Surprisingly for my American friends, it was the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend while I wrote this blog. Yes, we enjoy turkey and all the trimmings to answer a question inquiring minds may be asking. It is also a time of year to pause and take stock of our blessings.
During the ordeals of eldercare, amongst my greatest gifts of all were the friends truly there for me throughout. Much was learned about various groupings of people, shall we say.
Notice who is there for you.
I first became aware of the phenomenon that is today’s theme from “Carol-Ann’s Top 10 Caregiver Lessons” in corporate Canada while resigning from only a few workplaces across a 25-year period. During that quarter-century, I clearly identified four categories of folks via retirement and other speeches. First off, there are those you expect to be present and they are. Then there are those you would never expect to come forward and they do!
Observe who is not there for you.
Even more so, there is the intriguing set whose support you count on and they are nowhere to be found. Wow. Yes, there are those you project to not be present and they are not. That one is highly predictable. Those who step forward are worth noting in all ways. You are being given valuable information about whom to include in your inner circles going forward. The pleasant surprises (unanticipated and expected) are possibly the most delightful of all.
Give yourself permission to experience kindness and understanding.
Either way, if there was ever a life chapter when you ‘should’ allow yourself 100% berth to experience compassion from others (never mind your own self-care), this would be it. You will be contending with all manner of feelings. A real champion and supporter will urge you to accord free rein to your sentiments – particularly the so-called unpopular ones like frustration, anger and resentment. You deserve gentleness. Please take it in to receive.
Toward that end, I encourage you to spend some mid-October time to do your own inventory of the people who surround you. To gain additional guidance, you may want to review my series of blogs about COMPLETE SUPPORT at https://www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com.
Meanwhile, stay tuned for some mindset and practical strategies to deal with aging parents’ endlessly repeated stories. Are you up for it? I am sure you are!