We know that an easy life doesn’t necessarily make for a good life. People who feel that their life has meaning tend to be more fulfilled overall, even if their life is incredibly challenging.
Different people are driven by different things. Here’s a quick quiz you can take to see what sort of things might be the most meaningful to you. Many people find having a sense of purpose, close community ties, and helping others gives their life meaning. Of course, sometimes caregiving can pull us away from the things we found most meaningful.
Do you find your role giving care meaningful? What makes you feel that way? Has your life become more or less meaningful since you’ve started providing care?
Any meaning or purpose derived from anything I do is always contextual and enhanced or depressed by the, sort of, ‘fluid’ biology of my ‘human-ness,’ if that makes any sense. Everything day is different, and meaning varies, even with repetitive tasks.
Perhaps a little too existential here, but – you asked
My life is immensely meaningful because my husband is disabled. Without my care, he would be in a nursing home. With my care, we are in a wheelchair-accessible townhome, which I built for us, and live independently. To conserve my own health, a paid caregiver comes each morning for two hours to get my husband up for the day. Our marriage is stronger than it has ever been. The fact that my husband is alive is a miracle. His aorta dissected in 2013 and he had three emergency operations. During the third one he suffered a spinal cord injury, and was told he would never walk again. Today, my husband is able to stand, stand and pivot, and walk the width of our townhome with the aid of a walker. We are grateful for every day, every hour, every moment we have together. In August we celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary. We are blessed.
Yes, I think caregiving gives me meaning. I am not always able to change the outcome, but caregiving is showing someone you are “with them in the trenches”.
Nothing. It is just one long slog.
Knowing no-one can care for my kids like me.
Sacrificing “self” for others. Expecting nothing in return from anyone. Knowing that you gave caring and compassion in desperate time of need. Just as Jesus would and has done.
Knowing that Mom can count on me for the best care. Yes, it’s sometimes frustrating and exhausting but she’s amazingly grateful so the love on both sides outweighs the bad days. ❤️