bitterjug_Magnifying_GlassIn caregiving, you focus on what your caree needs--medications at the right time, meals that he'll eat, the right amount of juice to fight off dehydration, clothes that fit (and stay on), enough bathroom trips and changes to stay dry, a good night's sleep, safety during the day and at night, activities to stave off boredom, checks for sugar, weight, blood pressure, temperature, pain.

In essence, you're keeping your caree alive.

With all the focus on that life, it can be hard to turn the focus to your life. Because, compared to your caree, staying alive seems so easy.

Except so much focus on another can mean a little bit of you dies on a regular basis--your friendships, your hobbies, your down time, your fun time, your off time, your inspiration, your health. Slowly, it's all gone.

You can keep your focus on your caree and, as you can, turn the focus to yourself. Maybe not every day but often enough so that you can take back some of what you love.

You've been entrusted with the care of another. It's hard, it's exhausting, it's nerve-wracking. You were trusted not because you would give up your life but because you would keep your life as you care for another. Because giving up your life won't improve any else's life.

When you can, turn the focus to you. Your life depends on it.

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Love this, Denise. This is where the Vision Boards really come in handy -- because they're visual reminders of what matters to us about our own lives. And in the thick of caregiving, those things can vanish from our conscious awareness. They're like checklists for our own self-care, that we can consult when our own presence of mind has taken a hiatus.