Advocate Anecdotes are real stories from real people who have been through the thick of it when it comes to family caregiving. Their stories inspire us to do well, take our hardships one day at a time, and most importantly, they bring us together.
Because – no one should have to navigate the complicated world of eldercare alone and unsupported.
Look for the Diamonds
When I was a child, my favorite aunt would school me on what she called the diamonds in life. She said that like diamonds, true integrity and character are formed only when we experience pressure and overcome extremities. Life’s ups and downs ultimately polish our diamonds and make our souls more beautiful.
That pearl of wisdom became invaluable to me; especially later, as an adult, when I became a caregiver to my mom. The hardest days often led to the best moments, and I realized more and more that every day of this journey was a gift to my personal growth and character.
My mom was polishing my diamonds.
If you care for a loved one, and the pressure of it all is starting to weigh heavy on your heart; if you feel like you’ve been pushed to all of your limits – I implore you: find your own jewels.
Take some time to reflect, and I promise you will find your diamonds too.
Take 10 minutes at the end of each day and ask yourself:
What were the hardest parts of today?
What was the most valuable lesson I learned from today?
What am I most grateful for today?
How can I use these experiences to grow?
Caregiving is the most difficult, most rewarding job on Earth. And, like diamonds, the rewards are only earned once you’ve embraced the weight of it all.
Consider this: as a caregiver, I bet you’ve polished a few of your own attributes.
Maybe you’ve always been sort of reserved, but your emotional stress has reached its limit…now you speak up for yourself a little more.
Maybe driving to doctor’s appointments, keeping track of prescriptions, and juggling household chores leaves your head spinning most days…but, I bet you’re becoming a pro at managing time and feeling empathy for others who do this too.
I bet you’re feeling all the pressures of caregiving.
But, your character is being polished.
That weight is creating diamonds.
Your diamonds are starting to shine through.
And, you might not feel like it today…but they’re making your soul more beautiful.
More from Suzanne Newman
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.
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