We do not remember days, we remember moments. Cesare Pavese
One of the great aspects of being on the road to Spokane is the anticipation of where the journey will lead me. Sure, the end of the journey is graduation, but what about the road leading up to graduation? And more importantly, what will happen after graduation? So many sites to see along the way, so many people along the route to visit, so many more things to do on my bucket list.
Richard and I were fortunate that we were able to accomplish quite a number of things on our bucket list prior to his cancer diagnosis. Transatlantic cruises were always tops on our list, and we had quite a bit of domestic trips, too. Lunch in a small mountain side cafe outside of Arels, France; hill top view overlooking the green and blue lake, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean at Ponta Delgarda Azores; relaxing after a walk in Cadiz, Spain.
One of the most enjoyable parts of our trip was in the planning! We would sit down together and look at maps and plan the itinerary as best we could. While we had a plan in place, we always left room to explore so that we can check off items on our bucket list. It was fun for us to check items off our bucket list. As I continue to plan my road to Spokane, it has come to my attention that my bucket is a little dusty.
Oh, there are many things I still want to do that were on our bucket list: visit the Grand Canyon, drive to Mount Rushmore, fly to Hawaii, more transatlantic cruises and a train ride through the Canadian Rockies. Now it is time to dust off the bucket list!
One thing that was not on our bucket list of things to do was Caregiving. I doubt Caregiving is on your bucket list, too!
It seems kind of strange to think about Caregiving as something that should be on your bucket list because in essence, no one really wants to be a caregiver. Caregiving just happens! It could be an untimely diagnosis or an unfortunate accident. Who plans on being a caregiver? While all of our caregiving experiences are different, there is a part of caregiving that I think we all experience, the beginning and the ending, and in most cases, we are not prepared for either of these life-changing events. We live in the moment of our caregiving journey while desperately praying for a miracle, hoping the next day will be better than the day before, then all of a sudden, it’s over.
As I look back on our caregiving journey, I know now the good days far outweighed the bad ones. We might not think that way when we are in the midst of the caregiving trenches, but I have come to know that this is true. As caregivers, we sometimes get caught in the mindset that we can do this alone, or that we do not need any additional help. Along the way I learned reaching out for help was not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. Reaching out for help and being mindful of your own personal health and well-being is job #1 for all caregivers. Yet, easier said than done!
So I think adding a little asterk at the end of your bucket list to include Caregiving is a great thing to do. The asterk can be a subtle reminder to have all your legal documents in order, or to be mindful of the unexpected, but most importantly-the asterk will remind you not to procrastinate and accomplish as many items on your bucket list as possible, because before you know it, the asterk arrives at the top of your list and your bucket list then starts to gather dust.
Chris MacLellan is the author of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving?” and the host of “Healing Ties” Radio. The Road To Spokane is part of a Masters Thesis project leading up to graduation from Gonzaga University in Leadership and Communication.