Thursday, September 2, 2010


This is not a "grandma blog" but you must allow me to tell you what a wonderful, exhilarating time I had these past few days visiting my baby grandson. I can hardly recognize the idiotic, lunatic, ridiculous fool I gladly become just to make him laugh. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to have so much fun.

Okay. No more grandma stuff, but I must just express one more thing - a great big bundle of thanks to my husband who almost pushed me out the door as he so generously volunteered to take care of the old ladies for a few days while I recouped some sanity or insanity, whichever serves me best.

Thanks so much, Hubby of mine!


"If I become a vegetarian, what will I eat?" This was a rather frantic question from a friend of mine who was on the verge of making the big decision about giving up meat. I had uttered the same question a few years prior when I myself could not imagine my world without meat consumption. Today, both my friend, myself and our respective spouses eat no meat, yet we still battle the bulge and have obviously found plenty to keep us nourished, well fed and plump.

My big question now is about a very different issue. It focuses primarily on the ladies: mother and mother-in-law, the two old women in our care. One has Alzheimer's, the other dementia. One is 82, the other 90. They each possess a small repertoire of commentaries which they repeat daily about 500 times. Hygiene and food are their major problems; or rather, my problems. Mother is quite easy going until she gets it in her head that I took something of hers. Then her profanity is less than mild. Mother-in-law has about 3,500 imaginary illnesses which provide torture to her and more to us who work hard at avoiding her detailed accounts accompanied by a more than adequate amount of melodrama. They do not qualify for any kind of government assistance though their meager social security checks could not possibly provide them with paid help. Both my husband and I have no siblings and therefore, we are stu...I mean, we volunteered to provide care.

Until recently, Maria was reliable and accessible with little notice. She even learned to cook the foods the ladies like. We used her periodically when we needed a night out and when we took mini-vacations. However, Maria found a full-time job caring for an infirm old woman and I guess she prefers a predictable salary. She will still care for our ladies for our mini-vacations, if we reserve a date about a month in advance. We have been unable to find a substitute and thus hubbie and I are stuck at home most of the time because mini-vacations are, after all, expensive.

Wha wha wha wha wha! If this sounds like whining, it's because that's what it is.


As I was driving to my daughter's house four days ago, I heard a talk radio show. It was Dr. Oz the infamous "Oprah" doctor. He was interviewing Minister Will Bowen who initiated "A Complaint Free World" movement and organization in 2006. As I listened to him, I realized he made a lot of sense. He had statistics I could not write nor recall, but he seemed to prove that complaining is not good for our health. Like most negative things, to focus on them merely perpetuates them and enlarges them. They make us unhappy and our bodies respond by getting sick. The website alludes to the fact that perhaps without complaining we could make more room for gratitude.

Recently, I had accepted a challenge in a blog post to go without complaining for 21 days. This is the same challenge that is proposed by "A Complaint Free World". I failed miserably then and don't even think I lasted a day, and here I am considering trying again.

However, this organization uses purple bracelets as a tool to keep us honest. You put the bracelet on one wrist, if you catch yourself complaining you have to switch and put it on your other wrist. I think it's a good way to at least increase my awareness. I'm going to send for it though generally I'm not one to engage in gimmicky activities.

I buy into anything positive and almost without thinking accept that it must be better than a negative alternative. I couldn't help but wonder, though, if not complaining may lead to suppression of feelings and emotions. I certainly have witnessed as well as experienced relief after being able to share problems with a genuine and caring listener. However, is that relief really helpful or just feeding my ego by helping me feel sorry for myself? At any rate, I don't think I need to hide my feelings I just don't need to nurture the negative ones.

I plan to act on this and hopefully pave the way for a more grateful existence. I must confess though that not 15 minutes after hearing the radio show, I was complaining on the phone about something. Minister Bowen says that we complain a whole lot of times in one day. There's no debating that!

Still, in view of what often seems a pretty restricted life right now with little in the way of social or exciting experiences, I can't help but ask myself, "If I don't complain, what am I gonna talk about?"

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
Elizabeth Kubler Ross


  1. Myrna ~ I agree that you don't have to hide your feelings & I think all emotions need some nurturing. I really think complaining & feeling are separate. What you wrote in your post was expressing emotion regarding some of your experiences. On the other hand, when I go out to eat & they don't have my sweet tea or they serve it with a lemon & I express my dissatisfaction, I'm pretty sure those around me would say that's complaining:)

  2. Warm Aloha from Waikiki

    I have found gratitude magically transformative...
    but an occasional complaint keeps us human and sometimes it is INDICATED! Thanks for being my blog pal :)
    Comfort Spiral

  3. Myrna please do not hide your feelings it will not serve you or the others in any way that is helpful. You expressed emotions and that needs to be heard. Let us not confuse complaining to emotions.
    Expressing how you feel is important and a must otherwise it will eat you up inside.
    Hope you will be able to express your feelings to those who need to hear it and am sure they will.

  4. Gratitude is a powerful tool to use in your life but to cover the truth of a difficult situation with flowery positivity is just crazy. You're caring for thankless people who don't realize the days of care you're giving to them are you the days of life - given up to their care. You need to vent or complain and loudly - otherwise you'll burn out and everybody will be in a difficult fix. Hey! I just gave you an award over on my blog. Come and get it. And be kind to yourself - even if at times it's at their expense.


  5. Myrna, venting is healthy! we are entitled to feel bad about stuff and should let it flow -totally agree with Haupi - gratitude is a powerful tool and MUST be present - but you can't force people to express it. It is very dissapointing when others act deserving. Big hug!


    dear friend,
    I got the award posted,
    please pick 3 or 4 from my post and share each with 1 to 5 friends...

  7. I am going to that website after reading this. Life is beautiful. Sometimes it's a matter of making up our minds that we know this. A powerful post. Thank you.

  8. Oh Myrna, I doubt I go even an hour without complaining about something!! lol

    You absolutely have your hands more than full and it is healthy to express frustration at the situation. So normal. What I did not add on my blog in the post about my parents is that my mother is a narcissistic nightmare, now toothless and in a nursing home and my father has Alzheimer's. I cannot write that in my blog because these are facts that my extended family refuses to acknowledge and would be outraged if I put it in black and white for everyone to see. It is so good that you are free to discuss the care you are giving and the challenges it presents. You get to vent and the world gets to validate and honor your hard work.

    I am so glad I found your lovely blog!