Last week we took a break from taking care of Flossie, my mother in law. We needed a little time away together as a family, I needed a little time away. We went to Disney’s Ft Wilderness and stayed in a cute cabin in the woods, hung out by the pool, rode bikes, went to some disney parks, ate out, snacked, watched tv, slept when we wanted and came and went at will. It was heaven. Tim’s sister came and stayed with Flossie, so we knew all was well at home.
In planning and anticipating our little vacation, I kept thinking how great it’s going to be, and how refreshed we will all be coming back 3 1/2 days later. And I was right, it was awesome! I felt so good, relaxed. But then on the ride back home, I had a feeling of dread, more than the typical down feeling at the end of a good vacation, but a deeper daunting feeling, I didn’t want to go home, back to being a full time care giver.
I tried to analyze my feelings.. I came to the sad realization that I was, (sometimes still am), resentful of our situation, why us? Our break, reminded me of my life before. It’s like when I’ve been on a long run and I stop to walk for a minute to catch my breath. Starting to run, for me, after stopping to walk, is harder than if I’d just run through the pain. Being able to be spontaneous, free of constant care for another, was something I’d forgotten, a little. Having the glimpse into our past life was hard, especially in the face of our current view. I resented my situation and suddenly longed for the life I had before. I was grumpy, and it didn’t help that Flossie was sad her daughter had to go home and said more than once how wonderful she was and so nice to have someone to talk to for a few days. Like I haven’t been anyone to talk to? (That’s how my grumpy mind heard that).
So, what now? I felt relieved when Tim expressed a similar feeling, I’m sure to a much more saintly degree than my own, but still, he understood. We went over our same options we’ve gone over before, and realized there really were no other choices as far as where Flossie would live, she must stay with us, it’s what we want, of course, we’re not going the nursing home route, not now. I went to church the next day feeling down and extra sorry for myself, as Tim had gone out of town just before church for a week on business, adding to my pity party. The talks did not lift my heart as I was hoping, however, our small Ward choir sang a piece of music that I needed. As I have Loved You, with the men then singing descriptively of the last supper and when the savior gave the new commandment to love one another. I had forgotten, it’s actually a commandment to love one another! I realized I need to go back to remembering how much I love sweet Flossie, and treat her as He would treat her, or as I would hope He would treat me, for that matter.
The next day, I saw a quote someone shared on fb that I needed, too.
“At some point you just have to let go of what you thought
should happen and live in what is happening.” Dr. Laura
It was a good reminder that ultimately I really only have the choice of what my attitude will be throughout this journey called life, and sometimes what I might think are breaks, are in reality, life lessons for me in disguise. So I will march ahead, shoulders back, love in my heart and a smile on my face and follow the advice of Leo Tolstoy,
“If you wish to be happy, be.”
And allow myself the grumpy days from time to time, they make the happy ones so much sweeter. Next break we get, and we need them often now, I’ll know more what to expect upon the ending and returning. And it’ll be ok. Thanks for reading and for not judging ~Venita