Here I sit in bed, sick... I've been here all day. I have a little bit of energy and I'm debating, "Am I really okay now? Or will I get up and burn all my energy and be back in bed within an hour?" It's amazing how getting sick teaches you something or how taking care of someone else who is sick not only teaches you about them but about yourself.
I'm a mother of six and a daughter to one very stubborn step-father whose been sick for a long time. Not only that but my only sibling died the day after open-heart surgery after being sick on and off her entire life (she was only five when she died). I've seen and heard stories of various relatives who have taken care of their loved ones as well. So do I know about sickness? A little bit!
I think the only thing harder than being sick is taking care of someone who is sick. Caretakers everywhere know what I mean even if they wouldn't admit it outloud. We are a loving bunch by nature and we give and give and give but somehow it seems like it begins to drain us mentally, physically, and socially. Even the draining itself seems to drain us because then we feel guilty about being drained LOL. It's a cycle that once it begins it is like a snowball affect. To even take one day off or one long bubble bath to ourselves somehow feels selfish. And yet, we all know without that one day or bath now and then, we're up a creek.
So what to do? What are all of us caretakers to do? You see it coming, I'm sure or at least I hope. You guessed it, take care of yourself FIRST. You have to make a concious decision to step out of your pitty party of how much work you have to do and just take care of YOURSELF first. Nobody likes to hear anyone else whining. I hate to here it from myself or my kids let alone full grown adults who blame their past or their current situations for their blah boring or hectic lives. (PS It's not your past's fault or anyone else's fault! You controle your life.)
This is basic stuff but somehow it elludes so many of us. Some moms are guilty, caretakers of the elderly or very sick are sometimes guilty, some dads who have a disabled wife are guilty or visa versa, some elderly spouses are guilty... the list goes on and on. The bottom line, at one time or other, most of us are guilty! So how do we get out of our pitty parties? Simple, STOP IT. Stop and look at your life. If you don't like it, change it. If you aren't taking care of God first, then yourself, then others, then you have it in the wrong order! CHANGE IT!
Make a list of what a good life would look like; a DAY BUCKET list! You know, one in which you had the time to do what you want to do. Cause guess what? YOU DO! We all have the SAME amount of time every day, every week, every month, every year. In that list write out how you want your day to go. Yes, we all have responsibilities but we can shift and deligate some things around to make it where we are living our lives and not having our lives LIVE us! Teach yourself how to treat yourself! Make time for whatever it is that nurtures your soul: bubble baths, long walks on a beautiful trail, short day trips to a spot you love, time with someone who makes you smile, time alone by a stream or the like, reading a good book, time alone praying & meditating, time alone reading your Bible, a good nap, run a marathon, walk with a friend, ride your bike, watch your favorite movie or something new, the list is endless and can change every day!
It's really is like writing a DAILY BUCKET LIST :) In this list is simply the things you want to do for God and YOURSELF every day! It is the first list you must complete daily :) It's a must if you want to keep a smile on your face and a kick in your step! It's time to fill your life with joy, love, passion, and really live! If you love your family, friends, and God, then you have to take care of yourself! Only people who love God and themselves have the ABILITY to truly love others as themselves! After all, when God tells us to "love thy neighbor as ourselves" I am pretty sure God wasn't thinking there would come a time when people would be so drained, sad, depressed, & filled with a pitty party persona... because after all, who would want to be loved like that? Not me! Not you! So, fill your life with love and happiness! Not to is selfish of you! And after-all you as a caretaker are the opposite of selfish right? Then start today filling your life with love and passion! Then and only then, will you ever fullfill your purpose God has for you and fill your neighbor's lives with love as well. Life is too short so LIVE every day of it now!
So make your DAILY BUCKET LIST today and make your life a better LIFE! :)