My former boss, Ed, used to say that if you never made a mistake, you weren’t doing anything. I could see the truth in that statement. The people that took on responsibility and tackled complicated jobs, occasionally made mistakes.
I wore several hats at work, including office manager, and whenever I made a mistake it had the potential to be a doozy. I was always more tolerant of other employee’s mistakes than I was my own. Once I learned to forgive myself for making mistakes, I was calmer and more optimistic. I always figured my mistakes paled in comparison to someone making a mistake in a life or death situation.
In today’s world of instant communication, it’s easy to send an angry text, email, Facebook post or to make a snarky phone call. The tongue is one of our most dangerous, out-of-control weapons. Words can destroy life-long friendships, marriages, and employment. Rumors and lies can ruin lives. Silence really can be golden! Thinking before you speak or send regrettable words is always a good choice.
It’s not a good idea to let your mouth get ahead of your brain. Sometimes, saying you’re sorry doesn’t erase the damage. Forgiving or forgetting isn’t easy, especially to a grudge holder. Somewhere along the way, I stopped holding grudges and usually gave others the benefit of the doubt if they weren’t blatantly being hurtful.
Lives can be irreparably damaged by a moment of stupidity. Everyday people are subject to the scrutiny that was once reserved for the rich and famous. We live under the constant watch of cell-phone cameras, internet postings of arrests and accusations, and face the judgment of friends, enemies, or total strangers. People are no longer innocent until proven guilty; they are guilty until proven otherwise. I hope that I don’t breathe life into salacious gossip, but allow it to die a slow, painful death
Throughout life, I’ve discovered some hard truths. I learned that it wasn’t my responsibility to make a clinically depressed person happy. When Jim went through his periods of PTSD and depression, I was supportive and encouraged him to get medical help. The hardest part for me was to overcome the feeling that I had failed him. As much as I loved Jim, I couldn’t make him happy when he was going through a dark time.
The truth is that being a family caregiver is often a thankless and lonely job. A caregiver can become emotionally and physically drained without adequate respite and support. Caregivers are well-known for ignoring their own medical conditions because, well, they just don’t have the time or energy to tend to their own health.
If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your loved one. It is important that you do not give up your hobbies and activities, especially when caring for another long term. Hold your friends and family close because they will help you retain your zest for life.
Copyright © May 2023 by L.S. Fisher