What next? Now what?

During a hospitalization of my husband  (including a stint in ICU) and the delay in his chemo, my personal schedule went out the window. I was left asking “What next?”

Looking for Answers

I’ve learned to look for answers, for help from many sources. As a musician, I often turn towards creative resources.

Being creative is a wonderful outlet for the many emotions that you encounter on this caregiver journey.

Taking in books and movies is an outlet of distraction to the many stresses of this journey. Yet, I never considered it would give a “what next” lesson.

Then I stumbled upon this look at the parable shared in the movie  “Ground Hog Day” dealing with creativity. This line made me pause:

“…the creative journey is not linear. It’s not point A to point B. Even if your wildest dreams come true, you’re still stuck with that question of, “WHAT NEXT?””

How do you as a caregiver deal with the question “What next?”?

Start with a to-do list.

Using a method that makes sense to you, go through the list and prioritize it. Be honest. While it may ALL see pressing there are varying levels of need to the items.

Organize by type of task. (Examples: calls, errands, I need to do, have someone else do…)

Address those MOST pressing items on the to-do list first. If the utilities are in danger of being turned off, pay those first. If you need a refill on a medication, get it.

Who needs to know plans changed? Get them in the loop. Can’t get to an appointment because an emergency is happening? Let them know. Bet they will work with you and you’ll avoid a cancellation charge.

What say you? Is caregiving a linear journey?

Personally, I am finding the caregiver journey to be a lot of reorganizing and prioritizing.

The article also gives this piece of advice:

“Figure out what your little daily chunk of work is, and every day, no matter what, make sure it gets done. If you fail, the sun comes up tomorrow, and you get another chance. If you succeed, you’re still going to have to get up tomorrow and do something else.”

The line (or lack of it) seems related to who you are caring for and why you are caring for them.

If you are a professional, you likely have a linear journey with occasional bumps. Those days everyone calls in sick, the derail of plans hits. But, it will end.

If you are a family member, that journey is dependent upon the reason you are a caregiver.

How do you as a caregiver deal with the question “What next?”?

Does this piece of advice apply to caregivers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.