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A Change Would Do ME Good May 13, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.

Last Sunday, Patricia shared a pertinent quote on Today, I Think:  

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

~ Wayne Dyer

So true. 

I can look at my father moving into assisted living without my mom as “the end of the world” as we know it . . . or I can envision him starting a new chapter in his life with exciting challenges AND potential rewards.

Guess which thought is apt to make me happier?


Dad’s been languishing at home, doing little but reading, watching ball games, and visiting doctors. 

What if this change of scenery inspires him to do more?  What if doing more makes him feel more alive?  What if feeling more alive makes him want to try even more new challenges?  You get the idea.

Despair is hidden arrogance:  I have seen the future and it doesn’t work.   

But what if the future has a few surprises up its sleeve?

Things we haven’t imagined or envisioned . . . due to being preoccupied with “worst case scenarios.”

It ain’t over ’til it’s over. 

It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.

Aah . . . that’s better!  (I mean it this time).  😉


1. Pocket Perspectives - May 13, 2012

There you go…. good shift! : )

nrhatch - May 13, 2012

Thanks, Kathy. I challenged myself to come up with a “best case scenario” for my dad. Far better than continuing to envision “worst case scenarios.”

All my worrying wasn’t doing dad any good . . . but it was making me miserable and unhappy. Shifting my perspective helped.

2. suzicate - May 13, 2012

Now that’s the spirit, Nancy!

nrhatch - May 13, 2012

Exactly! It took me longer than normal to reclaim my inner peace and equilibrium . . . and I’m grateful to have recovered that balance. Life sure looks bleak when all we are doing is racing from one “worst case scenario” to the next.


3. jannatwrites - May 13, 2012

I love how you came through the shock and despair of the change and flipped the coin over, so to speak, to see the potential good that can come from it. It makes sense to do so because it’s a situation you cannot change, but for some reason, it seems natural to gravitate to the ‘bad’.

nrhatch - May 13, 2012

Yup. Old habits die hard . . . especially when we’re overtired and stressed by “too much” all at once.

I tried to “right” my capsized boat several times in several different ways without much success. Then I saw Patricia’s quote which reminded me that I did NOT need to envision the worst case scenario as being more likely than the best case scenario. A subtle shift in perspective works wonders.

Whatever will be, will be . . . worrying about “it” in the meantime rarely advances the ball, or rights the boat.

4. sufilight - May 13, 2012

Nancy, Wise shift of perception! 🙂 When I experienced the hearing loss challenge last month, I was getting into the worst case scenarios, until a thought appeared out of nowhere and said “change the lens of perception”, and I did. I immediately went from the heaviness of fear into a space where I was more calm. I wish you mom and dad the best!

nrhatch - May 13, 2012

It’s so easy to tune into the “Doom & Gloom” station . . . but we benefit when we remember to change the channel (or lens of perception).

I just watched a short video you would love . . . featuring bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies:


5. eof737 - May 13, 2012

I was thinking of you and Tigger but you beat me to it. How is T? How are you? Like everyone else, I agree that the shift in perspective as per your dad would do you some good; you are a positive person so turn back to that place Nancy. Hope your day was uplifting… Prayers and hugs sent your way.
ღ˚ •。* ♥ ˚ ˚✰˚ ˛★* 。 ღ˛° 。* °♥ ˚ • ★ *˚ .ღ 。*˛˚ღ •˚ ˚…Sending sprinkles of Love to You: Happy Mother’s Day! ˚ ✰* ★˚. ★ *˛ ˚♥* ✰。˚ ˚ღ。* ˛˚ ♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ★ღ ˚ 。✰ •* ˚ ♥

nrhatch - May 13, 2012

Thanks, E! Hope your Mother’s Day rocked!

Tigger has caught lizards (fast lizards!) two night in a row on the deck, so he must be feeling pretty good.

It’s easy to slip into the bad habit of negative thinking especially when we’re tired. It took me some time to shift my perspective back to positive. It’s a better place to be.

