Still Living the Long-Term Effects of Long-Term Care

Using a kitchen table for active sorting, and two futons for category classification (work and home), the paper-trail-of-tears began to tell its story.

As is a common outcome of taking-time-for-review, I saw with a new appreciation and overview the many help-the-caregivers-services I piloted over four years. I took the time to group the service-related paperwork into the six access channels I’ve focused on since 2010: mobile, online, on-site, print, product, place. I remembered the road-blocks encountered with some of the activity I tried; the unsolicited requests for services I hadn’t thought of, yet tried and delivered with success; and the services born of my own needs while caregiving that had been appreciated even if they were not sustainable. I noticed the growth I had experienced in some areas from a conception, trial, feedback, and iterative design process. I easily grouped the services section into organized hanging files.

The marketing paperwork represents all of the people I’ve met, listened-to, and served over four years, the evaluation forms collected, the conference materials kept-for-referral, and the few marketing campaigns communicated.

The financial and organizational-development paperwork clearly shows invoices from the small businesses North of Boston who I’ve hired for business-related services; the business-plans written; insurance and legal documents.

Lastly, the research and development-related papers include information about accessible design, gardens, and products-in-progress.

A small library of self-help books for the caregiving journey is growing to include books and articles, CDs, and DVDs.

Personal papers include letters, articles-of-interest, hobbies, personal health & wellness, church programs, wedding-event-related papers, arts programs attended, and more. Personal magazines include the topic Organic Gardening.

A section “Caregiver’s Museum” is being developed with artifacts from my caregiving experience for display and story-telling-power for a future art exhibit.

Looking squarely at the open Paper Layers Excavation site on our second day of organizing last week, I made the comment, “I’m still living with the long-term effects of long-term care!” So ready to be done with estate-management and its impact on my now, it’s only the second week of a nine-week process and I’m losing patience. Good that each session is only three hours, only two sessions each week, with a weekend break in-between weeks.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

Paper Layers Excavation Series: Explained

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