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Setting new resolutions and goals is a big part of a new year for many people. I’ve never had an official bucket list, but after watching my parents move on from this world, I couldn’t help but wonder if they had any unfulfilled wishes. That in turn, made me think about my own “bucket list.”
But an article I read recently in Aging Today has me rethinking the whole bucket list concept. I discuss this in a post I wrote for The Caregiver Space. The gist of the article is that we may be better off aging with purpose and participating in activities that offer deep engagement versus waiting until we are retired for that dream vacation or grand adventure. The doctor who wrote the article doesn’t think bucket lists are necessarily bad, but encourages a broader perspective so that we can live more fully in the here and now.
I like this approach. While I hope to enjoy a grand tour of Europe some day in the not-so-distant future, I also want to find joy and meaning in the present. Learning and trying new things, writing more and hopefully getting published more, and helping other caregivers, those are more immediate goals that offer true fulfillment.
What do you think? Are you a fan of bucket lists?
It’s that time of year where we analyze the current year ending, and create new goals for the next year.
I’ve never been big on making resolutions but the start of a new year does give us all a good opportunity to introduce new goals. Of course, as caregivers there are many things beyond our control, so those fall into the hoping and wishing category.
2014 has not been a bad year for me. I finally was able to reestablish full-time employment and I’m very happy with my job. The ability to work remotely from wherever I want is a huge burden off of me, in case I do need to leave my home city for an extended period to take care of Mom again.
I had a story published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias.” That was an exciting accomplishment.
I was able to begin chipping away the debt I accrued while taking care of Mom. While I haven’t reduced my debt to nearly the point I want to, I know it can’t happen overnight, and am thankful that my job allows me to pay off significant chunks each month. Slowly but surely on this goal is the only way I will succeed. (Or winning the lottery, haha.)
Mom’s health has been a bit of a roller coaster ride this year, especially the last half of the year. Today she is supposed to finally meet with the surgeon, but there is a snowstorm in her area and I don’t know if she will make the appointment. The delays in securing a diagnosis is frustrating. I can only hope that we figure out what is wrong and get her the treatment she needs soon. I’ve helped stabilize her financial situation by picking up most of her bills to pay myself, but I hope she can continue to live independently so we can avoid another financial crisis.
I’m taking a writing class in January, a weekend workshop kind of thing. I’m finally starting to pull together a plan for a book idea. We’ll see what comes of it, but it is definitely a goal of mine this year to continue writing, and that includes blogging!
Thanks to all of you who read my posts and take the time to comment, it is greatly appreciated. I hope 2015 is good to you and your family.
With a new year comes feelings of anticipation and trepidation for many of us. Especially as caregivers, sometimes the future can seem bleak, without a light at the end of the tunnel. While I’m all about planning ahead, sometimes we must live in the moment.
After all, none of us are guaranteed more than the very breath we are taking right now.
I am torn between trying to embrace each moment and each day with also trying to prepare for my future as Mom’s caregiver. I also want to continue the project I’ve started to honor my father, and all of those who have battled Alzheimer’s. These obligations must be balanced with my need to earn an income again as well.
It’s a tricky balance. The road map for caregivers is littered with unknown situations and destinations. The line between a loved one being able to live independently to needing assisted living can be murky.
A year is nothing more than a new set of numbers on the calendar. There’s nothing magical about a new year, but it is as good a time as any to refocus our minds and efforts on the important things in our lives.