For the last several days I’ve been a caregiver. On Tuesday, my mom had a massive shoulder reconstruction and I was her person. The surgery went well… the recovery has just begun, but also going well. Before I get further into this blog, let me first say that she’s a champ and even the doc was surprised, with the severity of her shoulder, how well she was doing. Can we say high pain tolerance?!
Caregiver is defined as a family member or paid helper who regularly looks after a child or a sick, elderly or disabled person.
That’s one aspect of being a caregiver, sure… but doesn’t even begin to define it. A caregiver is a person who genuinely cares for another. A person who willingly gives up their freedoms and time to help someone they love through a tough time. They are an advocate, a nurse, a friend, a sounding board, an entertainer, a maid, a personal chef, a chauffeur, a secretary, a personal shopper, a massage therapist, a stylist, an alarm clock, and so much more.
I’m not redefining this to toot my own horn for my efforts the last week. In fact, quite the opposite! Instead I want to thank each and every person in my life who has been my caregiver. My family and medical team through my struggles with epilepsy. My mom and dad for every time I was sick as a kid (and let’s be honest, as an adult). My body work team through all my injuries and prevention of injuries (Tory, John, Candace). My friends and family who have helped me through mental and emotional break downs (thanks again in advance for the next ones). My clients who understand when I need to take a personal day (or days). And for the last 10 years, Marcus, who has helped me through all of this… the physical, the emotional, and the mental anguish and frustration.
I realized this week, that to be a caregiver, you just have to be someone who cares and genuinely wants to help someone during a difficult time in their life. You have to put your own needs aside and know your purpose at that time is to make them as comfortable as you can.
In a way, as a coach, I get to do this everyday. My clients come into my gym with all the baggage of their day (work, kids, appointments, life). My job is to give them an hour of focusing on just them. To help them grow physically, mentally and emotionally. To do what I can to make that hour a highlight of their day. To be their advocate and do what’s in their best interest. To empower them, to listen to them, to serve them.
Some days, like most people, I wonder what else I would/could do if I wasn’t in the field I am in. I have other passions that draw me, but truth is, I don’t want to do anything else.
In my efforts of caregiving for my mom this week, she once again cared for me, I’m guessing unknowingly on her part (mostly due to the norcos…ha!). But she reminded me why I do what I do for a living. I love caring for others.
I am going home exhausted beyond words but thankful for the time I was able to give to helping the woman who has helped me in life more than she will ever know.