Amanda Lytle soars through the air on a Jetovator on Lake Kashagawigamog as she tries the machine for the first time. The water propelled craft can fly up to 25 feet in the air. ANGELICA INGRAM Staff

Jann Arden

By Lynda Shadbolt

This article is dedicated to you. You who looks after a parent a spouse a child a friend or if you are someone in need of a little cheer and inspiration. Or if you are someone who loves music or a good laugh.

We all need to be uplifted at times and if you need that I hope this article will give you one way. I am aware that there are many people around me who are giving a lot to help others and it can be hard and tiring. We must keep finding our own sources of inspiration and energy so that we don’t burn out. There are many ways of doing this. One person who I get inspiration from is Jann Arden.

I have been a big fan of hers for many years. She is a multi talented Canadian singer songwriter author actress storyteller and risk taker. I have followed her online in the news in her books and have laughed out loud and cried along with her. When she performs or is interviewed she is totally herself down to earth and honest about her life and about things that aren’t always easy.

She acknowledges that being human is hard work and that the whole point of living is to navigate relationships with all the people who touch her life every day. That is not always easy. Sometimes things are hard. Last week I watched her Christmas show on CTV which you can go online and watch. The show was called Jann Arden One Night Only. The program was beautiful and it might just inspire you if you decide to watch it. She sings four songs (with a really fantastic backup band) and her voice is beautiful and rich. One song is a Christmas song and you can hum along! I loved that but even more I loved the stories she shared about her life and about building a house next to her parents and caring for them as they aged. She acknowledged that it wasn’t always easy.

Her mother had Alzheimer’s and there were challenges and laughter as it progressed. Her stories made me think about my own mother-in-law who has Alzheimer’s. Betty who is 90 is the most delightful positive and determined person you will ever meet. Jann talked about how her mother said “the good thing about Alzheimer’s is that it made me forget to be afraid.” We have had that same experience with Betty. She fell and broke her hip last year and because she kept forgetting it happened she recovered quickly and easily. To this day she is running up and down the halls of the residence she lives in.

Jann talks about how hard it is to be a caregiver and at the same time wouldn’t trade the time or the experiences for anything. She acknowledges that looking after her parents made her a better person. And it wasn’t easy. None of it is easy. But it is what it is and we carry on. There are many ways of getting inspired and it is important to seek them out!