by Barbara Gaughen-Muller
Don’t think your life is over now that your caregiving is done.
It’s been awhile since I wrote my last Caregiver’s Corner and so much has happened. Saturday was the 4th Anniversary of Robert’s passing. I had a quiet day and spent the evening with my new friend. Dinner, a warm hand and lots of hugs helped me recall the love I shared with my late husband, Dr. Robert Muller. We reflected on how he also lost his wife that very same year. We both thought again about how precious life is now and how much our dear spouses meant to us.
I have discovered a new joy in my relationships with my new friend. In fact my motto now is “Choose Joy” and spend time with others in new places. That is how he came into my life, at a Rotary function at the Elks Club. After all, I am the second women Rotarian, 1985, to be invited to join this once “all men’s” business organization. It was that honor that got me out of my chair and out for the evening. And there, I met Sig.
We both laugh at the early beginnings of our relationship. Thank God I have my new book, Revolutionary Conversations, The Tools you Need for the Success You Want. These simple tools remind me to ask questions and not assume I know why certain words trigger me to tears or to an instant emotional reaction. I jump too fast, but Sig’s sense of humor and love and my rereading chapters about the tools: STOP, HELP, ASK, RISK & EXPLORE help me when I need them.
Life does go on and can be joyful after your caregiving is done. In fact, you will find your soul calling you to enjoy life again.
Here are six more ways, I have found that brought more joy into my life and I know they will work in your life too:
• Smile (it is contagious)
• Phone a friend you haven’t talked with for a long time
• Join an adult education class at your Community College
• Volunteer at your senior center (it may surprise you)
• Join an exercise group (I love my swim exercise class of eight, which got me through some rough times and it feels so good to hear their cheery hellos)
• Take a short vacation, to a new place where you have never been before
Wishing you all new beginnings with new friends where you will find joy again.
Barbara Gaughen-Muller, President, United Nations Association USA, Santa Barbara & Tri-County Chapter Bgaughenmu@aol.com