When life throws you a curve ball, an unexpected change in direction, how do we handle it? Recently I have had something that some would suspect to be something devastating, unfair and unjust happen to me. I was let go from my job, for no reason. Initially, I was shocked, saddened and in disbelief. I was in love with my work, I was good at it and it gave me a sense of accomplishment. Just minutes after I received the news, I was flooded with overwhelming emotions that rushed over me from the shock, sadness and disbelief. As I walked back to my office I was blessed with the realization of what had really happened, my life was going to change. I won’t bore you with the details and my long winded epiphany, but I will share some amazing opportunities that have opened up to me in just a few short weeks and how I would like to compare it to Teepa’s saying “I am who I was, but I’m different”. I don’t know what it’s like to get a diagnosis of dementia or have my partner diagnosed. I have, however been given more than one unexpected twist and turn in my journey of life. Each time you are given an opportunity to choose how you will react and cope during this new direction.
I want to take this moment to say that I am not comparing the loss of my job, or my other direction changes in life, to a diagnosis of dementia, but I do want to share how a perspective can change the outcome of a journey. When I was able to soften the blow of emotions, I pondered and questioned “what am I going to do now?” My world, my life is going to change, am I ready for this? The first thing I did was call my husband, I needed my support system! I knew I couldn’t do this alone. He reassured me that this was definitely not the end of my career, that this was not my fault and that amazing opportunities lay ahead. He never said, its going to be easy, or that he knew what I was going through, or that every thing was going to be okay. He was able to see the good but not dismiss that it was a difficult and unfair circumstance. Since that day, another employment opportunity has come available to me. The same position that I love, that I am familiar with, but at a different company. This company has embraced the qualities and expertise that I can bring to their company and are allowing me to be “who I was, but different”. When I look back at that day when I was told “we are going another way”, I honestly feel there was nothing I could have done to stop it from happening. It was a huge blow to my life and my future. All the time and energy I had spent building this program and making it a success was unrecognized and someone else with different qualities and different goals and standards was going to fill that position. Part of me wanted to fight for all my hard efforts, blood sweat and tears, as they say, but they had already made up their minds that they wanted different and it was going to be different. With the time I have had to consider these changes I can embrace my something different. I can find treasures from my past to bring new experiences to my future. I can’t go back, I must move forward and accept the new journey that is developing before me. Starting over is hard, but can also be exciting. Will we ever be prepared for a life changing event that means everything we know may change? That can all depend on what it is, and how equipped we are to handle it. Have we prepared ourselves, have we been able to seek out education and support to move on in a positive direction? Can we try and stop, breathe, call our supports and do our best to look at the future as a new life experience and “be who we are, but different?”
Positive Approach to Care is providing education and support for people living with dementia.
This world as we know it is changing and statistics show 1 in 5 families are experiencing dementia. Sadly 4 families out of these 5 fall apart. In just 15 years 1 in 2 families with be experiencing dementia.Are we ready? Are we equipping ourselves and educating ourselves to know what to do and how to do it? The tsunami is coming, have we boarded up and taken to higher ground? Or are we still swimming in the waters waiting to see if the warnings are actually real? Where do you want to be when the tsunami hits? I’m making my way to higher ground, will you join me?