We Are More Than That


We Are More Than That

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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