Where does a motivator go...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I have begun this blog almost every day for almost 3 weeks now and could never bring myself to post it. Why, you might ask? Well, I think it is my mindset that I am a motivator. That's what I do. I love doing it. I think I'm pretty good at it. But lately, the motivator has lost her motivation. Hence, my question? Where does a motivator go to get motivated.

I have felt myself slowly being pulled into situations that I wasn't really prepared emotionally for...the child becoming the parent. For the last year I've been slowly taking over things for my 81 year old mother. However, since last September when my mom totalled her car, I have become her only means of transportation. I'm so thankful to be able to help her, but just trying to get our schedules blended together is a monumental task. Tuesday is "beauty shop" day. Sunday I drive her to her old church which is an hour away. The first Tuesday of every month is "Card Party" day. And the list goes on and on.

Then there are those calls at 6:00 in the evening wanting to know if I'm coming in to town when she knows that I'm not...but if I am would I go pick her up something to eat because she's hungry and doesn't have anything to eat. So I drive 15 miles to go to Sonic to get her a 99 cent Jr. Deluxe Burger which is her favorite thing along with the extra-long chili cheese coney.

Then there's my favorite when she calls to find out if it's 7 in the morning or night. Is it 11 in the morning or night. They dementia is setting in and I've learned to laugh at these calls. It's just that when I'm asleep and the phone rings in the middle of the night, my mind races towards the worst when I see her number on caller ID.

On top of that, I've been on a major plateau and have lost only 1.4 pounds in eight weeks. Bummer. In my mind, I run through all the things I tell others when they are in this situation. I should be able to handle this. After all, I am a motivator.

I have been so frustrated with myself that I quit posting to my nutritional tracker because I wasn't coming close to hitting my calories requirements. I wasn't hungry and didn't feel like force feeding myself.

I am probably one of the most positive people I know. I normally thrive when adversity hits. My competitive side kicks in but for some reason, this time I shut down. I didn't want to post so I didn't. I didn't want to lead so I didn't. I haven't exercised in 2 weeks. I got so many Spark Goodies and comments for my birthday but I just couldn't bring myself to respond to any of them.

I'm not afraid to tell you that this scared me more then a little bit. I've been through a lot in my lifetime and can truly say I have never felt like this. I had let myself down. I had let my teams down. What was this motivator to do? I'm not supposed to feel like this. I'm a fixer. But you know what, it's always easier to fix someone elses problems then it is your own. The big "P" word,,,PRIDE...gets in the way.

I was so overwhelmed. I had over 300 spark emails to read since I hadn't done to much since Thanksgiving. I was perusing through them when I noticed that my friend Eric (TXHRT4U) and ML (GONE2009) had posted things in our Motivation Station...something I usually do every day except it was just one of those things I stopped doing. I clicked on the link to listen to their posts and am so thankful that I did.

The Motivation Station is just what it sounds like. If you need motivation or inspiration all you need to do is click on one of more then 100 clips until you find one that fills your need. Well, I tell you I was a clicking fool last night. I listened to video clips for about an hour. Some of them I played over and over. Then a light bulb went on. I love when that happens. This is one of the things I had been missing. In the past, this had been a crucial part of my day. I would always listen to my battle cry songs, "You're Unstoppable" and "You Gotta Want It" several times a day plus scrolled through U-Tube motivational offerings about 30 minutes every night trying to locate that piece that I thought would touch someone when in fact they were touching me. I was posting things that motivated and inspired me. Well, duh!

You never know where you will get that Spark that ignites your flame again. I'm so thankful for my best Spark Friend and co-leader, Andrea who got on the phone to make sure I was ok when my BLC2 teammates were worried when I didn't post last week. Annie, Betty, Veena, Nancy and Christina, thanks for sending out the "mayday" and the life line to help pull me back.

And my friends from the Battle Team..Laurie, Suezette, Betty (Boopster) who encouraged me so much. Andrea and Annie, you're in this group, too, along with so many of my sister warriors.

