We Are More Than That

Mar

We Are More Than That

Mar
paperclip-168336_640I wrote a little comment, something I had been thinking about, and Denise encouraged me to make it a blog post, so here I go. Audience participation is invited and welcome!

The person who got me thinking was a woman I just met, who is overcoming a substance abuse problem.  She was expressing frustration that she wears the label of "I am a recovering -------" and said, "I'm also a special ed teacher, I love to ski, and my dog and I do therapy with people ...."

I replied, "What you're saying is ... You're so much more than 'that.'"  She said, "Yes, that's it!"

So I got to thinking that sometimes I fall in a trap of thinking "I am a caregiver now" as though that is all there is to me or as though my husband's disease is all there is to him. That's just not true.

So I posted a couple of days ago, "I am struck by the thought today that I am more than a caregiver and my husband is far more than a caree. And yet, I have trouble sharing things about myself that have nothing to do with caregiving. So I would love to hear “other things about you” and “other things about your caree” — I’ll start — I am a Gramma to two beautiful ones — a girl 6-1/2, currently missing her two front teeth, and her adorable little brother, age 2. They live 2000 miles away, in California! My husband enjoys bike riding, working out, watching crime shows (White Collar) and working outside."

I then started thinking (yeah, I do a lot of that -- too much at times!) that I almost always introduce myself by who I am in relation to other people: I am so-and-so's mother (I don't call them so-and-so's, just choosing not to share their names), I am a Gramma to two little ones, I am a wife, have been a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a sister, a sister-in-law, a neighbor, a friend, an aunt... Well, you get the idea.

But who is Mar?  Just all by herself, with her dreams, her passions, her preferences. Does she like bruessel sprouts? Is she Dollar store or Nordstroms? What is her favorite meal and favorite dessert? What is her favorite book at the moment?

I think it's important that we keep in mind "We are more than that" while being caregivers. It is an extremely important role, but it isn't all we are.  Not by a long shot.

So I'll go first. And I invite you to comment with as many things as you want to list that are just about you and not you in relation to anyone else. Here goes:

I used to think brussel sprouts were the most awful things ever, but now I kinda like them--sauteed in olive oil and butter or with bacon and craisins added.

My favorite meal is barbecued chicken. My favorite dessert is my friend Diane's chocolate cake with white butter cream frosting.

I am left handed. I kinda like it.

Dollar Store, definitely dollar store. Greeting cards for 50 cents? Yes, please!

I love office supplies--all things paperwork are more fun with pretty folders and decorated binder clips. My favorite new thing is Studio C THREE pocket folders--so cool! And if you find them, let me know, I'm searching for more!

My favorite book recently is Hardwiring Happiness; it introduced me to the idea that our brains have neuroplasticity to the end of our lives and gave me hope. And I have tasted happiness in new ways since reading it and practicing the ideas in it.

I have naturally curly hair, something I had trouble accepting for a long time. I wear it natural now and I love the Dove campaign called "embrace your curls."

I have struggled with my weight and body image most of my life. I'd like to give it a rest.

I wish I wasn't occupied with my hair and body when there are women in the world who aren't yet living in freedom.

One of my favorite things to do is to meet with a friend over coffee and talk about life.

I am a "cluttery" person, but am working on getting streamlined. That is part of my caregiving role but it is also bringing me lots of satisfaction.

I often go to bed listening to a podcast in my ear until I can fall asleep.

Finding caregiving.com is the best thing that has happened to me lately.

OK, ready, set -- your turn! Go for it! And let me know how it makes you feel!

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yolanda

Great post! I love reading all your comments_mysql!\r\n\r\nI'm Yolanda 33but I've always felt older than my years probably because I'm an only child and grew up around a lot of adults unless my cousins were around. \r\n\r\nI love my solitude to be reading a good book to dive into a world, made up of someone else's words but made up of my visions.\r\n\r\nI love t.v. sitcoms, educational programs and good and bad reality shows.\r\n\r\nI love trivia there are so many facts running around my brain sometimes I come with these facts and have no idea where I learned it.\r\n\r\nI love words and definitions but I'm a bad speller. LoL\r\n\r\nI love to do things with my hands crocheting, painting, mixed media art and all kinds of crafts!\r\n\r\nEven though I love solitude I love to hang out with friends and family too.\r\n\r\nI love food! Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Persian it's all good. Love my snacks too. Beef jerky, chips and salsa, nachos, cheetos, nuts, movie popcorn! not into sweets but chocolate looks so good but it's never what I really want. :)\r\n\r\nI love Coca-Cola but I'm trying to cut down cause it's not very good for the body.\r\n\r\nI love my cousin's kids they are my life and I love being in their lives I wish I had more time for them but they know I love them and I'm always here for them.\r\n\r\nThat's just some of what makes me,me. :)\r\nI can't wait to read more comments_mysql about who you are.

