Hey, gang! I’m so behind today and I’m not likely to catch up. I’m still finishing up making the bedroom livable again and I last night, I decided to hit my trash pile (yes, my trash pile) and rescue an old deck board to make a little sumthin-sumthin that I’ll be posting later this week! Yes, when I dumpster-dive, I really dumpster-dive.
If you are counting, that’s three other projects lined up – the cabinet, the cart hidden at the back, and that chair. LOL Sometimes, I just run out of time. Like most of you, I have plenty on my time-schedule plate – family time (my number one priority), school events, extra-curricular activities, blogging, freelance work, babysitting, and, of course, projects that I want to get done.
But, unlike many of my friends, but maybe like some of you, I’m also an active participant in The Sandwich Generation.
The Sandwich Generation refers to those of us who not only have kids at home to take care, but aging parents or family members who also rely on us for their necessities. We are “sandwiched” between the kids and the older generation. For me, it’s helping out my mother-in-law whenever I can and, also, helping my uncle.
That’s my Uncle Ron. He’s in his 70s and was recently diagnosed with neuropathy. He’s a hoot, actually. He never married, so we’re his only family. He’s also a musician, very stubborn, funny, but easily frustrated as his condition progresses and impairs his motor skills.
Here he is giving The Girl Child a clarinet lesson. I got lucky here. Having my uncle give her private lessons for Symphonic Band combined my occasional checks on him with her need for lessons, plus it helps keep him active and involved with his favorite thing – music.
He’s a professional and, until very recently, was a local performer. That picture is from a newspaper ARTICLE about him. Everyone loves the eccentric artist! LOL
But, as his mobility decreases, my concern for his ability to live on his own and that his care needs are met increases. My husband’s company put in a stair lift for him. He is limiting his driving to necessity, but it’s going to be an issue and one I don’t look forward to dealing with. (I had to take the keys from my grandfather years ago and it wasn’t pretty.) And making sure he is getting to doctor appointments is important.
In addition to his medical appointments, as his only relative, I’m on call for his financial issues, phone calls over anything worrying him, any legal issues, etc. etc. etc. (Luckily, The Hubster is also a musician, so he and my uncle do a lot of that stuff together when needed. Like shopping for new instruments.
But, it’s his spur-of-the-moment decisions of his that worry me the most. For example, several weeks ago, he decided that his neighborhood isn’t safe, so he got up one Saturday morning, got in his car, and bought himself a handgun. Only afterwards did he call and tell me about it! Someone with decreased mobility and motor skills is not a good handgun candidate, but, of course, the store only cared about making a legal sale! I immediately contacted a couple friends of mine, who are also gun owners, and had them talk to him and mitigate that situation. Thank goodness they were willing and able to help! Talk about a panic moment!
So, today, for example, he has an appointment with a new neurologist for some testing. I didn’t have this post prepped and ready to go, because I was working on that deck board project last night. So, I’m writing this at lightening speed and plotting the rest of my schedule, because my uncle is going to take up a good portion of my afternoon, but I don’t know exactly how long. And, then, I have to factor these into my schedule for today:
- Make cookies for The Girl Child’s Girl Scout fundraiser tomorrow
- Make a business call regarding a freelance project for a local company (and pray that it’s not a project I have to be on-site for)
- Finish my deck board project, so I can post it Thursday. And prep the post. And do my regular bloggy stuff.
- Catch up on my laundry again at some point (burying my head in the sand hasn’t been working – who knew?!)
- Find time for my mother-in-law’s appointment to review and renew her healthcare plan with her broker.
- Get dinner on the table and general housework
And here I am in leggings, a t-shirt, and one of The Hubster’s button-down shirts, and I’m wondering if I can just get by with just wearing this to take my uncle to the hospital for his appointment today. Because that is the first thing that goes for me – my “pretty me” time. It’s often a casualty for The Sandwich Generation. I need to work on planning, not just for the day, but over weeks, or I’m going to continue to end up in these frenetic schedule situations.
Are any of you caregivers or part of The Sandwich Generation? How do you find balance when you aren’t a Type-A personality?
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