I can feel my flame starting to flicker and grow brighter again. It so great to come out of the darkness into the light. I even felt like God had prepared the sermons especially for me on Sunday morning and night.

I know that life is always going to happen and get in my way, but I don't want to let that phrase turn an easy escape excuse that I turn to every time I have life issues. The one thing that I have learned from all of this is that I don't have to be a super woman with super powers. Wow, did I really just type that? I do need to be better prepared to handle the situations that life throws at me. I do need to be more organized. I do need to understand that I don't have to be a motivator 24/7. It's ok to be the person who needs to be motivated.

Well, I've read back over this and think I will post it this time. I thank all my many Spark Friends who have helped me on this journey. I love each and every one of you and am so privileged to have you in my life.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Your journey hit some unexpected bumps in the road recently. You have faced them, and come out smiling!

    A motivator is one who leads by example..and an example is never perefct. It;s how you handle the hard times that make you who you are!

    I adore you and am happy you are putting first things first again! I know you will continue to do great! emoticon
    4156 days ago
  • NANCY-160
    I'm so proud of you for posting this. Just make sure you find the positives in all of this. I know losing less than 2 pounds is slighly discouraging, but old you would have gained weight during all of this, don't you think? You can't run all over creation and buy fast food for others and not make bad choices without a TON of willpower. The fact that you aren't 10 pounds heavier right now speaks volumes about your effort.

    And, keep remembering that this time you have together with your mom in the car is time you'll look back on fondly someday. Keep an eye on that silver lining!!!
    4157 days ago
  • BIGGIRL2082010
    Pam, you *are* a major motivator to so many of us. And it's completely okay, as you've realised, to be the one needing motivation occasionally.

    The situation with your mother can't be easy for you - remember that it's probably not easy for her, either. She's been used to being independent all her life, to doing things for others - it must be *very* hard for her to have to depend on you now, too.

    I don't think it'll ever get easier, convenience-wise, but I'd say treasure whatever "normal" time you have together right now - sounds like the dementia (Alzheimer's?) may mean she'll be changing into someone rather different from who she really is.

    My heart goes out to you both - hang in there, and MAKE some lemonade from this rather large and sour lemon.

    And definitely take care of yourself FIRST. Seriously. You can't be a good care giver to anyone else until your own needs are met. Remember the airplane instructions? "Put your own mask on first, THEN help anyone else who needs help" - there's a reason for that, and you know it.

    Work with your mom to see how to blend your schedules together. Maybe buy her a large-readout clock that actually says AM or PM on it (I sure hope they exist). Can you try to talk with her also to see if a graduated-care home or some sort of home-help is something she'd be okay with? That would help her as well as give you some more peace of mind that she's not all alone if she needs anything.

    Like I said, not easy. But then, no one promised us that life *would* be. :)

    Big hugs,

    4163 days ago
    Oh Pam. I am so happy to be reading this that you have found your light at the end of the tunnel again. It is hard when you find yourself slipping and don't want to reach out. I have always been the fixer too and it is a daunting task sometimes. Something that I have found key is to work on one little piece at a time. Do you remember when you first started on spark, the fast break goals? They were made so that you worked on bits and pieces at a time. It is wonderful that you were able to find the motivation to start plugging away again. I am so happy you did.

    It sounds like you could use some help with your mother. I hope that you can get a support system to help you meet her needs.

    4163 days ago
  • JEN1239
    Pam the first thing to do is take care of yourself. Then I would suggest getting some help for your Mom. Check with her doctors and come up with a plan that works for her. If you have family members try to get them involved. ( Not always an easy thing to do.)

    It will get better I promise.

