Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Curse of the Caregiver

May 16, 2012

The past 12 months for me have been a journey of discovering personal limits, seeking balance, learning how to say no, letting go, and finding peace.  The journey is far from over, and I'm not sure it ever will be. But I feel stronger today (mentally, physically and spiritually) than I did in May 2011, but apparently my body has been absorbing more stress than I let myself be aware of. As it is my birth-month, I fulfilled my personal tradition today to receive a 60-minute massage.

As I tried to relax on the massage table, I quickly realized that I am not very good at relaxing! As the therapist worked on each section of my body, I began to realize how tense, sore, and fatigued my body is. Our session went over an hour, and she didn't even get a chance to work on my arms! It was a crazy experience, as each section was worked on, my body awareness increased and I scolded myself for not putting 'taking care of myself' as a higher priority. I call this, the curse of the caregiver.  I truly love my job and wholeheartedly love my students, which is why I am able to have so much patience with them. But when I get home I crash and neglect myself. I thought, and still think, that joining bootcamp was a good step in giving myself and my body some attention. But the curse of the caregiver is that I am left without any patience or energy to love on myself. I need to slow down and take more baths, treat myself to more massages, I think I might even buy myself some fresh flowers tomorrow, because hey, I think I deserve it!

It was so wonderful to have my kinks and knots worked on today, but I am far from healed. During my massage Matthew 11:28 came to me: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." This is a message to all of you in the caregiving vocation...come forward, let go, allow yourself to be taken care of and then we will feel pure rest.  I'm going to have to re-do my budget to make some room for more frequent massages...Dave Ramsey, I don't care what you think about that, I'll make it work!

I saw this picture and I had to grandma bought me the "Little Miss" books when I was young..."Little Miss Bossy" and "Little Miss Chatterbox" to be specific. Yes, she was very passive aggressive with her messages to me :) But "Little Miss Stress" is definitely who I would identify with today!

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