Caregivers Must Realize That Imperfection Is Good Enough
Caregivers Must Realize That Imperfection Is Good Enough

A Realistic New Year for Caregivers

Below, I've reproduced the introduction to my January ezine. Many of you subscribe, so let it suffice to say that I wish you a happy New Year, and you'll be able to read the rest on your ezine. However, many of you don't subscribe, and I wanted to pass my message that imperfection is always going to be a part of life - even a shiny new year. And that's okay. So, below is my ezine message. Anyone wanting to subscribe can do so on the Web page or blog page.

I can't help but compare each new year with a fresh tablet of paper. As a child, I loved the blank promise of that fresh pad of paper. Pointy new crayons and new pencils, freshly sharpened, also promised perfection. 
That perfection was brief, of course. Quickly, I'd write something and not be happy with it. I'd erase and then smudge the once pristine paper. Often, I'd tear out the page, crumple it and toss it away. After the first, errant smudge, life was back to its imperfect normal.

The New Year is rather like this for me. Briefly, I love writing or typing in that shiny new number. This year, as I replace 2008 with 2009, it will feel good. The old year hasn't been particularly easy. However, when I look at lessons learned, some of them the hard way, I know I've grown. Therefore, both joys and sorrows of the year past have a positive effect on my life, even though sometimes I have to search for the silver lining in the cloud.
So it is with most of us. We have our good days and our not so good days. We, as caregivers, have reason to be proud of our understanding ways, our gestures of love, our sacrifices for the good of someone else.
However, we caregivers, way too often, feel guilt ridden. We didn't say the right thing at the right time. We should have done something differently. We wish we'd remembered to do more of something else.
We are human. We'll feel good on some days and not so good on others. We'll have joys and sorrows in 2009, just as we did in 2008. However, if we learn from it all, we will be better people as well as better caregivers. And that, my friends, is what life is about.
Take care of your loved ones in 2009. But don't forget to take care of yourself, as well. If you are human, you'll smudge up that new year pretty quickly. But you can take that smudge, and instead of crumpling it up and tossing it away as a blunder, you can work on making it a thing of beauty. Let the tough lessons settle a bit, and then look at yourself. Enjoy how you've grown as a human being.



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