Everyone keeps saying self-care is so important when you’re a caregiver. And for me, at least, it’s one of the first things that gets dropped from my busy to-do list. Now that I’m back in Asheville, I decided to make attending morning water aerobics a priority. It was something that brought me so much joy when I first moved to Asheville. Being in the water, the camaraderie of the other “mermaids” (as we call ourselves), getting exercise – there was nothing not to love. No matter how tired, or stressed, or bleh I felt before class, I always felt better afterwards.
And as I drove to class this morning, I found myself crying. I couldn’t understand why I was crying when I was going to something that I love to do. Something that brings me joy.
I realized I was admitting this is the new normal. I’m not in Winston-Salem. I’m not caring for Dad. I’m back in Asheville, to my “normal” life, one in which he is no longer alive. And it was so painful I almost couldn’t stand it.