Caregiver Tips for Self-Care, Part 4

Caregiver Tips for Self-Care, Part 4


Redefine fun. It’s difficult when you have to accept the fact that the
things you used to do for fun and entertainment are no longer available to you. You have a choice, and that is to redefine what you think is fun, or just mourn the loss of the things that you used to be able
to do. And Madelyn decided to look for new ways to have fun, and this is what she said, “In
the past, it’s been fairly easy to graduate from one stage of fun to
another. As a person reaches this stage,
it’s harder to give up on those former stages. We still remember dancing, playing golf,
traveling, et cetera. We now reluctantly accept that is the
past. It is especially hard for Quentin to give up everything, when he has so little to
replace it. As I got to thinking of the things I
consider fun now, I consider your visits or visits from
any of the family, fun. It’s great fun now to watch our great
grandchildren grow and develop. It’s fun to take the wonderful feeling
warm dough out of a bowl and make rolls or delicious
bread. It’s fun to watch the grass and flowers develop. I had a lot of fun thinking about the
fun things in my life and actually I was amazed at how many things
came to my mind, like the enclosed picture of Liz Taylor. Years ago, I must’ve been fussing about
my looks, and apparently, Quentin asked who I would like to look like. And I cant remember the conversation.
However, when I said, knowing that it was impossible, but I would like to look like
Liz Taylor, Quentin said, ‘Oh, hell, you’re better looking than she
is.’ It didn’t change my opinion of myself but it was always a source of amusement
to me. So when I saw her picture in this tabloid in the newsstand of her being checked
into a rehab facility, I had to buy it. I feel that I am finally
prettier than Liz Taylor.” I have laughed to myself and I’ve had a
lot of fun thinking, if someone asked you what your mother looked like, you could say, “Well, you know, she’s better looking than Liz Taylor.” Savor happy memories. I hope all of you have some happy
memories My mother was lucky, in that she loved
my dad and he had been a good husband. I was lucky that he had been a good
father. And I had a good relationship with
both of my parents so I wasn’t carrying around a lot of past hurts or anger. For some of you, this may be a little trickier. If you
have been married to someone who has not been a
particularly good partner, or if you’re caring for parents who were not always there for you when you
needed them be, this can be a little bit harder. But I still want to share her story. She said, “I wish Quentin could just die and get it over
with. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to
happen right away, and since he’s still here, I’m going to
try to concentrate on happier times, like Valentine’s Day 1993. We were on vacation in Port Richey,
Florida. We were on our way to meet my sister Jean, and Frank, and another couple at a very
elegant country club. On the way, we stopped at a grocery store
to see if we could find an inexpensive floral gift for Jean and her friend. We were about to give up, when the clerk showed us an orchid, mounted in a small white wicker
basket. We selected two. I must’ve been looking wistful, because
Quentin said, ‘Would you like to have one too?’ and I
said, ‘Oh, I sure would.’ It was so pretty that I didn’t want to
mess up the corsage by wearing it, so I kept it in the basket. Our meal was delicious. There was free champagne and a flower
for each lady. As we drove around that day, I had the
most joyous awareness of how much I loved my
husband of fifty-one years. That flower lasted three weeks. This is another experience I will never
be able to duplicate, but I’m so glad I have that memory.”

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