Monday, June 15, 2015

Caregiving...Take the Stairs!

One of the reasons I love this time of year is commencement speeches. They are opportunities to get a reboot in life. They help us hear and understand points we often forget in the gettin’-it-done world of everyday life.

One of my young cousins, Conner Makitka, is the valedictorian of North Duplin High School’s Class of 2015. As such, she gave the valedictorian address at their ceremony last Saturday.

Conner had a DVD of her speech and we watched it at a family celebration on Sunday. She was wonderful! 

She made two great points: She said, “Up until this point in our lives there has been a plan.”…and she inferred that the plan was created by someone else, parents. Then she said, “But, now there’s no plan” and she talked about the fact that from this point forward most of the plans for life are made by the graduates. Point being: If you don’t already have a plan, you better start making one. I loved that!

But, the idea I liked the most—and the one that really clicked with me regarding caregiving—was when she said, “Life isn’t an elevator, you have to take the stairs.” Is that great, or what?!!

I loved her use of stairs as an metaphor. You have to work at climbing, but if you understand there’ll be landings, plateaus, where you can rest and collect yourself, you can keep moving.

We all wish caregiving was an elevator; you just get in, push the button and take the ride. But, we all know caregiving is about climbing stairs…and sometimes those stairs look like they never end. But, if we understand the concept of the landings—and look for them—we get to stop a moment and catch our breath before moving on to the next section. 

Stopping, even for a moment, and collecting ourselves is what keeps the craziness level from getting too high.

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