Thursday, July 12, 2007

Work and Life After Caregiving

Caregiving has been my all encompassing life these last 8 years now. During the first several years I still had my vocational work. I don't work anymore though except for the occasional job for one long term, cherished client.

Caregiving is kind of strange about work, at least for me. For reasons I really cannot explain - or maybe I don't want to know - I have a really hard time concentrating on work type things. Bookkeeping and bill paying and so on have all been almost impossible for me from the beginning. Dad's attorney told me once that he thought it was because I had worked alongside my dad for so long. Maybe so but it almost makes me physically sick. No, not almost, it does make me ill. More and more it is any kind of work, too. I have a bunch of legal documents I need to read right now and I'd rather take a whipping than start. Once I start I am alright but the starting is so hard. Then I wonder if that's my own first symptoms. Then I feel guilty about wondering.

But I've been thinking about what I will do after dad dies. Of course I don't know when that will occur. And sometimes I worry that he will outlive me - not that I would die early but that I would be unable to care for him to the end of his life. Not real worry mind you but just that thought. It seems like things are changing now and I guess that's why I think about the future.

I never really think of much that might lie ahead though. I try to imagine but instead of going forward I always go backwards. It's the same inability to concentrate. Then I start remembering back over my life. I remember each time that I had a major change in work and how I felt before and then how I felt afterwards.

The first big change was in college. I really had my heart set on being a Ph.D. type professor. But I gradually realized that it was absolutely something I found neither interesting nor fulfilling. I hated the politics and it was so slow. So I switched to business with my dad. That was the one thing I had always vowed I would not do.

Then later on in that business I was doing something I really enjoyed and was awfully good at - or at least I thought I was good at it. But one day my Dad, who was my boss after all, decided we needed a computer and suddenly my job was to make the computer work. I hated that change and did everything I could to keep it from happening. But it happened anyway. And I found out I loved computer programming.

Another time I was in a business that failed. I woke up one morning with nothing to do. I had never had that experience before. Didn't have any income either. No one wanted to hire me for sure. At the time it seemed like a really, really bad thing. But I found an entirely new career programming on the Internet. And I have enjoyed that so much.

Then when I started caregiving I really wondered if I could do it much less if I would like it. I wasn't exactly the prototype caregiver person. But I have really never done anything that is more satisfying and fulfilling than caregiving. It is also the most difficult thing I've done.

There is a big difference now. I was called to both my last two jobs by The Lord. It was very clear to me from the beginning. When this ends I figure He will call me to something else.

I don't know what it might be. But I bet it is interesting. So I am kind of eager to know what it is but with some trepidation, too.