I'm Honey!

As a woman who has lived through many passages and learned through my larger than life experiences (positive and negative), I’ve discovered how to take a big empowering bite out of life.

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Don’t Let Caregiving Dim Your Light: Discover Your Path to Renewed Happiness

My husband, shelly good and honey good

How do you care for yourself when your role transitions to caregiver?

*Affiliate disclosure.

Lately, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t want to lose touch with my normal, upbeat rhythm in life. I have never had a problem dealing easily with the ebbs and flows. However, a woman’s attitude can become debilitated in times of severe distress. I have tried to toughen myself up to catch myself before I spiral.

My life changed 360 degrees when I added “Dedicated Caregiver” to my biography. The emotions of a loving wife-caregiver are hard to imagine. And while me must learn to mother ourselves as mothers, we must learn to care for ourselves as caregivers.

“Yet, the next moment, when I made a decision to expand my opportunities in my daydream, my life seemed whole once again. In other words, I am learning to walk through the fire. This all starts with daydreaming of a full future.” — Honey Good

I have been consumed, on a daily basis, with anxiety, fear, and exhaustion. The constant worry and grief mixed with hope is unimaginable. The situation has caused untold sadness.

I am writing this story because I know many of you are in positions that could cause you to lose the natural rhythm of your life.

How Do You Live a Good Life When Your Life Shrinks to the Size of a Freckle?

Carl Jung was a prominent figure who wrote about the human psyche. One of his sayings, which I try to practice, is about how to live a good life:

“The difference between a good life and a bad life is how well you walk through the fire.”

When the unexpected struck, my husband fell and broke his hip. I put on my big girl pants to survive as best I could through my battle with heartbreak because other medical issues arose. Finally, 60 days later, my love was released from the hospital with a very serious condition known as deconditioning.

The medical staff told me that for every day my ultimate concierge was hospitalized, it would take one week of reconditioning before his body and mind hopefully would return to its normal state. We just began the fifth month of reconditioning. It has been a trial.

From Chivas Regal to Ensure: The Transitions of a Charmed Life

Learning to Walk Through the Fire

After weeks and months of thinking about my new, very unnatural lifestyle, many words crossed and continue to cross my mind, both positive and negative: terrified and hope, wholeness, and transformative are some that have played cat and mouse with my emotions.

One moment, I am terrified and sad, and the next, I am filled with hope instead of hopelessness. The feelings are transformative.

My new life is now the size of a freckle, while my old life was the size of the world. Yet, the next moment, when I made a decision to expand my opportunities in my daydream, my life seemed whole once again. In other words, I am learning to walk through the fire. This all starts with daydreaming of a full future.

The past seven months have been an emotional teeter-totter. When I am down, a shadow engulfs me. When I daydream, a hopeful side makes me whole again. I am a tigress who knows she will eventually find every possible way to help her husband and herself.

Daydream to Feed Your Soul

Honey Good answering Ask Honey questions of safe travel after 50

Journaling changed my life and has helped me tremendously through this passage of life.

When I daydream about what was, I smile. I imagine a walk with my ultimate concierge and my pooch America to the ice cream shop, a night out at a favorite charitable event, a romantic dinner for two, and plans for our future. Those days are gone, at least for now.

I daydream and confront reality. My daydreams feed my soul and propel me along. Your daydreams must feed yours, too.

I spend most of each day attending to my hubby and calling resources for guidance. I could write a book filled with informative information learned on my journey. I am my husband’s warrior, I kid you not! I am a cross between Florence Nightingale, Nurse Ratched, and the Professor of Caregiving! I would slay the dragon to save my husband.

I daydream about what I can do to bring positivity back into my life. My husband is not well. How does one survive?

Pilates, Perseverance, and Positive Thoughts: How I’m Embracing Change

Personal Power

Everyone has power. The question is how to integrate it into your life and channel it into fiery, positive, constructive energy. That’s the million-dollar question. Everyone should daydream about how to make their life constructive instead of destructive. Daydreams do turn into reality.

Harness your daydream, sweet readers. Take the time to sit quietly and contemplate, ‘What will bring me joy during times of hardship?’ Be authentic and decide your path according to your truth. I do this, and truth be told, it is leading me down a solid path.

You cannot be involved 24/7 in caregiving or dealing with another serious problem. It is important for you to achieve something that gives you pleasure and self-satisfaction. You will be healthier and happier when you achieve.

Play the game. You have the ability and power to chase your daydream while being the best at giving back to those you love. There is wisdom in achieving.

