Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Not So Calm Before the Storm

Dear Friends, 
Fall is bananas! For us it is our largest awareness and fundraising months with Walk to End Alzheimer's, but it also seems these are the months that everyone checks back in from summer vacation. There are a number of conferences, health fairs and organizations all looking for vendors, exhibitors and speakers. AND we can't forget football & tailgating!! Needless to say during these last few days of August as I look at our Chapter calendar, it takes all of my energy not to have a stage 3 meltdown. 

Next week is also the only time this summer W & I could fit in some time away for ourselves.

Last Friday evening I arrived back in town after a stressful 2-day meeting in Columbus. W suggested we head down to the river for a run, and we could start planning our upcoming vacation needs. As we walked toward the river I started thinking out loud...I hope there is internet, I have to stay connected...I have this conference call, and that conference call, and it is the week before our first Walk week so I know there will be things I need to do to help with Walk.... In my mind I am reviewing all of the millions of things we have coming up and what I need to do to prepare....I can feel myself entering Stage 2 meltdown headed toward Stage 5...

W stops, and looks at me. LK, you need to learn how to delegate, you are not the Walk coordinator anymore, you have to take time for yourself, let your brain rest, everyone will be fine without you. I want us to have a peaceful vacation...
WAIT ONE MINUTE. Is he lecturing me!? Oh.No.He.Didn't. My mind went black with anger, what does he know about what I do and don't do. What I do delegate and what I don't delegate.... 

We made it to the river for our run, and I left him in the dust, my seasoned running legs going as fast as my angry brain. The voice in my head egging on my rage... well he doesn't know how important I am, or what we do, how many people rely on us. Doesn't he know these next few weeks are so critical to our budget and what we can do to help people throughout the year.... Doesn't he remember those times he had to work during our vacation....

After our run I silently stewed all the way back to our cars. I didn't speak to W all weekend I was so mad. 

Sunday, I was listening to my favorite podcast, On Being with Krista Tippett, her guest said something that struck a chord in my angry mind, 

It's something that if everyone could just realize how special it is to be alive on this little blue speck in the universe. It's a miracle that life exists at all and that we have a piece of time that is ours, whoever we are, shorter or longer, whatever it is, but to really be a part of the action and to respect where we have come from, where we might be going.

Hello gravity, I am coming back down to Earth now. 

My mind was so consumed with the storm of stress, anxiety and insecurities of upcoming tasks, that instead of a seeing a hand reaching out to help, all I could see was a giant finger, poking at my red-hot nerves. I wasted 48 hours of my precious time over such a trivial thing. 

I share this story because I think you might be able to relate. 

Sometimes as caregivers we get so good at masking our internal stress, anxiety and most of all insecurities, that these feelings end up turning into red-hot electric fences that jolt anyone away that tries to offer a lending hand or a little advice. In our minds we think, no one can do this as good as me, no one knows what I do everyday, your help isn't helpful... W was just trying to offer a little help, to make me feel supported. And instead of trying to teach him how to best help me, I pushed myself off the deep end, and only made myself more miserable and stressed out. 

We have to clear the storm in our head in order to expertly manage the storm headed our way.

How can we be better at accepting that people want to help us AND teach them how to best help us? 

If I had my head clear I could have seen W was just trying to offer the only support he knew how. And maybe if my mind was right, I could have diverted him, "you know, as the former Walk and Development person I am keenly aware of what I wanted and needed from the executive director and I think I am meeting their needs, but if you can run some of our vacation errands this weekend, I could really use the time to prepare for our upcoming board meeting that is really stressing me out."

In those moments where you feel you are headed straight to stage 5 meltdown, call us. We are here to help you work through challenges.We talk things out, help you look at all options, and build a plan to take on the impending storm. Most importantly try to help you not reach stage 5 melt down like me. We are here 24/7 at 800.272.3900

My great friend Emily Bennington helps me to keep this concept in the forefront of my brain  check out her books and blog at Also, one of my favorite books on this topic is Thich Nhat Hanh's The Art of Power.  


  • ZUMBAthon THIS Saturday! Head over to Mountaineer Middle School in Morgantown for a Zumba thon to raise funds for Walk to End Alzheimer's! Check in is at 9:30, the event starts at 10 am, and the entry fee is $10/person! 
  • Islandfest, hosted by the Mountaineer Parrot Head Club in Parkersburg, will be held on August 30 poolside at Parkersburg Country Club. For tickets or questions call 304.482.3218
  • For more Walk to End Alzheimer's events, click here! 
  • Weirton Caregiver University is coming up on September 25. Click here for registration and more information.
  • We are piloting a new piece of Walk to End Alzheimer's at our Parkersburg, Morgantown and Charleston Walks. We will be setting up a Living with Alzheimer's tent. This tent will be for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, it will offer a quiet place to sit in the event the crowd gets overwhelming, some educational materials, and an opportunity to meet other people who are also living with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. If you would like more information about our Living with Alzheimer's tent, give us a call at 800.272.3900 or email at
Nobody lay a finger on my Butterfinger cookies
I can't help but think of Bart Simpson when I think of Butterfinger candy bars. I love them, there is something about the sweet, kind of peanut buttery chocolaty goodness. So, I went to the grocery store hungry, and came back with a bag of mini-Butterfingers. Do you ever do that? I hope I'm not the only one! So in order to avoid eating the entire bag, I thought hey, I'll make cookies! Can you tell how much I love cookies?

Preheat the oven to 375. Combine 1/2 cup of unsalted butter with 3/4 cup of sugar.

Add 1 large egg.

Mix in 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 3/4 tsp. baking soda, & 1/4 tsp. of salt.

Chop your Butterfingers, feel free to munch on the mini-Butterfingers as you chop!

Wow, look at that dough! Don't mind if I test it out...

These cookies flatten out pretty well, so you can just dollop the dough right onto the cookie sheet.

This recipe only makes about 2 dozen cookies, so if you need more be sure to double. And you will need more, they are DELISH!

Until next week! 

Laurel K.

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