This year I encourage you (and myself) to forgo the annual resolution and view each day as a mini new year. There is much less chance of the proverbial “failure” if you live one day at a time and give yourself 24 hours to make it right.
I do confess though that setting goals is a good thing to do so you know how to focus your day. So I am going to suggest a few achievable goals that can make things easier for you
- Goal #1 – Ask for help.
- All of us reach a point where we are in over our heads and we all instinctively know when that is. Some of us can tell by loss of appetite or increase in appetite (comfort eating), some of us can tell by constant fatigue accompanied by insomnia, some of us can tell by our unprovoked irritability and lack of patience. When those moments arise you need to have someone or more than one someone you can go to for help. Help can mean staying with your loved one so you can go out or taking them somewhere for a day so that you have some time alone to recharge
- One of the best things you can do is make a list of things you would find helpful and keep it on your refrigerator in your wallet, on your smart phone etc. whatever works for you, so that when someone asks you if there is any way they can help you can ask for specific things that are helpful.
- Would you pick up our groceries?
- Can you stay with him/her while I go to appointments for myself?
- Would you make us a meal?
- Can you take him to the barber/her to the Hairdresser?
- Would you help me drop off and pick up my car for service?
- Can you take them out for lunch once a month?
- Goal#2 – Make a contingency plan.
- What will happen to your loved one if something happens to you? I am a strong believer in the philosophy that one should prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Create a back-up plan. There are few guarantees in life so if you should become ill or unable to care for your loved one you need to have a plan in place to make sure they are protected. Such a plan would appoint someone to take over the role of caregiver in your absence. This could be a friend, a relative or it could be a facility placement for respite care. Regardless of which it is you need to research, ask and tell those involved that they are part of your plan and be sure they will step in for you if the need should arise
- Goal #3 – Follow up on your own health
- Sometimes the need for goal#2 can be averted by this one! It is really important for you to get your annual check ups and address your health concerns. Ignoring your own health can bring things to a crisis especially of you have an issue that is reversible with treatment but left untended causes great damage and has long-term effects. Head this off at the pass by making appointments ahead of time and scheduling someone to stay with your loved one while you go. Neighbors, relatives and church members are a good place to start if you need that kind of support.
As you move into 2017 at the end of this week think of this coming year as a gift. Another year your loved one is with you. Make the best of your very difficult situation by making choices that protect you both.
“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson