Keeping Track of the Details: Mine and Yours

This is the time of year when many people are busy decorating, shopping, baking, sending cards and perhaps making travel plans. It is a lot of fun but when that is added to your regular routine and responsibilities, it means keeping track of many different things.

Do you have a system? As organized as I might be, there are times a few days before Christmas when I realize I forgot a gift I wanted to give to someone not on my regular list. One of the things I have found helpful is to create a timeline of what needs to be done by certain dates. From there I can create the specifics that need to be done such as what gifts for which person and when it needs to be mailed. Maybe your system needs to be updated to meet new circumstances.

I go “a lot crazy” with decorating and have actually taken photos of where I hung different pictures and placed my favorite decorations for future reference. That may sound silly but remembering what goes where a year later is frustrating and this makes things go a lot quicker and my favorite items get in the place where I felt they looked best.

You can probably feel overwhelmed at times but you may also want to consider what the needs are of an older adult in your family. This is the time of year that some older adults find handling the details too much for them. Perhaps they are not physically able to bring the decorations out of storage or decorate the tree they would like to put up.

Perhaps your family can spend some time helping them and create a new tradition so it is less like a chore but more in the spirit of giving. Consider some of the home care companies that offer assistance over the holidays. My friend knew how much her parents enjoyed Christmas and last year they did not decorate. A friend suggested a resource for them and they hired the company to get the decorations out for them. Together they decorated the house and they even helped with the baking. After the holidays they came back to put everything away. This year the family all chipped in for this service as a gift to their parents since they know how much it adds to the spirit of the season.

TO DO THIS WEEK:

Make your lists and check them over twice. If you do not already have a “to do” holiday journal, get one started and that way you have something to refer to as you organize next year. Think about someone who loves to decorate for the holidays but may not be able to keep up with their traditions. Perhaps offer to help out for a few hours and enjoy some holiday treats. And last but not least, don’t forget to take a little break from all the hectic activities so you can recharge your batteries.

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
John Holmes

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About Kathryn Kilpatrick

Kathryn Kilpatrick received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1968 from the University of Massachusetts. She has worked in a variety of settings, primarily in Ohio, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and for decades in the area of home health care. Kathryn is president of Memory Fitness Matters (www.memoryfitnessmatters.com) and Communication Connection(www.connectionsincommunication.com). She offers memory coaching for all ages and has a geriatric consulting practice. She is a national motivational speaker and author of more than 30 products to enhance communication and connection as well as a Memory Fitness Toolkit. Kathryn brings her decades of experience as a speech-language pathologist to all those wanting to enhance their quality of life, particularly when there are communication, memory and cognitive challenges. Her websites offer information on a wide variety of topics related to elder care concerns as well as memory fitness and successful aging.
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