A to Z Challenge Reflections

2016 Survivor

This is my third year of surviving my A to Z Blogger’s Challenge, but this year was quite multifaceted.  I did not think I would survive the Challenge because of my husband’s illness, and our decision to move.  Yet, what I discovered is that because of my focus on the subject of caregiving my thoughts came more readily than in years past.  Initially, since my husband’s illness broad-sided me, I gushed emotion.  My feelings spilled out all over the place.

However, eventually my brain and my heart communicated as I realized that my friends and readers might want to know what I was undergoing, how my husband and I were functioning together, and the results from our experiences.  Sooner or later my posts showed the positive side of my husband’s and my actions and not just the sad and frustrating aspects of caregiving.  Today’s quote on my calendar shares a good overview of my experience: “Nothing WORTH HAVING comes easy.”

Caregiving for family is NOT easy as besides the duties associated with caregiving, you have the emotions connected with your relationship… for whatever it is worth.  Caregiving for someone you don’t know or have a relationship with would not bare the extreme emotional aspect that I experienced with my husband.  Even, when I helped care for my mother the dynamics were quite emotional as we had a long line of baggage we had not dealt with in my growing up years.

Since my brief overview of caregiving for the Challenge, I have run into friends who are also caregiving for family.  They appreciated my being open about how emotional and challenging caregiving can be for family.  These people had assumed that taking on the project of caregiving for their loved ones would be easy.  SURPRISE!

So the words of wisdom for your caregiving project is to “Give yourself oxygen first, before you try to care for another person!”  Thanks to the many people who supported me in the Challenge as I truly appreciate your support… I NEEDED it!  I SURVIVED!

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About Gwynn Rogers

After 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the fields of real estate, high tech, and corporate travel, Gwynn has moved on to the career of “Grandma.” When not teaching her granddaughters an extensive vocabulary of “alley-oop-boop, ups-a-daisy, cowabunga or bummer”, Gwynn can be found hunting for mentors for the Kitsap Youth Mentoring Consortium, or chasing her fantasies on her treadmill. Gwynn currently freelances for magazines.
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14 Responses to A to Z Challenge Reflections

  1. Mary Jo Doig says:

    One of the aspects of writing that I’ve always revered is that it can help me solve problems. If I keep writing about a serious challenge I’m having, I keep writing day after day until the moment of truth appears before my eyes, the “aha” moment when I’ve reached the heart of the matter and can see my way forward. I had that experience as I read each A-Z post you wrote. Kudos for sticking with the challenge, Gwen! Somewhere I’ve heard that the things that are hardest to write about are the things we need to write about.
    Congratulations! I enjoyed your posts and this one, in particular.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Oh Mary Jo, you are so correct. It is amazing what our writing reveals about us and the situation we are dealing with at the moment. I do have to say that there were many times I thought I would do a face-plant into my computer’s keyboard as I was so exhausted from my day and the events. As strange as it sounds, I even impressed myself at my ability to continue.

      I have caregiving and working at moving for nearly five months now. I have to admit that I am totally exhausted and I’m SO looking forward to this weekend when our neighbors “put me in my place!” 😉

      I do so appreciate your kind and supportive words. I grow from comments too as another’s prospective definitely helps. Thanks!!

  2. Susan Scott says:

    Such a lovely post Gwynn thank you. You honestly put up with much – and continue to do so – with the A-Z slap bang in the middle of everything else happening. Always written with depth and style, even for those who do not ‘care take’, we nevertheless got a jolly good idea of the almost impossibility of it. Always with a dash of humour and your lovely quotes –

    I love the image of your face plant into your computer keyboard! I felt like that at times 🙂 Keep truckin’ kid and here’s to you …

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Susan, I salute you too as you were off in the Bush exploring your wild side! 😉 Writing in advance and having your post show up on your blog is a challenge of itself. You find such interesting subjects to write about too.

      Believe me, my experiences with my husband are part of the Aging process too as the current dynamics are not what I expected… at least not this early.

