Living like it’s Ground Hog’s Day to Cope with Caregiver Burnout

I managed to take ten days off from my current angel duty of brain cancer recovery support for my Mom. Unfortunately, the folks that stepped in had a “hiccup” and our star patient ended up back in the hospital. From the sounds of it, she is set back to her condition six weeks ago – before we started her recovery program. The thanksgiving visitors thought we were deranged for pursuing a recovery approach. They did not think it was worth doing. WOW – what a very fast demonstration of my post on how cancer is a belief system. We are alive until we are dead. When people are treated as if they are going to die, is it any surprise the outcome is death?

I am writing this on the plane heading back earlier than expected. On the first leg of this flight, I was disgruntled and disheartened. I was enjoying settling back into my home and regaining some semblance of “normalcy” in my life. And I was rekindling some great friendships that had taken a back seat to the chaos of my life. I was enjoying getting on with my life and did not want to head back to angel duty, yet.

Something shifted for me between planes. I remembered Bill Murray’s Ground Hog’s day movie where he has to live the same day over and over and over until he finally starts to enjoy and accept his strange fate. It’s only then that he wins the girls heart and gets to move on to Feb. 3rd. Seeing that I was born on Ground Hog’s day, can the same experience be happening with me here? That until I learn how to enjoy and accept my fate as the lead angel on this tour of duty, nothing will change with it or for me?

I got on my next plane with a “bad” number for boarding the Southwest flight. It was a number where your only choice is a middle seat. The one choice I did have was which middle seat. That was good enough for me. I was happy. I picked a row with a sweet looking older woman in the aisle seat and a friendly grunge looking 20 something guy at the window. Like Bill Murray did when he was stuck repeating ground hog’s day, discovering the small choice I had in this situation helped me reignite my inherent joie de vivre. I had a blast with my row mates on the flight – probably because I was back to my natural state – happy. Lets hope I can remember ground hog’s day as my cure for caregiver burnout. I’m ready to go back to my angel duty with a spring in my step and a smile on my face.

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