What am I thinking?
Just now, my thoughts are jumping around.
Like a bag of marbles dropped on a stone floor, they bounce around, knock into each other, scatter, and then lie still in little groups or pools.
Until someone disturbs them and sets up another knock and scatter, and they settle again, in a different pattern.
I remember playing marbles at school, ooh probably aged ten. Rolling them across the rough playground asphalt, trying to knock the others out. Winning. Losing. Beautiful roughly round glass baubles, with curious star shaped colour within.
Did we disturb the marbles?
Well I kicked mine around a bit.
Stepped away from chairing two groups.
Started a local project to establish a dozen DEEP peer groups around Shropshire.
Started a research project about how much Admiral Nurses and DEEP groups know about each other.
Re-launched and co-chairing our Shropshire and Telford Dementia Steering Group.
Continued to co-chair Dementia UK’s LEAP group of people with dementia and family carers.
Hassled the local acute NHS Trust to start implementing the Dementia Friendly Hospital Charter.
Joined their new Equality and Diversity User Group.
Hassled the local community health NHS Trust to restart a dementia steering group.
Blogged, tweeted, spoke…
And every one of these activities brought me together with wonderful people who are a delight to work with.
Their marbles sparkle!
My collisions with them set off cosmic sparks of pleasure and inspiration.
Together we are more.
And together we will achieve more.
And that is why I do these things.
I am no more special than anyone else.
My comrades in Riversiders DEEP group are all special. And they have grown their voices, and their passion to see change. And they too are hell raisers.
The election campaign is now done.
Christmas is near, and then…
More flicking and kicking around marbles.
Nothing from the new government about restoring cuts to social care. Just a vague commitment to work with other parties to find a solution.
Another one! We already have Dilnott. Do it! Don’t dilly dally again.
Nothing about dementia care. Or preventing postcodery.
The extra funding for the NHS is welcome and overdue, but a lot will disappear into historic budget black holes and repairs.
It’ll take years to recruit and train more nurses and doctors…and let’s not forget the extra allied health professionals we need too…Physios, OTs, Speech and Language, Pharmacists, Radiographers…
And social prescribing ‘agents’. In all GP surgeries.
We will all keep firing off marbles and sparking fires.
For me it will be more local than national. And social media.
Raising hell. Lighting fires. Fanning flames.
Making people talk about people living with dementia and carers.
Making those who hold funds and make decisions account for what they choose…because choices they are. And making choices for us is their (well paid) job.
Holding their feet to the fires.
Invest to save. Prevent high cost treatments and admissions. Keep people where they want to live, their chosen home.
Give better quality of life. Wellbeing.
So let’s rest for a couple of weeks. Be in the moment. Get outside to the park, or the hills, the woods or the fields. Remember the beauty and tranquility of the natural environment. Treasure it. Lock it in your hearts and minds for the coming months.
Do what makes you smile, inside and out.
And good luck to all of us in 2020.
Happy new year.