Get a Grip

Standard clothes chosen? Check.

Bathroom stop completed? Check.

Fingernails trimmed? Isabel, get a grip.

Ah, Tuesdays: My Weight Watchers® weigh-in day. After a few years of slacking off, I’m “back on program,” as we say, and feeling slightly aggrieved. It seems I can’t eat as much as I’d like, do as little as I’d like, and be the size I’d like. What’s with that?

As a Lifetime Member, I figure I’ve heard everything that can come up during a meeting, so I don’t usually hang around for it. Today, though, after weighing in, I do. Call it an impulse.

Call it another impulse that leads me to lean forward and speak casually to the person sitting ahead of me as we wait for the meeting to start. Call it something else that leads them to turn around and, after a few niceties, speak from the heart to the person sitting behind them.

Long story short, their spouse has Alzheimer’s. After four years as the primary caregiver, 24/7, the knot tied at the end of their rope is unravelling.

But not to worry, a spot in long-term care should be available in just three years.

I have no idea how we got to this point as a society, nor whether the individual in question has done everything they could or should to help themselves.

I just have the idea that everyone I meet is carrying around some secret sorrow, and some are bearing an unbearable burden because they have no way to set it down.

I myself can’t eat as much as I’d like, do as little as I’d like, and be the size I’d like.




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12 Responses to Get a Grip

  1. Tom Watson says:

    You’re abundantly right, Isabel. Everybody is carrying an unseen burden.
    Behind the “I’m fine” lies the “I can’t be and do…whatever.”
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. …all the more reason to be kind to everybody, regardless…

    Churchill often quoted a short 4-line poem, that ended with
    …empathy for others in their lives
    and courage to live one’s own

  3. Jim Taylor says:

    “Burden” is a word worth remembering. I had two conversations just this morning, with people who needed to “unburden” themselves of grief, sorrow, even guilt, some that goes back years and years. It feels heavy because we carry it alone, which is why the unburdening is so important. As we talk about it, someone else shares that burden — and amazingly, it doesn’t add to their own burden, but makes it easier to carry. And yet we hate to unburden ourselves; it feels like weakness, or self-centredness. Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – “A trouble shared is a trouble halved” goes the proverb. We’re connected and connecting beings, I think. Sometimes it’s easier to share outside our immediate circle: less chance of permanent impact.

  4. Mary says:

    Isabel, I am glad you were ‘nudged’ to talk to the person, and listen to them.

  5. Laurna Tallman says:

    Isabel, when you meet your acquaintance again, suggest music therapy or consider a referral to my blog. I have seen Alzheimer’s symptoms reverse under high-frequency sound and some nursing homes are using music therapy with good results.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – I can certainly do that. The ability of the brain to heal itself – or to find workarounds for what ails it – amazes me.

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