Caregiver service breeds self compassion

My caregiver journey began just as I was excited to experience an empty nest.  Both our sons were away at college.  Having been focused on motherhood for most of the last 20 years, I was committed to finding my “rest of life” purpose.  I hadn’t figured it out during the mommy years, so I was ready to spend one whole year devoted to figuring out who I was supposed to be for the rest of my life.

Life answered my intention of finding my purpose in a way that served my mom and me at the same time.  In this life, we may aim for what we want and where we are going but the best or most beneficial way of getting to our desired point may not be what we want.  Life gives us what we need for our highest journey.  As the Rolling Stones said. “…You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need…”

Excerpts from We You Me: Year One

Journal Entry: September 21, 2013

We are in a transitional phase. Both kids are in college, and my mother is living in our apartment next door. I’m trying to slide into a new life with Scott, but old responsibilities linger. We know what’s coming down the road, and we’re slowly preparing ourselves for the time when Mom will have to move in with us, and the apartment can return to a rent-producing property…

When it’s time to leave Mom alone for our trip to FSU, my dear neighbors Cec and Steve offered to help, but I don’t want to burden them, nor do I want them to see my mother in some embarrassing mess. They are so kind and considerate, but our family handles family problems privately. This is our family situation, and we will deal with it. It made me realize I will be dealing with freedom versus obligations in the near future, and I will need to face selfishness versus martyrdom. I do know that vodka and grapefruit is my favorite drink to lower my stress.

Looking Back: September 12, 2012, Journal Entry

As I sit alone choosing how to fill the day, I imagine the future one year from now and how different life will be. Sometimes I dream about going to a secluded place to reinvent myself and see who I become. I dream about going away and writing until something emerges from me. That really excites me.

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