I am Michelle Rea-Meredith owner of Now In Need LLC and welcome to our website. Please grab a cup of coffee and take a moment to digest everything we have to offer.
We here at Now In Need look forward to the days to come to bring you educational information, insight to new events and a listing of vetted referrals.
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I have several years of counseling, executive management, teaching, case management and more to share with my clients. I am also proud to share that I am a Certified Senior Advisor®. This certification requires ongoing education, which I hope to be an added benefit to those I serve.
Now In Need began as an idea several years back when I was an executive for a company. It was apparent to me back then that small business owners and other like professionals were struggling to find positive memory making time with their loved ones. I was certain, like myself, they could have used an extra set of hands, eyes, or ears. Some type of solution to help free up their time; so that they could be fully present in their loved one’s lives without giving up their career. Like others, I went on with life with a laptop on my lap and mobile in my hand at family functions and even at bedtime when trying to relax. They say that stress is a silent killer, killing seven people every two seconds worldwide. I am sure you can imagine if you do not escape from work or other life stressors from time to time, it will just consume any memory making time you do have to be with the ones you love.
In 2014, I certainly had wished that I would have taken the time in the past to be truly present at functions, engaged, and present in the moment I shared with my loved ones. I further wished I would have taken the time to make positive memories. Our memories are what we have left when our loved ones are gone. The stress of 2014 was so intense for me. When life called this time it was a punch to my heart. I just wanted the world to stop for a moment so I could catch up on my decision making and processing. I found balancing life, with work, family, etc. was a new level of stress, which upon my look back could have been reduced if only my husband and I had taken the time to preplan some areas of our life. If preplanning would have been considered, then no doubt the stress would have still been present, but it might have been just a tad bit better.
Let me explain, that punch to the heart some would say I could not have planned for, but in retrospect, we could have been what I call preplanners. No one plans on losing six loved ones in a year, with one being their spouse. When my late husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness stressed took on a new meaning not only for me but for the rest of the family to include the family pets. Not only was I not ready to hear my husband was going to die, but we had nothing preplanned for this type of life situation. We simply were not ready. We were not ready financially, spiritually, emotionally, or any other type of ready. We had no advance directives in place, funeral directives, and our wills were outdated. While juggling all that and trying to keep my husband calm and stress-free, we had other loved ones dying. At one point, I was between two different hospitals miles from each other. When I had a moment, I was doing research trying to be one step ahead of everything. In fact, I lost five additional loved ones that year, not including my husband.
How did I survive, you ask? Not sure exactly, but keep in mind I’m trying to keep my story short, so you know there is more drama to be shared. Nonetheless, I contribute my experience and education in allowing me to fight through. Each of my work roles has included some counseling, case management, social work, and advocacy for others. I have kept books of nearly every resource there was so that I could help others in need. I advocated for those that could not speak for themselves. So, when, 2014 came along, I just went on autopilot mode handling every situation that presented. The stress was real, but there was no time to stop and smell the roses. I just had to deal and continue to learn what I did not know. I was learning as I went. ☹
As I walked, with my loved ones that year, as they embarked on their end of life journey, I learned the importance of preplanning whether it for the unexpected life call, aging in place, funeral arrangements, etc., preplanning is just important. You know, you just don’t know what you don’t know until you don’t know it, which was often for me in 2014. Let me share that care navigation and management is a struggle in general, but it is ten times worse if you are unable to advocate for yourself and if you are not prepared. There are many options and resources out there to be sought, but options begin to deplete as time goes by.
I cannot change my 2014, but I can take the numerous life lessons I have learned and pass them along to you. I am reinventing myself starting as if I was 25 again in all aspects, but with a gold mine of experience to share. For instance, “Good times become great memories –Bad times become good lessons. You are only as good as your best advocate. If you know you are not your best advocate, then find someone that can advocate in your best interest and one that will relay your thoughts and feelings for you. Remember, it is not always a child or spouse best suited for the task. You must listen to your stress, make appropriate decisions like asking for help.
Maybe think about contacting Now In Need to be your solution finder, your extra set of hands, eyes, ears or even your voice. So you can make positive memory making first in your life. Your loved ones deserve all of you, and you owe it to yourself to reduce your stress in your life.