Monday, July 14, 2014

Want Something? The Universe Doesn't Care

Wouldn't it be great to think, picture and believe your way to a wonderful life? Being a science geek, it's easy to forget how popular that belief is, even among educated people. Call it The Secret, the law of attraction, positive thinking, or affirmations. I call it wishing for a no-effort solution; Richard Rumelt describes it aptly in Good Strategy, Bad Strategy:

But I do know that believing that rays come out of your head and change the physical world, and that by thinking only of success you can become a success, are forms of psychosis and cannot be recommended as approaches to management or strategy....Nevertheless, the doctrine that one can impose one's visions and desires on the world by the force of thought alone retains a powerful appeal to many people. 

This hit home lately because my mother is in the hospital and I have to take time off from work to be with my father since my nephew works afternoons and nights. My parents have an assistant and she's done a yeoman's work, but she has other clients besides them. I'm trying to get Dad into a nursing home, but given his needs, it's not easy to find a place. Since my parents' Medicaid application hasn't gone through yet, we're "Medicaid pending," meaning somebody has to pay full freight (around $3,000 per month) until the application is approved. Once it's approved, you get reimbursed.

No amount of positive thinking will make this go away. The buck stops here with me because it has to--there's no one else's lap to dump it in. Wishful thinking won't get Dad into a nursing home and the law of attraction hasn't turned up many people who want to deal with this.

Fantasize all you want, the universe doesn't care. Is someone supposed to jump at the chance to take on your responsibilities for bathing and cooking for Grandma just because you'd rather be backpacking in Thailand?

Affirmations aren't substitutes for difficult decisions. My parents could have taken action to make this easier for me: signing the application for Medicaid months ago when it looked like Dad might need to go to a nursing home, moving to a smaller place near my home (they'd have had more resources to deal with this), getting rid of things instead of accumulating more and fantasizing about needing rototillers and a garage full of power tools at the age of 80. The things could have been organized instead of thrown into piles. I used to have nightmares about dealing with all my parents' stuff. For whatever reason, a LC diet makes me sleep like the dead. I rarely have dreams anymore--a blessing.

To take such action, though, you have to answer unpleasant questions: what if neither of us could drive anymore? What if we can't take care of ourselves? What if somebody else has to deal with this? 


tess said...

rough times -- i'm sorry to hear you're having to go through this, Lori! best wishes to you all....

Lori Miller said...

Thanks, Tess.

Larcana said...

I feel your pain. Sory for the troubles.
We went through this with my Dad about two months ago, thankfully he was so ill they he died in Hospice care. I thankfully because he had a living will and didn't want tube feeding, etc. Mom knew this and had taken the legal precautions.
I miss him daily...but the whole event left us all thinking and doing upgrades to our wills and long term care policies.
Yes, no amount of wishing will make it go easier.

Lori Miller said...

Thanks, Larcana, and I'm sorry for your loss.

I'm at my parents' house, finding bills and important papers in random places. Both my parents may need to go somewhere.

Lowcarb team member said...

So sorry you're experiencing these troubles .....sending good thoughts your way.

All the best Jan

Lori Miller said...

Thank you, Jan.