On Caregiving for Loved Ones…and Loving Myself

Yesterday was the first day of my Fall Break, but it didn’t feel like a break at all. I was out sweeping up leaves for several hours starting at 7:30am, cleaned the house, taught two lessons, checked in an AirBnB guest, and cared for my sweet man who is recovering from surgery. All wonderful things- just not too restful. Medicinal dawgs…

Work was hectic up until the last moment – I was at school until almost 6pm Friday evening sitting at my computer entering the fall 2019 schedule, and by the time I got home I had a serious knot in my left shoulder; a build up of lots of stress over the past few months. I’m so grateful for this week of Thanksgiving break. I will still have to do some work, but there is something different about being able to work from home, and especially being able to reconnect with a home that is such a touchstone for me.

It is difficult for me to transition from work mode to holiday mode; it’s like I’m running a race downhill and can’t really put on the brakes. It takes me a couple of days to slow down and allow myself permission to let go of work responsibilities for a bit. Such an important thing to do, though, as you can’t pour from an empty cup…and my cup has been on empty for a few weeks now after a semester full of wonderful travel, performances, lectures, teaching, and life.It is always my honor to care for Dan when he is recovering from illness or surgery, as he does so lovingly for me when I’m the one in need. This time he is just very uncomfortable, but hopefully things will be better for him after meeting with his surgeon on Monday. Just as it is with me, it is hard for Dan to be unable to be active and do things for himself. We are good at balancing each other; when one of us is feeling dark, the other helps to focus of what is good, right, and hopeful in any situation.

I have learned over the years that I am very good at caring for others, but not so much myself. I feel the need to put everyone else first, often not leaving much for myself in the end. I don’t want to change that desire to serve others, but I do want to learn to be better at carving out quality time for myself. I’ve vowed that this week I’m going to do just that; making time to write, take photos, read, and take long walks with the dogs. I have some work to do, but I’m going to make self care an important part of this holiday of gratitude. I’m starting with some time on the top deck with the pups on this absolutely gorgeous Sunday, enjoying the views and going inward for a bit before tackling the rest of the leaves. Not a bad place to ponder all that I have to be thankful for at all.

2 thoughts on “On Caregiving for Loved Ones…and Loving Myself

  1. Your home looks lovely and cosy 🙂 I also struggle to care for myself I think and don’t value myself much but I am trying to let go of these thoughts too which is definitely a work in progress!
    Take care x

    1. Thank you, Sarah. We are all works in progress- and we are all worth the time to self care. It is just hard sometimes, isn’t it? Sending good thoughts to you to see your beauty and worth. I will be working on the same. ❤️

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