JoAnn

Thank you so much for this post, \"We are More than that\". You actually got me to thinking and a whole lot of others as well. We are all more than Caretakers and so are our Carees. We aren't just Caretakers, we aren't just daughters, or sons, sisters or brothers, aunts, or uncles, mothers or fathers, or even grandparents. We are all Children of God. \r\n I am JoAnn, and I am a daughter, sister, wife, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, mother, aunt, and a grandmother. I have three adult children whom have children of themselves. \r\n I have one brother and two sisters. (One of my sisters became an angel in Nov of 2014.) and (My father became a angel also in Dec of 2014.) I have a beautiful daughter whom lives in Ohio and she has three sons whom are young adults also. I have two wonderful handsome sons whom have children of their own now also. Altogether, I have eight grandchildren, two of them are from my husband's daughter. \r\n I am a online College student and my degree of study is, Early Childhood Development. I will become either a preschool teacher or a social worker.\r\n I really don't have one favorite of food. I like it all. I love sweets and try hard not to eat so much of it. \r\n I love to draw, although I haven't done much of it lately. I have loved it since I was young.\r\n I love crafts and the simple things to make. I crochet, I bead jewelry, I make simple things.\r\n I love making Friends, young and old. I love getting on Facebook, and my page is a christian page. I am a part of a few groups, plus I have a few groups of my own going. I keep in touch with my family on Facebook as well, that's how I see pictures of my grandchildren. \r\n I love to go to Garage and Yard Sales and I love thrift stores. I love to grow flowers also. \r\n My Caree is a very loving person, she is a daughter,wife, mother, sister, and a mother-in-law. Right now she is a very sick person whom has lung cancer and is bedridden. She used to love to read and listen to music. Now she's bedridden and watches a lot of television and sleeps a lot. The question that her and I have is \"What is the plan God has for her at this point in her life?\" He has a plan of some sort. \r\n I knew I needed something more for me, and it is this Caregivers Group. It makes me feel good about being a caregiver. I'm thankful to Denise for starting this group years ago. I'm a Caregiver plus much more than that.\r\nThank you.

jan

Great idea, Mar. Just turn on the faucet and let us go, we can fill the bucket brigade and then some.

Hansolosgirl

I'm also a ton of things :) funny, I was writing a blog about this very thing....what has fallen by the wayside by my role as a caregiver...and how I'm fighting to get those back!\r\n\r\nI'm a student, going back to become a history teacher.\r\nI'm a quilter, got into a few international shows. I will post some pix soon (I promised you)\r\nAlso an avid reader all my life 3-4 novels a week ... Since becoming a student that's only durning the summer, but it's up to 5 a week then! Straight chick-lit trash right now since I have to read so much substance for school, but I'm getting through the classics too. Stephan king and my Harry potters are my fave....I mostly buy from thrift stores because I read in the tub and pool and ruin everything! \r\nAvid movie fan, watch everything new, don't care for anything prior the 70s my faves are Star Wars (of course) godfathers, brave heart, second hand lions, pride & prejudice, Harry potters pretty much all except super hero stuff\r\nInterior design. Love it, watch the shows, have over 1000 home decor books, not to mention magizines and Pinterest. Love to fix up old junk and make it nice to use in my home. Re-do and change my furniture often, love to paint the walls and change scheme of rooms in my home. My faves are French country and Tuscan but I find it all beautiful. Kids laugh at me because I like the house to look \"magazine\" ready hahah and they like to leave everything out! My bed has netting and 3 feather beds, down comforters and pillows....bed of all beds, my whole fam when they come over throw themselves in it. Lux, and all on a budget!\r\nI like to make cards, and scrapbook, but it's a different kind, I make mini books and distress everything.\r\nI have a big family, close to cousins and aunts and uncles. Everyone lives pretty close and we do lots of Hollidays together \r\nI like to write, blogging on here made me remember that.\r\nI love being a student, everything interests me. I was a bad HS student but going back @ 40 has opend me up again. I was supposed to be smart and tested high but I hated school then, now I love it.\r\nAlso love politics and being interested in all of it. Music also, my iPod was my best friend and I loved setting up my iTunes and getting it together, but now listen to pandora mostly\r\nAlso sew home decor stuff aside from quilting and love thrift stores and junk shops. \r\nI can't wait to become a teacher, I love the older students and helping to let them set life and career plans and getting them interested in school. I help my kids as well as nieces and nephews and kids friends go on to higher education that suites them.

MovieGoer

Oh Mar, I am so very glad you wrote this blog entry! It is utterly brilliant. I agree that we get lost in our roles and forget that each person is so much more (including our carees). Thank you for such an awesome reminder. I feel my spirits lifting already. \r\n\r\n(Thanks, also, for the great cooking tip re brussel sprouts...I'd never thought of adding craisins.)\r\n\r\nMe? I'm a book-a-holic. I'll read just about anything other than science fiction (just not my cuppa tea). \r\n\r\nI feel the exact way you do re body image, and I am THIS CLOSE to letting go of the last little thread of attachment to that issue in my own life. Enough already. \r\n\r\nI crave solitude, something I only realized when I entered my 50s. What a wonderful decade the 50s are for me...regardless of what's going on in my life, I just feel so much more solid and grounded in myself now.\r\n\r\nI love to learn and change my beliefs on something when I understand it in a new way. Especially religiously. I'm a life-long religious explorer. \r\n\r\nSewing, or anything remotely related to sewing (ie flipping through a sewing book from the library) makes me lose track of time and worries and problems and everything around me. It's transcendant for me. \r\n\r\nI'm looking forward to reading what others post.