Friday, May 16, 2014


by Deanna

Do you ever get in a slump and just can’t seem to break the downward spiral of negativity?  I seem to have fallen into that perilous spiral over this past winter and I am having great difficulty breaking out.  It seems like life is off skewed, just not quite right.  I feel a little like the dandelion, a little stripped and alone in the field.   If any of you follow my personal blog you may have noticed that I have not posted in 2 weeks, which is unlike me.  Somehow I am feeling disconnected and unsure of myself…do you all go thru times like these in your life? 

It has been almost 3 years since placing my husband in a care facility due to his failing Alzheimer’s.  The first 2 years I felt a freedom that I had not experienced in many years after caring for my sweetie.  I was literally housebound and saddled with the constant watch and care for him, and when I finally made the decision to place him in someone’s else’s care, a burden was lifted and I was given the freedom to do all the things I had been missing.  Back to Bible Study, back to Book Club, back to my girlfriends, back to leaving the house, going on trips, experiencing all those things that that had been put on hold.  Living alone for the first time in my 70 + years of life, and I was embracing the change. 

But somehow in this last year, especially this long, cold & miserable winter, I have found myself in a state of wanting more.  I think we women need that feeling that we are a necessity and our natural nurturing wants somewhere to land.  Some of my fellow FOL women have careers that require attention, some have small children, some provide care for their grandchildren, all offering a necessary nurturing that we, as women, naturally provide.  Having my elderly Mother living with us and my husband still at home my days were then filled with needs, sometimes I didn’t know if I was coming or going, being pulled in many directions, but there was a need for my nuturing during that period.  I am not looking to replace those “demands” but I need to find that need, that feeling of necessity again.  I need to change that downward spiral and turn it around to head upward.  I don’t know what the answers are, or where I am going but I am not ready to give up or give in.

This is probably not the most uplifting post, but I think that this blog is about Life, and sometimes life isn’t pretty, sometimes it isn’t filled with constant joy and happiness.  And sometimes we have to do battle with the slumps and spirals in our life.   

Do more than belong: participate.

Do more than care: help.
Do more than believe: practice.
Do more than be fair: be kind.
Do more than forgive: forget.
Do more than dream: work. 
                                         ~ William Arthur Ward


Dotti said...

Oh, my dear, lovely, Deanna! You are so right: we all need to be needed. I think men do, too, they just don't always define it. It's a basic human ... well, need. Yes, I do care for my granddaughter when she's not in school and it fills that 'need to be needed'. But I have begun to think about what's going to happen when she's older and doesn't need {there's that word again} to come to DotDot's after school or has after school activities. On some days when she doesn't come for an unexpected reason, I feel a bit empty. So I've begun to think about what I will do in a few years when she needs me less than she does now. Right now I don't have an answer but I'm thinking along the lines of helping with meals on wheels or the literacy program since I love to read and can't imagine not knowing how to read. I know you love animals and if your town is like ours the animal shelter is always looking for volunteers. But to answer your question, yes! I have and do sometimes now feel much the way you're feeling. That sense of purpose, that sense of needing to be needed. Our lives need purpose and we need to be needed {which is why I worry about my recently widowed 86-year old mom}. When this happens, we have to find that purpose ... but it can be oh, so hard. And this dovetails perfectly with Linda's post yesterday. How often does that happen to us here at FOL? It's a good thing ...

kelly said...

aren't we so blessed to have this beautiful little community. because i would imagine that each and every one of us has been exactly where you are. including myself. you are such an inspiration to me deanna and you have such a gift...not just in photography but also in the courageous way you have shared your journey with your sweetie. and i know that in time you will find that 'thing' that makes you feel whole and inspired again. xoxo

Terri Porter said...

Well, talk about the perfect post to follow Linda's. I think being needed is a basic human need and I do think women, being the nurturers, feel the most at sea when that comes to an end. I know how I felt when I dropped my last son off at college (not realizing at the time that there would still be lots of times I would be needed by him and the other two boys, not to mention my grandchildren). I didn't know who I was without being a mom anymore. Then my grandson came to live with us for 3-1/2 years and I was needed again. The day I had to face not being needed was postponed, just as yours were when your mom and then your sweetie needed you. But it is something we have to struggle through eventually. It would be nice if menopause would come with some magic formula to make us not need to be needed so much! My dear, sweet friend, I hope you know how much we love and appreciate you and empathize with what you are feeling. Most of us have been there in one form or another. So glad you trust this community enough to share this with us and I hope it helps to know you're not alone.

heyjudephotography said...

Deanna you are so honest and brave, and oh so right that this is a place about life and life isn't always pretty. Thank you for sharing this because I believe we have all been there. Hugs and prayers to you. This time will be just a memory some day and you will come out of this happy and strong.

Viv@within the Frame said...

Deanna, we all at some time or another reach a plateau, when the nest is empty the house is straight we then look around and think what now ? I think the wonderful thing about our community is that we can share in a safe place. My thoughts are with you, if you can just take photographs delight in the feeling of freedom it can give you . Hugs to you

Anonymous said...

I often feel this... and I have also discovered that it is usually just before I start something new. Creativity is not always straight forward... sometimes we experience dislocation or anguish or just ho hum here I am again... grumps. Just remember to keep doing something and a spark will reignite and you'll be off. can't wait to see where this new level will take you!

Cathy said...

Yes, we do need to feel needed. As years go by I work hard at being gentle with myself, and telling myself it is my time. But there are days that I seek that feeling and wonder around a bit lost. Then like you, I feel a rush of focus and off I go. Wonderful post.

Carol said...

What a brave and honest post, but I love everyone's responses too. Transitions are always hard, and each new stage has a challenge along with it. You have faced long term stress so well, I think that is such an accomplishment. Hopefully the bit of empty now will blossom into something wonderful for you. As we age, it seems like maybe we need ( or can handle) less in each day - so we must choose what is most meaningful to include.
We certainly so "focus on life" here don't we?

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