Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Women around me are beginning to feel the effects of being "sandwiched" between raising a family and caring for ailing parents. As you might guess, it isn't easy.

I guess as I turn the corner on 40, I can see how the next couple of decades may involve me being a caretaker for those both before and after me. Because I had children in my 30s, my children will not necessarily be entirely self-sufficient when I have to turn my attention to parents and in-laws.

Knowing it is likely I will feel pressure from my responsibilities I feel compelled to try and set a course of ease ahead of time. The problem? As we age and lose our independence, I'm having problems finding a path that is comfortable.

Let's face it. Moving out of a large home to a smaller one is not easy. Dispersing a lifetime's worth of treasures is a huge task. Managing money and meeting financial responsibilities is confusing at the best of times.

I think one of the problems I'm witnessing in other people's lives is the fact that both aging parents and children fail to see the situation the way it really is. The denial of what is true makes everything so much more difficult. The fear of change and the resulting resistance to it is the major hurdle for parents and children.

What I'm mulling over now, as I watch other's navigate this gauntlet, is how will Craig and I go out? Not morbid musings, just reality.

My ambition? I hope that Craig and I live in a minimalist fashion by then and we have hardly any worldly goods. I do not wish to be deeply attached to "things". I plan to have one simple and clear document that is current and summarizes our financial holdings.

I hope with all my heart that I can have an honest and clear picture of my physical and mental health. I want to quit driving before there is danger. I want to move into a care facility before I fear leaving the stove on. I want to be aware that I may fall on the stairs and move out before that happens.

As you can see, my plan requires that I be of sound mind. If my mind goes before my body, Lucas and Mya could very well find themselves sandwiched. Hopefully I will have loads of time to consider how best to avoid placing them in that position.

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