I believe that when one is a caregiver, they do not allow themselves time to have fun. At least that is my opinion about myself. The second thing is when the opportunity presents itself, I tend to feel bad for having done it.
Today was a “free day” for me. My mother told me she would stay home today, so I wouldn’t be rushing to take her to church and bring her home before I went to sing at another church. The day was mine to be free as a bird.
I visited a church I used to be a member at, and saw some friends I hadn’t seen in months, and got to say a quick hello to the pastor. It was nice for many (who knew I was a caregiver for my mom) to compliment me on how well I looked.
Then it was off to another church for the afternoon to sing, something I love to do. I picked up the choir director, and off we went. The service was great, as was the singing, and afterwards, before taking him home we went out to dinner. The food was good, and I got some ribbing from my friend in the process (figuratively from him teasing me, and literally, as we went to a rib joint), but I had fun and relaxation, not to mention a full stomach from the tasty food I ate.
After taking my friend home, my mind started doing something I had to fight against: I was not out-of-order for wanting to go and sing, or to have dinner out. But I had to fight feeling guilty for doing it. I suppose that is what others, who are so entrenched in caring for someone go through. But I encourage caregivers everywhere not to relent to that thought. Rather, enjoy your time away from giving of yourself to someone as a caregiver, and enjoy and be present in the moment, even if it is for a few hours; you deserve it, so embrace it. Soon you will be back in the caregiver trenches of your loved one’s life, and it will come sooner that you know.
Hope you will embrace the opportunity when you can get away, and please, have fun and relaxation, and don’t feel guilty in the process.