This morning on Your Caregiving Journey, Holly, who blogs about caring for her husband, Dave, joined me for Table Talk. Holly recently took a weekend trip with girlfriends so I suggested we talk about the trip and how she leaves without taking guilt. You can listen to our show via the player, below.
To help manage her time away, Holly breaks out the trip into three parts: The planning, the trip and the return. For Holly, the planning can become overwhelming, which can tempt her into not believing the trip is important. When she’s feeling like she has too much to do, she remembers she has an Effort Knob, which she can dial down. And, she asks herself: Am I making this harder than it has to be?
She also reminds herself:
- I want to go.
- It’s best for me.
- What’s best for me is best for him.
We then talked about the trip itself and being in the moment of the break, rather than taking on a moment of worry (“I wonder if everyone is okay at home?”) which takes away from the purpose of the trip. We also talked about how family caregivers can get caught in the thought that staying home can prevent terrible things from happening. We worry about leaving and something awful happening. The idea that our presence can prevent can trap us into never feeling like we can leave. Holly reminds us that it’s absolutely okay to take a break.
Finally, we spent a few moments discussing what it’s like to go home after a trip. Going back home can sometimes be hard. For Holly, she has a realization of the reality of her life: “This is the marriage I have in my 50′s.”
And, that thought (“Oooooooh, this is my life”), which often comes after taking a break with others in a non-caregiving situation, will be the topic for our next talk with Holly. I’ll let you know the date when we’ve schedule the show.
After you’ve had a chance to listen to the show, I’d love to know: Which of Holly’s comments could you relate to? And, what’s been helpful to you in planning and enjoying breaks from caregiving? Please share in our comment section, below.
- You’re the Coach (caregiving.com)
- Jail (caregiving.com)
- “The Re-entry” (caregiving.com)
- How Do I Train My Sister to Be the Caregiver While I’m on Vacation? (caregiving.com)
- Time Out: Signs You Need a Vacation (caregiving.com)