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Try Being a Half-Assed Caregiver

Posted Dec 04 2013 10:33am

You heard me. Love twice as much. Do half as much.

Most caregivers I know do way too much. They try too hard. They care about everything and everybody.

That inevitably leads to exhaustion which leads to burnout which barrels head first into resentment, anger, and then boomerangs into guilt because let’s face it…you can’t ever do enough or be enough.

So, I say chuck it.

Leave the beds unmade.

Don’t go to all the doctor rechecks–you know the ones you can skip.

Say  no to endless procedures checking for this or that.

Even forget balanced meals. (you know if you’re to this point)

We nixed the Ensure and my mom lived her last few months on Klondike bars. Who cares? At some  point don’t you get to eat what you love?

Christmas is two weeks away. My tree is half up. My sink is half full of dishes. Not a holiday card in sight. We’re recovering from a stomach virus and today the washer is chugging with sheets and towels, (a necessity) and we’re munching on crackers and drinking Sprite and Gatorade. It is what it is. I’ve already  missed two appointments this week, and yes, I  forgot to call. I’ve been in PJs for three days. Oh well.

It’s half-ass time.

Everything is being reassessed.

I’m sending a few holiday emails or better yet a phone call. 

“Love you! May you and yours be blessed”

Is there anything more important to say? Who cares the mode of transportation? (stamps, call, email)

A few gifts will be ordered off the great and mighty Amazon…and I’m buying for myself FIRST. I’m not waiting for someone else to figure out what I want.

I’m making a list of what we love–foodie  items, comfort items that mean Christmas to us. 

Half-ass means looking hard at all you think you have to do.

Half-ass means keeping only what truly needs to be done and only what is truly valued. Even some of the needs must wait–some of the time.

What to keep?

Your sanity.

Your sleep. Anytime. Anywhere. I’ve been known to grab a car-nap before or after a pharmacy run.

Your connection. The only real and lasting gift you have to give your loved one  is your connection–whether you’re their spouse, partner, adult child, friend or neighbor, that is infinitely more important than the never ending to-do list that comes with caregiving.

If you have to choose:

Choose to hold hands.

Choose to share a Snickers bar.

Choose to ditch the to-dos and grab some fun. Rebel against your own schedule. (Nothing like playing hooky!)

Choose to let go.

Choose who and what you hold onto.

Half-assed means letting go of the stuff  that in the great big scheme of things matters a whole lot less.

And then embracing what (and who) you hold most dear.

Happy (and Half-Assed) Holidays to You and Yours!

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