Serving Older Adults in Metro Atlanta Since 1980

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Lela Mae Dawson – Mary E. Crockett Service Award

This year’s recipient of the Mary E. Crockett Service Award was Lela Mae Dawson. This award was created in 2000 and named for our former employee Mary Crockett. Full time employees that have been employed for five years are eligible for this award and it is voted on by Personal Care employees with two years of employment. Lela Mae was extremely thankful to receive the award this year. She has been employed with Personal Care since 1999 and worked for a number of clients throughout the years. Lela’s loving attention and cooking abilities are always a big hit with her clients!

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Peta Gay Hampton Coleman – Anna Grace Green Founder’s Award

The Anna Grace Green award was created to recognize Personal Care’s Founder, Anna Grace Green. This award is a result of compliments from clients, family members, and office staff. Peta Gay was the hands down winner this year. Her flexibility has always been one of the things that the staffing office has appreciated about Peta. She will start a new case with very little information and go anywhere on short notice. Peta works nights and wasn’t planning on coming to the banquet but we sweet talked her and she even bought a new outfit. Her pleasant demeanor makes her a very sought after caregiver.

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Thirty-Five Years and Counting

Reflections of Two Owners

written by: Martha Clinckscales
Forty years ago, when I graduated from high school, my aunt and uncle gave me a beautiful volume of Archibald MacLeish’s writings. I gravitated toward his poem, L’An Trentiesme De Mon Eage, “The year of my thirtieth.”

While I was far from 30 then—light years when one is 18, what drew me to this poem and still does, is the beginning and ending verses of the stanzas of the poem:

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Race Across America

Written by: Danielle Grabol
Danielle Grabol

Danielle Grabol

Last June, in Oceanside, California, I stood on a pier gazing at a huge banner that read, “Race Across America: The world’s toughest bicycle race. 3000 miles coast-to-coast.” I was about to begin this arduous race, alongside my racing partner, fellow Atlantan Kacie Darden. We were the lone females racing in the two-person female team category. Our goal was to finish the race faster than any of the other two-female teams that had ever raced before us.
I became interested in this contest through my Ironman triathlon training, which has been part of my life for eight plus years. Ultra racing has satis ed a need in me for fitness, for mental and physical discipline, and for community. You might be surprised at the number of people who enjoy this level of physical challenge!

The journey to Oceanside began in July, 2012, when Kacie completed Race Across America (RAAM) as part of an eight-person team. She knew immediately upon finishing that she wanted to compete again. We started preparing for the 2013 RAAM race in August, which gave us eleven months of training. We both worked full-time jobs and balanced 25-30 hours a week of training. RAAM was much bigger than I initially realized it would be. With the awareness that this would be more work than we could handle ourselves, we quickly assembled our “crew” – eleven people that would be responsible for taking care of us during the race. The crew took a lot of the planning and logistics out of our hands.

While Kacie and I pedaled, they had meetings, booked flights, and swapped countless emails on our behalf. Around February, our training regimen ramped up. My personal life became a revolving circle of going to work, riding my bike, eating and sleeping. At times I felt completely overwhelmed when I thought about the race. This was the first time in my life that I would undertake something of this magnitude. My teammate was counting on me to stay injury-free and healthy.
In addition, Kacie and I added a fundraising commitment to our efforts. We asked friends, family, and sponsors to help
us raise funds for Camp Twin Lakes, a local organization that provides camping opportunities for children who face a variety of serious challenges [www.]. We hoped to raise money to support their programs, and this gave us increased incentive.
After months of training and preparation the big day finally arrived.

The race itself was more wonderful than I ever imagined. We traveled through 12 states, climbed 170,000 vertical feet (the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest three times), and saw parts of the country you would never know existed. At the same time, it was also the most difficult feat I have ever accomplished.

It was mentally exhausting. Combining personalities in close quarters was tough. The urgency and intimacy of the race wore on us and our team. The crew spent their time in 12-hour shifts, rotating between one van that followed one of the riders and another larger van. They got little sleep, dined mostly on gas store fast food or McDonalds, and had little time or facility for maintaining personal hygiene. We were all pretty raunchy after all the hours on the road!

I expected to learn a lot about myself on this ride. Interestingly enough, I learned about making room for others. Our crew members took time out of their personal lives to make Kacie’s and my dream a reality. They sacrificed themselves and did it with sustained goodwill. Our dream became their dream. They never gave up on us or the goal. It was because of their commitment to us that we made it, and we wouldn’t have made it without them. I learned about selflessness through their actions. Bonds were forged that will not be broken and memories were made that will last forever.

Eight days, two hours and 35 minutes after we left the pier in Oceanside, our team (named Power, Pedals, and Ponytails) arrived in Annapolis, Maryland.
We became the youngest two- person female team to finish and broke the existing time record by 14 hours. To say that we were elated would be an understatement. I felt totally overwhelmed with gratitude for the amazing crew that helped us get to the finish line and all our family and friends who supported us from day one.
I am often asked why I would want to willingly push myself to extreme physical and mental exhaustion in pursuit of a finisher’s medal. We live in a modern society where technology allows us to travel by plane, train or car – so why choose to pedal a bicycle? Riding a bike requires me to be totally present in the moment. There are no incoming text messages or emails to check. The path of least resistance doesn’t exist. I am present for myself, whether riding in solidarity or in community, and I am present to my surroundings. This physical and spiritual effort fulfills me. When I return to everyday life, I feel calm and satisfied. I enjoy simple comforts and the opportunity to rest.

Eckert Tolle, a renowned spiritual teacher, says negativity creates “more outer resistance, and the universe will not be on your side; life will not be
helpful. If the shutters are closed, sunlight cannot come in.” In other words, life – much like the RAAM race – has its ups and downs; hard times and good times. The power of perseverance, a positive mental attitude and living in the moment can serve us all well, especially in the face of illness, loss, or changes in one’s living environment. Striving for all this with the support of others makes it sweeter.

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Goal Setting

Goal setting is used by top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all elds. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life.

A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic. While there are plenty of variants (some of which we’ve included in parenthesis), SMART usually stands for:

• S – Specific (or Significant).
• M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
• A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
• R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
• T – Time-bound (or Trackable).

Take a deep look
Once you have written them down, take a deep look. Think about them. Are they realistic goals? Or are you spreading yourself too thin? My suggestion is to not set goals just for the sake of it. Whatever goals you have set write them down, make sure you have the strength, willingness and determination to achieve.
Make an action plan
So you have set goals, written them down and now you are all set to start working towards achieving them. First step – make an action plan. There could be more than one method to achieve a goal. Which one suits you? Decide on it.
Track progress
Extremely important. If you don’t track progress, you don’t get an idea if you are going the right way and if you would ever achieve it in the time frame you had set in your mind.
Involve others
It is always good to involve others in the process of setting and achieving goals. Take advice when necessary. And don’t be rigid. There are people out there who are better at this. Their suggestions are always valuable.
Welcome failure
If you learn to welcome failure and keep going, I think there’s nothing which can stop you from achieving your goals. I don’t know anyone
who had an absolute smooth run and became successful. Failure is an important part of the entire process. Welcome it. Learn from it.

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