Dream a Little

Dream a Little

When caring for someone else, your own desires and dreams can seem to be on hold. Maybe Dad insists that nothing be moved or changed in the house, and you are dying to reduce the clutter and change the decor. Or Mom wants you to come by every day, and you haven’t got a moment to plan an outing with a friend, let alone take care of paying bills and getting an oil change.

What is your wish list? Have you written it down? I did that recently. I wrote down everything I could think of that I want — big and small. My list included everything from wanting my new book to be a bestseller to getting back to playing tennis to finding a way to fix my front door to make it easier to open.

My list made me smile. It also made me remember what delights and satisfies me. As I let myself sink into the feeling of having these things, I actually found the internal motivation to take action on some of them.

By focusing my attention on what I want rather than on what I can’t have, I’m finding it easier to make time for at least some things on my list.

Try it. Make a list of what you want. Pick a couple of items on the list and imagine how you’d feel when you have them. Take a moment to really feel the enjoyment of this experience.

After doing this, I’ll bet you’ll find some of your dreams coming true sooner than you think. Maybe one of your siblings or children will help you declutter and redecorate one small area of the house while reassuring Dad that the rest will remain as he likes it. And that outing with a friend may be handled with one phone call.

Go ahead. Dream a little. And let yourself have a little enjoyment — or a lot, for that matter.

Pat Samples helps caregivers find peace of mind through her books Daily Comforts for Caregivers; Comfort and Be Comforted; and Self-Care for Caregivers: A Twelve Step Approach.