The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

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By Eileen McDargh - Monday, December 24, 2018

I have no clue who sent me this statement from Gregory Norbert, a Benedictine. I just found it in an old file. It grabbed my heart like ivy tenaciously clinging to a stucco wall. The words ring true and sweet and important at the close of a year filled with too much bitterness, division and rancor.  


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A Christmas Memory Worth Repeating

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, December 19, 2016

In going through an old file, I came across an article I wrote that won first place for the Christmas edition of the Orange County Register 34 years ago! How well I remember going out in the driveway and seeing my article as the wrap for the paper. Although years have passed, the essence of that story seems more pertinent than ever. May you enjoy. 


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Holiday Resiliency Helper: LAUGH!

By Eileen McDargh - Monday, December 22, 2014

Now into officially winter and the holiday season, you might have noticed that some folks are - well - grumpy. Seems like they are stressed over, well, little things. Makes it rather hard to be around. If you are the person people hide from, try taking this season as a challenge to lighten up even if the dinner tables might load you down. 


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Seasonal Stress Stretches Resiliency

By Eileen McDargh - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

But the holy family wasn’t expecting families from Boston, Oregon, and Los Angeles who would seek a bed as well as food. Maybe it was compounded by my laser printer dying and discovering, after I bought a replacement, that not all printers will work well with a MAC.

The anxiety level ratcheted upward when my I-phone then died and I discovered someone had hacked my user ID and password.  An hour’s worth of AppleCare finally fixed the problem but not before I found myself crying to the technician. Of course, I had already screamed at the switchboard for Hospice of the West because I needed help with my Mom. (Little did I know a nurse had come in the back door while I was waiting at the front door. I had to call back and apologize.) Few presents have been bought, ornaments remain in the garage eves, and I am definitely not a “jolly old soul”. Bet you have been there too! Time for me to take a dose of my own medicine.

Here’s the prescription I am taking: Give up the illusion of control. My “illusion” is that I can make it all better. I cannot. So the question becomes: of what of this can I control? I can move household items into boxes. I can clean other rooms of my house. I can learn how to eat with chopsticks. I can slow down before I pounce. I can relish whatever time I have with Mom and focus on the moment.

Ask for help. My neighbor has volunteered her home that will be empty over Christmas. My MAC buddies can give me advice about printers. (Duh-I should have asked them first. No, I “pounced”.) I will ask my relatives to wash their own dishes. Reframe the situation. As my husband says, “this will be an adventure.” He’s right. Who knows what lurks around the bend?  Why not ask what wonderful surprises there might be? Maybe we can make a game of “who can find the can of soup?”

Help someone else. When Mom is in a state that I can’t get her in a wheelchair to hear the music she loves, I will join the other residents and lead them in song. I did this and felt a wonderful peace in the process. It is about “doing what you can do”. I loved it. And from the looks on faces, they loved it to.

Be grateful. How can I forget this!  I have a roof over my head. I have an insurance policy. I have neighbors. I have a good place for Mom. I have loving caregivers. I have glorious family and friends. And yes, I can still sing. My hope for this season—amid the chaos—is that I might find it WONDER-FILLED and resilient in the end.


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