Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Neuropathy Caregiver Blog

I just discovered a new blog for caregivers of neuropathy patients. Since my mom has peripheral neuropathy (PN), I was excited to find it. It’s run by Angela Macropoulos, an attorney who also cares for her mother with PN. Unfortunately she’s only written one post, but the comments are priceless. I hope she’ll continue. She’s certainly hit a nerve.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Question Regarding Insurance

Usually I share either my experiences or information I’ve gathered. Today I need your help. I’ve just been made aware of an insurance policy my mom bought in the 1990s, before I had inserted myself into her finances. She thought she had spent about $16,000 to buy a $40,000 life insurance policy. I never did understand why she paid in advance or that much, but as I say, I wasn’t involved in her finances.

Today we learned that it is a Universal Life policy. As I understand it, the company uses her prepayment to pay for the monthly insurance cost. That somehow translates into a policy balance, which decreases monthly. Because of the low interest rates in the past years (they say), the value has deceased more than expected and she will have no value left in a couple of years. AND no death benefits!

Does anyone know anything about Universal Life policies? I know she didn’t understand what she was buying – I barely understand it. She thought she was simply buying a life insurance policy. Do we have any recourse? Was the agent ethical selling this policy to a 77-year-old woman? Help!

Labels: ,

Friday, May 14, 2010

What’s Next for You?

Are you ready to graduate? Robert and Patricia Gussin thought they were ready to retire. Both had enjoyed successful careers as corporate execs for a pharmaceutical company. They had raised their family. They had survived years of mind-numbing commutes. When Robert reached the company’s mandatory retirement age, they began to invent themselves.

Patricia began writing novels. Robert also tried his hand at writing. This led to starting a publishing company. Then on a trip to New Zealand, they fell in love with the land and purchased a vineyard. Meanwhile, they spent quality time with their children and grandchildren. Banishing the word retirement, they decided that instead they had graduated – progressed with a focus on continuing to be productive. The result was a delightful book: What’s Next … for You? The Gussin Guide to Big Changes, Big Decisions, and Big Fun.

I grabbed this book on my way out the door for a planning retreat to once again try to figure out my life. I get so confused. I love the work I do and can’t imagine retiring. My husband, on the other hand, retired years ago and is content to putter. I have to balance my desire to continue building my business with the reality of my age and our stage in life. Until I read this book, I wasn’t able to make a firm commitment in any direction. It was exhausting.

I loved the zest for life these two show. It’s a happy book. They clearly love what they do – all of it. Their enthusiasm was contagious. And it gave me a new way of looking at my life. I don’t have to have a 40+ hour per week job. I can dabble in a variety of things – which is what I’ve been doing. Working. Going to school. Focusing on family. Traveling. Caring for Mom. I’ve felt so fragmented. After reading this book, I made peace with my life. I have a new joy, a new freedom, and a new direction. I’m more content than I’ve been in years. And the delightful result is that I’ve been more productive!

If you’re trying to figure out how to manage this season of life, may I suggest What’s Next…For You?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

9 ‘Harmless’ Habits That Age You

OK GenSandwichers, are you feeling your age? I sure am, and more than that, I’m beginning to look my age. Not something I’m excited about. Today we video-chatted with our son. I’m sure it was partially the computer camera, but I couldn’t help notice the increased wrinkles and creases in my face and the sag that’s developing in my chin. I’ve never been very concerned about my appearance. I try to look nice, but I don’t spend a lot of time or money on beauty preps. But lately I’m wondering if it’s time to pay attention…

This article lists nine ways that we contribute to our own aging – and I’m guilty of most of them. What about you?

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

I want to honor every mother among my readers today, especially you Gen Sandwichers who are mothering both children and parents. It’s so easy to feel smooshed when you’re in that position. You’re juggling car pools and medical appointments, homework and housework. You may manage finances not only for your own family, but also for your aging parents. Some of you manage to hold down a job outside the home as well. You live on too little sleep and too much junk food. You put your needs last on that never-ending list. The value you contribute to your families and to society is immeasurable. You are indeed champions. I admire you and I honor you. I hope you’ll be able to take a few minutes for yourself today. I hope your loved ones will honor your as well. You deserve it. I know that God sees every sacrifice you make, and He honors you. Happy Mothers Day and God bless!


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Do You Feel your Age?

I’m always amazed at how young I feel. Although my 62 year old body doesn’t always cooperate, mentally I’m about 35. I find myself confused a lot because my goals and plans are never in sync with my life-stage. I still can’t figure out how I’m old enough to have a 26 year old, even though most of my friends are grandparents. I struggle with work because my goals are those of a person whose whole career lies ahead while I’m on the declining end. And of course, I started grad school a couple years ago. Yep, I’m confused.

Mom is the same way. She still thinks she’s 50 and regularly threatens to drive to Kansas or Idaho or some other place she has friends. Of course, at 89 she barely makes it the bank or Bible study. She gets so frustrated that her body won’t cooperate with her mental age.

I ran across an article that suggests we aren’t unique. Paul Briand at Boomer Angst writes that his perceived age is a lot younger than his drivers license age. What about you? How old are you and how old do you feel?

Photo courtesy of

Labels: ,