The Joy of Missing Out AKA JOMO…AKA Just Say No…

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Embrace the JOMO.

The Joy of Missing Out (JOMO) is the flip side to The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

JOMO and FOMO…sound like a pair of Troll or Ogre Twins.

Being enslaved to FOMO means taking on more things than your plate…and you… can realistically handle at any one time, as much as we all aspire to be on par with the Gurus (especially those who try to emulate Martha Stewart…) you need to face reality; most of these gurus have a team of people doing most of the stuff.

In being enslaved to FOMO you find yourself run ragged, exhausted and frustrated. The expectation to be more, be better, do it all and look good doing it, tick all the boxes, achieve everything you’ve ever dreamed of by 55 and retire with millions in the bank. But even with FOMO; you are still missing out. Yes you are…but you are missing out on the wrong things. Don’t want to miss that gala with the movers and shakers? You end up missing baby’s first word. Absolutely have to go to that convention that is basically a repeat of the one last month but there will be new faces; you miss your daughter’s dance recital.

There is always a sacrifice to be made; yet when you embrace JOMO you’ll pick the right sacrifices.

Yes; there is the worry that the event you turn down could lead to great things; yet in the long run and grand scheme of things this is negligible. Sometimes opportunities that are presented to us may actually not be for us, but for someone else yet when we accept it; it could be in a way screwing things up for someone else. Have you ever been to an event and later told someone it was too bad they didn’t get to go because they would have benefited from it. Did it ever occur to you that the reason they didn’t get to go is because you did?

JOMO is about saying No to things; for whatever reason moves you; your spouse; your kids; the fact that it’s the 10th networking event in the last month and you just can’t be arsed because you know it will be the same people as the last three and the first two you attended (this one is for Dominic), the fact that what is being offered doesn’t razz your berries one iota. Because saying No to one thing means you get to say YES to other things.

JOMO can be applied to your professional life and your personal one as well. I understand it’s harder in the personal life due to pressure by our loved ones who seem to think that you should never ever say no to them (trust me I know all about this; I have a large extended family on my dad’s side and they all live in town…trust me…I KNOW!)

Can JOMO be applied to people? Yes…yes it can…and it should. For we are the company we keep; sorry but it’s true; who we associate with says a lot about us. That’s not to say that we get to treat our fellow human beings like shit, but it does means that we don’t have to be bosom buddies with them either, polite courtesy will do.  Some personalities don’t work well together and that’s just life, thus it’s alright to miss out on their company and be happier for it.

** Sometimes you do have to suck it up when it comes to doing time with people; because there will always be someone at an event that we don’t like and have to just put on the big girl panties and deal with it; this also goes for family members as we all have that one person in the family we could do without seeing anytime soon. **

Embracing JOMO can be challenging…daunting…downright scary even. But you can do it…even if it’s a baby step…take that step. As I said in my post about the CZ; once you do it…you’ll never go back. Embracing JOMO is also a state of mind; to be content with missing out on things.

Embrace the JOMO…and just say No…

Dementia…

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There have been spots on TV about dementia; the sufferers and the families that care for them.

I can’t go into great detail about the medical jargon and studies about it as it’s over my head. But I can go into detail about day to day with a dementia sufferer.

My paternal Grandma – Kay – has dementia. Not that she is aware of it; and will vehemently deny that she has it, but has it she does. Dementia shares some things with Alzheimer’s; memory loss and the like. My maternal Grandma – Dee – had Alzheimer’s. The similarities are such that I marvel that doctor’s can make the distinction between the two in a patient.

I will not bore you with the details of the similarities and differences of the two mental diseases. This is not the place for comparison.

My grandma still remembers our names; and what face that name belongs too…for the time being. Her mother before her (my great-grandma Rachel) also suffered from dementia (could have been Alzheimer’s but consensus has it as dementia) and I remember the day when my great-grandma looked at me and said “I don’t know who you are…” that broke my heart. I know that in the not so distant future that day will come for my grandma – Kay – when she’ll look at me and say she doesn’t know who I am.

I moved in with my grandma last year amidst the floods of 2013 in Alberta. We are most fortunate in that we live on a hill and should we ever be flooded out; our town will be wiped off the face of the map along with most of Southern Alberta. At the time I did not realize that the dementia was as bad as it is.

