I'm starting to think that there are no easy days for caregivers. Each day is somewhat mundane, doing the same tasks over and over and never really getting "done." But in the middle of that, we never know what kind of wrench may get thrown into the mix. A surprise doctor visit. A phone call in the night. Delayed shipments. A sudden fever. We never know what a day, or a long night, may bring. Keeping a positive outlook and fighting to keep our "heads above water" are two real things we face pretty much every day. Of course, that doesn't mean every day is bad. But most days are hard, even though we have our caregiving routine down to a T.
I am in a caregiver's group on Facebook, but I don't hang out there much. It is a safe place to vent and air out emotions. But it seems to get a bit whiny to me. I don't need that. When I share, I try to post positive things. As caregivers, we have so much on our plate, and it does get overwhelming. How do we keep a positive outlook when there are not a lot of positives? Celebrate the small stuff.
We spent four months in the hospital after my son's wreck. The days were uncertain, and somehow I hooked up with a few people online. A young man told me two things that I have continued to hold on to. First, he said that the doctors do not have the final say - God does. And secondly, he said, "progress is progress." No matter how small it seems, he suggested celebrating any progress or positive. I've done that to keep my head up for 14 years now.
I may look silly to others, but "progress is progress" has become a caregiving mantra of mine. Add another layer to it by thanking God for all the positives. A thankful heart can't remain heavy. Some days, it's easier to find small victories to celebrate and be thankful for. Other days, I have to work really hard at finding them. But it's always worth the effort to be positive and thankful.
I encourage you to celebrate the small wins, the little positives, the good things today. If you are not sure where to start, begin with the basics. Be thankful God loves you and hasn't abandoned you. Celebrate the truth that He is with you in the middle of the storm, He doesn't abandon ship when the waters of life get rocky!
Today, I will look around for those small things to be thankful for. I'll choose to have a thankful heart and express my gratitude to God for every small victory, no matter how small it seems. Thanksgiving will be my focus today as I open up my heart to God and allow His peace to rule there. That's something to be thankful for - His ever-abiding peace. I'll thank Him for His peace and trust Him for one more day - will you join me?
Grab a free copy of Poems for Caregivers from my Dove's Fire Ministries bookstore.