making work, well, work

It is important to listen to those who want to help and to yourself …


For me, work has always been a place where I could combine multiple skills and bring a measure of creativity to create something new – something that informs. I managed projects and teams, interfaced with clients and stakeholders, and made decisions about what to prioritize and how to accomplish our goals. Whether in academia, the nonprofit world or NGOs, my work was a major component of who I was as a person. Even when there were ups and downs, it was like home … a mind-space were I felt strong and safe and alive.  Continue reading “making work, well, work”

laying in supplies

The lure of delivery is hard to ignore and has become a stress-reducing addition to my routine.

balloon-1345015_1280It’s 7:00 on Saturday morning and I’m waiting in a chilly, dark apartment for my groceries to be delivered sometime in the next two hours. On one hand, it is a bit ridiculous, but on the other hand, it is incredibly convenient.  Continue reading “laying in supplies”

staying on schedule, logging progress and challenging fears

Staying organized and on schedule is good for an older person … and not so bad for the rest of us.

success-503509_1280My mother has always been diligent about taking her medicine every day. One reason for her success is that she has a container with compartments for each day of the week. She then knows whether she has taken her pills or not.  Continue reading “staying on schedule, logging progress and challenging fears”

movie magic sometimes strikes

Hitting on the right movie is a challenge but sometimes we get lucky …

film-596519_1280My mother is no longer able to follow complex or fast-paced movies, which is not surprising given that she is 89. Her short-term memory is problematic; she tends to do better with long-term memories. Yet, while old movies and TV shows are easier for her to follow, sometimes she still has difficulty following the story and loses track of the characters. At least with old movies, the pacing is slower (as is the flow of text in closed captioning) and the plots are a little more familiar. She also remembers some of the old actors and actresses that she watched when she was younger.   Continue reading “movie magic sometimes strikes”

doing something useful

Reaching out to others is rewarding and offers an opportunity to share our gifts and talents …



“It’s nice to be doing something useful.” Yes, my mother is very excited about a new project: knitting children’s hats for the 500 Hats Project, which is organized by a local store, Lovelyarns in Baltimore. The project asks local knitters and crocheters to make hats for elementary and middle-school children in selected Baltimore City schools or programs. I hope Mom and I can go to the store to deliver the hats, as it looks fantastic: I found out about the program when searching for local knitting-related charity projects and what makes it very convenient and flexible is that there are no deadlines – they accept hats anytime.  Continue reading “doing something useful”

experiencing community from inside the apartment?

Can we feel like we are part of the community if we are not physically engaging it?


It was cold. It was dark. It was crowded. The lighting of the Washington Monument in early December is a tradition in Baltimore. Many people wander over to the Monument to eat, drink and be merry. Yet, dragging Mom out of her cozy chair on a cold evening seemed inordinately cruel. So, like last year, we watched the proceedings from my living room window. The Monument lights – about four blocks away – were turned on and fireworks filled the sky. We drank hot chocolate, ate cookies and ooh’d and aah’d at the fireworks. But, I couldn’t help but be disappointed that we weren’t more engaged.  Continue reading “experiencing community from inside the apartment?”

clearing out and letting go

It’s amazing how much we can live without … remembering that is really important and sometimes really sad …

clothes-2150834_1280Even in a small space, there are things to sell, give away, donate or throw away. When Mom came to live with me, she mailed several boxes of clothes, craft supplies, etc. and I found homes for them in the closet or in drawers. I sorted through my things to make space for whatever she sent down. This meant that some of my things were put out for anyone to take while other items were donated to organizations helping: women fleeing domestic violence or homeless people in Baltimore or veterans who need assistance or shelter-bound animals seeking a home. Of course, some items were thrown away, having already given their all. Item A needed space so Item B had to go.  Continue reading “clearing out and letting go”