The hustle and bustle of last minute holiday shoppers reminds me of New York, where there are crowds all the time, everywhere. In Arizona, even with the influx of our winter visitors, the feeling persists of wide open spaces with room for everyone. Generally, drivers don’t move on yellow lights and wait patiently for others to enter their lane, but not this weekend. Now, folks crowd the turning lanes, swerve around on the right and speed when they finally break through the traffic. I am not in a hurry, but something inside me wants to compete for that space, make the light.
There is excitement in the air, purposefulness and determination, activity which energizes me. I understand why the polls show that people spend money easily in this environment, more money than they intend or budget. disregarding the need to pay the bills next month whether or not the payroll tax is extended. There is a kind of competition to purchase something before the store depletes its stock that feels like a score in a sports contest. For a brief moment, the speed of life perks up and we forget the tedium of the rest of the year. This kind of gifting is easy, we can do this for our families and friends. We are tired after a day full of shopping, but it's a good kind of tired.
It is much more difficult to be there for our friends who are ailing, for our elderly parents and spouses who demand our attention when we have the least amount of expendable energy. Caring for others on a day to day basis is tiring also and enervating. It is a depleting kind of tired.
So let's give ourselves break, take advantage of family and friends who visit and ask for some private time without the person you care for all year long. Get a visitor to remain with your loved one and go with another family member or friend to do something you enjoy, whether it's shopping, pampering, dining out, attending a movie or something else you feel you've missed out on lately. You will feel better, your caregiving will improve and your visitors will feel they have really helped you out.