When Less is Best

Each week as I write to you, I remind myself that my goal is to support and encourage caregivers who care for a loved one with a chronic or degenerative disease like Parkinson’s. My prayer is that you will feel that I have accomplished that goal today and with each successive post.

As a caregiver for my husband for 23 years, I felt the weight of increasing responsibility as his disease progressed. I had no medical training, so I always felt inadequate to care for him. Some days were absolute disasters, while other days it seemed we had smooth sailing. Sometimes I just didn’t know if I was doing a good job or if I was a total failure.

Knowing he would only get worse, every day I expected a new symptom to appear. It felt like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like typical Parkinson’s we went months with no change, and then something earth-shaking happened, and we would have to adapt. (Mostly it was ME who had to adapt.)

Even though things like that might cause us to stress or worry or fear or constantly nag our loved ones to be careful, each of those things is counterproductive to a peaceful life. And peace is the better goal.

As caregivers, peace is achieved by realizing that less is best in these areas:

Less stress – perfection is rarely achieved. And while it might be an admirable goal, let’s enjoy the success of doing our best in every situation. We know we can each accomplish that!

Less nagging – yes, I used the word nagging. Reminding. Warning (“don’t put your cup so close to the edge of the table”) Advising (“you need to use your walker”) Mentioning, emphasizing, etc. (Yes, I used the thesaurus!) Our loved ones will begin to tune us out when we talk too much. How about this – let’s talk less and do more. We can always walk over and move the cup away from the edge, and we can take the walker and put it in their hands without even saying a word. It may mean we have to DO more, but we can do it with a smile that promotes peace.

Less worry – if we’re doing everything right, about the future, about when the next symptom will appear, about anything! Worry doesn’t change the future and worry certainly doesn’t help our day go any better. Let’s leave it all in God’s hands.

Less fear – that we will know what to do when the next emergency arises. We may not be prepared for everything, but when we don’t know what to do, we can call for help. A better way is to enjoy the present.    

“Less is more” is a popular phrase, but in the case of fear and worry and nagging and stress, less is the goal. God has given us this time with our loved ones, so let’s fill it with peace and love, not worry or fear.


Published by parkinsonscare

I'm a retired mathematics teacher, mother, and grandmother. I cared for my husband for 23 years, and now he is in Heaven. My new mission in life is to support and encourage caregivers like you!

14 thoughts on “When Less is Best

  1. Really like the comment about stop nagging. It is so easy to fall into that cycle as the food is falling off the spoon onto the floor, the pills fall on the floor, the cane is nowhere to be found of hounding. So my goal for this week is less talk and more action. Will let you know how it goes!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cheryl, you are so perceptive. I have been in this mode for several months now. It is still a work in progress. Approximately 2 years ago I found myself nagging and telling my Cheryl to watch it, do this, do that, yada yada yada. After awhile she pushed back and I probably started sounding like, blah blah blah in a Charlie Brown cartoon.
    Lately I’ve been telling what day it is because the calendar means little these days but spoons and silverware and setting the table and cane, cane where’s my cane, doesn’t get me upset anymore. It took too long for me realize that I could quietly and cheerfully help. The cheerful part is on going. 😁 It is hard but life is calmer and quieter if the care partner loses the attitude that the other party is still rolling along normally and merely needs talking to like a small child. It took me awhile to realize that it wasn’t fair to her. I’m still working on it. Thanks for your perceptive thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You bring up a great point, my friend. Their mind is not the same as the person we married, and it is like talking to a small child. When I tell you I prayed mostly for patience, I know you understand. It’s great to hear from you, and you are in my prayers, you and YOUR Cheryl! (Smiling)

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  3. “Peace is the better goal.” YES!! Sometimes with Aaron, since I am his parent, I must handle situations in a way that might seem like I am being permissive and not disciplining enough. But I know that when I push him, he will most definitely push back in many instances. Calmness and allowing him to make some decisions is best many times. This blog today is so wise, as always, and very needed. Also, I wanted to tell you that I ordered the book you recommended last week. I have read it to Aaron over the past three days. He absolutely LOVED it – he was mesmerized by every word. It was a joy!! He wants us to read it again together. I’ve also ordered three more books about animals and friendships, but I’m sure none will match the excellence of Mackesy’s book. Thank you, Cheryl!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We will be celebrating our 38th Anniversary this month, and I have to remind myself that I am not his mother. It seems the first 2 times I say something, he doesn’t acknowledge or register that I was talking until I say the same thing the 3rd time. Is that nagging? Seems to me, it is. Your comments today are right on where we are right now. Thank you for your words that bring us back to calming and giving them respect at all times. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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