Her short term memory is gone…period. I had gone to look after my mom’s dogs for a month; and she has no recollection that I had ever left; zero recollection of her week in the hospital after a fall; no memory of my cousin and one of my aunts staying overnight after she was released from the hospital while I was away. Her release was contingent on someone being with her; she can no longer be left alone for long periods of time; anything over 2 hours requires someone to come and stay.

She doesn’t remember that she has eaten; or thinks she has and then doesn’t eat. We have daily ‘arguments’ about whether she has had something to eat or not. She’ll finish a meal and then 10 minutes later she’ll say she is starving because she has eaten nothing at all that day so far. When she is told that she had just eaten; she says we’re full of wind and that she hasn’t had a thing to eat. The reverse is she’ll say she is hungry so I will make up something for her to eat; and when I give it to her she tells me she isn’t even hungry and only 5 or 10 minutes have gone by – I tend to pre-make a lot of things so they are ready in a short amount of time; because I can tell my grandma that I am making supper and she’ll have no memory of me saying anything 2 minutes later.

Sample Conversation:

Grandma:

 Well I guess I should have some supper before I starve to death (for the record I hate this phrase).

Me:

I’m making some (fill in the blank) for breakfast/dinner (lunch)/supper.

Grandma:

OK

2 – 5 minutes later

Grandma:

 Well I guess I should have some supper before I starve to death.

Me:

I’m making some (fill in the blank) for breakfast/dinner (lunch)/supper.

Grandma:

OK

2 – 5 minutes later

Grandma:

 Well I guess I should have some supper before I starve to death.

Me:

I’m making some (fill in the blank) for breakfast/dinner (lunch)/supper.

Grandma:

OK

2 – 5 minutes later…

You get the idea…this will go on until supper is ready.

We have high points as well. I have learned to play cribbage (Crib) which is something I have wanted to learn how to play for a long time. She can still for the most part glance at a hand and know the exact point amount in it. She can still do cross stitch although her days of sewing may be well and truly behind her (she use to make drapes; a memory I have from childhood is drapes hanging from the rafters of the basement ceiling. She use to make clothes as well and according to my mom was a hell of a seamstress.)

She does have her own moments of frustration in growing old and dependent on people. She use to work 16 hour days and now spends most days in a chair. She also has very little patience these days, which in response I find my patience growing.

For a while we use to let her do her own bathing; but it was always a struggle to get it done. We have Home Care come in these days to help with the bathing. There is no struggle now; as I think having the nurses come in and help with the hygiene part is a relief to my grandma that she won’t get stuck in the bath (this happened to my late paternal grandpa; and my dad and uncle had to come over and pull him out) and it is a relief to myself and other family members because as her family there is just some things we would rather not do. It is my stance that healthcare should be foremost in hand in regards to funding from government; it should not suffer because some twit on the board of directors needs a new toy…I am increasingly unhappy with Alberta Health Services’ decisions. My grandma has a fondness for peanut butter on white bread and if someone wasn’t by to ensure she had a hot meal she would eat that 3 sometimes 4 or 5 meals a day (depending on if she remembered to eat…) she’d go through 6 loaves in the manner of 2 weeks. Even with getting Meals on Wheels; she’d throw them out and eat the peanut butter on white bread instead. These days I try and make sure that Peanut Butter on Bread is limited to Breakfast and even then limited in the number of days this occurs.

Any change sends her into a tail spin and the day is basically shot. This is anything from packing up unused dishes to changing the type of door lock. I am not kidding…the DAY IS SHOT!

She also has a colostomy bag; which has the potential to be disastrous should she forget to empty it…they only hold so much. We have been most fortunate that these accidents happen very infrequently.

For a lot of folks; their family member that has dementia/Alzheimer’s is in long term care. They visit for the day and then go home to their own house. But there are a few of us who live with the dementia/Alzheimer sufferer. There is no going home to our own space; there is no taking a break really.

She hasn’t wandered off yet; more because she runs out of steam by the time she hits the end of the front walk than anything else; but the possibility while remote is still there. The bigger possibility and a thought that I try not to think is this. She’s in her late 80’s; and it is a very real possibility that one morning I will wake up and she’ll be ‘gone.’

I have been asked why the family has not committed her to long term care. The long and short of it is because should she be committed to a care facility she’ll be ‘gone’ in a month.

So for now I stay with her…and keep her as safe as I can; with support from the family where they can.