What About Myself? — What About Yourself?

I write knowing what I can and want to do. Am I forging ahead?

Not entirely, but I am making headway. I have come to realize that I must add an ingredient into my life that I can embrace with passion.

What Is Your Goal?

We all search for the meaning of happiness. What I have learned through my experiences is that dissatisfaction, lack of gratitude, and longing get one nowhere. Every day, even with a serious hardship, I give thanks for my blessings instead of crying over my woes (I do that, too!).

Your situation can be far less serious than mine. Nevertheless, when you feel edgy about your life’s situation, it’s time to take the bull by the horns by being thankful for your blessings while putting on your thinking cap and finding a purposeful passion. These two ingredients will give you peace and ignite you to pursue your passion.

New goals are never easy to attain, especially when you have burdens. Just remember, you can activate yourself “to do” with everything. When you are weary of problems, it becomes debilitating, exhausting, and hard to push forward, I know. But push you must to find your personal niche of a daily passion.

Be Mindful and More

Honey with her dog America, dogs are a great avenue of friendship to combat loneliness

Staying active with yoga and Pilates, as well as time with my Pooch keep me on the right side of the sunny street.

Studies have proven that practicing mindfulness, the concept of self-care, and being present in the moment, is a tool for regaining balance in life. I am not an authority on mindfulness by any means.

When I am overwhelmed, which is often now, I allow myself to feel my anxiety. I don’t push my feelings under the rug. And I find this path very useful because I am in touch with my feelings. My feelings often lead me to new insights and rid me of feeling overwhelmed.

I also study yoga twice a week and love my Pilates classes. During the sessions, while I am breathing, I daydream quietly. I consider these practices mindful ones.

I write. Writing down feelings is known to be transformative. I agree.

Writing helps us harness negative feelings, process our lives, and express negative pain, and reach for a new sight: a passion. Writing opens up the you within you.

It is amazing what you will learn about yourself and your life. But you must be authentic.

I am thankful. I give thanks for everything, from watching the tiniest hummingbird flutter its wings to seeing a glorious sunrise. I must say thank you a hundred times a day to others. Being a thankful person opens your journey to new discoveries, interests, and people.

Sleep is important. I used to be the greatest sleeper, but no more. Sleep reduces stress and builds resilience. Anna Black’s book Mindfulness and Sleep has been a lifesaver and I highly recommend it.

A Woman’s Empowerment

As I mentioned, I miss the vitality of our past life. In the past seven months, we have been out for dinner once, on Passover with family. All travel plans have been canceled.

I have not been in a shop to “shop till I drop” since my hubby broke his hip at the end of October. My life, as mentioned, has gone from worldly to the size of a freckle.

So how can a woman be okay when life throws curveballs that knock her down, such as navigating retirement, relationship struggles, divorce, death of a loved one, estrangement from family, the empty nest syndrome, illness, and a personal loss of any type?

I practice those strategies mentioned above and the art of bending with empowerment.

As I mentioned, I am a great believer in daydreaming. I identify a passion (here are some tips) that will allow me to set long-term goals, which fosters my growth and my mindset. This initiates a true grit attitude. It is a joyful experience to dream a possible dream, your passion, and turn it into reality.

My Goal — My Mission Statement

In the throws of a daydream, I decided to write a mission statement. Here’s what I came up with:

I am embracing the life I have. I am blessed and grateful to have my ultimate concierge. And I am excited about embarking on a new passion that will not disrupt nurturing my husband through his illness. I am in the driver’s seat to create my direction. My goal is to find passion every day. I don’t want to merely exist. I want to thrive.

Dear sweet reader, please follow my lead and write your mission statement (I’ve written about this in the past, you can read it here). Your statement will lead you out from under a gray sky to a blue sky with sunshine. I call this passion. Amen.

Have you been through the caregiving phase? Please share your story and join the conversation in the comments below.

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May 19, 2024

Advice, Passages After 50, Self Care

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  1. Diane Shehane says:

    Honey, I understand what you were going through. It is so hard. My husband fell outside our home March 2023. He was having a little trouble walking then but now he is on a scooter around the house and does very little walking at all. He does a little walking on his walker, but he is afraid of falling again. I love your mission statement. I so understand how you are feeling. I try to stay positive and I’m very thankful that it 77 I am so healthy and I can take care of my husband of almost 60 years. I do schedule lunch with my daughter and friends and try to get out and do a little shopping. I sometimes get fearful and down also. We traveled quite a lot and had many wonderful adventures. I don’t see that happening together in the future so I just try to remember all the great times that we had. My motto is one day at a time. I enjoy your columns. Thinking of you.

