Archive | January, 2016

Finding Quality of Life When Easy is Not an Option: #TheStrangerinMyRecliner #SophiesChallenge

26 Jan

Rarely am I hooked into a book in the Prologue but Doreen McGettigan simply got me here:

“Because of our feelings of being politcally correcct, we have chosen to look past these human being and do nothing. The change must start in our hearts, continue into our homes, and spill over into our communities. We must once again become responisble for our elderly and/or mentally ill loved ones and neighbors.”

It is easy to look beyond, past, or through a homeless person, young or old, on the sidewalk or on the median at a stop light. Who has time to stop and care for everyone? Isn’t it the government or the churches or somebody else’s job to give them food, clothing, shelter, medical support? Ha!

Author, blogger, journalist, caregiver, and heart overflowing Doreen McGettigan in her just released today book The Stranger in My Recliner tells the story of Sophie, a homeless woman Doreen’s husband brought home one day, and how Sophie changed life as the McGettigans knew it.

My already well read copy!

Doreen tells an honest story of how it felt to have an elderly woman with an unknown mental status and some very foreign habits living in her recliner. All of it. Not just the “in hindsight that was not so bad” parts but how she felt, how she coped, and how she approached life in the moment.

That honest look into what life was like makes The Stranger in My Recliner such a compelling read. The facts, masterfully woven in the tale, make this book an absolute must read.

“There are thirty-four million unpaid caregivers in the United States…. Ninety percent of these caregivers are relatives, closely followed by friends and neighbors. Being cared for by strangers, like John and I, was not on any statlist anywhere.”

I am not a book reviewer and really am lousy at not spoiling the story so I will let Doreen tell you Sophie’s story and pose what she calls Sophie’s Challenge — a challenge that I plan to embrace and might just make the world we live in a better place.

I’d read bits and pieces of the manuscript on Doreens blog and knew this was a book I wanted and needed to read so when the pre-order came out I hopped over to Amazon and placed my order to make sure I got a copy as soon as possible. Much to my delight I got a reviewer’s copy in the mail! So technically I need to put the disclaimer in that I received a free copy of this book to review and that all opinions are my own, however, I gladly paid full price for this book and it is on its way to my door so pieces of that statement count I guess.

 That leaves me with a copy to spare and share! Want a copy? Click to tweet and I will select one of you to get my spare! (You can’t have the copy Doreen sent me because I plan to read it again and again!


Thoughts for the new year

1 Jan

I keep seeing this joke that basically goes like this:

There is a guy who is going to open a gym called Resolutions. For two weeks, this gym will be fully equipped and filled with people determined to finally get and stay in shape. After three weeks, that gym turns into a bar…..

Uggggggh. Really?

I have a different laugh track playing today — one that does not end in a punchline but just feeds more laughter and good feelings. Give it a test drive with me and see how it feels.

Let’s expect the best to happen in 2016.

Let’s expect that this year will be filled with what we want and need and then a bit extra just because it can be.

Let’s anticipate the good we can bring to others and the difference we can make in the world.

Let’s visualize this year as a field of new snow or a beach of untouched sand. Now imagine that every step we take will leave a mark. Let’s visualize ourselves stepping  intentionally, knowing that our steps can change everything. 

Yep, that’s about right.

Here is the really cool thing that is all about you and your brain: When you feel good your body rewards you by releasing those chemicals that nourish your brain and keep pathways active and alive. When you make others feel good you double that impact.  Try it. It works and it is worth it!

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