Following dreams despite setbacks or challenges, living the best possible life, nurturing authentic self, allowing passion to direct life’s purpose – have long been the guiding principles of my life. Continuing along this chosen Path of Resilience – WHILE caring full-time for mom, requires by far, the greatest deepening of faith I have ever undertaken.
From the outside, it is possible to doubt the progress that is occurring. If anything, frequently abandoned self-care efforts/agendas, to the critical eye, appear at best as setbacks. Some days, overwhelming and exhausting, are not made so by the physical demands, but rather, by efforts to keep the swirling vortex of energy draining, life sucking negativity at bay.
This morning is a prefect example – on schedule for an 8:00 Pilates departure, I found myself frustrated with our inability to efficiently complete the ever-growing lists of record keeping and statistics for vitals, and pain management. I found myself holding my breath, again, and feeling resentful – which seems reasonable through the lens of knowing that going to breathe and move for an hour is a self-care strategy that is important to both our well beings. At the same time, allowing the frustration to take root was NOT helping and rushing was clearly impacting mom’s shortness of breath.
I did experience immediate relief, after canceling the class, (with the option of rescheduling being presented) and was able to attend to mom in a gentler, more loving manner. In fact, accepting these “invisible helping hands of the universe”, has allowed me to stay on schedule with the posting of this blog.
In my heart of hearts it is difficult not to interpret what I am writing here as the worst kind of unproductive whining. On the other hand, writing, or more accurately self disclosure through writing, seems to be what works these things through to the best possible resolution.
All this brings me to the point. How sometimes, inaction with awareness is preferable to heroically pushing through to one’s goals at the expense of integrity or values. I am committed to making mom’s remaining days as pleasant as possible, I do not want them filled with the unhappiness of a frustrated or resentful caregiver. Awareness in the moment, has been my goal from that first trip to BJ’s that I wrote about so very long ago
The shrinking of life abundant in this moment, threatens with increasing regularity. Mom’s journey now is about disengaging and loosening her ties, of becoming more internal and immediate focused. More often than not, she is no longer interested in getting out in her wheelchair or accompanying me in the car. It is like she is moving backwards on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. No longer concerned with her life’s purpose, it is all about the width of the slice of cheddar cheese being perfect and available in the moment she desires it. My job is to watch for the signs, and anticipate needs before she knows what they will be.
I hold dear to my heart the belief that my boat in the garage is waiting patiently with loving kindness, rather than rancor or judgement. Seeing it there, is proof that life WILL become full again. I continue to make plans to continue forward motion and know I can let them go as needed. For now I take comfort in focusing my workouts on mowing the lawn or shoveling my 6 cubic yards of mulch for the garden. It is less than a month to the Blog World conference, and a much-needed adventure in New York City with my beloved.
The other day I was remembering my passionate younger self who loved dancing to live music. I lamented the fact that I had not seen her for a while, and questioned whether she still existed. I realize now, far from gone, she is in fact more alive than ever. She has simply become, Differently Daring.