Who’s Behind Care-Aware?



Okay, so presumably you’re the curious sort, if you clicked on this.  I guess that’s a good thing, when it comes to awareness, ’cause it probably means you’re interested and like to learn things.  Then again, I suppose you could just be the snoopy sort …but that would only hold true if I hadn’t posted this within plain view on the worldwide web, right? 😉

I’ve realized (granted, like too many other things, it took forever for me to perceive the obvious, as I’m the one who needs awareness the most, ironically) that it might be a bit impersonal and off-putting or perhaps even confusing to never say anything about myself, here.  For all I know, you could think that Care-Aware’s either some for-profit company (or even a NPO/NGO or other business), that it’s done by a group of people (nope, just me) or that I’m a guy (people have said as much, before; and while I’m semi-tempted to let them just keep assuming so, nope: I’m a woman). There.  All cleared up?

Well, then, a bit of background on me: I grew up in an average-sized average sort of family, and have a pretty large extended family.  Our roots are mostly mono-cultural, ‘though we’ve begun (between marriages, careers and adoptions) to resemble more of a United Nations, in the last couple generations, which now includes members who are either from, living in or have lived/worked in pretty much every livable continent on the globe.

I’ve lived in a number of different communities/states (actual ones, as well as my long-term residence in the state of obliviousness), and have either traveled to or through most of America and at least a couple of other countries.

I’ve accumulated the usual familial titles (daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister, wife, mom…), along with a handful of various job-related ones.

I’m college-educated, with a life-long love of learning. I’m bi-brainal (okay, maybe that’s not a word, but I’m adding it to my computer’s dictionary, right now, anyway): In other words, I’m both left- and right-brained (though I might have to Google those, in order to remember which goes with what).  Which sounds great, but I’m probably not using a whole lot of it, at any one particular time.  It does, however, at least cover both the “care” and “aware” sides, for doing this-all.

Between myself and my family/extended-family, there’s a whole host of occupations which I’d imagine is reflective of a cross-section of Americans: From employees to entrepreneurs and everyday-employees of all sorts, farmers and gardeners, homemakers and housekeepers, students and teachers, truckers and pilots, techies and factory workers, clerks and clerics, mechanics, managers and maintenance-workers, low-on-the-ladder lads/lasses and corporate CEO-types, public servants, military personnel and veterans and vets, bankers and builders, writers, musicians and artists, health care workers and patients with various health problems and/or disabilities, and running the gamut of those with life-long careers, the job-nomads and the unemployed …and much more (I’m sure I don’t really know: when you have surplus cousins, you can tend to lose track). I’ve gotten to know about the various pros and cons of many occupations, and have learned some things (hopefully) from my own and others’ experiences and stories, within them.

Both in real life and virtual (I’ve spent more than 7 years, now, learning about the lives of people dealing with various health and other issues of their kids or their own, online, and getting to know them, personally; and I’ve also spent several years on Twitter, where I’ve learned more about global health and human rights issues, as well), I’ve become aware of some eye-opening realities, in addition to helpful health tips and interesting trivia of assorted sorts.

I fell into the health-awareness gig which became Care-Aware after I began following the blog of a family with a sick kid I’d never met (it was a 6-degrees of separation sort of thing: someone I knew mentioned someone who knew someone who knew someone who knew someone who’d heard about… well, you-know how that goes), which quickly led to a host of other webpages/blogs as well (there’s a bit more about the Care-Aware back-story here, on the Care-Aware Wellness Facebook page).  Eventually, my own growing awareness compelled me to want to help the people I’d come to know, there, spread awareness outside of their own families and illness-support communities.  Plus, I had to make my learning more concrete somehow, or I’d might forget it.  In other words, I’m also using you-all to further my own education.

In case you haven’t noticed, yet, I’ve also developed a quirky interest in odd observances and holidays, in addition to trying to keep track of awareness events (I suppose it’s sort of a natural off-shoot of landing on dozens of calendars while surfing for info about the awareness days/weeks/months …or at least natural-for-someone-with-a-quirky-side?).  I feel that the former helps balance the latter out, and also helps attract other people to the awareness-web which they otherwise may have no reason to be in …where we can then lure them into learning more about it-all and becoming cause-junkies, too.  I try to be transparent when I’m intentionally manipulating you for the sake of a good cause; can you tell?

I have lots of interests, but am master (or mistress? …somehow that doesn’t sound copacetic to put it that way, despite the gender-accuracy) of none.

