Joined: 13 Oct 2010
|Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:01 am Post subject: DREAMING NEW DREAMS
|Last week, the Caregiverís Bill of Rights that I posted included one about the right ďto make a life that will sustain me when I am no longer giving care to my loved one.Ē
Thatís worth pausing over, so this week, I want you to consider what your life will look like when you are no longer needed as a caregiver. As a caregiver, you tend to keep your future focused on the needs and treatment of your loved one. And thatís a perfectly good way to go through life right now.
But your caregiving will come to an end at some point. Rather than allow that experience to be something like walking into a glass door you didnít realize was there, itís a really good idea to plan for that future. I like to think of this as dreaming new dreams.
Now, not tomorrow, is the time to begin to consider what you want your life to look like after caregiving. Itís the forward dreaming that we did when we were planning our education in preparation for our first career, or when we contemplated retirement at the end of our work years. If Iíd been tuned into this kind of dreaming, I would have done it to prepare myself for life after the kids left the nest.
Your post-caregiving time will be a lot like empty nest syndrome. All that energy is going to need a placeóor placesóto be put. What will those be?
Start by taking stock of what youíve learned and accomplished as a caregiver. Are some of those skills particularly satisfying? Would you like to be able to continue using them? What other kinds of uses require them?
What about the time and energy that you will have to spare when youíre no longer caregiving? Is there something youíve always wanted to try, but put off?
Your new dream may include some things you want to return to, some things youíve always wanted to try, or an expansion of some thing you have already learned. Listen to your inner voice and allow it to guide you in planning your life after caregiving. The dream of your future life will be worth listening to.