Happier: Is there Happiness as a Care-Giver?

Featured

Is anyone really happy? What is happiness anyway? I’ve touched on this before in previous posts but let’s dive deeper into this thing they call happiness but from a care givers point of view! So many of us wonder through life looking for some reason to be happy but is happiness really just waking up and being happy, being thankful for those we have in life, that first cup of coffee, piece of toast, or that fruit?

keepcalmhappy

Let me be the first to tell you that true happiness is those things and so much more. Happiness is something that we have control over. Happiness is in fact, what we decide to be happy over. Recently, I became a care-giver of my father in his final weeks fighting stage 4 lung cancer. This made me very happy, as it was rewarding to be with dad during these troubling times, yet it was also very stressful seeing the decline in such a good man making me unhappy.

Care-giving while remaining optimistic and happy was a new concept to us in our newly formed family life but is something millions of people around the world do everyday and very challenging to say the least. Being cared for or cared by is a team effort no matter what side of the fence you are on and if everyone can remain happy during these times the easier it can be. However, how can anyone remain happy having to manage doctor visits, medications, hospice personal, and the mental/physical health of a loved one? On the flip side and as I have yet to find out… what toll did all this short-term happiness that I had during this time will/is playing on my overall real state of happiness both mentally and physically. I guess only time will tell huh?

Going at anything in life alone can be very challenging, scary, and filled with unknowns but trying to remain happy during these times is very important. Here are some things I found helped and are helping right up to this post.

Rule #1

Don’t do it alone. One thing I noticed over the last few years in fighting this cancer is that there is a lot of help out there for you whether it comes from the doctors, hospice crew, co-workers, or other family and friends. If you don’t ask or take any help think about how this will affect your overall happiness. Also think about how this will affect your health, finances, and spirit? Chances are you will see them all decline eventually and you will end up broke, depressed, and unhappy that you didn’t do enough. Yes? No?

Rule #2

Make it worth every minute. in my dads final weeks/month we were very blessed to have worked with amazing doctors (although dad was convinced they were only after his money), family, and an amazing hospice staff throughout the greater Tampa area. Over this time, I felt a great sense of happiness and continually told myself (even if I was NOT getting paid) that this time spent with him was worth every minute and every dollar of energy we all put into his full-time care. Even though my health and finances continued to decline throughout this time, I tried my best to remain happy and make every minute count. I think dad appreciated it although I still think sometimes he could see the stress mounting.

Rule #3

Tell those your with how much you love them. All to often in life, I think a lot of us get caught up in the moment regardless of what it is. Care-giving is no different. Care-giving requires all your time, energy, and effort, so how can you remain happy and tell all those others in your life that you love them? I by no means have excelled or am excelling in this category but did/do my best each day to tell others how much I love/loved them. Heck, I was even telling the hospice crew I loved them at the end. Now that both my parents have passed I will continue to work on this and hopefully when it’s my time those I touched throughout my life will tell me those exact words… I love you in the end!

 

decidehappy

I know that I could create an endless list of how to remain happy as a care-giver but I’ll save those for another day. The fact(s) is that most of us choose to be unhappy and more people should choose to be happy, especially if you are or will become a care-giver. Life as a care-giver can be filled with spreadsheets, charts, sleepless nights, etc. but if you somehow can remain happy, I think that is what will carry you to a long end life, while not pissing off all those that you are so close to. And as Mother Teresa said “spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come without leaving happier.” Thoughts?

In memory of my AWESOME LOVING DAD!!!

32f526f7-a1df-4cc8-8f72-a79ac9a623d5

0b01c2e1-41f0-4301-a407-6e9d96c3ccbe

 

Advertisements

Do we EVER really find what it is we are looking FOR?

Here you have it: People who know what they are looking for in life are the ones who actually make an effort to figure out what they really want in their life. Say what? In other words, do you find yourself genuinely satisfied or dissatisfied with yourself, income, home, and/or relationship if you’re in one? Even if you are happy with these things, are you consistently finding yourself looking for something better whether it is new landscaping inside or outside your house, a new recipe, job, car, friends, etc.? Do you find that you spend entirely too much time in your life trying to keep up with others, which cuts into your own happiness? I ask again… do you/we ever really find what it is we are looking for in life?

Image

I will be the first to tell you that are own human nature does not allow us to be content and if you are then lying to yourself, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough to get more, or you just might be content with the status quo. But how can anyone possibly be content with the status quo? Seriously? I’m not saying that there is not a way to be content or people cannot be satisfied in life with what they have, instead I’m saying that most of us blame and/or pretend that other people in our lives are the ones that cause us to be dissatisfied. Make since? Does dissatisfaction actually help create satisfaction? Or does unhappiness actually help create happiness?

“Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Over the years, I have learned that satisfaction, happiness, or finding what it is we are really looking for is in fact the by-product of living well just like Eleanor Roosevelt stated. We all have the right to be happy and we are the only ones getting in our own way of being satisfied or finding what we are truly looking for. As I continue to age, I am continuing to find what I am truly looking for in life, as my dissatisfaction with many things has indeed helped me to develop, improve, build, and accomplish many more things that I necessarily would not have. In other words and in as simple of a form I can state is that my dissatisfaction in life has indeed created satisfaction in my life. You?

Image

So, there you have it. Will you ever find what it is that you are looking for? Will you always be dissatisfied with the decisions you make/made or will you actually find what it is you are looking for and become satisfied with the things you do have? You graduated from school, got the degree or degrees, found the job, house, friends, and partner you desired. You have indeed found what you are looking for in life, so stop trying to tell yourself that you have not! Instead of creating doubt or unhappiness today, start creating satisfaction and happiness by embracing the things that you do have in your life (especially our children), as this simple suggestion will not only brighten your own outlook on life but also the outlook others have on their our lives. What is it they say? Happiness or unhappiness is contagious, so let’s all do a better job at transmitting happiness in our own lives, thus creating happiness in others. As always and with any of my articles, I hope you enjoyed it, look forward to your opinions here or on any of my other social sites, and your help spreading this or any of my other works with others. Moreover, until next time, and like always remember to KEEP SMILING, as it really does look good on you (>‿◠)✌