It is a popular greeting in our culture when we are finishing a conversation with someone else. Take Care of yourself! Often we are sincere but sometimes it is just something that we politely say.
This next week, Arden and I are taking this to heart. We are leaving today on a dream trip to Florence, Italy. We will be gone for 9 days. I am speaking at the MIRCI conference there next week. My presentation is titled, “Empowering Mothers of Special Needs Children.” As I was preparing the presentation materials, I realized that I needed to allow myself to be empowered. I needed to learn to take care of myself.
It can be a daunting task to be a caregiver for someone who needs constant personal supervision and physical support. I have many other responsibilities and yet my attention is continually drawn to what is happening with Nick, even if someone else is physically with him. It gets overwhelming. Many times I am not even aware that I am overwhelmed until someone points it out to me.
One of Nick’s other caregivers offered to stay with Nick for this time period so that Arden and I could take this trip, just the two of us. We will celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary in Florence, experiencing a romantic evening of music and food. It has been many years since we were able to leave Nick for more than a weekend.
I have mixed feelings. I am truly excited for the opportunity, for the break and for the upcoming relaxation. I also feel a bit guilty because I am so excited. I know that Nick is loved and that he will have a great time while we are gone, but I also am experiencing the other feeling that no one can do my job as well as I do.
And while that is true. No one else is his mom, I know that I will return refreshed and energized and be able to do a better job, having taken this break.
So for the next 9 days, my plan is to share my personal journey of self-care and empowerment through this blog. I am feeling a little vulnerable about allowing others to witness my journey, but I feel that it will be of great benefit to me and hopefully to someone else. So check back with my blog daily over the next 10 days.
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