Life is filled with beginnings. Some beginnings are celebrated with great fanfare and excitement. Some beginnings are faced with feelings of determination and resolve. Many beginnings simply occur… unnoticed. They do not present themselves as beginnings until we look back with the luxury of hind sight, then we realize that something new has crept into our lives and has brought about unexpected, unanticipated, unsolicited, change. Most of us do not like change, especially when it happens to us without our input and beyond our control.
That being said, it can be very empowering for us to choose to begin something that will have a positive impact in our lives on a daily basis. Self-care…taking care of one’s self, is a necessity if we intend to take care of someone that we love. The question is… when to begin? The answer is… as soon as you can. If you wait until you find a more convenient time to begin, you will most probably find that a more convenient time is hard to find.
That person that you care for needs your energy, your understanding, your commitment and most of all your love. If you are going to have enough to offer them, you must begin to make the choices that will insure that you have enough to offer them.
For years I had toyed with the thought of pursuing chaplaincy certification so that I could become more involved in the hospice work that I love. I had always looked at the time and effort involved in the process and always came to the same conclusion… now is not a good time to begin. I put it off and put it off, waiting for things to fall into place. In September of 2009 my wife discovered a lump in her breast and rather than everything falling into place, everything began to fall apart. As we walked through the “valley of cancer” together, I realized that life was too short to put off doing those things you have a passion for. When I began my quest for chaplaincy credentials it was quite possibly the most inconvenient time in my life, but I knew that it was the right time. As I look back at that beginning, I think of a lesson that I learned that I want to share with you…
Today is a special gift. Try not to waste it by waiting for tomorrow.
Take care of yourself caregiver and remember, the time to begin to do so is as soon as you can.