I don’t do resolutions. After 15 straight years of “I’m going to lose 30 pounds this year” I gave them up. No more. But as I have traveled along this caregiving journey, I have opened my eyes and my heart to many growth opportunities.
Last summer, I was so very fortunate to participate in a journaling class with Leeza Gibbons through her wonderful organization, Leeza’s Care Connection. At our final class we talked about vision boards and how they can be helpful in our overall health and wellbeing. Let me just say, Leeza Gibbons is the most positive person you will ever meet. Interacting with her just makes you want to be positive and look for ways to continue to grow as a human being.
The fact that I have always tried to find the silver lining in every situation, no matter how dire, made the idea of a vision board interesting to me in that it can provide a way to focus.
As a caregiver, I have lost that focus. While I have to plan for the future when it comes to treatment plans or anticipating what’s next in the course of this disease, I don’t look into the future. I was never a good “where do you see yourself in five years” kind of person and caregiving has made that even worse.
But for some reason, this spoke to me. It gave me an opportunity to think about myself, which is not something I do. A vision board allows the opportunity for dreaming or at the very least, identifying what I may want. It doesn’t have to be anything grand or it could be. Either way it allows me to dream and to focus my intention on what I want.
Part of my caregiving journey has shown me that I matter too. My health, my life, my feelings, my thoughts. All of me. To think it has taken caregiving and the stress and strain of it to allow me to realize that fact is shocking and yet empowering at the same time.
The instructions for making a vision board sound like something out of a craft store and immediately made me feel like I was getting roped into something that was way over my creative head. Attaching quotes, ideas, photos of places to travel to, or people to meet, on to poster board is not something I would generally do but once I got past the school project feeling I realized it could actually be a fun activity.
What appealed to me even more were the digital apps where you can design a virtual vision board. No glue necessary. That is much more my speed and less intimidating to me even though it doesn’t matter how I do it. I doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be mine. Which is also a lesson I have learned through caregiving, progress over perfection.
This is something that can provide possibility, hope, and positivity. It is so easy to get weighed down with the sadness and stress of caregiving. At this point in the journey, I am not even sure my mother knows who I am everyday. It’s hard and heart breaking. Being creative is a way to bring some light, grounding and hope.