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I have tried prayer and meditation, exercise, reading. Massage helps but it is $$$. No one helps me with my dad and I thank God he is not an angry dementia victim. Has anyone found anything really special that works?

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I also go the the local massage school, and you can get cheap facials at the beauty school!
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I read alot, and used to watch alot of DVDs Now I am just happy to go to the rec room and watch ONE !!! I watch all the TV shows I missed, and historical mini series.. this is my escape!
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P.S. If you go to youtube, you can see lots of pickeball videos.
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Ugh I had a whole answer typed and hit some combo of keys and lost it. Second time I've done that today. :(

Pickleball is like tennis for old people. It's played on a smaller court with paddles and balls with holes (like wiffle balls) and a low net like tennis. Usually you play doubles, so less running around. A lot of former tennis or racquetball players switch to pickleball. I regularly play with two 80 year olds and one 86-year old women! I also play with a lot of folks with new knees or hips.

It's fun and competitive and a great way to meet people and get some exercise. The Villages in FL have 100 pickleball courts and there are lines at 8 AM to start playing. Park districts offer classes and open play time for people over 40 or 50. Check it out if you're looking for a super fun way to get some exercise!
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When I can't travel, I love watching Rick Steve's travel videos and seeing places that I've never thought of! I also find books on CD to be a good way to feel like I'm accomplishing something on long drives to and from mom's NH (90 minutes each way when there is no traffic). I "treat" myself to an hour's worth of browsing at Goodwill each week; it's truly amazing the little things I find there and how happy finding a great book for a buck, a neat CD for $2 or a dress for $5 make me feel. And this going to sound a little nuts, but I gave blood last weekend and that made me feel spectacular!
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I'm almost afraid to ask; what's pickleball?
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For me? It's cooking and my home. #1 -- The cooking part is sooo ironic. I have a taste disorder and inability to taste foods. I taste very sweet -- and spicy. We eat a lot of spaghetti, chili, and sweet/sour foods at our house. I should buy stock in the company that makes Sriracha sauce. Mom, who's lived with us for a year, is restricted to a very low-salt diet. So the challenge is, make it taste good, even though I can't taste it -- without much salt -- three meals a day. Bliss, I tell you!!

#2 -- my home. Yesterday, I cleaned the fridge (one of those fancy French Door ones with the pull-out freezer and large pull-out drawers. Then I fled into the bathroom and cleaned out all of the cabinets. Yesterday was bliss!! Today it's my closet/clothes; next week it's re-organizing mom's room with some new Container Store shelving; after that, it's organizing the attached garage.

Then I have some baseboards to paint. A corner cabinet of treasures to sparklify. A will to update. I have POA's for myself to place at my financial institutions. Mom's house sale. Her bills and ours to pay. Oh, my God! The list is endless. And I love every one of my chores . . . or . . . I don't do them. ;)

I'm a bloom-where-you're-planted kind of gal. Obviously! Others might say, "Maggie!!!! Get.A.Life!!!!" But for me, it works.

Even this site (which I just recently found) contributes to my peace of mind. Keeping my brain busy is essential to my well-being. If I don't have something concrete to "chew on" -- I'll chew on "Poor Little Old Me" candy and drive myself insane.

To sum it up, we all have our own bliss . . . the place(s) we can go in our heads that bring us peace. Maybe it's gardening, cooking, internet forums, cleaning, organizing, writing short stories about our lives, refinishing furniture, planning a garage sale, reading, poking around online, sewing, crafting. OMG!! So much to do, so little time. ;)

Keep searching until you find yours.
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duh. I found a few good suggestions from a recent question from a CG about electricity going through her body. mindfulness, ah something new to try
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I get massages from students at our local junior college in their massage therapy program. It's cheaper than normal (about half the cost of a regular massage) and I enjoy helping students practice their massage skills. The other nice thing is they can't accept tips, since they're not yet licensed. Which is even better!! :)

The biggest thing I've found is exercise that is fun and physically exhausting. For me, that's pickleball. I've met a ton of nice people (mostly women). There's a sports camaraderie with us and I love the friendly competition. When I'm done playing, I feel joyful. That's a feeling that had escaped me for years. This has enabled me to rediscover my "inner athlete" which is spiritually satisfying and emotionally calming. So keep experimenting with different modalities until something clicks. Hugs...
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Your profile says that your dad lives in a nursing home. Is that still correct?
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