Let Love Rule
It's Carers' Rights Day today and I'm looking back over the past year and what I've learned.
Last year was characterised by panic and emergency. This year we've had our share of emergencies and I've often been overwhelmed, exhausted and frightened, but the hyperventilating midnight panics have worn off and I'm learning to surf the crazy waves like a zen surfer. Patrick Swayze in Point Break, that's me. On a good day, at least.
I've been thinking again about love.
As my panic and desperation to make everything all right recede, there is more room for the simplicity of love.
The love is always there, but lately I'm feeling less resentment, less guilt, and more compassion for Nick, and for myself.
Finding it easier to be present - just hanging out in the room together, spending time. As I get older the concept of "spending" time is interesting and I want to spend it wisely, luxuriously and not let it run through my fingers. Spending time with someone who has a progressive illness makes this particularly apt.
It is really really important to have time out for yourself too, to come back to yourself and re charge your batteries. Loving can't half take it out of you.
Exercise. Humour. Sleep. Friends. Pets. Music. Films, a fabulous book you can escape into, any kind of parallel universe that takes you somewhere else for a while - all these things give you perspective. And nature. Nature is the thing that saves me. And art.
As carers we're all surfing those crazy waves all the time while making it look easy; it's amazing to think how strong and skilled we must be.
What keeps you going when you're looking after someone? And how are you going to celebrate yourself on Carers' Rights Day 2018?