Maybe you volunteered to become the caregiver. Maybe you were thrown into it without a real choice. More than likely, some level of obligation led you to the role and once immersed in it, you cannot turn back.
The caregiver is the one who, day after day, shows up to help a withering or recovering loved one. The caregiver is the one who shoulders the immense weight of carrying another through their darkest days. The caregiver is the one who sets aside her own desires to give another their basic needs. The caregiver is the one who feels resentful for sacrificing so much time and life, while also feeling guilty for feeling resentful. The caregiver knows her value, the importance of her work, and yet it is often thankless and lonely. The caregiver is filled with complex emotion that even she cannot understand, waiting for the day her life can begin again.
How do we, as caregivers, move past this stale place of waiting, of sacrificing our time, our needs, our wants, until our responsibilities are alleviated either by healing or death?
I believe we mustn’t wait.
I believe life is now.
I believe we can care and we can live simultaneously. We can pursue our dreams, our talents, our ambitions while tending to another’s needs. While our days may look different and we may have to scale our growth in a new way, we all have the potential, the focus, the ability to grow ourselves in the midst of a caregiving journey.
Every day you have is a day you have to grow, to become a better YOU, and whether that means a better caregiver, a better parent, spouse, friend, business owner, employee… your life is yours to grow into. Do not let the caregiver role define and limit you. Choose to find joy. Choose to seek peace. Choose to show up daily with love for those around you and for yourself. Choose to thrive.