If you know someone who has the role of care giver to someone who suffers from Dementia / Alzheimer’s ; support them however you can. Even if it’s just cooking a meal…or lending an ear.

It is most appreciated!

Leaving the CZ…

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Ah yes…the CZ…

In this instance it stands for Comfort Zone (yes in military jargon it means Combat Zone; I know…I know…) and we ALL have one. For some it’s the hum drum of modern suburban life; for others it’s the thrill of descending head first out of an airplane before they yank the cord of the parachute. Yes even the adrenaline junkies have their CZ; it’s not hum drum but it’s their CZ none the less.

However; remaining in your chosen CZ can be detrimental to your own existence. When you stay in your CZ you stagnate while the world passes you by. Now I am not saying everyone needs to go out and skydive or bungee jump (or in the reverse drop anchor in suburbia); that is not the message.

The message is to explore outside of your CZ. The size of step is up to you; it can be gargantuan or it can be a ‘toe in the water’ exploration. There could be some discomfort…which is why it’s called leaving your comfort zone…funny how that works yeah?

I have recently left my CZ; and looking at it from the outside I am not 100% sure I even want to go back into it just yet.

Some of my experiences outside my CZ.

I recently drove a 14ft moving truck. Have never really driven anything quite so large; sure I drove the big F550’s and Ecoline Vans when I worked at a Ford Dealership (Hello everyone at Metro Ford Sales Ltd in Calgary); yet that was mostly limited to the parking lot and service bay area. But this time I would be driving in serious Calgary weekend traffic; with a fully loaded truck. I was apprehensive at first; but I screwed my courage to the wall and did it. I felt like King Kong afterwards. It was a rewarding experience and increased my confidence ten-fold.

(Note: No accidents, and the load remained in place!)

Sharing my written pieces on sites other than my own was a huge move out of my CZ; HUGE…I took that gargantuan step into the unknown and have found that there is an audience for what it is I write. It’s not a big audience; but that comes with word of mouth and exposure to the masses. This will occur over time.

Taking on the basic care of my grandmother who suffers from dementia; I really had no clue what I was in for. This experience has probably been the most rewarding; maddening; eye opening; heart breaking experience I have ever had. Recently she had a fall and was in the hospital for a week; released only on the condition that she not be left alone, especially at night.

Working as a Make-Up Artist was also a big move out of my CZ. I had spent most of my working life at a desk. Almost no one outside my department ever really saw me, certainly not the company’s clientele; I was just another voice on the phone. But as a Make-Up artist; there I was…Boots on the Ground interacting with people face to face. This was a very big deal…and I loved every minute of it.

(If there are those who wonder why I didn’t continue; I got bored applying the same stuff day in and day out – much to my own surprise – so I think I may have to invest in art/sculpting classes to improve my ability to sketch/mold the human face/body so I can perhaps go into designing make-up as opposed to the actual application. I also would love to get into Creature Creation and Animatronics and what have you; and I will. I am only 38 so I still have loads of time.)

There have been other instances but these have been the most recent.

It is scary to leave your CZ…I was scared too…petrified even…but I took that step scared as I was…and I have never looked back.

I have been blessed with some amazing friends and great mentors (Hello Boys!) to give me encouragement and support in my endeavors and my family is starting to come around as well.

So take a deep breath and that first scary step; be it a baby step or that gargantuan step; into the unknown outside your CZ. You’ll never be the same again.

Author’s Note: Yes I used Gargantuan more than once but I like the word and it’s the first time I felt I could use it to full effect!

Procrastination…

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Procrastinating…AKA Slack Ass-ing…AKA Lazy Ass Syndrome

I have been suffering from Lazy Ass Syndrome when it comes to my blog the last 5 weeks.

I have been suffering from Blog writers’ block; which has not only affected my output on my own site, but also my contributions to a couple of Wrestling Blogs as well. I had been staring at the computer screen and cannot even grasp a wisp of something to talk about. I have this book of prompts for writing things – 642 Things to Write About; thank you to the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto who put this book together. You can find it at Chapters – which I have been treating as exercises to help with the creative juices; because right now the tank is a wee bit dry for my own ideas; but a few – ok; a couple – have recently percolated to the top of the ‘coffee pot.’ Still I have not done anything about it until now…hence the Lazy Ass Syndrome…

I have some serious catching up to do…