At this time of year, like no other, we are admonished to view our situation from multiple perspectives.
One person will say, “Look back over your life!” And indeed, we do. As we unpack holiday decorations, we cannot help but look back on those made by our children when they were small, even if they are adults now. We think back to holidays past when our parents and/or grandparents were alive. We recall happy times that make good memories, and we might even revisit those that are painful. That’s normal and natural and even healthy. They happened. They are in the past.
Thinking of our spouse with Parkinson’s Disease, we sometimes look back to the date of diagnosis and see how the disease has progressed. We see the mobility that is lost. We see the subtle changes that have brought us to this current condition. This perspective is normal.
But for me, it is not where I need to dwell. Yes, I think of the past sometimes, but I then determine to leave that perspective in preference to a different one.
Many articles I have read this month say, “Look ahead to the New Year” because it is almost here. Plan for the future. Even in commercials on television we hear, “Don’t get caught entering retirement with no plan.” What are you plans for next summer? Yes, we should look ahead. That sounds like a good topic for next week’s post!
But again, thinking of our spouse with Parkinson’s Disease, we do think about their future with this disease. When we see a friend’s spouse with PD who is struggling with a much more advanced form of the disease, we might think, “Will that happen to my spouse? Will we go through the same progression?” And if we are being honest, we may even think, “How will my spouse die? What will the end of their life look like? Can I handle this? How will I know what to do?” These thoughts are also normal. We all wonder about the future of ourselves and our loved ones.
But again, for me, this is not where I need to dwell. None of us knows the future, so we would only be predicting. A better way for me to live is in the present.
The perspective I have chosen for today is the NOW. This is what is in front of me right now, and this is all I can handle. The past is over, the future is not yet here, and today is here.
Today I know what I must deal with. I must be patient, kind, and take care of the details that my spouse cannot. I need to be strong for today. Maybe I wasn’t always this way in the past, but that is over. I cannot predict what I will do in the future, because I don’t know what I will encounter.
But today, right now, I can be the caregiver my husband needs. You can be the caregiver your spouse or loved one need. We have the tools and the support that it takes, right here, right now. Let’s help each other. It takes a village.
Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your perspective!