Greetings one and all...
Welcome back to The Caregiver’s Cairn - a sustaining and empowering guide for caregivers and care receivers. I hope you and yours have enjoyed a lovely month since my last posting. I invite you to pour a cup of coffee or hot tea, curl up in a cozy chair, and take a deep breath. We are well into the lazy days of summer. However, if you are a caregiver, I imagine most days are filled to the brim with things to do, places to go, and people to see. Right? So, today let’s hearken back to our childhood years and remember what it felt like to be less crazed on those lazy summer afternoons. Perhaps those childhood memories will serve to remind us that lazy days are an essential part of life, a critical element of self care.
Can you remember when life was a bit simpler and moved at a slower pace? My mind immediately goes back to my early childhood days growing up in West Texas. The sights, sounds, and smells of summers on the South Plains permeate my childhood memories— brilliant blue skies, intense sunshine, freshly mown grass, shimmering swimming pools, frolicking friends, spontaneous picnics, inviting shade trees, and impromptu naps. Those were the days, right? No responsibilities. No “to do” lists. No deadlines. I find it fascinating that by merely recalling those simpler and slower times, I feel less harried and hurried. Good memories indeed.
I also have present day reminders as to the importance of slowing down and enjoying the moment—my critters. My dogs and cats are masters at savoring the lazy days of summer. Summer seasonal activities include snoozing on a sunny window sill, taking an early morning walk in the hood, playing in the sprinklers, or perhaps dancing with dragonflies.
Dancing with dragonflies? Yep! Millie, my 1 1/2 year old pedigreed mutt, showed off her dancing prowess the other night. After a long day of working in the yard, I was ready to call it quits. Weary and ready for bed,I encouraged the critters to go inside for the night. However, Millie had other plans. Initially, I couldn’t figure out what she was doing. She dashed to the left. Then to the right. She lept like a graceful gazelle. She even did a little pirouette that finally prompted me to slow down and appreciate the moment. It was magical! Millie was surrounded by dragonflies that responded to her every move. Sometimes Millie led. Other times she followed. The choreography was amazing! As I watched the dance unfold, I laughed with delight and enthusiastically applauded the extraordinary performance. But Millie’s dance with the dragonflies was more than a mere performance—it was the needed reminder to slow down and truly enjoy the lazy days of summer.
Since that evening, whenever I see a dragonfly, I remember to stop, look, and listen. The lazy days of summer are not to be missed. There is magic in the air if we take the time to notice. So, give yourself permission to unplug from your daily routine and dance with a dragonfly from time to time. I have no doubt, the dance will serve you well.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. I invite you to share your perspective on the caregiving journey. Make suggestions. Pose questions. Provide resources. Share your story. Coming together and sharing, we will improve the process for one and all. I look forward to continuing the conversation next month. Til then, blessings to you and yours...Jane W. Barton
Do you have a question for Jane? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch soon!
Jane W. Barton, MTS, MASM, CSA
Author of Caregiving for the GENIUS
Caregiving Ambassador for AARP Colorado