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Out of Sight - Out of Mind

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Old 12-15-2005, 12:26 PM   #1
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Default Out of Sight - Out of Mind

I had a conversation with my little sister (26) last night about my dad. My parents got divorced like 10 years ago and my dad had a brain anyersm when he was 49 and he lost a lot of his short term memory. He's made a lot of progress (he used to not remember where we were going if we were in the car, now he drives on his own) but he can't have a job and he sits around and does NOTHING. Last time I was out to visit him, I asked him if he would train to bike the TOSRV with me (www.tosrv.org) which is a long bike ride he did when he was 30-something. I'm turning 30 next year and it's a parent-child type race. Anyway, he said he could do it today if I wanted him to (HA!) and promised me about a million times that he'd do it (HA!).

So, here's the deal with my dad. It takes a long time for something in his short term memory to stay long enough to make it to his LONG term memory so that he'll actually remember it.

First, I called and reminded him of his promise. Every week. Every week I got the same response, "But I need new tires on my bike." "So, Dad, take your bike in and get some tires." "Ok, I'll do it tomorrow." Well, of course, he never remembered the conversation or to take in his bike.

Next, I sent him a card. He always puts my cards on the fridge. In the card I wrote that I had been bike riding and that I was looking forward to the TOSRV and that he needed to get new tires and I hoped he'd start training soon. Everyday when he gets up, he goes to the fridge and reads my card.

Today Amanda told me he asked for an indoor trainer for Christmas. (For those of you who don't know, that's the thing you put your real bike on to train for bike races in the winter). Apparently, he took out the old one and it was broken but he needs to try out his NEW TIRES!

This was amazing for me and a reminder that you don't need to have a brain anyersm to have trouble making a goal happen. It takes a while to form a habit or think about something new everyday. I challenge you to write one of your farfetched goals on the fridge with 5 mini-steps to make it happen. Looking at it everyday will get you in the mind-set to do something amazing.

Here's mine:
COMPETE IN A TRIATHLON
1. Find a triathlon that I like.
2. Bike a little everyday, long rides on the weekends.
3. Walk 3 miles - 3 times a week.
4. Join a gym and schedule gym time 5 times a week.
5. Tell everyone I know about it.
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Old 12-15-2005, 01:08 PM   #2
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Oh! What a wonderful story!
I'm glad that your dad is finding ways to overcome his memory-loss (with lots of help, it seems!)
I'm sure that you'll have lots of fun in the race with him
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Old 12-15-2005, 01:15 PM   #3
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That is aweseom GJ. I love that idea too of actually writing it down and putting it in a visible place. I will definitely be doing this.
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Old 12-15-2005, 01:23 PM   #4
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Beautiful story Great goals and I'm glad your Dad is focusing on this goal with you!

Jessica, I teach a plus-sized yoga class in North Park once a week on Saturdays in case you're interested!

I *still* am wanting to get together for exercise (I'm not out of sight LOL!)
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:15 PM   #5
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What a cool story. That is a really good idea about writing down your goals. I will also definatley be doing that.
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Old 12-18-2005, 01:16 AM   #6
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Miss Goddess, that is pretty awesome! I think it was very smart of you to send him the cards. I'm so glad he is going to do this w/you.

Your post reminds me of that movie 50 First Kisses and why I hated it so much. I didn't think it was funny, or a subject to be taken lightly.
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Old 12-18-2005, 05:42 PM   #7
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Yeah, I didn't see the movie. I wasn't thrilled at the concept. Memento came out the same year my dad had the anyersm and it was difficult to sit through (Although I think it is an interesting movie).
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Old 12-18-2005, 08:32 PM   #8
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What a great story.

I hear you about the movies. I went and saw Big Fish shrtly after finding out my father had been diagnosed with Lung cancer.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:35 AM   #9
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I will have to put some thought into my goal and plan to get there but I will absolutely be posting it somewhere obvious. What a great idea, thanks for sharing it.

Also, the story of your father is very touching. And while you are right that having a visible reminder will help you get into the right mind set to tackle a goal (even a farfectched one) your father's situation made me think of something just as important when it comes to meeting our challanges. Your father could not have done this had it not been for your support. Your story reminded me that there is no shame in accpeting help when it is offered nor is there any reason not to ask for it when needed.

Our weights are so personal that by default we sometimes insist on going it alone when it comes to losing it. I started out losing weight on my own and was successful. But once I found this site (this forum in particular) success came much easier. Better yet, my failures were much more bearable thus keeping me on track despite any setbacks. Consequently, I am much more open about my weight and weight loss than I once was and more certain than ever that I will reach my goal and stay there.

Thanks again for sharing with us. I know I take my life for granted sometimes. People like your dad are such an inspiration and proof of just how far hard work, dedication, and will can get us. I hope you both have a great time in the race. Please don't forget to let us know how it goes!
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:22 AM   #10
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jawsmom - Thanks for the kind and wise words. I think you are right - it is really hard to accept help.

For my father, he was a manager in a corporation, a bread winner and very independent. Not only does he not like to accept help but he is stubborn and a big PITA! But I love him - I don't help in the everyday struggles like my sister does (that's the real hero story) but I can push his buttons! I know what motivates him. You've got me thinking - do I know what motivates me? Do I know how to push MY buttons? When I'm not willing to push my own buttons out of pure weariness, can I tell someone how to rev my engine (so to speak)? Interesting.
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Old 12-20-2005, 09:43 AM   #11
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That's great Jessica. That will be wonderfull for you to share that experience with your dad. I hope to get a bike this spring. I always said when I got to goal I would get the bike I always wanted. So it's about time.
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:44 AM   #12
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Jessica, that is such a cool story! My stepfather has bad short term memory because of neurological issues, too -- he had a couple of head injuries. Maybe he needs to have some fridge notes, even ones to just encourage him.
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