“…for experience, the only true knowledge…”
Herman Milville, The Confidence Man
Winter season, along with warm traditional Holidays, brings on the serious time of year, it seems to me. Unlike Spring, Summer and Fall when we’re more distracted by happenings outdoors, Winter can be a time to curl up by the fireplace and take stock. We gather the highlights, include the lowlights, recognize that we’ve another year of growth behind us and get ready to start afresh January one. No matter what transpired this last year, we’re coming into the home stretch of 2016 and we can chalk this and all our years up to “our” personal story. Our own precious history, always unfolding, full of the unexpected, rarely what we might have predicted it would look like at any point.
Having lived nearly seven decades, through some serious highs and lows, I could look back and say, “If I had the chance, I would change this or that and life would have been so much smoother or much easier.” I could, but I won’t.
I wonder how many Caregivers look at their current lives and say, “I’m really happy I get to do this.” That’s a tough one. When we’re in the midst of life’s challenges, few of us, I suspect, are stopping to say we’re happy about it. I remember saying to myself, “Why does it have to be so hard!?” Caregiving is hard, it can be backbreaking and both mentally and physically exhausting. No time for yourself or others you’d like to be connecting with. It seems to be never ending. But, you know you’re going to do it anyway. You love those you care for. You’re the best one for the job and you want it done right. But, HAPPY about it? Perhaps GRATEFUL is the word.
It’s only now, with sixteen consecutive years of Caregiving (for three different loved ones) behind me, that I can see the beauty of it all. That took time and distance. Today, nearly four years after, I’m GRATEFUL. I’m grateful for those days that were so hard. That took so much tenacity. I know how strong I am. I can handle tough times, new situations and emergencies. It took a few years distance and a long history of living to recognize that each seaming period of life had its reasons. All my experiences were absolutely necessary and came along at the perfect time. From childhood to young adult, to wife and mother, to business owner, to Caregiver, to blog writer for Caregivers, was just what I had to experience in order to be able to handle my story as it continues to unfold.
Life is never a-piece-of-cake for long. How boring would that be? Even during great times, you still have to figure out what to do everyday and how to deal with all the people and situations that surround you.
Experience is life, I hope as you reflect during this Winter season you’ll give yourself the gift of feeling GRATEFUL for your own unfolding unique story. I’d love to read it!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!