I used to love smorgasbords until I realized how much they helped me overeat. Of course, I also noticed others who loaded up their plates and couldn’t eat all they had. As the idiom says, perhaps their eyes were bigger than their stomach.
In other words, those with wasted food at the smorgasbord thought they could eat more than their bodies actually could handle. In a similar sense, the role of being a caregiver can become like that second trip to the buffet. It can become something you thought you could easily handle along with the other responsibilities you already have on your plate.
As an active volunteer in the church, I am often asked to assist with committees and events. But when I became a primary caregiver for my mother, I soon realized that I couldn’t take on any leadership roles or volunteer for anything extra at church. Since my job required frequent overnight travel also, I had to try to balance family responsibilities along with caregiving.
As much as it hurt to walk away from some of the things I love to do, I eventually learned to take some stuff off my plate and to not feel guilty for saying no. If you are in the position where caregiving has taken a prominent role in your life – a sort of entrée – then you will need to carefully examine the other courses and sides you are tempted to add on. Make it your goal to be at your best by having a more balanced lifestyle.
🙋Your Turn: How will you begin to take the “extras” off your plate?