Two years in review: one thing

Honing in on your one thing? I am not there yet. I have a couple of candidates I am wearing for size and fit for 2014. Will still deliver my decision next Monday. In the meantime…

I promised you in last week’s Monday encouragement to share my one things of 2012 and 2013. I didn’t think of them as “one things” then. I see them clearly looking back. I am incorporating the concept with purpose for 2014 and you are invited to join me.

As I have mentioned occasionally, my mother has Alzheimer’s. I am the sister that lives in the same town as Mom; making Mom’s condition and decline most impactful on my life than that of my siblings.

In late 2011, I wrote down as one of my top five passions to “treat my mom with all the honor and respect she deserves.” This passion continues now and will unto her death. Your one thing could have a different life cycle than mine.

Adopting this one thing hasn’t been easy as I reorder my life, mouth, and attitudes to honor and respect her. Plenty of resentment and bitterness since that commitment was made. I won’t attempt fooling you that it has been all wonder and light…I could since you can’t see into my life day by day. My mama taught me not to lie.

Because I have been willing to go through the process, God has been merciful in changing me from the inside out. I can see clearly how I’ve been changed and the process continues. My mom and I were not particularly close and I hid much of my life from her.

Now I have been given a special and tender love for Mom that causes me to manage her care and spend every evening with her with a joy that I did not gin up on my own. Do not be imagining I am perfect at it. The change in me is radical, the pain of changing no fun, and bouts of resentment in laying down my life for hers have passed. More will be required of me I am sure as I continue with this one thing.

As I have watched up close and personal her cognitive abilities decline, you can imagine I’d be thinking about how I can avoid this fate. Is there anything I can do? Alzheimer’s isn’t necessarily hereditary and Mom’s the only one in the family with it.
That desire to avoid this cruelty is what brought me to my one thing for 2013, which I actually began pursuing in late 2012. I’ve looked for research in this area and there is emerging evidence that one’s way of eating can protect the brain from this neurological distress. No clinical trials completed so I am not saying that I know the answer. This isn’t the point of this note in any case.

In the past year I have changed my eating strategy to support this budding evidence of brain health protection. Step by step, little by little I gave up certain food groups in my quest to do all I can to avoid Alzheimer’s. After all this time, this way of eating is quite ingrained. I still must choose it every day though. Perfect? No. Mucho progress? Yes.

My 2012 was about character and my 2013 about health. These two “one things” will continue into 2014 but I can take on another one thing now. I have the space in my heart and mind along with the continued desire to discover my best self.