In the past few weeks, I have been lost in a whirlwind of activities. Very important activities, yet the feelings of frustration, depression (anger turned inward), along with other negative emotions have haunted me. But first, let’s back up a bit.
I see myself as a very responsible and goal oriented person. As long as I can clarify what I want and set goals for myself, I can move forward with intensity and purpose. If I can’t do those two things I feel lost at sea without my compass.
In December of every year, I like to look back at the waning year and evaluate my progress. Looking back on 2009, I felt I had some triumphs. I, also, had things that didn’t move as fast as I wanted. This evaluation process helps me set my sites and my goals for the new year. I have several projects in the works that need my attention. My goals are set and my compass is locked on. Then my world turns upside down.
This past December, I took some time off to spend it with my family. My oldest son, who is in the Marine Corp, hasn’t been home for many holidays since he went into the Corp 6 years ago. This year, he was home! This Christmas season was one of the best I have ever had. I relaxed and told myself that January 1st I would hit the ground running. Goals were in place, focus was locked on, and I was positioned for a smooth January lift off!
One of the things that I have found, out of necessity, is that I am good at coordinating the care for my 88 year old father, my 83 year old mother, and my 80 year old mother-in-law. I jokingly refer to myself as their personal concierge. I take them to their doctors’ appointments, I listen to the doctors and I coordinate with their caregivers,etc. It is my labor of love and my gift to those that have given me so much. What I didn’t count on was that they would all fall apart at the same time. Each having their own particular physical meltdown. Every week day in January has been spent “doctoring” and all the other things involved. I am a well known face at the Cardiologist’s office. My father has been hospitalized for an extended period of time, leaving my Mother alone. I have been busy, preoccupied and suffering from a mad case of writer’s block. Yikes! My anticipated January progress on my goals began sinking fast!
I am an action/relationships person. For those of you that have read the blog posts on personality traits will understand that statement. My relationships part of my personality was in a dual to the death with the action part of me. Internal conflict can set up a cascade of negative emotions. I am not telling you this for sympathy, but to give you a background for the realizations I have discovered.
Discovery #1: I don’t have to be superwoman. The planet will not stop revolving if I don’t hit my January goals. There is a reason for my feelings. I need to stop and look at why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling. It is time to step back and be the observer instead of being so emotionally involved. Important to do, but difficult.
Discovery #2: What paradigms and beliefs do I hold that are struggling to be noticed? My feelings of being overwelmed need to be acknowledged. It is easy to feel overwelmed when in the caregiver role. It can feel like so much is being given over and over and over again. The energy for this caregiver role seems to come straight from my heart. It can feel as though nothing is coming back to recharge me. The guilt for those feelings can be heavy and smothering. Do I need to be in control of everything? My support system is very important to me. I don’t have to do it all. It is ok to let my other family members carry some of the weight. It is ok to ask for help.
Discovery #3: I have to stop pushing and punishing myself. It’s ok to stop and recharge without feeling guilt. I should strive to appreciate the times that I can carve out for myself. Take the time to do the things that recharge me; mediate, read, laugh with my family and friends. If I go down with the guilt ship, I will sink into the sea of ill health myself.
I love this quote from Mark Twain which helps to center me: “Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.”
I don’t claim to be an expert in this particular situation. I am a human being experiencing life and learning what works for me. If you have some tips for me, leave me a comment. I discovered this wonderful article that gave me a few “Ah, hah” moments. If you enjoy their work click over to this page to get their 3 free books.