Real life is unpredictable. We have our dreams and we can make our plans, but one thing we can predict is the inevitable intervention of the unforeseen. Just as the hero in fiction and myth encounters obstacles and detours along the path, we too can be frustrated when life intervenes with our plans and goals.
For my patients, often I am the bearer of bad news. There is a spot on the scan that we should investigate. You’ve just been diagnosed with a chronic condition.
Accidents can happen. You can be disabled, and sometimes someone close to you can be challenged by chronic disease, an incurable condition, a new disability or the frailties of age. Your calling will change as new needs arise in your life. And you can find deeper meaning in new and unforeseen ways.
What life reveals at these times is often a greater calling – the calling of care. Caregivers are family members and friends who rise to the challenge of this very personal call. They step up to the bat, and give what is needed to a family member, friend or loved one whenever it is needed.
To celebrate Family Caregivers Week, I’ll be speaking at the Paetzold Health Education Centre, Jim Pattison Pavilion in Vancouver General Hospital on Thursday, May 12th at 7 p.m. as part of A Celebration for Family Caregivers. The event is sponsored by the United Way, the Alzheimer Society of British Columbia, the Parkinson Society British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health, and the Stroke Recovery Association of British Columbia. To RSVP for free but limited seating call 604-877-4650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A happiness exercise: We often think of our life purpose as something we can deliberate over and choose based on our passions, talents and the needs of the world. It can also arise in the living of life and new challenges that it presents us. How have you answered your call to action at different stages in your life? Are the current circumstances of your life presenting you with a new call?