Do You Have A History? or Do You Have A History?

I have worked in ElderCare for over 20 years.  It has always been about the people and I have appreciated it for that reason.

By ElderCare I mean the frail, the bed-bound, the demented, the dying.

A common theme I hear from families when they start enquiring about care is apology for the condition of their loved one.  “They used to be so busy, now they won’t even get out of bed”  “They used to be so much fun, now they are so nasty” “They used to take such good care of themselves, now it’s an argument to get them near a bath” are just a few of the lines I hear in any given month.

What I try to make these stressed family members realize is that they can bring us nothing we have not dealt with before.  Many of us in this line of work have been snapped at, argued with, sworn at, even injured.  That’s not the nature of the work!  Most of our residents are loving, appreciative, funny, caring people.  Even those that act out also have sweet sides.

The biggest advantage for those of us who work in care is that we have no history with any of our residents.

  • If they used to be funny or witty we didn’t know them then.  We only know who they are now.
  • If they used to have brilliant minds we didn’t know them then.  We only know who they are now.
  • If they used to be fashionistas we didn’t know them then.  We only know who they are now.

Do you see where I am going with this?  We have no history with any of our residents, so we have no expectations of them.  We accept who they are today, with the needs they have today, and we know nothing different.  We don’t expect them to wrap an arm around us and share a witticism like they used to do; we don’t expect them to greet us with an explanation of the meteor shower we experienced last night like they used to do; we don’t expect them to jump into the shower and then put on a trendy new outfit like they used to do. 

We accept who they are now. 

This means there is no frustration with lack of cooperation – we don’t know they were always agreeable.  This means we do not take offense when they say something nasty – we don’t know they used to loving and affectionate.  We don’t mind that we need to wipe their chin after every mouthful of lunch – we don’t know that they used to host exclusive dinner parties with the local elite.

Well, you know I am going to relate this back to business sooner or later!

Getting started in an on-line business can be very similar.

Your history does not need to affect the success you want today. 

If you used to be hurtful but have learned some life lessons that have made you a better person; if you used to be a cynic but have experienced something astounding and changed your perception of life; if you were negative but have met an amazing person who showed you a better way; or if you lost weight, survived a heart attack, rallied after a tragedy… your reader knows none of this, only who are today.  Because they do not know your history, they do not have pre-conceptions about you.  If you share your version of your past, they will see it the way you do and be interested in your growth, or how you handled adversity.

Your reader will only be interested in who you are today and what you can teach them about what they want to learn, or be, or attain.

The other side of this on-line space is that even the traits you currently have that speak negatively to you will be a plus for your readership. 

  • If you have had to work really hard to learn something, your audience will feel hope that they can too. 
  • If you have a “compromise” of some sort like a stutter, an obvious birthmark, an inherited physical trait that you feel might be a detriment, there are people out there who are relieved to see that you are one of them and that you have become successful – they will feel hope that they can too.
  • If you struggle with your size in any direction, there are people who want to hear how you deal with it so they can feel hope that can succeed like you have.

My mentor reminds us regularly that we have a “duty” to succeed.

If your success could positively impact the life of just one other person, would it be worthwhile?  I say Yes.

You just don’t know who is out there struggling with an issue you have found a way through.  They need you to succeed so they can have hope for success also.

So, just in time for weekend, you have a duty to go and be successful in your business.  Someone is looking for you, and needs you.

The thought can be one of those Yikes! moments, can’t it?

To your success!!



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15 Responses to Do You Have A History? or Do You Have A History?

  • Another great analogy from you, Agnes. Yikes! Elder care! You are my hero. I could never do that. I was the only child of older parents and had a very tough time dealing with elder issues. Thank God for people like you!
    Marty Simons recently posted…Blogging, Controversy, and US SchoolsMy Profile

  • It’s hard to recognise that we have faults – I was always brought up to think that we never show our weaknesses.
    To use them to our benefit is a much healthier way of dealing with them for sure.
    Lorraine McNulty recently posted…How To Backup WordPress.My Profile

  • This is so true Agnes. We can get wrapped up in negative self talk, thinking that we are not good enough or don’t know enough. We tend to forget that our readers don’t know anything about us except what we tell them.
    Helen Willsher recently posted…6 Essential Skills For Personal AchievementMy Profile

  • I really needed to hear this. It has helped me with a conflict going on in my head.
    Tami @ This Mom’s Delight recently posted…Why Following Somebody Else’s Plan Doesn’t WorkMy Profile

  • This is a great post and loved how you connected business to your story and your words ring out so true.
    Merle recently posted…Tips For Email Marketing to Leads and ProspectsMy Profile

  • Great post particularly this quote:

    “If your success could positively impact the life of just one other person, would it be worthwhile? I say Yes.”

    That is why I blog 🙂
    Evey recently posted…5 Favorite Healthy SnacksMy Profile

  • WOW Agnes!! Very thought provoking article. I enjoyed reading it.
    I know what it is like to be in a position to influence others. Good reminder to shine where I am right now, because I never know who is waiting on that glimmer of light to brighten their world.
    Thanks for sharing this very inspiring piece.
    Princess Shimari recently posted…PLANT-BASED OILS for Healthy Skin Care (Part 1)My Profile

  • Excellent article on elder care! I hear you saying that it’s so much easier to care for an elder that you didn’t know prior to them needing your care. That makes so much sense.

    I have a friend suffering from depression right now ever since her mother moved in, who has Alzheimer’s. It’s quite debilitating for the caregiver, perhaps even more so, than for the one receiving care.

    I’ve greatly enjoyed reading articles from your site here, Agnes – thanks so much for sharing your experience and knowledge with us!
    Susan Schiller recently posted…“On the Way Home”My Profile

    • I’m not sure if there would be anything to help your friend but I have another (somewhat neglected these days) site: Sometimes even reading other’s experiences make you feel less alone. Caregiver supports are vital, I hope your friend can find some!

  • When my grandmother became ill due to cancer, I stopped going to see her. I was young, 16 years old, and it was heart wrenching to see her in her condition. I had a difficult time handling it because she wasn’t the person I used to know.

    I see how someone brand new can come into the life of an elderly person, and just get along perfectly. I don’t think it’s something I could handle because I’m such an emotional person. Thank you for sharing this story Agnes.
    Keri Kight recently posted…3 Reasons that You Haven’t Achieved Your GoalsMy Profile

    • Keri, I think often working with the frail elderly is a product of age… I felt the same as you when I was young. But now I live in awe of the lives they have lived, the stories they can tell, and the acceptance of life they have. My “elders” are a gift in my life.

  • My thought went to my wonderful grand mother and how she aged. I think those explanations is more to comfort ourselves as some one we loved dearly and meant so much to us, looked so beautiful, taught us so much, was such a role model has vanished into a complete stranger.

    My eyes get teary just thinking of her last two years…
    Stella Scott recently posted…I Don’t Want To Be A Digital Nomad, I Want To Be Free!My Profile

  • Hey Agnes

    I think we all have history.. some good some bad.

    Sharing ideas and suggestions is good.. after all that’s what we do best right?
    WILLIAM O’TOOLE recently posted…Why do you feel so crap?My Profile

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