    • Susan Good says:

      I wish you grace as you travel your new normal. I hope you daydream. It is a lushes experience especially when you are able to turn it into your personal reality. Warmly, Honey

  2. Lori Lester says:

    This is so good, Honey. I see this possibility in my future and am saving this for future reference and encouragement. May God Bless you and your husband as you walk this path. I pray for his complete recovery and your “back to normal. “

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank you, lori. Thank you for your blessings. I hope to handle my new normal with grace, persistence, and a constant smile. Warmly and in friendships, Honey

  3. Sharon Zinn says:

    Sadly if we are blessed with many years we encounter health issues, it’s a fact. I am dealing with foot surgery on a previously broken ( compound fracture) and now compromised ankle. Post surgery bandages were too tight resulting in pressure spots on top of my foot, , etc etc. My loving “ concierge “ of 55 years has been beyond amazing, when I am down, he lifts me, he does so many things , always with a smile, joke or a sweet comment. I am beyond high maintenance and I try to be normal, but it doesn’t work. I am learning from him, so G-d forbid when he has an issue I want to be the positive, creative one. Role of caregiver , be it parent, spouse, child is a very challenging one as well as very complex. If anyone can get thru this, Honey you are the one. Stay strong, and kick tush.🩷

    • Susan Good says:

      I will ‘kick tush’ as best as I am capable of doing. Think positive about your healing process and be like the little tug boat that said: I know I can! I know I can! Warmly, Honey

  4. Deni Loritsch says:

    First, I understand this essay completely. My husband of 50 years, now has Lewy Body Dementia and we are dealing with the mid stage of this which is consuming so much of our time. I am the thinker and planner as we traverse this journey. I am aware that should the worst happen, I can’t afford to live in our home, so I must daydream the next step. I am paying attention to what I love and trying to spend time with these thoughts.
    You are in my heart, we can be strong because we must.

    • Susan Good says:

      I am sorry you are living an unsettling life style. But, I am glad you are daydreaming. I find it very important. Sending friendship across the miles. Warmly, Honey

  5. Anna says:

    Dear Susan,

    So sorry to hear that you are navigating such a difficult life stage and I wish you and your husband all the best. Also thank you thank you for writing and sharing your experience and how to find joy in spite of all that is going on and the importance of creating experiences to look forward to as you walk through such a trying time. While I’m a few years from going through something similar my husband does have some health issues so the writing is on the wall but I’m optimistic about surviving that stage because of how you are handling it and generously sharing the benefit of your experience with the rest of us. Best wishes Honey Good!

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Anna. I am most appreciative that you contacted me. Warmly, Honey

  6. Janice Goldstein says:

    I lost my husband 10 months ago. This has been the hardest time of my life. I admire your courage & strength. I feel lost alone & overwhelmed. I’m grateful for a loving son & daughter in law. I have other loving family & friends. Part of my heart is gone.

    • Susan Good says:

      You are going through the mourning process. This is healthy. I know. I was widowed in my 40’s. Please consider doing my private Honey Good facebook group: Sisterhood of Widows. The women engage and it is a loving group of women. Warmly, Honey

  7. Joyce Ramsay says:

    Bless you Honey. I need to be reminded to stay in the moment, recognise my feelings and properly deal with them. When I grew up in a toxic, dysfunctional family, my feelings were never recognised, So even as a mature adult, it is difficult for me to know what my feelings are. I really feel like a scientist sometimes as I contemplate under a microscope what I might be feeling. The only feeling I am always absolutely sure of is rage. Fortunately, I know how to deal with that one! But the others – even the positive take a while to know, understand and often, savour. I wish you both well in your husband’s health journey. There is always love. Concentrate on that – it is a precious gift.

    • Susan Good says:

      I enjoyed reading your comment and your show of vulnerability. To show ones vulnerable side is powerful so underneath that rage is a powerful woman. Concentrate on that. It is positive. Warmly, Honey

  8. kim b says:

    i am care giver of a husband with parkinsons, and parkinsons dementia, and working one full and 1 part time job, and taking care of the yard, house,pets etc. There is no joy at all in my life, thank you for the little remeinder that I can daydream positively, and to write a mission statement with maybe something positive

    • Susan Good says:

      I am so happy I could help you. I promise you that your day dream can become your reality. I am sorry you are under such worry and stress. I know how you feel. Warmly and in friendship, Honey

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