Sometimes I wake up in the morning and think….what in the heck is wrong with me? I’m unplugged! It’s been a unique run of life these past few years and I have to remember that it’s OK to rest. I still have a lot of work to do, but hopefully just as much time to play. I found this article interesting after doing some research on the “Sandwich” generation. With my Mom’s health failing, my husband’s health compromised and my adult son with autism ongoing support needs my time is limited. When time is limited I (instinctively, not wantonly) put myself on the bottom of the list and wonder why days like this exist.
I am a planner, but life doesn’t always go according to plan…does it? That being said, plans can be adjusted, amended, set to the side for awhile but plans are necessary. Your plan is your road map to remind you of your goals that need to include the simple pleasures of life, recreation, exercise, socialization (with wine smile emoticon ) and meditation….I’m a strong proponent of meditation, but not always. I thought meditation was a woo-woo waste of time, but now I can’t imagine not taking the time for it. It is a glorious way of taking a break from all the noise in your head…what I need to get done….worry, laundry, sponsorship, groceries, guilt, conference planning, bills, doctors appointment, training schedule, clients, contractors, etc….ahhhhhh, it’s much better than “Calgon, take me away!” (70s throw back). It doesn’t make all your worries go away, they will always be there, it give you a mental break. I would suggest guided, relaxation meditation. You can search and find them free on the web. Read about the meditation author, listen to the voice, music, sounds, etc. that are relaxing to you…the last thing you will want is to listen to is someone that is annoying…I can find that all on my own!
Parent’s of adults with developmental disabilities will always have active parenting responsibilities. Just because your son or daughter is over the age of 18 doesn’t mean your responsibilities are over, they are different. It also doesn’t mean that you son or daughter is a child in an adult body and you treat them as if they are a child….this topic is for another time and place. In the meantime, be gentle to yourself, plan, implement your plan, meditate and have fun!
Being a caregiver to aging parents, and often to their own children as well, can cause boomers a lot of stress, according to Stefanie Small, LCSW, a geriatric social worker for Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh, an organization that helps older adults remain safe and comfortable in their own homes by providing care coordination, caregiver services, in-home counseling, support groups, family consultation, information and referrals. “As the sandwich generation, baby boomers often have two sets of people to take care of,” Small said. “The good news is that unlike earlier generations, most boomers are very good about planning; they don’t wait for a crisis to deal with it. We get a lot of calls from boomers who say that mom or dad is alright now, but they know it won’t always be that way, so they want to know what their resources are ahead of time.”