What 3 adjectives best describe you?
What do you want people to remember about you?
Chances are that the answers to those questions best illustrate your goals in life. Have you ever actually written them down? Almost 20 years ago I was tasked with writing a mission statement for my life. It was work back then, but it has been valuable recently. Let me explain.
As a caregiver, like many of you, my life was consumed by caring for my husband. I do not use the word “consumed” lightly. Parkinson’s Disease was my entire life. For 23 years we read everything about PD, watched every video and movie about it, and researched it for countless hours. I used 99% of my energy caring for my loved one and learning how to make him more comfortable, and many of you can identify with that.
It is a good thing to care for our loved one, but sometimes we lose ourselves in that process. But caregiving is not forever. It will end. And in the case of those with a degenerative disease, it will end with the death of our loved one, as it did for my husband.
Please understand that I believe he is in a better place and no longer sick. That is a comforting thought for me, and I’m very happy for him. My faith in God and God’s promises concerning the death of those who love God is a comfort to me. If you’d like to know more about that, I would be honored to share my faith with you.
But now I am no longer a caregiver. So, who am I? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? To answer these questions, I have gone back to my mission statement, to my core values. Just reading that statement I wrote 20 years ago has given me focus, purpose, and clarity on how to move forward.
I promise to share my future plans with you soon, but today I want to just remind you that you are more than a caregiver. You are a person with dreams and goals and a mission in life. Your mission might be to spread peace, love and kindness. Lofty and admirable goals. You can do that now, even while caregiving. Keep those goals in mind now and remind yourself that you are important. Yes, your loved one for whom you care is also important. But you – caregiver – are also important as a person. Don’t give up who you are for what you do. One more time-
Don’t give up who you are for what you do.
If you haven’t written a personal mission statement, I challenge you to do that this week. And then live it out while caregiving. Because one day you will NOT be a caregiver, and you will be right where you want to be – living out your mission statement already.
Have a great week, and I can’t wait to hear about WHO you are!