I’m basically a pseudo-nerd superimposed over a total ditz …or probably visa-versa, actually (or …wait… not sure …my head’s spinning now, just trying to figure it out).  Think “absentminded professor” …sans the actual-professor …which just mostly leaves the “sans” unfortunately.  I tend to be oblivious; but once I get the big picture about something, it’s indelible. It took me most of my life to realize just how many people I’d come to know over the years (both in childhood and adulthood) who were dealing with one health issue, personal challenge or societal situation or another, because they were just themselves (i.e. the people they are) to me. I still see them as people, first (which I think is a good thing); but I’ve also become much more aware of how those things affect them (which I think is even better, for all of us).
Yes, despite how this section is shaping up, I can be serious.  Very.  No, I’m not generally the talk-your-ear-off chatty type though, either, surprisingly.
I’ve gotten to know (either online &/or off) people/families/communities who’ve been affected by childhood cancers, birth/heart defects (CF, CP, CHD, CDH, spina bifida…), heart disease, adult cancers, diabetes, arthritis, lung diseases (COPD, asthma, emphysema…), various autoimmune diseases, rare diseases, disabilities, abuse, addictions, domestic violence, injuries, surgeries and a host of other specific ones I can’t think of at the moment.  I’ve also been either a temporary or long-term caregiver for kids, pets and grown-ups, at various times (and occasionally all at once).  I’ve learned a smattering here and there about alternative/complementary treatments and nutrition.

My family (‘though reasonably intelligent and educated, themselves) is largely awareness-adverse (at least coming from me?), so rather than assault them with continuous strings of unsolicited facts and insights, I post them here and the various Care-Aware social media sites.  At least you have a choice about whether you want to hear/read it-all, right? It’s win-win-win, this way, I figure.

In case you’re starting to think I must be getting up there, in age (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I’d like to add that ‘though I’m definitely into my “anniversaries of 29” I’m not that old (although I would have to say I’ve  lived rather a compressed/”zip-file” sort of life, experience-wise, while simultaneously being relatively-ordinary).

I usually don’t talk about me much, here on Care-Aware, and prefer to remain largely-anonymous. I could site sundry reasons for that, from the personal to the spiritual, but the main one is because I’m not here to spread awareness about me, and want the attention to remain on the causes and issues; plus, it’s also only appropriate, isn’t it, to try to remain aware of any of my own ego issues which could crop up, and keep them in check (although I suppose those of us who have them rarely become aware of those without others pointing them out)?  I do this little awareness project on a volunteer basis.  Lest you think I’m some sort of saint or something for volunteering my time, you should know it’s really self-serving, in many ways:  I get to learn tons of stuff, get to know more people and make new friends, stay out of trouble I might otherwise have the extra free-time to possibly seek out, create a community of combined causes, add to my purpose-in-life, gain greater perspective, and am presumably happier and healthier (gratitude helps us be happier, and 2 hours of volunteering per week has health benefits, don’t you know?), for starters.

It’s a bit of a 1-woman band juggling act in here.  I drop a lot of balls: My schedule/availability varies, and my brain typically refuses to remain in working-mode beyond actual-work hours …and occasionally takes a “vacay” even-then (shh: don’t tell anyone; I usually cover for it pretty well). I do my best to aim for accuracy (and generally check facts/links, etc.), but there are bound to be errors afoot.  My apologies.  Let’s just call them “spirit marks” (as the Navajo people are wont to include, when they’re weaving blankets). Hopefully they’re benign, and you’ll double-check anything important (feel free to let me know).  That reminds me:  I’ve meant to put up a list of Care-Aware FAQ’s, sometime …okay, it’s been on the list for a really long time (hmm: should I opt for cloning, better time-management or delegating?). This last part actually should go there, rather than here.  Oh, well.

I have a tendency to go for alliterations and puns. I also have a pretty weird sense of humor. I blame my relatives, for those (as well as for assorted other things …what, isn’t that what they’re there for?).  Hopefully, the nature of this (Care-Aware) format will keep those in check, though (my aforementioned tendencies, not my relatives); but consider yourself warned, nonetheless: They could make you sick(er); and/or the potential intercultural misunderstandings could be disastrous for global relations and world peace.  So sorry, World!

Oh, and in case it isn’t brutally obvious by now, I’m also long-winded and horrible at editing-down (at least, I am when I write).  Twitter has helped some, but yeah: obviously not enough!  Don’t get me started on my many other flaws: They’re legion.  I doubt I’d finish expounding on them before the word-police stopped me (by the way, are there post-length limits on Word-Press? …those Facebook-page limits are killing me, ‘though perhaps that’s just the scheduling-client/Hoot Suite app (or is it a Facebook “page” vs regular-account thing?).  Yes, I often digress. Often.

Okay, wrapping up, now: My online friends call me either Carrie or Squishy (the latter nickname was bestowed upon me by Melinda Marchiano), and you’re welcome to do so, too!

There. Hopefully that’s TMI already, and you’ve clicked-away (screaming?) before you even got this far.  No?  Oh dear.  Well, thanks for killing the time.  But, more-so, thanks for coming to Care-Aware and considering helping to spread awareness, with me, for the oh-so-many kids, adults, families, animals, organizations and causes who need us to!





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