It’s easy to get lost in the consumptive ocean of endless transactions that come with caregiving. There is so much to do all the time that just thinking about it can be exhausting and defeating. Well intended advice from others to not worry so much or just do what you can doesn’t help.
What does help is to use questions that draw us back to the real structure and limits of our role. One of the most effective questions that I have found for caregivers is this:
What’s Possible Today?
That brings us back to the reality that our work is always one day at a time. Once that is clear emotionally, it’s easier for us to stop pretending that excessive and contagious worrying about what we can’t accomplish or control today is in any way benefiticial. It ‘s not. Instead, it steals the energy, empathy and focus that we need for today’s opportunity.
By insisting on staying connected to today’s possibilities, we gain direction, realistic goals and purpose. And we need this burst of success amid the uncertainty and complexity of caregiving to steady our resolve and bolster our endurance.