Maybe we’re freaks, but my husband and I are using our next day or two off from caregiving this weekend to work on the organic farm we belong to (CSA work share) and to paint our living room and stairway, which (perhaps weirdly) will be enjoyable down-time for us, since we’ve spent most of our energy on Carol Jean this summer, neglecting our house and the sorely needed remodeling projects we had envisioned would get done.
We’re just not the hammock or spa types, though Spooky sure is! (our late feral cat, pictured in the shoebox above)
Mom has more or less settled into her new memory care facility, a 40-min. drive away, which feels way too far. Today’s the first time in a long time that I won’t see her. (When she was in the hospital I was there a few hours every day, and before that she was living with us.) Ironically, I’ll be spending much of the day catching up on her bills, cleaning out her boxes from her recent move to us from the south, and organizing her paperwork, but that’s okay, because it otherwise would all be looming, making me feel overwhelmed.
Rest and relaxation isn’t always loafing. The idea that we need to compartmentalize it into vacation or lounging seems to be a modern, western concept. Often my time with Mom is relaxing because we move so slowly, and I’m very aware that she needs to laugh, so we cultivate it in our interactions. She helps me remember to visit parks, gardens, and woods with her- places I love to be but don’t make time for.
What are some not-so-traditional ways that you relax as a caregiver?