"The months and years devoted to caregiving can be vital, limiting, critical, and frustrating. They seem endless when you are in them."~B. Lynn Goodwin
Are you a caregiver? By caregiver, I mean someone who is serving in any of these capacities: a mother caring for children, a grandmother helping to raise grandchildren, a companion to an ailing friend. Or, as author Lynn Goodwin knows firsthand, a full-time caregiver to her aging mother for seven years. If you are caring for others in any capacity, and you have the least little stress about it, this author and her insightful new book are for you!
Please welcome my WOW-Women on Writing Blog Tour Guest, B. Lynn Goodwin, the author of You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers. She is a freelance writer and editor who has put her passion to pen: assisting those who assist others relieve their stress and take better care of themselves. Lynn believes one of the most powerful ways we can do this is through journaling.
I'm truly enjoying her new book and I know you will, too. It is inspiring, practical, and oh, so therapeutic. Lynn encourages caregivers to not only process their stress through very simple writing prompts, but to celebrate what is right in their lives. And with the tips that Lynn offers, anyone can begin to journal, even the most reluctant or time constrained of us.
Today, Lynn offers us wise counsel on self-care and some great writing prompts to help us get started. If you're game, let's go! And there's a book giveaway, so make a comment here and you will be eligible to win a copy of You Want Me To Do What? Enjoy, and get your pen ready! Lynn is here "live," eager to respond.
Replenishing Your Reserves
B. Lynn Goodwin
Has life evolved to a place where everybody else’s needs come first? Do resentments expand like a swollen spring river? It’s a familiar predicament, and you are not alone.
When I was my mother’s caregiver, I often needed to put my personal needs on hold. I drowned my resentments in comfort foods. Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies were a favorite. I’d pull one after another out of the box and stuff them in my mouth mindlessly as I drove to the pharmacy or the post office or even the grocery store.
I got back in touch with my physical needs, as well as my mental, emotional, and spiritual ones, through my journal. In there, I could vent, delve into issues, and untangle messes. My journal allowed me to finish a thought without interruption. It encouraged me to analyze, celebrate, and find the hope that had become elusive. After I processed my own issues, I had the energy and good will to reach out again.
Often I would start with one of these three simple sentence starters:
• Today I feel…
• Today I believe…
• Today I want….
Any response was right, as long as it came from the heart.
Here are three responses to “Today I feel…” :
Today I feel poverty stricken. I hate having no income. The money you give me doesn’t count. It feels like an unearned gift. I want to earn my own money, detached from you. I want to feel productive and independent. I don’t want to feel like a nine-year-old doing chores for an allowance. Selfish? Maybe, but when do I get to do what I want to do? Don’t get me wrong. I love you. I know you need me, even when you toss your head and say, “I can do it myself.” But when do I get to leave the stale odors and draining drivel of this place and do what I want to do?
Today I feel sad. You didn’t want your breakfast. You didn’t want to talk. Neither do I. I want to stare at the dust motes floating in the sunshine that’s streaming through the screen door. So mindless. Like me. If I were a dust mote, I’d have no hands or feet or responsibilities.
Today I feel hopeful because Kristi is coming in while I go shopping and I’ll have an extra hour. I’ve been e-mailing this really nice sixty-year-old divorced man on Craigslist, and today we’re going to meet for coffee at Starbucks. I have a coffee date and I feel like a teenager sneaking away to meet some hottie.
How would you respond? Try it right now.
Journaling releases mental toxins and deepens awareness. It helps the strong, sane, safe, healthy, hopeful parts of you emerge. Do not underestimate its power.
I’d love to hear how you finished “Today I feel…”
Learn more about Lynn, her book, workshops, and editing services at http://www.writeradvice.com. You can purchase her book there or at amazon.com.