I'm Taking Time Off This Weekend


I'm Taking Time Off This Weekend

cross-country-960333_640I happily work hard to keep Caregiving.com running as smoothly as possible.

Which is why I'm happy to tell you I'm taking time off this weekend!

I'm heading to Peoria, Ill., today for the Illinois High School Association Cross Country State Championship. My sister's children (16-year-old triplets, two boys and a girl) will be competing tomorrow.

I'll miss the weekend chats on Caregiving.com but will be home in time for Sunday night's #carechat. I'll check in to make sure all is well and to publish your blog posts.

Last year, my parents traveled with me for the championship meet during which my nephew, Jack, competed. That trip, in my mind, was our turning point. My father relaxed during the trip rather than trying to control my mom and I. On Friday night, as we walked to the nearest restaurant to our hotel which happened to serve fondue, my dad said, "I've never had fondue before and I've always wanted to."

At dinner on Friday night, my parents struggled to navigate the overwhelming menu so I offered them suggestions and then ordered for all three of us. When we went out to eat as kids, my dad wouldn't let us tell our order directly to the waitress; he asked each of us what we wanted, jotting down (and sometimes changing) our order on a napkin. He then placed the order for all of us to the waitress. As we got older, we loudly lobbied to order for ourselves. Interesting how my dad welcomed my ordering for him.

On Saturday afternoon, as I drove us home, my dad happily commented from the back seat, "It's so nice to drive through these small towns." When I said we would stop at McDonald's to grab a quick bite to eat in the car on the way home, my dad calmly agreed. He never allowed us to go to the drive-through in the past.

During the meet, I scoped out spots for my parents to sit, looking for the best vantage point for them to see the race's beginning and end. My mom used her cane and my dad's arm to make her way through the crowds. I lost them at one point after the race only to locate them after 20 minutes of running around trying to read their minds. My mom was irritated that we had gotten separated; my hot-tempered dad took it as a grain of salt.

As we left the meet the afternoon, I said to my sister, "They won't make it here next year."

Unfortunately, I was right.

They seem neither upset or mad that they'll miss tomorrow's race. They will be anxious for the results but I think happy to be comfortable in their apartment.

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Anthony Zullo

Denise,\nHope you are enjoying your weekend you've really earned it. Glad you could take the time.


It would be so easy for you to decide to not go this year, to stay and be available to them, just in case something comes up. It would be easy to think that your nieces and nephews would understand your absence. It would be easy to direct guilt at your sister, by not going and making a big deal out of how you are \"stuck.\" It would be easy to set aside your own needs - for a break, for a change of pace, for connection with others in your family - and make yet another sacrifice. It would be easy to worry about this site and think it cannot run on it's own for a day or two. It would be easy to feel taken for granted, taken advantage of, and all those other martyr-ish feelings that I'm learning are actually perfectly normal feelings that we MUST push away on a daily - heck, even moment-by-moment! - basis. GOOD FOR YOU, for doing the right thing. And, THANK YOU for setting a great example to the rest of us. I look forward to hearing all about your weekend - enjoy!


Wow, it has been a year. I remember reading that post. A lot to reflect on. I'm glad you are taking the weekend off, much deserved. Enjoy yourself.


So glad you are taking time for yourself and going to do something fun! Yay for Denise. The winds of change, I found it hard when I realized how mom and dad were slowing down, but I also found it interesting to observe how we all adjusted to these changes. I guess that is what life is all about really, adjusting to the changes as they come to us. I am sure they will enjoy all the stories you will bring back with you. I hope this also means that they are getting a little bit more comfortable (adjusted?) to their new circumstances. Have fun!