For the past several months, I’ve been spending 12 to 14-hour days at a stretch, working. Right now, I am not exactly what you may call a model caregiver who makes time to take care of herself. But there are a few things I do that you too can do.
In fact, it’s not the hands-on caregiving that’s taking so much of my time. Instead, it’s the investment of time and effort I’ve made to be of greater service to you the family or professional caregiver.
Up until a month ago, I was writing ten 600-800 word columns each month for two websites. But lately, it’s been more difficult to keep up.
Like you, I want to do it all. I keep scheduling time in my calendar when I’ll be able to catch up with writing these columns.
But something always comes up.
With the winter’s seasonal rains and snows, we finally gave in and got a new roof. It’s not as easy as picking up the phone or ordering online. It takes time to talk with contractors to determine what is most appropriate for our home, then getting bids, choosing a quality installer, and finally, coping with the distraction of pounding, while crews are coming in and out of the house to use the bathroom.
Once life settled a bit (or so we thought), my sixteen-year old Miata convertible (long impractical for mountain living) broke down. While it awaits repair, I will be buying a new all-wheel-drive vehicle. Consider the time it takes to research which car to buy, price, then find a credible dealer only to learn day after day they couldn’t find the AWD car we need for the mountains. We finally ordered one. It’s being built for us by Ford.
Despite all of us being so busy, we still need to make time for family and friends. Sometimes, I think, this is why we have holidays, to set aside the whirlwind of tasks each day and make way for our family and friends.
With each day that passes, I know I have things left to do that aren’t getting done. Does this sound familiar?
Mind you, I’ve been working intensely long days as you do caring for your loved one or helping families.
During several stretches it got so bad I was at this computer for fourteen hours–not good for the back, hands, wrists, and kidneys (not getting up to go to the bathroom enough). My husband would come home from his long day at work and prepare food for me to eat (at the computer) and provide enough water so that I’d keep hydrated.
I often say: If something is bothering you, write about it. This way, you can get it outside of yourself and even get some help.
For the past several months, we’ve been working at completely upgrading TheCaregiversVoice.com to better serve caregivers of brain impaired adults.
Featuring a more interactive blog, a Health & Finance link, extensive Resources & Links and Community pages, plus more, we will be offering many exciting features to help you the family and professional caregiver while giving you a platform to share your tips, products, events and even contribute to our forthcoming book, Finding the JOY in Caregiving.
Like you, I’ve been intensely involved in my work.
To find balance, we must do several things–
- celebrate the achievement once we’ve completed the work. After almost twelve years (our archives indicate our initial web presence was in 1998), TheCaregiversVoice.com will celebrate with a formal launch in late April. The last time we had a launch, two cities’ mayors delivered proclamations during our event attended by over 100 family caregivers, professionals, politicians, and media.
- let go of the negatives. My husband often accused me of forgetting bad experiences. This is actually a good thing. Like a first pregnancy, I experience and endure the pain, pledge I’ll never do it again, and after the baby’s born (in this case TheCaregiversVoice.com rebirth), I’ll forget all the bad stuff and move on with the enthusiasm of a child.
- if you work hard then play hard. Nothing is worse than work, work, work. You certainly don’t want to work to death in this life. Although, I do work very hard, when it’s time for play, I enjoy my time off with the guilt-free pleasure of a child. Sometimes, it’s only an afternoon or as little as an hour. Other times, it’s the whole day or a week. Playtime is important to rejuvenating ourselves in order to work hard once more.