A friend who was inspired to take up the challenge this year, is doing so on the theme of advice he profers his students when it comes time to write up their degrees. This inspired me to re-visit the idea and I even polled my friends on subjects they thought could prove useful. I got so far as to sketch out the A-Z of subjects, but was left with insufficient time to write the posts ... and so I accepted that my initial decision was a good one; but that I will plan most assidiously for April 2017.
So, was I letting myself off too lightly? If I'd given myself a stern talking to, would it have been achievable? If I'd had a life coach, would I have found a way? The answer, in all honesty, was no. A solid and resounding no.
With all such decisions, there are choices to be made as to how our limited time can be spent. My father has been fragile for a number of years following hospitalisation with heart failure. My mother is his sole carer. I live in the same village. My father has now developed not just Alzheimers, but also Vascular Dementia. Vascular Dementia differs from Alzheimers primarily in the way deterioration is seen. Alzheimer is - generally - a steady decline. The speed is individual, but the decline in inexorable and steady. With Vascular Dementia the deterioration process is a series of sudden drops. As with Alzheimers, the decline is inexorable, but the progress is more dramatic.
My family are close, the experience is both emotionally and practically devastating. Whilst the sadness is constant, the need for pragmatism in navigating the way forward is ever-present. We all do the best we can, whilst balancing the needs of these changes with meeting our own responsibilities.
So, although I do not doubt I could've written some thoughtful posts. And that if I'd been able to write on the subject of parenting and parental care - one of my planned posts - there's no doubting its potentially emotional power. But it's a better use of my time to visit regularly, to maximise the good days, to try and ease the distress of the bad days. And to run away from it all by writing about books, as reading (and writing about it) have always allowed me to escape reality and to experience joy.
This is a very personal post which I do not intent to make a practice of; but I hope what it depicts is that a good coach is one who both lives a full life and who's lived through experienes both negative and positive, and so understands that there are times when it's not always "full steam ahead". Life is about making decisions and choices - ones that each individual can live with. A good life coach - a caring coach - will not crack the whip, but will work with you to find ways to maximise whatever life throws at you - be it good, or bad.