    4165 days ago
  • BJENKINS1014
    Pam, this is a fantastic blog, and it's so good to hear your voice once again. I've read through all the posts and there is some wonderful advice and support here. I know you know we all love you and care about you. You motivate us when you push and prod us, when you give us positive comments and feedback, when you offer your prayers, and when you show us by example. This blog takes us through all the steps that you have taken to find that spark once again, and I will come back here whenever I feel myself falling... Which means, I'll probably be here often.

    emoticon to you, dear friend.
    4165 days ago
    What an overwhelming thing to discover and blog about. Hugs to you fellow sparker. I hope you get your spark BLAZING soon for you when the time is right. Good luck girl!!
    4165 days ago
    Motivators are motivators BECAUSE they are not perfect, because people see them fall down ALL THE TIME, because everyone knows that THIS is someone that knows how I feel. You aren't supposed to be the golden child of spark, never missing a day, never skipping a workout, never eating a carb! lol- not at all.

    motivators get their motivation from the rest of the people just like them.

    We are all here still, we aren't going anywhere. There will always be a batch of us hanging around just waiting to get your back! Take time to gather yourself together, and then let us carry you a bit until you can head off full-steam ahead, again.

    Rock on!
    4165 days ago
    Dear Pam, you are so sweet. Of course, you've been looking after your Mum. I would have emoticon your butt if I thought you were just being lazy, but I knew you had a good reason to not be active on the boards. It's OK life happens - I've been through so much with my family at times, I can understand. Just know we all love you and will be here for you whenever, as I know you will be here for us.


    Doobs xx
    4165 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3598327
    You certainly came to the right place to get your motivation back! I'm glad you posted your blog! Switching roles can be very overwhelming. Give yourself some time to heal and then proceed! We care for you! You've always been there for me when I needed a pick-me-up! Hugs!
    4165 days ago
  • GONE2020
    Hugs to you Pam. You've been in a tough place but yes, it's to your friends that you need to turn. We are all in this journey together ... think of it like the V pattern that birds fly. They don't sustain that pattern by having one bird always at the lead, it's just too tiring. Others rotate in and then you can step up again. Also keep in mind that sometimes it's not about organizing our to do lists ... it's about removing things from our to do list. Ask yourself, is this an absolute yes (I must do it) or is this something that I can let go of for now.
    4165 days ago
  • ANDREA0301
    And there you have it my Sister-Friend. Where does a motivator go? They go to their friends. They go to their loved ones. They go where they know people of like minds are waiting to embrace them with loving words of kindness and virtual hugs. They go where no one expects any other person to be a perfect, super-person. (I know you realize this is something we put on ourselves. The expectation really is self-imposed.)

    I pray you're working on real world solutions to the issues regarding your Mom. I have no words of wisdom on this front having not experienced it myself. I've read through the posts before mine and as you see, you are not alone. Look to these gals. They love you. They've been there. They want to help.

    Me? Well, I'll just continue to remind you that you fall down just like the rest of us. You put your pants on one leg at a time every morning just like we do. Well, that is the mornings we decide to get dressed at all. Haha!

    I love you my Sister-Friend.
    I love your enthusiasm.
    I love your honesty.
    I love you when you're up.
    I love you when you're down.
    I love you when I'm up.
    I love you when I'm down.
    I even love your stubborn pride,
    As I know you love mine.

    God bless you for being you.
    4165 days ago
    What a journey with bumps in the road. Strongly suggest you connect your mom with a geriatric assessment unit for long term guidance. If you have any other family who can help with your mom - pull them in even for small tasks to help share the responsibility. Parents are wonderful things but it is very difficult when they become the children BUT aren't children (it would be so much easier if we could pick them up and....) Remember that you don't have to do everything or be everything to everyone and at the point that sparkpeople is one more thing to do then it's okay to slow down. However, as you noted, it can also pick you up. Treat yourself kindly on this rocky road - you are worth it. God's blessing and strength to you today.
    4165 days ago
    You have hit the question on the head.

    First of all, I admire how consistent you've been. It's natural to have waning. Do what you need to do (ie. retreat?), but keep the pressure on yourself. Unfortunately, I've been in the same boat and when I've backed away from the thing that was tiring me (being "on") I also loosened the strictness my routine. Your question was just the thing I needed to hear to make me come to this realization.

    Boom! Like lightning striking.

