Thursday, September 6, 2012

NaBloPoMo Sept 6

I'm a day behind! My internet connection was wonky yesterday.

Today's question: Bob Marley asked: "Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?"  How would you answer him?

I feel like I've spent a big chunk of my adult life helping people. I raised two kids. After my Dad died, my Mom needed a lot of attention. I had a job doing home care for people with Alzheimers, dementia and a variety of physical illnesses. Some of my patients ended up being Hospice cases and I stayed with them through their final days.

When my kids were young, I was mostly a Stay-At-Home Mom. I was a Co-op Nursery School Mom, I taught 1st and 2nd graders at church and spent a lot of hours swimming in the car pool.

My brain was satisfied with the life I was living. Everyone told me I was blessed with a "caregiver gene". 
I wasn't making a difference on a global level, but the people in my life knew I cared about them.
On a local level, I  put in a few hours at a food pantry and the county volunteer services.

The only person I wasn't caring for was myself. I have Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia. I haven't experienced a day without pain since 1980. I finally ended up weeping at a therapist's office. She asked me to list all the people I take care of and pointed out to me that I wasn't even on the list.

Fast forward to Dec of 2010. I put myself on the top of the list. I quit working. I take care of myself. I'm 55 and my "caregiving" consists of making sure my husband and daughter have clean clothes. I pick up their prescriptions and cook (most days). Next week, my son is moving in with us and I'll have another person to take care of (He's in need of some mothering these days).

If I think about whether I'm making a difference in the world, I'm not satisfied.

I'm making a difference in the life of my family by being a better wife and mother. I have to be satisfied with that.

4 comments:

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

You are so dedicated to the people in your life--it inspires me!

smalltownme said...

I think you've made a difference by caring for yourself. That's good advice.

Cha Cha said...

You are making the world a better place. You are inspiring!

Jen on the Edge said...

That was probably a hard realization to come to. I'm glad you realized that you need to be first on your list.