88-year-old Betty finished the 3 1/2 hour rainy-day hike. It wasn’t something she did alone; the group walked along side her. With a walking stick in one hand, her grandson held the other. When the creek was too wide and rocky, our guide lifted Betty safely to the other side.
Even though some in our hiking group may have wanted to climb a peak or move more quickly, our personal desires easily gave way to the group’s goal of completing the hike as a whole. As individuals we may be preoccupied with our individual agendas, but allowing others to interrupt our preoccupations can be a sweet gift. We tune into someone else and we wake up to the present moment.
This is what it can be like to be a family caregiver. If we’re able to set aside our personal wants and tune into another person, it is a great gift to both care receiver and ourselves. When I completed Robert V. Taylor’s 21-Day Reboot, I found myself tuning both inward and also outward per his daily suggestions. When you listen to our radio interview, you will see just how helpful his 21-Day Reboot can be for family caregivers. Instead of being weighed down by daily tasks, embrace Robert’s Day 5 suggestion: “Delight affects how you participate in your own life and the world. Chose to allow yourself to be delighted by something or someone today. Tell another person about your delight.”
Family caregiving is not a solo activity. Show yourself kindness by dropping your mind chatter to really be present to the one to whom you’re giving care. Even if this person drives you crazy at times! Caregiving works when you do it with your loved one. Our hike with 88-year-old Betty worked because we stuck together.
Look at the faces of Betty’s daughter, son, and grandson: Pure joy! I invite you to shift your focus today and listen to my interview with Robert V. Taylor, who reminds us all to “Do something for yourself. Everyday. And it only has to be one thing.”