    That's what you do for us. So- even though you've got to renew your motivator, don't be gone too long. Many of us will be waiting with anticipation.
    4166 days ago
    My friend - I LOVE YOU. I love that you are you! I love that you love others - me included. You are truly an amazing woman and you don't need to be "super woman" to motivate and inspire.
    Reading your blog was an inspiration and a motivation - what a strong statement this is in itself. emoticon emoticon
    4166 days ago
    Pam I really feel for you and your responsibilities to your mother. I do wonder though if you could delgate some of that responsibility. to like other family members or your mother's friends. Or if not that, some organization for caregivers could help you. This is just some thoughts. Keep plugging away and I know you will overcome any adversity.
    4166 days ago
    Oh, Pam. I so understand, and wish I had thrown you a life rope. I, too, have been scarce as can be being sick and wallerin' in my PIT.

    I am so glad someone flicked their Bic and gave you a light! Shine on, girl. Shine on!

    "This little light o' mine....I'm gonna let it shine....This little light o' mine...I'm gonna let it shine. This little light o' mine...I'm gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!" (I'm sorry you couldn't hear me singing that for you!!!)

    4166 days ago
    Oh my dear sweet Pam! Don't you know we ALL go through times like this? We all have our ups and downs on any journey we undertake where our strength and motivation are tested! But you see, you ARE super and you ARE woman, but you ARE NOT super woman and you are allowed to go through times like these. And it's these times you are to ask other woman, who are super, to help you through.

    God humbled you, He took away your motivation, and He did it to make you have to ask for help so you could see that you are NOT in this alone....we are here for you just as you are here for us!

    You ARE special....And don't you ever forget it!
    4166 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4592528
    You are allowed to be REAL, my friend -- none of us needs a perfect friend who has all the answers and none of the struggles!! We need to know that those we look up to need us, too! That they can understand our low points as well as cheer us when we succeed. So, YAY for you -- welcome back to the Real Spark World, where we can help one another!

    Please do eat, though -- putting yourself in starvation mode will shut down your metabolism and stall your loss!!

    I've been through the parent with dementia issue -- the am/pm questions, the nothing here to eat comments, the transportation needs. Unlike you, I ATE (and ate, and ate) to deal with the stress. If you haven't read "The 18 Hour Day", I encourage you to get it -- really helped me understand what Dad was going through and how to best come alongside him. It's a tough road, for both of you!! I pray God will guide you and strengthen you with His wisdom!!
    4166 days ago
    I just simply want to say how very much I admire your courage in stepping out and posting this. I know it was a hard thing to do. You are very strong and brave, but it's ok to need help sometimes too.

    emoticon and love!
    4166 days ago
  • LEAKAY59
    Pam, I am sorry I wasn't more aggressive in finding out why you weren't posting to the Battle as often, or what happened to that last "gauntlet down" threat that wasn't followed through on. I'm afraid I'm more than a little slow sometimes to follow up on a niggling concern. I can say "I was going to" until the cows come home, that doesn't change the fact that I didn't. I feel like I have failed you, too, in spite of your kind words in the blog. All I can say is I'm sorry, and ask you to promise me something: If ever you begin to feel in need of motivating again, PLEASE TELL US! You are always so strong, it takes a long while for most of us to realize you might need some help too. But we are here for you - that's what makes Spark such a wonderful place to be - someone is always ready to lend a hand, an ear, or some motivation when you need it. I know I'm preaching to the choir now, but I wanted to say it anyway.

    As for your mom's issues, I can sympathize some there too. Before we lost my mom, the last summer was impossible. If it hadn't been for DH, I would have fallen apart that year. I don't know enough of your circumstances to offer any solid advice there, but it sounds like it's getting close to a time where she can no longer live alone. Do you have siblings who can help? As hard as it is to consider, is it time to find at least an assisted-living center for her to live at? Or is there an adult daycare in your area where she can be during the day? The commercials say there are drugs that can slow the onset of Alzheimer's and dementia. Have you looked into any of those?

    You know if there were some way I could be closer to you physically, to be of some real assistance, I would be there.

    We all love your spirit and your spunk, Pam, so please know that we all are here for you in any way we can be!
    4166 days ago
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