The Juggling and Balancing Act Will Never End

family redefining after 50 May 08, 2022
Balancing life's roles never ends

It's been an interesting couple of months, to say the least.

  • Our granddaughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  We have been wrapping ourselves around that emotionally as well as reading up on and learning all of the things.
  • Chris and I bought a beach house that we gutted and now are realizing is likely a rebuild.   We are wrapping ourselves around that and trying to figure out next steps.
  • These events pushed me to take the leap and talk to my boss who also happens to be my best friend to let her know that I was officially fading out of my job working with kids and families affected by ASD.   Not easy to do - this career is part of how I define myself.   But, it's time.

And, as Chris and I were settling in last night, I got a call from my stepmom that my dad had been admitted to the hospital.  They live in Florida which is flying distance away.

All of these separately, are major life stressors.  And they've all occurred for us within the last two months.

As all of this is going on, I am continuing (as best I can) to do all of the normal, everyday things - helping with grands, caring for our dogs, being available for our other parents, working on my blog and continuing to work as a BCBA as I slowly fade out of that role.

My Stepmom

As I moved about my morning after Chris left for a four day trip, I felt remarkably calm.  I was waiting for news from my dad or stepmom so I could decide if I needed to make flight and dog care arrangements so that I could get down there.   

And, as I was doing my morning, I got to thinking about my stepmom who just turned 79 years old.   And, at 79 years old, she is continuing to be a caretaker and a role juggler.

I realized that this will never end for us!   We will continue for as long as we are able, to juggle the roles and try to keep doing all of the things.

I also felt very weirdly blessed by this, somehow.   It's nice to be busy, I suppose.

But, We MUST Continue to Create Our "Me" Time!

How?

I am going to follow up with a blog post on our ideas about the concept of "time" in this community.   But, for this post, I'm more focused on the role our mindset plays and the everyday things we can do as we move forward.

We Need to Hold Onto The Realization That the Situation or It's Current Intensity May Be Temporary

When we first learned of and processed my granddaughter's diabetes, it was intense.   I was not only worried about her, I was worried about her parents.   We want to take on all the hurt from our grands and our children, regardless of their age.   It's hard on us when we are unable to.

But, as we processed and accepted it, things settled down.  I stopped waking up each morning and thinking about diabetes before anything else.    Don't get me wrong....it and she still consume large parts of my day.  But, I'm able to get other things accomplished at this point.

I'm happy to report that my dad is home and feeling better after a couple of days in the hospital.   I'm grateful for that and for my ability to remain calm and carry on while that was happening.

We'll deal with the house situation.   And, whatever else comes along.  Because, guess what?    Other things are going to come along!   

When they do, it's more important to carve out some time and space for ourselves than any other time, I would argue!

Take Time to Feel the Feelings

My blogging coach has been talking about this a lot recently:  Life happens.    And it's not always good.   There's good and there's bad.

So, it's okay to feel crappy about what's happening when it's a crappy thing!

And it's not okay or healthy to try to buffer those feelings.   

Give yourself time.   Cry, if you need to.   Feel the crappy feelings.

And, when you're done feeling them for that moment, carry on!

Journal

Journaling is a keystone habit for which you can carve out 20 minutes a day.   

Journal about your struggles.

But, most importantly, journal about your dreams.   Do your reflections.    Take that time for YOU.

Get Outside and Walk

It's always so cliche but do it!   Clear your head.   Take in your surroundings.   Listen to an amazing podcast or your favorite music.  

Don't Be Afraid to Say "No"

This is such a hard "skill" for many of us.   We want to be there for whatever anyone needs.   

In my mission statement program, we take a look at our priorities and values as we move forward on this side of 50.  Take a bit of time and sit down and list out your top priorities.   Start to practice saying "no" to the rest.

The events of these past couple of months in my life really pushed me to take the actions I needed to.  It was time for me to realize and act on the fact that I need to stop taking time away from my priorities of:

  • taking time each day to exercise and be healthy,
  • being present for my family, and
  • continuing to create content for this amazing community.  

Because, when I say "yes" to something that isn't a priority to me, I am, essentially, saying "no" to the things that are.

I'm too old to be doing that.   How about you?

 

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