Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Regressing ... a Tempting Thought Some Days!

Have you ever thought to yourself, "I sometimes wish I wasn’t an adult!”  Isn’t it true at least sometimes?

When we think of children, we often say (wistfully) that children view the world with eyes of wonder.  Many times I have wished I could suddenly morph into a 4-year old that covers their eyes to become “unseen”.  If only hiding or withdrawing temporarily were that simple!   Don't you often wish you could believe as they do:  If I can't see you, then you can't see me?
As a caregiver, how do you insert Wonder into your life and view things as you did before you became older, more challenged, tired, and ... a grownup?
Gratitude is a good start.  Make it a priority to take a fresh look at your life, starting today.  Why would you wait?  As you walk through the day, consider a change in perspective.  Can you make light of any of the tasks you do? Will you allow yourself time to laugh when the dog tilts his head with what seems to be a look of total empathy?  Certain days, the dog may absolutely be your best  and only friend!  Go ahead and talk to yourself, having a unique dialogue that makes you ruefully laugh at how crazy the day really and truly is!

Days can be bleak and lonely, no question, but can you try to view other days with the eyes of a child who finds the sunshine throwing shadows through the window blinds special?  Listening to the crunch of the autumn leaves on the edge of the driveway? Savoring the taste of a s'more?  It's often the little things that make life brighter and lighter, but as adults, we may have to look harder for them.  

Purposefully.  Intentionally.  Mindfully.

It’s worth the time and if practiced daily, can become your default life-stance. The word "Wonderful" means literally, "full of wonder".  Looking for the moments of Wonder in your day can be a personal therapy and compassion toward yourself. 

Caregivers are notoriously hard on themselves, but you can gently work more often to alter your mind shift, tracking the Wonder moments in your day.  See if it doesn’t slowly but surely change the way you treat yourself.  Bonus:  It can also change those around you, as Wonder brings back the naiveté we all once had in abundance.  Try going for the enlightened, lightened regression – and may it bring you joyful, wonder-filled moments!

Linda Kreter & the
VeteranCaregiver Team

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