Have you ever fed an alpaca? I have. Last year, before I started being a full-time caregiver for my father, I would take these odd excursions just for the sheer experience of learning new things. One of the places I visited was a near-by alpaca farm. I had actually considered raising alpacas at one time and wanted to find out more about them. Needless to say, I decided against it, because while they have the CUTEST faces I’ve ever seen………they have a nasty habit. They spit. You should never wear a white jacket around an alpaca. 🙂
Anyway……… Yesterday I ventured out ALONE for an afternoon of “Me-Time” for the first time in over 2 months! I HAVE been out of the house for a couple of hours in order to grab some groceries, pick up some scripts for my father, mail a package, cook for a ladies’ luncheon, etc. but I think that was only twice, and it wasn’t “Me Time”.
Clearly, I have forgotten to take my own advice !
For those of you who have signed up for my newsletter and received my free report “12 Things You Must Do to Stay Healthy and Sane While Caring for Your Aging Parent”, you might remember how I stressed that you absolutley MUST take some time for yourself. I have been so wrapped up in my father’s various doctor’s appointments, sorting out his medications (because the dosages keep changing), playing Cribbage (which we do for 2 hours almost every night) and working on some eldercare “products” that I had completely forgotten to stop for a break.
As is often the case, the body tells us when we have had enough. I have been experiencing chest pain all week and was denying the symptoms, sluffing them off as spring allergies, a pulled muscle from pulling weeds, etc.
The pain got really bad the night before last and I began wondering who would watch my father after I called 911 and was hauled off to the ER and what would become of him if anything happened to me. So I got out one of my meditation tapes which seemed to help. Encouraged by that, I made the decision that an aftenoon out might help. I set up a hair appointment and a tanning session for that very next day. (Fortunately, I had just received a respite care agreement from our local Area Agency on Aging which gives me a certain number of free respite care hours per month from a Eldercare Agency of my choice.)
Amazingly (DUH! ) the chest pain disappeared even before I stepped out of the door ! Just the thought of being out by myself lifted my spirits and calmed my shattered nerves. It was a wonderful afternoon away and I’m going to ( AGAIN ) make it a priority to take one afternoon a week to do something for myself…………maybe I’ll vsit an ostrich farm next!
So I am beseeching you, do as I SAY, not as I’ve DONE and find a way to take some time for yourself. Get away from the house; crank up the music in your car and enjoy yourself.
YOU deserve it !
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