Episode 76: What Are You Waiting For?

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Last night I was watching Ted Lasso, one of my favorite series to watch, and it ended up being a Christmas episode. Now usually I don’t watch episodes that are holiday-specific but this time I kept it on. It’s one of those shows that make me feel happy to watch and I always look forward to it when there is a new episode. 

Now I really like holidays. I’m up to celebrating anything and sometimes we have mini celebrations at home - just because. So watching a Christmas episode in the middle of August made me look forward to winter which is a crazy thing to say because summers in the midwest aren’t very long, to begin with. 

While I was watching it I started to think of all the traditions I love that really run from Thanksgiving to New Year. A month of decorations, excitement, and anticipation. The movies, the music, the family activities. 

Then someone on the show had “It’s a wonderful life” on in the background and I thought of how I’ve never watched that movie but always have it on my mental to-do list for December.

It’s something that I always say I want to do but never do. Now, that is a movie and, frankly, inconsequential. My life is ok without seeing it. However, it made me wonder… how many things do I put off until later that would actually make a difference to me now?

What have you been putting off that would actually change your life in some way if you did it? Do you use caregiving as a reason why you don’t do it?

You see… If I don’t do something I love to do for a holiday, during that holiday, then I would probably just wait until next year and hope to remember it then. For example… apparently the last two years I have not dyed easter eggs with my teenage daughter because when I was cleaning out a cabinet recently I found a couple of egg dye sets. We didn’t make the time to do it and kept the kit but then bought another one the next year (probably because I forgot I saved the one from the year before) and still didn’t make them. That means we haven’t dyed eggs together for almost three years. 

I really like sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving but one year I forgot to make it and waited until the following Thanksgiving to eat it. Meaning I waited two years to eat sweet potato casserole even though it’s something I enjoy. 

Looking back at this I am alarmed by the fact that - I limit myself to making these things, that bring me happiness, to just one time a year AND I am living as if there will be a next year.

Caregivers, out of all people, should have a pretty good understanding that there are no guarantees in life. Once you become a caregiver you find out that life is not actually under your control and it zigs when you think it is going to zag all the time. 

How can we spend so much time fighting to keep someone alive and not fight to actually live?

This isn’t about Easter eggs and Thanksgiving casseroles…

This is about the I Love You’s you don’t take the time to say. The hugs you will give next time. This is about not putting the effort in to try to see people that you love. It’s that art class you always wanted to take but you’re waiting for the right time. It’s taking the time to learn how to meditate. Having a romantic meal with your spouse. Spend the day having fun with your child. 

It’s the Somedays

Maybe laters

When I have time

When she gets better

After the cancer is gone

When he is able to walk again 

Type of things

What is that thing? Write it down in your phone so you can be reminded of it later. 

Then think of what it is that’s stopping you?

Why are you living as if there is an abundance of time when you know that isn’t guaranteed?

Why are you denying yourself joy and happiness now… hoping to have time for it later?

Maybe it’s because Joy and Happiness don’t have the same value as busyness and stress do.

You know when you meet a person and they seem so interesting because they go on trips and have cool hobbies? The only difference between you and them is they don’t wait. They think of something they’d like to do and they do it. 

So why not eat dyed eggs any time of the year just because they make your boiled egg a moment of joy?

Why not make that casserole in the middle of summer?

Why do we put constraints on when we can do things that make us happy? 

Denying yourself a day with your husband as he’s recovering from surgery doesn’t get you any further in life. It just makes you lose out on a day of connecting with someone you chose to live your life with.

Sure trying to do things that are fun can feel awkward. It might have been a while since you last remember laughing. Maybe your body doesn’t know how to giggle anymore. But I swear it’s still deep down in you somewhere and all you have to do is open the door to let it out. 

Take that trip. Read that book. 

Live your life seeking ways to fully immerse yourself in it. Be curious. Love deeply. Laugh loudly. 

Stop putting it off until later

Because that opportunity might not ever come and being miserable with life until there’s time for happiness is an unfortunate way to live. 

Caregiving sucks! It turns your life upside down. This isn’t what you planned on doing at this point in your life. However, caregiving can be difficult and you can still enjoy your life at the same time. If you need help figuring out how, find information on how to work with me at www.loveyourcaregivinglife.com 

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