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Oh, no! It’s the last week in October and I haven’t put up posts commemorating Breast Cancer Awareness and Long Term Care Planning!
I meant to…. I kept planning to make time to write, but things kept coming up. You know how it is.
I did a lot of research. I sat to write and decided I needed more research. Then, even when I thought I knew what I was doing — even when I thought I knew enough to get my point across — I didn’t manage to write. Life just kept getting in the way.
There were planned trips to the grocery store to buy food for my family and unplanned trips to buy the cat food I forgot to get the first time. Meetings and phone calls and time spent with family and TV shows seemed to intrude on my writing time as well. No matter what I planned to do…. Well, to be honest, I guess the truth is that I thought about planning. I never actually put something on the calendar and stuck to it. You don’t have a plan until you’ve got solid goals and dates, right? You’ve just got thoughts…and thoughts can be fleeting.
So, how busy have you been?
It seems like there’s always something that requires our time and attention. October is a busy month, full of observances of all kind. Halloween is the best known October holiday, but there are a lot of others — some I’ve never even heard of before. I haven’t done anything yet to commemorate: National Caramel Month, National Chiropractic Month, or National Popcorn Popping Month (unless you count the bag of microwave popcorn I ate…yes, the whole bag).
So many daily, weekly, and monthly celebrations, holidays, and observances…so little time.
If you’d like to take a look at some of the fun you can prepare for (or may have missed), check out the calendar at Brownie Locks. You can check the current month and plan the rest of the year.These calendars are great! You may find a celebration that turns into a new family tradition.
Why am I talking about calendars and my failure to write? You may think that all of this has nothing to do with observances of either Breast Cancer Awareness or Long Term Care. You’d be wrong. The fact is, most of us cruise along in life the same way I cruised with this post. Things like exams and planning for old age are things that we’ll get to…once we know more…when we have more time…when life settles down. We don’t schedule appointments — even with ourselves — to examine our bodies, our lives, and our desires for our senior years on a regular basis. We think about doing what we know needs to be done, but we don’t actually do it.
I’m not the only procrastinator. Research in the elder care industry indicates that care is generally an at-need proposition. For the most part, people don’t think about what happens next until there’s a crisis. When Mom falls in the bathtub, we help (or hire someone to help). When Dad starts getting more forgetful, we think about how we’ll help Mom deal with it. Few of us actually observe October as Long Term Care Planning Month.
By comparison, there are pink ribbons everywhere in October. They’re in our magazines, on our coupons, and even on our social media avatars. In October, we make sure to Think Pink. We support people raising funds for breast cancer research and may even raise funds ourselves. We save our yogurt lids and participate in walks, rides, and other events. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so we pay attention to breast cancer awareness. Do we schedule exams, examine ourselves, or make sure that our parents are doing the same? Do we Think Pink beyond October?
We tend to put off the things that aren’t crises until…well, until they are. Ordinary, everyday life, special events and occasions, movies and television — we allow too many distractions to keep us from planning. We allow too many opportunities to pass, confident that we’ll have time later. Paying attention later is not the best idea for cancer treatment or for senior care. Now is the time to make a difference.
By the way, Make a Difference Day was actually October 24th…have you made one? Have I?
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Originally posted 2009-10-26 17:21:23.