Not long ago, I had one of those NPR driveway moments… I had been in my car listening to a story on the radio and, though I’d arrived home, I sat in my car until the piece was over because it was so compelling. Robin Young of the program, Here & Now on NPR affiliate, WBUR, was interviewing MJ Ryan, a healthcare administrator from Rhode Island.
MJ’s 90-year old mother, Theresa, had been living at a senior living center and, due to Covid-19, was unable to welcome visitors. And, because Theresa suffered from dementia, virtual video visits were nearly impossible. Not seeing her mother for months at a time and knowing that Theresa’s health was rapidly deteriorating from aggressive heart disease, MJ decided to take matters into her own hands.
In the story, MJ recalled a favorite expression of her mother’s: There’s always an alternative way.
Her creative mind got to work. When she heard about a Florida woman taking a job at her husband’s care facility, MJ contacted the Friendly Home, Theresa’s care facility, to inquire about opportunities. She found one – in the laundry room. So, in addition to her full-time position with a health system, MJ took a side gig for which she washed linens, delivered them to rooms and visited with residents, including her own mom.
The experience was enriching for MJ, for Theresa, and for the other residents. And, though being a laundress is hard work, even upon her mother’s eventual passing, MJ maintained the position so she could help care for other people’s family members while they were separated from their loved ones. Win-Win-Win-Win.
Are you struggling with a situation in your life? Feeling like there are no solutions? Give yourself a moment to think outside the box. Consider alternatives that you may not have before. Engage friends, family and colleagues in seeking creative ways to address your needs. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Have story about your own experience addressing a challenge? Have one for which you would like help? Perhaps you have some tips to share about ways to identifying solutions. Please take a moment to leave a comment at blog.coffeelunchcoffee.com.