Well, ladies and gentlemen, I retired.
After much deliberation, I left corporate America in order to care for my husband. And our two kids. And the house. And maybe, just maybe, some other caregivers.
I had a pretty sweet gig, but ultimately I decided my family is first and foremost. The “balance” was becoming too difficult, and time poverty is a huge drain on one’s energy. I crunched numbers, I made lists of pros and cons, and I decided this was best. It’s a whole new journey. One I am excited for, and a tad bit nervous. I need to develop new routines, new structure, new balance. But the crazy thing is… I trust that I can do it. I have confidence in this decision. I know my caregiving role is critical, and I know my own well being is as well. I believe I can care for my family, have a couple side hustles along the way, and become my best.
I don’t know if I believe that everything happens for a reason. But I know I have a decision to make. I can choose to complain about our situation. I can choose to be jealous of healthy families, and I can resent my friends for getting “normal” lives. I can let this journey defeat me, and let the anger and frustration break me each day. Or, I can choose to be grateful for what I do have. Friends, family, the financial ability to swing this decision, and of course, my own health. A husband who, while he faces this beast of a disease, chooses to still find ways to enjoy his day, to make the most of the skills he has, and show patience when I don’t understand how electronics work.
Those are the things I focus on and it’s helped me find an appreciation in this life. It’s not always easy, and I’m far from perfect at keeping that perspective, but I’ve learned I can control my thoughts. It takes some practice & some discipline, but the ability to redirect thoughts has become a habit, and given me the confidence in my ability to be successful. I’m choosing to focus on my husband and my family. I’m choosing to focus on what being a caregiver means to me, and how I can be of service to family caregivers. Because we all struggle with balance and energy and doubt, but we can support one another. We can all learn how to manage our day and train our thoughts and still be our best.