a little exercise


we did a very sobering exercise in my cna class today that i think everyone should do. however, it could be triggering emotionally for some people, so please do not participate if you are feeling emotionally unstable, or aren’t ready to shed a few tears.

take a sheet of paper, and tear it into ten pieces.

on two pieces, write down your two favorite hobbies. writing. spending time with siblings.

on the next two, your two favorite possessions. alphasmart. doll from grandpa.

put down your two favorite memories on the next two. underground house. manhattan 2011.

next is your favorite people. put two down. sister #1. sister #2.

for your last two sheets of paper, write down your two favorite places. new york. ponte vedra beach.

put a bowl in front of you, and prepare your pieces of paper.

this is your life. these are the most important things to you, the things that drive you. now, let’s say you go blind; put anything in the bowl that you can no longer keep, or use.

alphasmart isn’t braille-enabled.

because of a medication your doctors put you on, you have a stroke. your left side of your body is almost paralyzed, and you are in a wheelchair. put what that causes you to lose in the bowl.


one of your favorite people die. put their name in the bowl.

sister #1

you are diagnosed with alzheimers, and you forget the other person. put their name in the bowl.

sister #2

you get put in a nursing home because your condition has detoriated that much. you can’t remember your own name. put what you lose in the bowl.

memories of underground house and manhattan. ability to travel to nyc and ponte vedra beach.

in these short steps, i am left with my doll and time with my remaining siblings. of course, if i don’t have my mind, those things are useless to me.

it really makes you think about what the elderly go through all the time, and how depressed or sad they can be. it is frightening. i do not want to lose the things i hold so dearly. it is very scary, if you let yourself dwell (don’t).

how lucky we are to be alive, healthy, and to have the things we do, even if those things are as simple as our minds.



4 Responses to “a little exercise”

  1. That’s a good reminder to be grateful for what we have and compassionate towards the elderly and disabled people.

  2. It definitely helps to think about for the elderly and those unable to enjoy the things they held most dear…Diane

  3. we are blessed. 🙂

  4. This was an incredible post and so true. What’s interesting is that until you, yourself are there, you really can’t understand it. As you get older, the losses are so much larger and your ability to control and recover from them is terribly limited. This is the first thing I’ve ever found that gives those under 60 a glimpse of how dramatically life changes. And our society is ill-equiped/prepared to deal with it. Thank you for sharing this.

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