Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pieces of Me

It happens to most everyone, not just to caregivers but anyone who is a caregiver can surely relate. You find yourself dividing yourself up into pieces to try and meet everybody's needs and discover that it's not working the way you expected. The equation isn't adding up. Lots of people are sandwiched in with kids at home they're still trying to raise and parents who are becoming increasingly dependent on them as well. Some are experiencing the joys of grandparenting while tending to the needs of their own parents at the same time. And then there's the pesky task of trying to keep hearth and home together and pleasing one's employer(s) added to the need to carve out even a tiny slice of a social life to keep a tenuous grip on your sanity. It can begin to look like an impossible task, an un-doable situation.

The most important thing to remember if you can't remember anything else when things start to look overwhelming is to slam the door on anything that resembles a guilt trip. Do not get on that train. Nobody can make you and the only person who can put you there is you. If you know in your heart that you have done what you can to meet the needs (read needs, not wants) of all the folks you feel responsible for then give yourself permission to move on to whatever's next and do everything possible to avoid falling into the traps and pitfalls that are lying in wait to swallow you up. Their priorities don't have to become your priorities. Avoid like the plague anything that smells like drama or blame or guilt. Life is short and God put you on this earth to be happy. Happiness does come from loving and caring for others and making other people happy. But it's like they tell you everytime you fly - you HAVE to put that oxygen mask on yourself first because you can't help anybody else if you're dead. There is joy to be found a thousand times a day if you look for it. Don't let anybody or anything block your view or cloud your vision. And they can only do that if you give them permission. Find the joy. And if you're having trouble finding it I highly recommend this book. It was recommended to me by my wonderful therapist and it changed my outlook 180 degrees. Happiness really IS an inside job, you're the only one with the power. Don't let anyone else try to make you think otherwise.


nana4cody said...

Thank you; I always forget that God DOES want me to be happy and that there IS a difference between "wants" and "needs" of others...I allow too may of each to be placed on my plate....and then just like being on a failing diet I tend to sit in the corner and rock and eat the junk for comfort....Good reminders here. Thanks Feedin' Mama!

Betsy said...

You're welcome Nana4. I think we already know this but sometimes it helps to have someone remind you that it's necessary to set some boundaries and it's okay to take the time to take care of YOU!