and Care Coach Maura Horton
January is often categorized as 31 days of renewed spirit, hope, and adopting resolutions. How many times have you heard a calling to action for newness? Asked what your goals are? Stayed committed to carrying out your desired change? My least favorite phrase often heard bellowing from television to radios is the promise of “New Year, New You."As a caregiver, I do not afford myself the luxury of self-reflection and the ability to be open-minded about the possibilities of change. The truth is, every time I hear, "New Year, New You," I long for the past... Wanting the old us and the old me back. I wanted our former life restored. I wanted the pre-diagnosis, the pre-shift in our relationship dynamic, the pre-worry days, and the sleep-filled nights. That is what I craved; I was unable to see anything new. I was in a loop of longing for what once existed and seeing a future that would not change by making a simple resolution. It was a juxtaposition of sorts that waged a war between the past, the present, and the future.
“Don't compare your life to others. There's no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it's their time.”
Caregivers often compare everything. We compare how our loved ones are doing today as opposed to yesterday. We compare doctors, symptoms, diagnosis discoveries, and suggestions from friends on similar paths. From comparing resources, medications, hopeful antidotes, and horror stories to unforgettable victorious memories, we are constantly in search of benchmarks of evaluation. Most painfully, we often compare our lives to those who have not been in our shoes and wonder why things had to change. We compare our innermost self through a magnified looking glass.
This month and year try to drown out the rhetoric of “New Year, New You.” To ease feelings of inadequacies, it is vital to realize that we are all on our own journeys. Settle into your path, lane, and route. Remove comparisons and enjoy the moments for what they are because you are just enough to see it through.