As we engage in various situations in our home and work lives, there may be situations that occur that bring a sense of heaviness. Though our days as adults may not be filled with such simple moments, I wonder if we might be able to map out time to have similar ones? Whether it is the list of things that need to be done or the emotions that are circling us, clearing a path is important for our own energy and that of those we encounter.
Though often unrecognized, fear stands in our way like a brick wall. It blocks us from conversations and leads us to assume the worst possible outcome. Which fear is it? There are several: Fear of the unknown? Yes. Fear of becoming the same man himself later in life? Very likely. Fear of his father dying and then turning back later wishing he had done something differently? Absolutely.
When we launched our new website in July, 2021, we told you that a new team was on its way to you. Well, the time has finally come, and the synchronicity of all of this is making my heart sing! Our new team members are here, and we are over-the-moon excited about the caliber of the people joining us as well as their credentials and expertise in their fields.
What I've learned since then is that caregiving IS improv. Moods change, aging parents sometimes lose track of the here and now, young children resent it when they don't feel heard, and nobody likes hearing "no." Improv isn't a total cure-all, but its core is cooperation. Being a partner - a teammate - to the person you care for is infinitely preferable to being an authority figure or dictator, which is a role too many of us slip into.
Fall brings on a sense of change and is a time of year that I look forward to. I am in awe of the colors changing, and the temperatures getting cooler gives me a nudge to turn inwards. A time of reflection and the ability to clear out what is no longer serving me.
When I was a caregiver for years for my mom and brother, I realized I was in uncharted territory, but the moment I connected with other caregivers, my life shifted. Whether it was hearing about emotional issues or discussing navigating healthcare, the connection piece became a powerful lifesaver. That experience is the core of why I started Breathing Spaces years ago. I wanted to offer a connection for others from a place of understanding, and the knowledge that voices must be heard, and stories must be told.
Instantly I'm ten years old, sitting on the ancient beige chintz sofa in my grandparents' den, racing with my grandfather to see which of us could answer first, while my grandmother made comments about which of us should know the answer. I didn't know, then, that their daily viewing of this television show was part of my grandmother's attempt to ensure that my grandfather's brain remained stimulated and active.
We have expanded our resources for family caregivers and are in the process of creating additional programs to support a larger community of caregivers as well. More about that coming soon, but for now, I hope you join me in my excitement for our new website!
Let’s be real here. We all have days where a lot is piling up, and that one conversation takes you off guard and flips you into oblivion. It is easy enough to get swept up in an argument or misinterpret what is happening with someone else. I'm sure those situations have happened to all of us, and I'm equally certain that beating ourselves up afterward with "I should have…;" "I wish I had…;" has no benefits. Looking at the situation without judgment allows us to tune in to what else may be happening.
The unpredictability of caregiving can set us up to be on our toes for what might come next, but when we find ourselves in a bit of overwhelm, the small things can start adding up. Before we know it, the little things have become issues to be reconciled.