It Was Right in Front of Me in Black and White

As a national speaker I have presented to hundreds of family caregivers throughout the country.  In each presentation I highlight how, as caregivers, we can become task masters; focused on our to-do list more than the people around us.  I share this with caregivers because I realized in looking back over the time I cared for my grandfather, that the pattern happened so seamlessly that it wasn’t until years later that I realized that I was so focused on what needed to be done, that I missed opportunities to just spend time with him as his granddaughter.

So you would think that after reflecting, recognizing and relating this information to family caregivers all across the country, I would be extremely self-aware if it were to happen again, right?!  WRONG!

Last year I began journaling, many people think that as an author and blogger journaling would be something I do naturally, however; it’s far from the truth.  During a year that included the death of several family members, I decided I needed some way to organize my thoughts and get inspired.  I would journal the positive things happening, what I wanted to happen and create action plans based those ideas.  Exciting opportunities were being created and it was all documented in my journal.

This summer I spotted my journal under a pile on my desk, not remembering the last time I had written in it and recalling the encouragement I decided to read through the entries.  There were pages of inspired thoughts and thankfulness to God for all He was doing in my life and business.

However; when I turned to the final entry I was shocked.

It read:

To Do

  • Pay phone bill
  • Write blogs
  • Follow up with contacts
  • Dog grooming

A stark contrast to the pages of enthused optimism filling the prior pages.

Noting the date I realized, it had happened again and, once again, I wasn’t even aware of it.  But there it was in black and white…the entry was dated the day after my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Her diagnosis had filled a switch that propelled me into the role of caregiver task-master without even being conscious of it.

With my new-found awareness I was able to make the following adjustment:

  • I shared my revelation with my mom and scheduled time with my mom that was not related to dr. visits.
  • I take time daily to take care of myself and just breath, because it is vital to take care of myself in order to be available to those around me.
  • I began journaling again to re-connect with the inspiration I had found in the pages.

If you are caring for someone I encourage you today to do a self-check.  Are you more focused on your to-do list then on the people around you?  If the answer is “yes” make the necessary changes to take care of yourself and connect with those you love.

For more support visit

**A portion of my book sale proceeds go to support breast cancer research.

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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3 Responses to It Was Right in Front of Me in Black and White

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