      You are a fabulous friend and supporter. I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

  3. pat garcia says:

    Gwynn,
    I am so proud of you and how you mastered the Challenge. Your quotes were Spot On for me and they were very uplifting.
    Now, get your move finished so you can start on that book, Lady. 🙂
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia http://www.patgarciaandeverythingmustchange.com/2016/05/reflection-to-z-blog-challenge-2016.html

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Thanks Pat! I’m SO in shock that I survived! However, I didn’t have time to really visit other’s blogs, so I hope to have that opportunity later as I missed making new friends this year.

      As always… THANK YOU for your support. You are a dear!! By the way, as of Friday or Saturday my computer will be unhooked so it may be a few days before I’m back up and connected again.

  4. Excellent, Gwynn. Over the years I have seen your writing and your confidence in your writing improve, your overall self assurance, too, I perceive.

    You are brave to have stepped over the edge to put your caregiving experiences and related emotions out there. Two weeks from now I will make a presentation on my experiences caregiving for my mother and the two books I published about that journey. Your focus on the emotional and the unexpected has reminded me of what I need to tell my audience about my own experiences, for I believe these will help them the most.

    Thank you, and a hearty congratulations on completing the A to Zs.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Samantha, Thanks so much for your comments and support. I TRULY appreciate them… especially coming from you as you are an excellent writer. Plus, you have been a big help and inspiration for me. I am learning from you and the others in the group.

      In Caregiving, I believe you seemed to be lucky as you had a happy and loving relationship with your mother. However, my relationships with my mother and my husband were and are not ideal. Plus, I was blind-sided by my husband’s illness. Maybe part of the issue is that I AM an emotional person, because I was not allowed to display emotions in my childhood so now they are zooming out as in a volcanic eruption.

      Caregiving involves so much… financial, legal, medical, relationships and more. As you know the experience can be overwhelming. Then you add fear, anger, sadness, and happy memories to the mix in dealing with the person and it all makes life SO interesting.

      One young friend, Nathan, is caring for his father and he is being overwhelmed with his father’s mental mindset, developing blindness, and fixing up his father’s dilapidated home and he is feeling run-over… thus the connection between us. Caregiving is not simple, as you know. Plus, some people don’t plan for their financial well-being in the process. You HAVE to be open and honest with the people who come to hear about caregiving… it is NOT a simple process as so many may think. Good Luck with your talks.

      Congratulations for surviving the Challenge. You did a delightful job of showing us the National Parks. I LOVED them!

  5. Gulara says:

    Congratulations, Gwynn. Not only did you survive the challenge but your flourished. I could feel you transformed your situation. It was wonderful to be a part of your journey!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Thanks Gulara for your support and kind words. I had started writing simple hints for each letter of the alphabet back in February when life was still pretty miserable. Needless to say my challenge looked pretty bleak then. However, as time progressed, I realized that life wasn’t as bad as I was describing it… that there was hope. Thus, my subjects started to change. I do appreciate your constant support. You are a delightful person! Big hugs!

  6. It was a tough month and you handled it tremendously well. I am glad to hear that being here, writing and blogging, helped. Sometimes we need to go away from what’s going on in our lives for a few minutes and do something else. I think blogging is all about sharing personal experiences — helping others who go through the same or similar things with our stories. And you’ve done that and more.
    Congratulations, Gwynn. You did it!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Silvia, you are SO KIND… Thank You! April was a horrific month for me. I am glad that I survived, but I think the blogging helped me survive. You too had a very tough month with a sick son and you too did a tremendous job of galloping through the challenge. I take my hat off to you.

      I hope I can make something constructive of my Caregiving Challenge as I don’t think caregiving is what people expect, sometimes. It is particularly tough when a loved one is involved… as you found out.

      I applaud you and all your dynamic work with your excellent posts. Congratulations to you too! We ARE survivers!!!!

  7. So true that you have to take care of yourself. I hope the process of writing about it was cathartic in a sense. We tend to hold in way too much!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Yes, Stephanie, writing about my experiences has been cathartic. However, one thing most people don’t realize about caregiving is the emotional aspects of it, especially regarding parents and spouses. Emotional dynamics can have a huge baring on caregiving experiences.

      Caregiving for a non-relative is way different from caregiving for family as with family emotional, legal, physical, and financial dynamics are involved. Caregiving can be seen as simple, but it is not always that way. Thanks for your comments during the Challenge.

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