I knew my heart was guiding me to the right choice. Several months after Mother moved in with my family I stopped working to spend more time with her. I was 50, and my family and friends were concerned I would be unhappy. Adjustments were necessary; it wasn't always smooth sailing. Four adults lived in five rooms with one bathroom, so on a daily basis we were challenged. Together we made it work.
Ive made sacrifices, eliminating my "girly" manicure and pedicure indulgences, abstaining from shopping for clothes and lunching with friends. Our budget no longer has sufficient funds for pampering. Its difficult to leave Mother for long periods of time, so we include her on most outings. Still, my husband and I try to go to a movie or a coffee shop on Saturday afternoons. I wish things were different some days, and occasionally miss the old way life, but I do not allow myself to linger on negative thoughts.
My routine has remained the same when I worked; daily workouts, getting dressed shoes to light makeup, and finding pride in taking care of family and home. I work harder today than ever before without an official title or a salary. But I go to sleep with wonderful thoughts. Often, people think material things create joy. But I'm grateful for the many blessings, for the special moments with Mother.
I used to think that new outfits and neat nails and hair were what defined me. In reality, they were only cover ups for what lives inside. Removing these layers acquainted me to my kind and giving heart. What once seemed like huge sacrifices have turned into wonderful gifts. Less has given more to me than I ever could have dreamed. I now must run, the kettle is whistling which means it is 3:00pm afternoon tea time with Mother.