Positive Focus & Organizing: Strategies for Difficult Times

Sometimes life throws you curve balls. . . For example, I spent two wonderful days with my brother, Mark, this past weekend. We planted a garden, enjoyed good food, saw the movie Marmaduke, shopped, took naps. Then Mark wakes up from his nap unable to put weight on his right leg.

Initially we thought he’d slept on it and it had gone to sleep. Or, perhaps he’d just been on it too long. He had a knee replacement over three years ago and the knee is a weak link. Last night I learned that he’d been hospitalized because he has an infection in his knee and will receive IV antibiotics.

What’s the big deal? Infection is always a scary thing. When he had his knee replacement he had multiple infections and the knee had to be replaced three times. It was quite an ordeal for him. And, he is alone in Connecticut. I had to return home to work. Our parents live in Virginia and Michigan and his brother is in Japan. Plus, Mark needs to work every day to be able to keep the apartment he moved into in December.

Yes, I’m feeling overwhelmed. I am Mark’s conservator. That means I am the person responsible for making decisions about his care. And, this is new to me. I’ve never had this kind of responsibility before.

The scared part of me is attempting to run some awful scenarios. “What if the infection is resistant to the antibiotics? What if he has to have surgery again because the joint is infected? What if he can’t keep his apartment?”

Fortunately another part of me keeps telling me to breathe deeply, to picture Mark healing quickly and returning to his apartment and to work. I keep focusing on all the blessings in my life–my loving, supportive husband who offers such wise counsel at times like this, my caring supportive friends who are praying for Mark, the beauty of my blooming butterfly bushes, my comfortable home, my affectionate kitty and pups, my faithful clients who keep me busy doing work I love. By keeping focused on the positive I am able to keep the fears under control, keep my vibration high and hopefully attract the wisdom I need to help Mark instead of those awful scenarios.

It’s really a challenge to stay positive at times like this when the scared little kid in me is trying to run the show. This is when it’s more important than ever for me to do things that ground me, like writing this blog entry, walking my dogs, making the bed, cleaning up after myself so our house stays a comfortable, peaceful haven.

I can’t do anything for Mark other than pray and ask others to pray, keep in touch with him and his doctors and nurses by phone, and picture him recovering quickly. But, I can keep my life in control so I am better able to think and make good decisions on his behalf.

The next time life throws you a curve ball that triggers fear and inertia, remember that keeping your thoughts positive and maintaining your space as a safe, organized haven can help you make it through whatever challenges you are facing.

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