Today is my 5th Blog-a-versary!
Gosh. Five years!
Has that much time passed
since I sent a first post out into the blog-a-sphere??
I recently paged through a few old posts. I changed a lot inside since those early days.
A bit of naval gazing seems appropriate now.
My blog was launched in 2010 during a busy and sad time of my life. I was buried deep in elder-care issues for my mom having slipped into that role in 2006. But by 2010 I was drowning in it. Solitary full time elder caregiving can devour you in a way that is hard to put into words. It is a slow depressing slide down hill for the senior and the caregiver. In 2010 I felt I was waving a white flag in the battle to maintain both our lives. I was looking for a safe place to hold the "me-things" that were slipping off my radar. This blog was my life preserver ... literally a preserver of a life I was putting on hold.
And it worked.
I wrote about everything including things important to me - not me, the caregiver, - but me, the "used-to-be" working professional, wife, mother, crafter, walker, friend ... the me who was still interested in everything life had to offer ... but had to put it most of it aside to be me, the caregiver and daughter. That receptacle of "me" was this blog.
But even with that goal, in 2011 my mom started to take center stage here as well. I felt compelled to share the struggles and the emotional turmoil I was holding inside. I needed to let go of some of it in a controlled bleed rather than an explosive eruption. That slow controlled bleed of pressure was a series of blog posts called Through My Care Giver Eyes. Writing allowed me to put some space between me and the life I was leading. It helped me to look at things through my mom's eyes and see that all this struggle was ours together. It cemented my love and commitment to her even after I had to let let go of her primary care to Brooke Grove Assisted Living. I felt closer to her in the writing process. We were walking this path together ... to the end.
In hindsight, I am glad for other reasons that I wrote about that journey. Now that she is gone ... those posts and memories serve another purpose. The blog holds the story how I changed as a person because of her. It also holds those precious life experiences that would fade from memory with time unless they were written down. What started as a coping mechanism, became a tribute to the woman who was my mom.
The decision to bring mom into my home have far reaching impacts to this day. Some of life's opportunities have passed beyond my reach because of that decision. Delaying things so many years at my age does not allow much wiggle room in achieving bucket list accomplishments. But I don't mourn that loss. Some life goals we choose for ourselves are frivolous with no real value. The role of caregiver that I naively adopted with an open heart ranks up there for me with motherhood. I made a difference in the life of someone else.
And I learned like never before about myself. The world did not end when I pushed back on authority, when I let my rough edges show, and when I walked away from unsupportive relationships. A black hole did not swallow me up when I fired a physician, demanded accountability and questioned medical opinion. I am now more results-driven, less worried about what others think, stronger in relying on my own decisions, and more reflective on what is really important.
Did all these changes make me a more like-able person? Probably not. I still have trouble filtering the comments that escape from my brain. I have less patience and understanding for some people. But I am more at peace with myself - because my life has value in my own eyes. My life had value to my mom especially towards the end when she had lost everything else.
This blog holds all that for me.
In other five years, what will be housed here, will there be another evolution of me tapping on the computer keys ... hard to know. I might not even be blogging. I don't focus as much on the future. I try to live in the "now." But I am so grateful to have captured a small important part of my past in this space and a small part but important part of my mom's past resides here with me as well.
Something to cherish.
Happy Anniversary, dear blog.
Thank you readers for being there.