Attention-Getting ARCs Create Challenges … Quiet Capacities and Assets Await Our Attention

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As my ARCs (age related changes) accumulate and progress, they increasingly resemble the attention-demanding behavior of two year olds. Impossible for me and sometimes others to ignore. On the other hand, my steady, silent capacities and assets just seem to patiently wait their turn to be acknowledged and attended to.   And this seems to be true, not only for me, but for those who help me manage my daily living these days. (Perhaps it’s the same way that more attention is given to our pathology than to our quiet immune systems.)

There’s no question that I need to continue to acknowledge and come to understand each ARC. But (better late than never) I’m seeing the need to pay more attention to acknowledging, understanding and creatively using my capacities and external assets. They are so essential to my well-being. I need to understand them as thoroughly as I do my ARCs. I need to value them. A slight variation on a current chant “Equal pay for equal work” may just need to be my motto as well.   Equal attention for equal work.

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By increasing my underlying knowledge about my capacities and assets in the same way I have my ARCs I may well be able to use them more creatively . In “The Mature Mind” Cohen examines the way agers’ brains change and what is there, available to be used. Some neurons are still growing and so are some connections between areas of the brain.

Obviously I’m at an early stage as I share my thoughts in these areas and plans . What I can share now is that:

I believe I have a responsibility to offer care providers accurate, crisp descriptions of the status of my capacities and assets (strengths and weaknesses as they are relevant to the presenting situation). This way they can anticipate how I will manage what they are asking me to do. e.g. If my physician changes my medication regimen, I need to offer the current status of my short term/working memory. If he were to expect me to change a dressing, I’d need to bring up the status of my clumsy, weak fingers and their potential inability to manipulate tape or dressings.   With my support figures (professional or otherwise) I need to offer data on what I can and cannot do as it is relevant to their desires or expectations.

I’m working on identifying (putting into words) and treasuring specific capacities and assets as they come into play in my adaptations. In my thoughts, I actually talk to them. When they do well in preventing a problem I praise them warmly, put gold stars in their crowns.   I sympathize with them when they try, but have difficulty. When they goof off, I give them black marks of the size and blackness warranted by the degree of failure.

I’m discovering that capacities and assets are like ingredients in my cooking—highly adaptable to be used in multiple ways. All my brain needs to do is figure out how success or lack of it in using them in one situation can be applied to another.  That means I need to know them, well.

As you can see, understanding and using my capacities and assets with greater creativity and effectiveness is a work in progress (like so much of my EWAing has proven to be).

If you readers have any ideas, please comment and share them with me. I can promise you that they will be well received and put to use.

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5 thoughts on “Attention-Getting ARCs Create Challenges … Quiet Capacities and Assets Await Our Attention

  1. Your inventory of abilities may be diminishing somewhat, but I know you are successfully using what you have in perhaps new ways. That’s like the old tv show “MacGyver”. Each week MacGyver would get out of a jam by coming up with an inventive way of applying whatever is at hand to solve the problem, like disarming a time bomb with the spring from a disassembled ball point pen. Now that I think about it, all of us are facing our own time bomb of aging; we can’t completely disarm it, but with some MacGyverish ingenuity we can slow down the ticking!

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  2. Hi Doris

    I think that one of your greatest assets is your ability to analyze and thus you have created this blog. This is no small achievement and I bet you don’t know of another blogger of your age doing what you do. I have shared your blog with numerous different people who are all entranced with your thoughts and ideas. I repeat…No small achievement! I agree it is important to share what you know or recognize about your physical condition with those who need to know. The Michael J Fox Foundation is collecting similar information from volunteers with Parkinson disease in order to understand and help people in the future with their individual scenarios. I am sure you are well Aware of Professor Stephen Hawking whose legacy is great. Listen to his Memorium spoken in his own words and released after his death It is inspirational and you are doing exactly what he felt we all should do in order to help our planet and it’s people survive. Thank you for what you do.

    JudyB ( Paige’s friend $

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  3. I would like to know what are the joys in your life. What things do you enjoy? Do you listen to audiobooks? Music? Do you watch movies? Tell us how you spend your days.

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  4. Excellent post. I think at all ages we tend (at least in our culture) to emphasize deficits and fixing those rather than strengths and using them to compensate for areas where we are not as strong. Years ago I had a team member who was not a great speller. Yet writing emails and memos to customers and board members was part of her job. Her strengths lay in planning and managing the myriad details of large events. My advice to her was to call on other members of the team to proofread her written communications. In return she provided an invaluable sounding board to those who were planning campaigns or other department activities. The point is to use not only the strengths of others but to use our own strengths to handle areas where we might have challenges.

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  5. Honestly, I think writing EWA is one of the most wonderful, and inspirational things you can do. It truly represents not only playing to your strengths/assets (writing, analytical introspection), but also demonstrates that people can truly continue to add value to the world in a myriad ways, regardless of what other challenges and ARCs they may face. I regularly provide technical support to folks who consider themselves “old” (often well before their time), and wish they had your perspective. You are an inspiration.

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