Like many people I no longer commit to a New Year’s resolution. Instead I pick a touchstone word for the year. Sometimes it is based on how I hope the year will go and sometimes it is based on anticipating what is coming.
I’m in the anticipation mode this year and the word is ‘Embrace.’ The dictionary defines embrace as: ‘To accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.’ It’s only January 3rd and already I see changes, opportunities and the need to let go headed my way.
‘Some changes look negative on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.’ Eckhart Tolle
Moving mom into assisted living near me is a huge change for both of us. I am looking forward to being able to see her more often and participate in community events with her. And honestly, I am looking forward to one less stress, that of a 64-year-old home where more and more things are starting to give out.
Now mom, on the other hand, is not fond of change. I know she is worried about the move and although I would like to talk her into embracing this change, it won’t happen until she is living there. Although life will be different, it is creating space for us to be together in a way that allows me to focus on her, instead of caregiving and household tasks.
‘To see an opportunity, we must be open to all thought.’ Catherine Pulsifer
So often our fears keep us from embracing a new opportunity. The negative record on replay in our head and other people’s opinion can get in the way of being open to new opportunities.
Just before the end of the year, a new business opportunity opened for me. It is exciting and a little scary to start a new venture even though I know it will be a huge help to family caregivers. It requires that I expand what I believed Advocate for Mom and Dad is meant to be. And yet, it is in many ways a manifestation of opportunities I was already working toward, just a little different flavor. Truly, if we had not made the decision to change mom’s living situation, I don’t think I would have been able to say yes to the opportunity.
I will work very hard to help mom embrace opportunities for socialization with other residents and to participate in activities despite her being blind. But I also know that I can’t change a person or make them act in the way I would like them to. Which brings me to…
Embrace Letting Go
‘Letting go isn’t about having the courage to release the past. It’s about having the wisdom to embrace the present.’ Dr. Steve Maraboli
I am going to have to let go of the notion that this move is going to be 100% successful right off the bat. Many elders, mom included, have a hard time letting go of the past. After all, it is when they were in the prime of life, surrounded by family and friends they loved. There are many happy memories and change is difficult. But it doesn’t mean the present can’t be happy as well. We just need to be willing to help them embrace it.
Disclaimer: The material in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace, nor does it replace, consulting with a physician, lawyer, accountant, financial planner or other qualified professional.
Deb is available as a caregiver consultant. She will answer the question: “Where do I start?” and find the resources to alleviate your stress. If you would like to invest a half hour to learn how she can help you, please contact her at: Free 30 minute consulting call
Deb is the author of “Your Caregiver Relationship Contract.” Available in both English and Spanish, this book explains how to have an intentional conversation and the how unspoken expectations can cause problems. Click here to learn more about Your Caregiver Relationship Contract.