There is something beautiful about starting a new year. Each year is a recurring clean slate. The past year is behind us, and a new year is ahead. I was extra excited that January 1st fell on a Sunday this year. I love to plan my week on Sunday mornings. I time block my week, meal plan, reflect on what went well the past week, and how I would like the new week to look. BUT…as I sat down to plan, I felt a bit overwhelmed. I wasn’t ready to plan an entire year! I put down my planner and decided to take my hand-written list of books I read in 2022 and type them up in a Google document. This felt much more productive then planning a new year. I then listened to a workshop I signed up to attend.
Emily woke up late on Sunday. Her nose was dripping like a leaking faucet and her voice was hoarse. I tested her Covid, which was negative. I laughed that every time anyone is sick now, we automatically test for Covid. This was not even a thing three years ago, and now it was the first step in the illness protocol. Relieved that it was negative, but Covid or no Covid, she is not feeling well.
I had wanted to take her for a nice walk to start the new year, but the weather was dreary and cold AND she is sick. My plans must pivot and adapt to this new circumstance. Emily is not feeling well. I rolled with it. I fired up all the diffusers in the house, started a fresh warm bath for Emily, and got ready for a cozy day in. As I cared for Emily, we watched some football, and The Wiggles were in the background, and my mind began to wander. Each time I sat down to plan, fearful thoughts crept in and interrupted my flow.
I decided to open my iPad and write them down. I know that journaling is the fastest way to release the thoughts that my mind just won’t let go of easily. Writing them down seems to free my mind. After I wrote them, I decided the bold move was to share them. I knew this would be hard but I published it on my Medium account for others (or no one to see). Here is what I wrote:
The New Year is here. It is a cool, wet, and dark day. The weather is gray and a bit dreary, and I am too. My body is aging and yours is too, but mine is slowing down and yours is still racing forward.
As I get older, I think about your future. What things will look like in years to come. How long will my body be able to be your hands and feet? How long will I have the mind to advocate on your behalf?
For over twenty-two years, I have lifted, carried, bathed, dressed, and moved you. It is my hope to continue to care for you until my last day on earth. I often dream that you will never know a time when I am not the one who is there for your care.
My caregiver fears are working overtime today AND that’s OKAY.
My thoughts were not surprising to me. They pop up often and unannounced. I think everyone that anyone caring for someone who requires complex care has similar thoughts. I am proud of myself for not trying to push them away. I am grateful that I am willing to embrace (and release) the thoughts. I do not allow them to paralyze me in fear and keep me from moving forward. As soon as I typed out the thoughts, I felt immediate release and freedom. No longer fearful of what the future holds, I was grounded back in the present moment.
I proceeded to plan my week, not my year. I am just not ready for that…yet.
2 thoughts on “New Year, Recurring Fear”
div dir=”ltr”>Oh Billie… this one has me crying
Hugs for you and Emily! Thank you for not only sharing your story but for being an example of mindful living and teaching lessons for all.
Your planner or journal must reveal Wonder Woman’s secrets – because surely that must be who you are.
Love and admire you!