Wouldn’t it be great if we all had someone who would give us counsel, look out for our well-being, and protect us from everything in the world? That’s exactly what the President has in his Chief-of-Staff. I was thinking about how this interprets into real life after watching a rerun of The West Wing. In the episode, the President is off to give the State of the Union address. As is customary, a member of the cabinet is left behind in case of Armageddon and the Capitol building is destroyed killing all the government officials in the building. The cabinet member selected to remain out of the capitol was the Secretary of Agriculture.
As the President is leaving for the speech he says to the Secretary, do you have a best friend? Is he/she smarter than you? Would this person lay down their life for you? That’s your chief-of-staff. How about that, three simple questions to determine who that person would be in your life.
Translate that to your life as a caregiver/wellness partner. We need advisors because we’re emotionally connected to the outcome of any decision. We have a skewed view of the world and about its fairness. There are lots of opportunities for you to make life more difficult than it needs to be and having someone who can tell you the caring truth is a lifesaver.
Having a community is critical in our culture. We are social creatures and isolation is bad for your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Experiencing support, love, and protection from another human being who can be objective will help give you perspective about your own life and about the decisions you have to make as a caregiver/wellness partner.
It doesn’t matter what your personal issues are as a caregiver; creating the capacity to look at the big picture is important. Utilizing your “chief-of-staff” as a sounding board gives you time to weigh options, gather information, and make informed decisions. Recruit your own chief-of-staff and see how it may improve your quality of life…it’s a win-win situation.