Here’s an idea for living well on the caregiving front: don’t let the mundane get in the way of laughing and having fun on the journey.
Yep, laugh, and have a sense of humor about it all.
How do I know this? Because the other day, in the midst of describing my disappearance from the landscape of my friends and their goings on, I stopped myself mid-sentence to giggle at what I was saying. I was apologizing/explaining to a group of friends: why I am not at the YMCA for spin classes; why I am no longer a regular at the coffee spot; why they never see me at Friday evening get-togethers and why, frankly, I have seemed to disappear from the face of the Earth of what used to be MY life.
There I was, in the middle of this narrative, when I overheard myself explaining: “Well, I now have a new group of friends whose names are Annabelle, Ann D. Bell, Tilly and Issy.” “I’m kind of like the “Julie of the Love Boat’ of my mom’s senior center.
“My days are punctuated by conversations involving the pros and cons of driving with macular degeneration and the digestive woes of soda and acid reflux. But, the concessions made to such: “A glass of 7-Up won’t kill anyone.”
My Outlook, which used to be filled with my kid’s parent teacher appointments, dentists, conference calls and cool luncheons with colleagues, now looks something more like “Drive mom to tooth extraction. Conference en route.”
My favorite upcoming date: My Uncle Tommy’s invite to my mom to “make a day of it at the cemetery,” meaning pull up the lawn chairs at all of the graves of the relatives spotting Queen of Heaven cemetery and just chill for the day. Of course, back to the macular degeneration conversation, someone (i.e me is going to have to drive this crowd).
I have to laugh. It’s kind of funny when you think about it. Who would have EVER thought I would plot out a day grave-hopping at a cemetery. Ever?
But it helps to reframe and “get my senior fun on.”
Along the way, I’m learning to cherish for their spunk, and simple delight in the daily goings on of people who have put in the hard work in life. Now, well God bless them that a 7-Up saves the day, and a trek to the cemetery gives is life-giving. In a bizarre way, it’s refreshing. It makes me smile. Better than the alternative.
What makes you smile on the caregiving front? I’d love to hear you share your moments of lightness and reminders to laugh in the middle of it all. Please take a moment to write them here.