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 I chose the lesser stressor! 
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post I chose the lesser stressor!
I’m kind of embarrassed that it has taken me so long to put this into practice, but I’m pleased to say that I’ve chosen the lesser stressor, and also taken my own advice to spend money, not time.

(Actually, since the situation had more than 2 options, I chose the least of the stressors, but I think that Pat’s phrase as a nicer ring to it, don’t you?)

Here’s the situation: For many years now I have hosted a family Chinese New Year party. The menu is “inspired by the cuisines of Asia,” and it is a sit-down dinner for twenty or more people. I have lots of special decorations. I have fun plates from a restaurant supply company. We use chopsticks (well, some of us do) and I usually get to explain some tidbit of information. Last year our theme was Dim Sum and all the grandkids now know what to expect if they go to a restaurant that offers that. We honor the animal of the year. For the year of the pig there were plastic swine floating in the punch bowl. We’ve had dancing roosters and guitar-playing dogs and dragon shaped cakes and other silly stuff. It has become a Big Deal in our family.

Unfortunately I have some health issues and some work stress and I’m just not up to putting on this show this year. This is stressful. Here is what I see as my options:
1. I can do it anyway. It won’t be the first time I’ve subscribed to “the show must go on” school of thought. From those experiences I know that the stress will be awful for several days as I prepare, I will wake up the day of the party just wishing the whole thing would be over, when my wonderful grandchildren start arriving I will be glad for a few hours that we’re doing this, and when everyone leaves I’ll have a stressful day or two cleaning up, putting decorations back in storage, etc.
2. I can take time off work to do the preparation. I enjoy giving parties and it is the crunch of fitting them into my full schedule that is most stressful. I do not get paid when I don’t work and although my hours are very flexible I try to save the unpaid time I have budgeted for the year for medical needs and true vacations. Work continues to pile up when I am off, and catching up would be stressful. And even though I enjoy giving parties, it is still a lot of work and right now I’d find that stressful rather than fun.
3. I can hire several chefs, someone to do the decorations, and someone else to clean up. In other words, I can take the family to the great Asian buffet in our neighborhood, with games at our house afterward. The cost would be comparable to taking time off to do it myself, without considering the cost of the food, so it is economically a reasonable choice. But it is stressful to admit I can’t do what I used to be able to take in stride and enjoy. It is stressful to break with tradition. It is stressful to leave my special plates and chopsticks and decorations in storage this year.
4. I could simply cancel the event this year. My family would understand. I’d probably cry for a week, though.

Weighing the stress levels of these three options, for this year I chose #3. Tonight I made reservations to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit at the nice local Asian buffet, a week from Sunday. I feel a little sad, but a lot relieved. And the grandkids are very enthusiastic about this new twist to the celebration.

(But, dang, it is hard to admit I’m not SuperMom after all.) :oops:

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:31 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
Post Re: I chose the lesser stressor!
Jeanne, Wise choice! If we would "let go" of some of our traditions and just change them a little, we can still enjoy the fun of family and friends without all the stress. ENJOY!!!

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Gerry 67, cared for Frank 71, married 49 yrs; dx 2004, passed away October 26, 2011.


Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:19 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: I chose the lesser stressor!
Jeanne,
I agree #3 is a good chioce, if this is something you and the family look forward to then you are still doing it but minus a few things such as your plates and decorations. This is the balancing act that many of us has to face when we are a caregiver and I am sure during your course of caregiver you will have to balance many more things, but from the sound of it I think you will be able to !

Have fun with your Asian night, it does sound interesting!

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Irene Selak


Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:47 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 609
Post Re: I chose the lesser stressor!
Jeanne, if it wouldn't add too much stress, could you take just a few party favors or decorations for the restaurant table, just to honor your tradition a bit and make it feel more like normal? Maybe just some inexpensive rabbit figurines or something that wouldn't be such a loss if broken or left behind? I agree that maintaining traditions is important, but glad that you have chosen a lesser stressor!

Julianne


Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:56 am
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 343
Post Re: I chose the lesser stressor!
You go, Girl!!
Good for you!
It sounds like you made a wise choice and the option of taking in a couple of fun bunnies with you sounds like fun, too. I am willing to guess that you end up totally enjoying yourself this year because the most important element is maintained for you----those you love most will be around that table with you.
Choosing the lesser stressor always makes me feel a little more in control as well as a lot more relieved.
Enjoy!
L&P,
Pat

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Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:07 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:20 am
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Location: So Cal
Post Re: I chose the lesser stressor!
JeanneG,
Who says you're not Supermom? It sounds to me as if that S fits.

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Sher (53) married 29 years to Ken (66) who was diagnosed with LBD in 2008, but it most likely began many years before.


Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:18 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: I chose the lesser stressor!
Well, we welcomed in the Year of the Rabbit yesterday. I'm sure that the restaurant was glad to see us -- it was pretty quiet there on Super Bowl Sunday. I had silly little windup plastic rabbits on the tables, and a bunny poster on my front door, but that is all I did by way of decoration. I had to do a lot of straightening up to get the house ready for games, but that fit into my de-cluttering goal anyway. Everyone loved the food and the large selection at the buffet.

Coy seemed to enjoy it, too. He played games before we went out, and after we returned he'd had enough people-stimulation (there we 23 of us) so he retired to his recliner to watch the game. It probably helped that he wasn't exposed to me stressing out for several days. (It sure helped me.)

Now I need to start gearing up for Coy's 85th birthday next month. I want to celebrate that with an open house here. He is looking forward to that.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:45 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 609
Post Re: I chose the lesser stressor!
Jeanne, it's great that everything worked out for you!

Julianne


Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:50 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: I chose the lesser stressor!
Jeanne,
Sounds like the day went well for all, Glad for you !

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Irene Selak


Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:46 pm
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 343
Post Re: I chose the lesser stressor!
Jeanne, I am so happy for you! I have been waiting to see how it turned out---thinking about you.
It sounds like choosing the lesser stressor worked out wonderfully for you and for Coy. I'll bet everybody enjoyed it more, too, knowing that you two were happier and more at peace.

Hugs,
Pat

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:10 pm
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