6. Three Well Beings - May 13, 2012

I sure do like the sound of that, Nancy. And I love the Wayne Dyer perspective…I read him quite often! Your thoughts made me think of my mother-in-law who has been gone awhile now, but probably ten years before she passed we had to help her move from her home to an assisted living home. She didn’t want to go, but it was just time! She went from near isolation into a social atmosphere–one she thought she’d hate, and ended up making friends and eventually being quite active. She was going strong until she had a stroke just short of 90. We felt the reluctant move did add years to her life. I hadn’t thought of that in a long time, but there was a shift towards acceptance that had to happen first! I know you’re on to something significant! Debra

nrhatch - May 13, 2012

Oh, thank you! That is just what I needed to hear, Debra. My dad often perks up in social situations. My mom’s hearing is bad so they’ve socialized less and less. He might really enjoy having a new and expanded audience for his stories.

And if HE likes Sunrise, maybe he can persuade mom to join him. That would be a win~win for ALL of us.

7. nancycurteman - May 14, 2012

I love the Dyer quote. I think that when my spirit sags and my aura droops, I’m going to put that quote to work.

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

It snapped me out of my Blue Funk in short order, NC. A gentle reminder to shift perspective helps us to reclaim balance.

Aah . . . that’s better!

8. barb19 - May 14, 2012

I like your positive attitude Nancy. It’s the only way to be.

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

I strive to remain in the “state of positivity.” If the “sea of negativity” sucks me into the “depths of despair,” I extricate myself asap with meditation, visualization, deep breathing, etc.

Yesterday, nothing was working. Until I shifted my thoughts from worst case to best case. None of us know what the future will bring. We may as well picture the best of all things.

9. Piglet in Portugal - May 14, 2012

Not knowing the full story I think your Pa is brave taking such a big step alone. He has taken a positive move to make the remainder of his life more positive and it is great you have stood back to look at the brighter side of this.

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

Oh, if dad was looking forward to going to Sunrise, I’d be ecstatic. We’ve wanted my parents to move out of their 2-story house for years.

Dad doesn’t really “want” to go to Sunrise . . . he’s resigned to the move because he knows mom needs a break. But, maybe he’ll fall in like with the place and be glad about the move and the changes it brought with it.

10. Victoria-writes - May 14, 2012

A positive attitude will bring brighter things your way soon I know it! Good for you!

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

I thought about how you used The Help to shift your perspective from “rainy day duldrums” to the more optimistic setting of “dancing in the rain.” 😀

11. Crowing Crone Joss - May 14, 2012

I think too, as you send that positive energy out towards your Dad, it will have a real impact on him in his new surroundings.

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

Perhaps, Joss. My dad often seems “impervious” to positive vibes sent his way. It might be because he’s from Vermont. 😛

Crowing Crone Joss - May 14, 2012

yes but remember things are changing now. so, who knows?

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

Exactly. Who knows?

Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark. ~ Agnes De Mille

12. sweetdaysundertheoaks - May 14, 2012

Yeah for recovering balance Nancy! I think it is entirely possible your Dad will feel more motivated and inspired and more involved in his new surroundings.

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

In the past, when he motivated himself to walk regularly, he rebounded quickly. He may do the same this time.

13. ryoko861 - May 14, 2012

I didn’t comment on the initial post because I wasn’t sure if you would understand what I was trying to say. You’ve posted what I was going to say. They’ve opened a new chapter in life. This move by your father doesn’t mean they’ll never see eachother again or stopped loving your mother. Their lives have taken different directions, that’s all. No one ever wants to be a burden to their loved ones, even if those loved ones don’t mind being burdened on. But dad leaving with his dignity in tact was important to him. Your mom will always be there for him. I think she’ll get used to him not being there and may even feel the relief and get out more.
This is interesting though because they’re from an era where, no matter what, husband and wife were obligated to stay with eachother. Splitting up was unheard of. This will be an adjustment for them as well as the family, but I think it’ll all work out in the end and everyone will be better for it.
Think of the positive side of all this. I believe it outweighs the negative.

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

Thanks, Ryoko. My dad has become too much for mom to cope with physically . . . but they still enjoy each other’s company.

Maybe, if my dad likes Sunrise, my mom will decide to join him, rather than staying home alone. They would both be better off with more people around on a daily basis.

14. Barefoot Baroness - May 14, 2012

“Despair is hidden arrogance”
This is such an excellet truism to share, than you.

