Surprising Profit from an Affordable Vacation, Part 1

affordable vacationNote: this is a two-part series, trust me on this one; well worth your time to read it all.

Are you over-stressed and desperately in need of an affordable vacation?

Do you find yourself snapping at people, upset over small things, wanting to run away?  Are you dreaming of ocean breezes, comfy motel rooms, sightseeing, no cooking, no laundry? Time to leave cares behind and relax and refresh?

Does that sound like Mission Impossible in your circumstances?

Last month I reached to point of physical and mental exhaustion. My job, my writing and my homemaking all suffered and I could see no way out. I had neither time nor money for a real vacation. Have you been there? Are you there now?

How does that happen to us? Is there help and hope?

Circumstances differ: you may be caring for others and dealing with family, health, weather, financial woes, deadlines, etc.  For me, while still rebounding from my unplanned 40-day hospital stay, a hacker locked up all my word processing files and my photos. For an office manager and a secretary, this was devastating. With no backup on the computer, I found myself struggling to accomplish the smallest tasks. Boxes and stacks of papers added to the chaos.

I longed for a vacation but there was no funds, no time.

Work continued to fall behind, family matters were left unattended, my health began to suffer again. Overwhelmed, I pushed harder only to find myself more stressed. In the midst of this, a wise coach insisted I take a vacation. She said simply stop trying to meet deadlines, and tend only to my very basic daily needs.

In the midst of my muddle, she said, “You have to take a vacation.”

I was told to take at least two or three weeks to organize and refocus my life. I was instructed to call it vacation; to treat it as a vacation, and act accordingly. This worked for me, and I assure you, it can work for you.

I have two assignments for you this week.

#1 spend a few minutes each day writing down your thoughts on a vacation.If someone paid expenses and took care of all your obligations at home, where would you go? What would you do? Would the end result be a band-aid or a real fix to your situation? Would you come home to the same problems, perhaps more so? Is a vacation away from home what you really need?

The second assignment is most important; think it through carefully. 

#2 Take an inventory of your life. What really bugs you about your situation? Are there things at home you never get around to doing? People you need to see? Calls you need to make? Letters you need to write? There will never, ever be enough time to catch up. Next week I will be telling you exactly what I did on my “vacation” and the results. You will be surprised. I certainly was.

Until then, blessings and hugs,

Do me a favor. Share this link with someone you know that could use a little encouragement right now. Better yet, send them a copy of my book (follow the link to the right). And don’t forget to leave me a comment, they are a great encouragement to me.

Challenges of Moving Aging Parents from Their Homes

“ If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”  There is a mountain of truth to that statement!

Many of our lives have been guided by trying to please our parents, moms in particular. This will be a major influence as we make decisions concerning their care as they age. 

 We love our parents and want the best for them.

We want to fix everything, make it all right like they did for us as children. They did not always know the right answers for us, and neither do we for them.

The fact is, aging and health issues cause unhappiness and stress on loved ones. This can play out as anger and resentment toward those closest to them; especially adult children who are simply trying to help.

 Five things to consider when helping aging parents.

#1 Accept the situation as it is, not what you wish it were. Try to look objectively at current conditions and make choices accordingly. Is your loved one still capable of caring for themselves and their home? Can you make some needed adjustments to their home to make it a safe place for them to stay? Could you hire someone to stay nights with them?

#2 Include all of your family in the decision making process. What you decide will ultimately have an affect on your household. Will it mean more time away from home for you? Is it an option to open your home up to care for them? What will that involve? Will your family be supportive?

#3 Carefully consider the cost before moving them into your home. You need not feel guilty because your circumstances prevent you from caring for a loved one in your home. There are many legitimate reasons this option is not always the best for all concerned. You have your own health and your family to consider. You may be talking about a 24/7 change that could last years.

#4 Realize you cannot fill all their voids. Should a move from their home be required, you are not responsible for how your loved one will adjust to new surroundings. It is your responsibility to see to the best of your ability the care is adequate. However, happiness depends upon them.

#5 Find support for yourself and your family. This probably should be number one on the list; support is invaluable. As those who have walked the path before share their experiences, you will save yourself much heartache. You also will realize you are not the only one going through these tough times.

Each time I write an article such as this, I find myself missing Mother all the more. My choices were not always the best; they were the best I knew at the time.  Caring for her those years was difficult, often heart-wrenching, tiring, and foremost, the most rewarding time of my life. I treasured each smile, kiss and hug from Mother during those years. It was a God-given honor to care for her, I praise God for that opportunity.

If you cannot hug your mother (or poppa) this year, find a momma to hug on; hugs never go out of style and all mommas need more than one; and so do we “kids”.

Hugs and blessings,

Please let me hear from you on this one; what have you found helpful? Perhaps you can encourage someone who is struggling with this issue.  Check out my store; learn more about Mom and me in my book, MY MOTHER MY CHILD.