Asking “What’s the Goal?” A Guide to Sanity When Stuff Happens

“What’s the Goal?” 

I’ve written about how important it is to ask ourselves this question in several past posts. It’s true for caregiving. It’s true for handling problems in life. And I’m taking my own advice. Thankfully it has become second nature when things seem impossible and/or overwhelming.  Asking “What’s the Goal?” untangles some of the minutiae, helps focus, and makes the goal stand out. We then need only figure out how to attain it.

I returned home last week (after being away some months) to jury duty and the kinds of things that need to be attended to after a long absence. My initial thinking was that the piles of mostly junk mail were going to be overwhelming. But no.  The day I flew back I realized I had computer problems and made an appointment for the Genius Bar before getting on the plane. Thankfully the Apple store in NY is open 24/7. I flew back on the red-eye,  jet-lagged, but managed to find salvation (for my computer at least) that morning…or so I thought.

We do need to be careful what we wish for. The salvation meant I could once again get emails. The news coming in, however, gave me sandwich-generation kinds of responsibility, catching me off guard–immediately putting me on overload.

Now that I’ve identified the goal (get those 2 responsibilities handled), I’ve set priorities, and clarified my limits. I’m working towards doing what I can, and made a major decision to shift a big piece of the responsibility to someone hopefully more able than I. I started the “ball rolling” by making the important phone call. But the next week or two are going to demand a great deal of my time and attention to see that  a smooth transition happens. I will post if/when I can.

Today I planned to share insights from a small birthday lunch on Friday with two women: the birthday girl 92 and her friend 90. Both are remarkable women and former colleagues. They have aged well by learning to adapt and I will share what I learned about “time”……….when I can find time.

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