Your outlook mirrors mine that I have always referred to as Doing The Pollyanna. and playing The Glad Game. Finding something to be glad about even in the worst of circumstances.~ Its a blessing to see the things to be glad about,

Wishing you and yours Abundant Blessings!

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

Thanks, Baroness! I’m a big fan of Pollyanna and the Glad Game. There is always a choice in how we perceive the world:


If you want to sing out, sing out. If you want to be free, be free. There’s a million ways to be . . . you know that there are. ~ Cat Stevens

Barefoot Baroness - May 14, 2012

I am a big fan of Cat’s. Yes we are the master and mistress of our own… I am so very greateful to be able to choose.

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

Sometimes we get “stuck” in sadness because (at some level) we want to feel sorry for ourselves. By remembering that feeling happy feels better than the very best “pity party” we can throw for ourselves . . . we can choose to change the channel.

15. ericjbaker - May 14, 2012

Perhaps part of the gloom we feel in this situation is seeing a little bit of our own future. I’ll bet your Pa feels revitalized being surrounded by peers.

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

Yes, definitely. We know how we want to age . . . gracefully and in full control of our mental and physical faculties. Watching our parents “losing it” little by little is disheartening.

My dad may benefit from being around more people on a daily basis ~ he enjoys “socializing” more than mom.

ericjbaker - May 14, 2012

I’m going to try to be the Taoist I’ve always wanted to be in my later years.

I understand why our parents are reluctant to move, because they are relinquishing control and feel like they are letting go of what they’ve worked too hard to achieve. However, if I can just get myself to buy into the final page of the Tao de Ching (that’s the page about foregoing possessions as a final step toward spiritual truth), then I’ll be OK when my time comes.

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

Boy, did you hit my parents’ non-Taoist tendencies on the head with that comment. My parents haven’t moved (or gotten rid of anything) since 1968. If it’s broken, they plan to fix it. If it’s just gathering dust, they might need it one day. If there’s a space, it should be filled. Etc.

In contrast, my inner Taoist urges me to jettison possessions on a regular basis. I just packed up 3 bags of stuff to drop off at Goodwill tomorrow.

I figure if I STOP shopping now, and don’t replace stuff that wears out, I should be a Taoist in plenty of time for my final curtain call. 😉

16. Andra Watkins - May 14, 2012

I hope the changes your parents are making will give them both a better quality of life, Nancy. I can totally understand why your Mom might not want to live there, as it conjures all sorts of issues about mortality for a lot of people. But, if your Dad has really been struggling and truly needs the help, and your Mom cannot give it to him but has been trying, may this make them both feel more at peace. My own parents have been struggling to provide the care for an aging relative who refuses assisted living, and it is a stressful, all-consuming endeavor.

nrhatch - May 14, 2012

Thanks, Andra. It is stressful. Looking out for them has been a very time consuming task for my older brother and stressful for the rest of us. I expect they both would benefit from a move to Sunrise . . . but my dad’s needs are more immediate.

If he likes it, she may be willing to follow his footsteps.

17. Perfecting Motherhood - May 15, 2012

It can be really tough to find the positive in such stressful situations. Hopefully your dad will do well in his new home. It must be tough for your mom too.

nrhatch - May 15, 2012

It can. When we resist the “what is,” our minds race to create scenarios that substantiate why the “what is” needs to be different than it is . . . if we are ever to be happy again. When we relax and accept that the “what is, IS” . . . we are able to see the light filtering through the darkest of clouds.

It’s going to be an adjustment for them both. They are used to their routines and this move is shaking things up. Maybe that’s for “the good.”

18. bluebee - May 16, 2012

I don’t agree with the first part of that quote about despair, Nancy, but do agree that we need to look for the positives while dealing with a difficult situation to sustain ourselves (and not to try and look too far ahead when things are out of our control) In my experience, things are mostly not as bad as they first seem, but occasionally they are, in fact, worse

nrhatch - May 16, 2012

That quote won’t fit everyone. It fits me. When I am filled with despair I THINK I can see what’s coming down the pike and IT doesn’t appeal to me.

Of course, even when I’m not weighted down with the “world on my shoulders,” I cannot see what’s coming round the bend with clairty. The future is uncertain. With moments good and bad.

We should never drive past the range of our headlights.

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