Change is in the air and I’m ready to feel it! I want to wear it on my skin, breath it in, and bask in the sense of something new after months of anger and frustration and feeling stuck. None of this is actually new. These feelings have been ever-present as caregiving has that way of reducing your sense of freedom while feeding you a cocktail of resentment. I frequently find myself consumed by bitterness, embroiled by feelings of sacrifice without a taste of reward. They say that caregiving is a thankless job and I see the truth there but I also feel compelled to believe there is something better. A silver lining around the corner, hiding in the shadows… It’s there. It’s just awaiting discovery. And without a reminder to counter your perceptions, it’s easy to fall victim to your own worst thoughts… There is no light.
#FakeNews… It’s not that the light is not there, it’s just so hard to see it on your own. I more than know the value of community and feelings of caregiver isolation have only strengthened those beliefs. At the same time, I’m learning that it’s no one’s job to make you happy. My father is impossible to please and my efforts to cater to his every need, as if I’m a DJ for his life, gets old quick, especially when his every response is that of criticism. I can not express how deeply this cuts through me. No movie I play for him is good enough. The CDs I put on are always the wrong ones. Every meal I make is not “normal stuff”… I can accept that he has dementia and this is the result of illness but I cannot accept the feelings that somehow, I am not enough. I personalize it because it’s my every effort. It’s not a single recipe he refuses. It’s me grabbing carrots from the fridge and his head shaking no, already in protest. An immediate refusal to wait and see… Maybe it will be good? “It”… that questionable step forward that might lead us both to a better state of existence if we could both just trust the outcome will be ok. Just a single step so we might see that so-called “light”.
I must repeatedly remind myself that my job is not to make my father happy. My job is to keep him healthy and safe. Unfortunately, that means I must forgo my own happiness as our lives are inexplicably linked. But again, #FakeNews… If it’s no one’s job to provide another with happiness, than it’s a personal mission to find it for yourself. So, in an ode to gratitude I have a few things that are light worthy! Here are some recent highs:
Copper Cutlery Set