Monday, October 19, 2015

When life gives you...Caregiving

I would dare say anyone signs up for this life. While many of us are military spouses or parents, we know well the worst case scenarios that might happen when our loved ones go off to war. But in reality, when the days, weeks, months, and years after the war and accidents have come and gone, many of us search for peace and joy in the smallest of things.

Maybe we didn't sign up for it, but we are Caregivers.

We are the wives, mothers, children, spouses, friends, and more who fill the gaps for our loved ones. We support them. We may be their eyes, ears, hands, companions, and chauffeurs. Often we wear the hat of cook and cleaner, master scheduler of the home, taxi driver for the kids, and accountant of our finances.

Life can suck us dry if we let it. Life throws hard punches and we fight back. How do we fight back? We advocate for our veteran...for the person we provide care for. We assist them in everything they need help with from dressing and dishing out medicine, to helping him or her be more independent.

So what can we do for ourselves when we feel like we are worn thin? We can take a long and steamy bath. Take a moment. Take two minutes to relax. Read a good book or sit outside and listen to the birds. Relish our cup of coffee with no interruptions.

Take Two

Today I can slice a lemon for my glass of water, savor the fresh, clean smell as I cut it, squeeze all the juice out that I can and add it to a pretty pitcher or glass. Enjoy it. Experience it. I could hastily run the tap quickly and guzzle a plastic cup full of aqua down, as I do frequently...or I can turn this everyday moment into a treat.

I can have my cup of coffee without interruption before everyone else wakes. I can bask in the almost
silence around me. I can experience the warmness from my hands holding the cup to the creamy liquid coursing down my throat as I enjoy the moment I am making for me....just me.

What's going on around you at this very moment?

Do you hear the dishwasher or the hum of the air conditioner? Do you hear chirping outside your window? Is the TV playing in a room close by? Is a child making noise or are cars zooming by within earshot?

Take a moment to ground yourself in the present. Be aware. Be mindful. Experience life and find some way to make the average extraordinary. Find a way to find peace and joy in your day....even if it only takes two minutes.

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