I am very excited to share this with you:  See Through Stories

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You see, I’ve had several life ties to Alzheimer’s disease: personal (my grandma was diagnosed), professional (I worked as a CNA on an dementia unit), and academic (this was my research topic for my dissertation). In grad school I had this idea to start a story-telling project with people diagnosed early onset and well… I ACTUALLY MADE THE IDEA HAPPEN. Or got it started, anyway. And that’s the hardest part, right?

This has been slowly growing over the last few months and today I am officially launching the website for See Through Stories. There are only two features so far, but I’m hoping that all of you will help me spread the word so I can make connections to more people interested in taking part. I think if there can be anything beautiful about having dementia, it might be that it forces people to live fully present in the moment. I think we could all learn a little from that.

I don’t know if this will last one year or 50 years. I don’t know if this will stay a project or become and organization. I don’t know if this will just feature people where I live or if I’ll be fortunate enough to hear the stories of people with dementia all over the globe. I don’t know if I’ll work solo or if I’ll be lucky enough to form a dream team. There’s a lot I don’t know.

It’s new. It’s figuring itself out. I’m going to be patient and present with it. No matter what it becomes or doesn’t become, I’m proud of myself for at least seeing the idea through. And I expect that I’ll enjoy every bit of the work immensely because it has me all like: damn, people are beautiful.



Extra special thanks to:

The Alzheimer’s Association in Des Moines for connecting me to the wonderful people I’ve interviewed so far // My family, for literally everything // Ryan, who helped get this off the ground from every technical standpoint and was my brainstorming partner// Sarah, Rachel, and Lewis for consistently insisting I must do this, from the very beginning // Andrew, for being my sounding board.



I’m a task master. If you ask me to do something, my inclination is to immediately do it. I suppose in some ways this is admirable, but I notice that it keeps me from arranging my day most efficiently. In the middle of one task, I think of a different one and suddenly that one seems more important (even if it’s not). So, then I switch tasks and I repeat this several times a day. Operating this way can make me feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

I had a discussion with my boss about this and we began printing off The Storyline Productivity Schedule and filling it out together each day. This has revolutionized the way my workday goes. Before I even check my email, I have ranked my most important tasks and implemented tiny rewards for each, written down my to-dos, meditated on what obstacles the day might hold, figured out which appointments I have, and given some thought to the things I get to enjoy that day. It makes me feel empowered and opportunistic.

Here are some things that make Storyline different:

-It forces you to work on your most important projects first.

-It forces you to focus on only three important projects per day.

-It reminds you each day of your life theme, so you have a decision filter.

-It kills of mental bugs that cause procrastination.

-It limits the number of appointments you take.

-It builds in rest and reward so your mind recharges and is capable of working harder in the long run.

-It allows open ended work sessions, so the clock works for you rather than you working for the clock.

I love, love, love it.

Give her a try.

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