At Thanksgiving, Make a Point of Finding Happiness
By Jean Donahue
the United States and Canada, Thanksgiving is a time when we are reminded
to be grateful for living where we do and for everything we have. The
typical Thanksgiving Day will start out with someone putting a turkey in
the oven in the early morning hours. Later in the day, the rest of our
family comes with various dishes to go with the turkey. Itís a day of
happiness and laughter. All cares and frustrations are forgotten for that
one day. It sounds wonderful.
too bad we canít put away our cares and frustrations that easily. As a
family caregiver, we canít do that, even on Thanksgiving Day. Our loved
one isnít going to get better. We have to live with that fact every
minute of every day. On top of that, we are still responsible for our
loved oneís care. We canít get away from it, and when it comes down to
it, we wouldnít want to. We love them too much to leave them alone on
want everyone reading this to find at least two things to be thankful for.
They donít need to be huge things. They can be little things, like being
overweight. Thatís right Ė OVERweight. Did you know people in other
countries are so skinny and weak they may die? When you think of it that
way, you can see how you can be thankful for being overweight. Next, when
you are down, think of those two things and rejoice that you have them to
be thankful for.
you donít do something to make your Thanksgiving Day a good day amidst
your caregiving, it can be horrible. You can sit and feel sorry for
yourself. You can tell yourself that you are in this awful situation and
that it looks like the rest of your family is having that carefree time
you want so badly.
can get angry with your loved one, but you know your loved one doesnít
have a choice about needing someone to take care of him/her. You can
become jealous because your brothers and sisters, your kids, your friends
look like they are having a good time, but it wonít change anything. You
are a family caregiver. Youíre taking care of your loved one because you
love him/her, not because theyíre sick.
so easy to get upset because you arenít doing what you want to do. You
and I both know you donít want to be taking care of your loved one. You
want them to be healthy and living a normal life, not needing your care.
But, we canít live in a fantasy world. Itís essential that you live in
the real world, a world where people get sick and need help. But, donít
look at the bad things you have to face. Look at the good things that come
out of your situation. You are learning so much. You are growing so much.
You will be able to talk to someone else in a situation similar to yours
and help them. You will always know that you did everything you could to
help your loved one when he/she needed it so much. I know itís hard.
Iíve been there. But, itís worth it.
matter what people are doing Ė caregiving, or not -- they all have
difficult issues to face. The super rich have problems, even though they
have more money than theyíll ever need. A beautiful person has problems,
even though she isnít unattractive. An ordinary person walking down the
street -- not taking care of their loved one -- has problems, just
different ones than you have.
everyone has problems they must face. No oneís life is without problems.
We all need to face life as it is, not as we would like it to be. Thatís
why itís so important for you to look for the good things in your life,
and the good things that come out of what you are doing.