Talk of “when this is over” is nothing new for people familiar with care work. Over the past year, it’s spread like another virus.
We can’t stop thinking about what we’ll do when this is over. I catch myself doing it as I make a separate shopping list for things I’ll buy once I can go into shops again and what can’t wait that long.
It’s fine to imagine a future where things are a little easier, where the constraints of our lives are a little looser.
It becomes an issue when we stop living in the now in favor of imagining what our future will be like.
Life is never on hold.
Not while you’re supporting someone’s recovery from surgery. Not when we’ve got our fingers crossed in hopes we’ll reach herd immunity. Not when you’re counting down the days until retirement.
This is real life, right now.
This is probably not the life you planned for. You created the plan; you can change it.
When we can’t do the things we dream of doing, waiting for some hypothetical future is a risky endeavor.
We have to ask ourselves what it is about these dreams that are so important. What needs and desires do we imagine they’ll meet? What about them sounds so fulfilling? What values are driving them?
Then we have to figure out a way to adapt them to the present circumstances. Or come up with another way to start meeting those needs and desires now, in reality.
The things that matter to you are too important to put off for a some day that will probably never arrive.
We’re already doing this. We’ve figured out how to shift all sorts of things into a technological world. We keep adjusting it as we identify zoom fatigue and UX nightmares, then tweak things until we figure out how to alleviate the issues.
We know how to adapt. We know how to find the essence of something and reengineer things so we can tap into it another way.
Sometimes we just forget.
So, here’s your reminder: your life is not on hold. You know how to stop waiting for a better opportunity and get back to doing what’s important to you, right now.
I’ve been bored with the Spotify algorithm lately. My latest favorite way to escape the silo is Radiooo, which allows me to travel through space and time, musically speaking.
Donna and I will be talking about the origins of the caregiving crisis and how to address it tomorrow at noon est. The program is free and online, but you need to register ahead of time.
A common reason that some of us feel compelled to provide an overwhelming amount of support is when the person needing care has become socially isolated. Thus, everything falls on one person instead of being distributed among a community.
In our private FB group, we’re talking about how to help someone build and restore social connections.
Do you have your end of life care wishes documented? If not, Reimagine has a webinar coming up on Friday to walk you through the process. They’re based in the US, so the specifics of recording your wishes so they’re legally recognized may not be relevant if you’re in another country.