains: “As you wobble on the ball, your body seeks balance, and by throwing it off, it fires those neurons to seek new/deeper/stronger balance. It’s on alert again. That’s why our muscles shake when we haven’t used them, just like we tend to get nervous writing about things that are still a bit mysterious to us–INSTABILITY CREATES STABILITY.” 

My writing mentor, Tamara Sellman and I continued the discussion: “Most people avoid chaos. Life has gotten so (#&% orderly/neat/perfect that it’s downright scary And yet, we abhor perfection–It’s okay to be rough around the edges and true to yourself. That’s more authentic than being competent and perfect as a stylist. That’s why we look at people who have had too much plastic surgery, and although mathematically they’re “perfect”—it’s odd. We don’t trust it–it’s actually unappealing, cold, sterile, harsh…freaky. That’s why so many great models, actors, etc. have “odd” faces. Beautiful and quirky      Nature is perfect in its imperfection. Why else would snowflakes and leaves be unique and yet beautiful?    

Wabi-Sabi–beauty found in imperfection.  

Glass of wine, anyone?  

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I live on the edge of a bird sanctuary,  and every morning I look out my back window and watch the birds gather in my moss-draped water oaks. Egrets, pelicans, seagulls, herons, and yes, pink flamingos weight my limbs and squak at each other in what seems to be a mixture of tiffs and gossip and inuendos.

I take a seat sip on my coffee with my sleepy eyes barely open and watch as pink birds fly low over the lake. I feel as if I’ve woken into a Dr. Seuss dream. Pink birds do not exist, do they? Yes, they do. I love their decadance, their awkwardness, their third finger raised in defiance to the universe–yes, pink is for birds. Nature in its rioutous pallette delights and astounds me.

The last few mornings, a large blue heron stands on the lake shore. Regal, relaxed. I don’t seem to bother him much, and yet every time we meet, I stop–hold my breath and let this magnificent creature settle into my psyche. In my child mind, he is my newly assigned angel.

Birds have somehow become my mascot ever since my book, Mothering Mother (www.kunati.com-mothering) has been given two birds to perch on its gloosy cover. The birds stand for an ancient Chinese proverb that the child bird will return to the nest and care or its mother. Full circle. Instinctual. Even in nature, some species stay close to their families while some never return.

There is something about that time of return and what it does for us. It’s not that we always want to return. Instinctual? Maybe. Duty or responsibility? In part. But more. Mothering Mother (www.mothering mother.com) is about what it does to your soul of the child, the friend, the caregiver. It’s about what I learned about me, about my mother, about our relationship, faith, lack of faith, hope and lack of hope as I parented my parent. It’s about what compelled me to return to the nest. Why I choose to be there in the end.

I stand motionless in front of my heron-angel. Smile, begin to breathe again. And say a prayer of gratitude–for all the birds.

Carol D. O’Dell (www.caroldodell.com)

Mothering Mother, April 2007, Kunati Publishing

ISBN-13: 978-1-60164-003-1

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Whatever happened to a slow January? Not 2007–it shot out like a cannonball. I’m on the “Carol has a book coming out April 1st diet.” I’m walking, running (it’s rather pitiful to watch, I’m sure), attending yoga, lifting weights–it’s amazing what motivation a book publication can be! Marketing plans are on full-tilt. Reviews are in the air and my quiet little life is in for quite a change.

Never did I think four years ago as my morning routine of preparing my mother’s breakfast, setting out her pills, assisting her to walk to the bathroom, that this day would come.

I couldn’t see past that day. Mothering Mother (www.kunati.com-mothering ) was nothing more than a journal where I wrote my confessions, my exhaustion, and my fears. In 2007, those thoughts turned into words created a story and will now be published by Kunati Publishing will go out to others–others who are standing in their loved ones bedroom holding a handful of pills. They cannot conceive their life changing any time soon, and the changes that hover are not necesssarily pleasant. I know how hard it is to dig in your heels and keep doing the right thing. I also know how frightening it is to think about change–sometimes the familiar is ironically comforting.

But I’m here to tell them, life is in constant flux. Just as 2007 holds the promise of possibility, I hope my words, my story will encourage others–whether they’re caregivers and their loved ones, writers, artists, and all of us who strive to stay diligent in what we believe in- and some days, just to hang on.

Get ready. You never know when life’s about to change.

Mothering Mother by Carol D. O’Dell

US$ 19.95
BIO026000 Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
FAM005000 FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Aging
HUM011000 HUMOR / Topic / Family
Pages 208
ISBN-13: 978-1-60164-003-1
ISBN-10: 160164003X
EAN 9781601640031
LCCN 2006930184
Spring 2007
Kunati Cloth Hardcover
Distributed by Independent Publishers Group (IPG)

 

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