Part of my life for the past two and one half years has been that of caregiver to my mom, aged 91. Major cardiac issues required a four month hospitalization and rehab in two different states and a move from the area she called home for 70 years. I did not have to think twice about stepping up and stepping in to help mom get back on her feet and I have not regretted it.
In addition to my role as a caregiver, I am also a husband, a dad, and a pastor. So this time of year with the Advent/Christmas events and services that are part of the congregation I serve, the time pressure increases.
But this year, I decided to say…
No to additional responsibilities and opportunities that come only this time of year.
No to embracing an attitude of “I have to do it all, no one will help me…” and allowing others to grow in their leadership and service skills
No to more caffeine (Still working on that one but I have cut back on my caffeine intake and it has made a difference)
But while saying ‘No’ is good for us, saying ‘Yes’ to other things is also important…
Things such as…
Taking, no wait,…. MAKING time for yourself Who said we have to run around this time of year like an animated Tasmanian Devil?
Simply sit down and rest. Get out your favorite tea, coffee, or hot chocolate drink and sit down and rest! Read a book! (Look for my post My Top 12 Reads of 2015 on this site and if one catches your attention, buy a copy and enjoy a good book!)
Meditate/pray Slow down the anxious thoughts and relax
Let your pet love on you. (Even when typing a blog post!)
Turn off the TV, step back from your social media stream for a bit, allow silence to be a friend
This time of year in my community, a small town of just under 10,000, our local high school puts on musical. Now while My wife and I are there because our youngest is in it I know that there are caregivers present at the performances. Our parks and recreation department does a wonderful Christmas Card Display that is lit up in the evenings. For a donation, you can see some great artwork from a diverse group of clubs, churches, child care facilities, school groups and community groups from the comfort (and warmth) of your vehicle. Find something fun to go to.
Caregiving is hard at times but…
life does not have to be put on hold and saying ‘No’ is one way that we can say “Yes” to living giving and renewing events that will help us not just be better caregivers but better human beings!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!