It's the Little Things: Part Three
Now that we've covered wardrobe and accessories, most of which would be frowned upon if seen leaving the house without ("There goes that naked caregiver again..."), let's get right down to the thing that is the most essential tool for any caregiver, the thing that I would trade all of my snarky t-shirts, inspirational bracelets, and yes, even my blanket scarf for:
all the things,
all the time...
I sometimes get unreasonably excited lying in bed at night, just thinking about drinking my morning coffee. Not only do I love the taste, the smell, and the life-giving caffeine, I love the ritual of it all. Turning on the Keurig, getting out the half and half, and then, my favorite part: choosing a mug.
Just like a t-shirt or a bracelet, I use my coffee mugs to set my mantra for the day. I choose them carefully and with joy and cradle them in my palms as I slowly sip my coffee throughout the morning.
(Side note: none of this loveliness occurs on hospital days. Ain’t no caregiver got extra hands to carry a mug around all day. Plus, it’s not very nice to sip deliciousness in front of the patient who has been fasting for hours. Hospital days call for trips to the lobby coffee shop, for large sized drinks, and for cardboard cups that can be disposed of when your caregiving hands are needed for other tasks.)
But on those days that I get to choose a mug out of which to drink the life-giving nectar I call "coffee," I choose from the following:
This one I love for new weeks, new projects, fresh starts after crises, etc.
I tend to ruminate long after crises occur, replaying the tragedies and traumas over and over in my mind.
This simple but powerful word helps me to start new, not ignoring the pain that just occurred, but not being trapped by it either.
This one my daughter got me one year for Mother’s Day.
I use this on mornings during which she is super crabby at me (she is 11 after all), enjoying the affirmation she once gave me that cannot be taken away, even on the angstyist of mornings.
It's also helpful on the 4/7 mornings a week that I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing as I parent a pre-teen.
At least my mug thinks I'm doing something right! Thanks mug!
I could write a whole post just on my love of Glennon Doyle, author, speaker, and originator of the phrase, “We can do hard things."
This is good on hard days when I feel like I cannot do it or when I know that hard things lie ahead of me.
However, I do not choose this on the very of hardest days, the days when, perhaps, I’ve just been through a string of difficult days in a row, because then I get mad at Glennon and my mug and I snarl, “I know I can do hard things. I just don’t want to anymore.”
My very closest non-Sean friend bought me this beautiful mug for my birthday, since she knows my deepest darkest secrets, which include my passionate love for coffee and lovely things.
The stone on the handle is infused with some sort of healing goodness, to which I’m not sure I subscribe, but you will absolutely find my thumb turning purple as I push down on the stone, trying to soak up any kind of goodness that may be involved.
Sometimes I need to use my mug as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
My mug says I'm optimistic/Opti Mystic? Well, okay then! It's going to be a great day and maybe I'll have some visions along the way too! Win, win!
Amiright? This one just boils it right on down to the basics and since my kittens are the least high maintenance members of my family, this one works on any day of the week.
I am not one bit crafty. Not one single bit. But I bought this sticker cling and this discount mug from the clearance section and made my own inspirational mug that I'm using a lot these days, partly because things have been R.O.U.G.H and partly because I'm assuming since it was made my me, this bit of crafty goodness is not long for this world.
Like the Wonder Woman shirt, sometimes you just need something in your life to tell it like it is. If anyone gets to wear superhero gear and drink out of mugs claiming to be #1, it’s caregivers. Cheers!