The Lonely Side of Caregiving

This one is for the caregivers.

Caregiving has its loneliness, however unintentional.

This past week my daughter was out of town, my brother, sister in law and other core friend were all on vacation and of course my husband lives in Chicago. It was myself, dad and the dogs. Thank god for the dogs.

I am a person who never feels lonely. I have always been surrounded by people. I have never lived alone. And I always make connections with people so I never feel lonely, even if I am alone. As a matter of fact, I usually crave some alone time since I am always with people. It is usually a luxury to take myself out to lunch and eat by myself. My daughter thinks I am weird. I enjoy it.

About midweek, after the shit storm was over, I was starting to feel a bit bored. Luckily I live in a place where there are lots of options and some really good free options. I opted to check out a place that my brother had previously recommended. I walked myself over to the The Blue Jay Listening Room and discovered a new duo that was definitely enchanting,just as the review said. I embraced my alone-ness that evening and sat at a table rather than at the bar where I might engage with someone. The duo were soulful and heartwarming and just what I needed to raise my vibe that evening. If you ever get a chance to see Tina and Her Pony, treat yourself.

The next evening I took my usual evening bike ride and decided to stop for a drink before going home. I was in a certain mood for a quiet, adult place where I may engage with some other humans. It was a Friday night and there are a lot of young places by the beach so I circled around and almost went home but decided not to be a hermit. I parked my bike and popped into the wine bar. It seemed everyone was coupled up at the bar when I walked in so I checked out my phone. Then my auntie called me, I picked up. I never have time to chat with her when she calls. Honestly, I am hardly ever able to answer when she calls. It was nice to talk to her and catch up. She reminded me I am not alone. I also texted a bit with hubby, but he was busy at work. I was still craving some human connection, starting to feel lonely. This was one of the very few times I have ever felt this way.

My third day alone, I again went on my bike ride and decided to try again for some human interaction at happy hour. I stopped in at the Tides Tiki bar at the Hampton Inn on my way home. I’m a big fan of beach bars and especially hotel beach bars. I have never had a problem striking up a conversation with someone at a hotel bar. I had a couple of cocktails and decided it was probably time to start thinking of going home. Then the bartender bought me a drink. And then the clouds became really dark and it began to pour. That’s when I met my person.

I had been seeking a connection all weekend and God knew this. He planted a gracious, lovely woman right next to me under the tiki roof. It was magic. She is a fairy Godmother. We started chatting and it turned out she is the President of the Women’s Food Alliance here in Jacksonville. Right there in an instant, I met not only someone to chat with for the moment, but someone who connects me to new friends and colleagues.

Monday everyone returned home and everything was back to normal.

I am grateful for the newfound insight about lonely feelings and bored feelings. I know there are a lot of people, especially caregivers that deal with these feelings on the regular. I am fortunate to have family, that I like nearby, regular visitors and that I’m an outgoing person willing to make new friends. If anyone reading is in this position, I urge you to step outside your comfort zone and your care giving role once in awhile and see what magic the world has waiting for you.

Author: hillarylake

Hillary Lake sometimes also known as The Whiskey Sister, is a risk taker, lover of life and people. Her goal in life is to inspire and heal the world one body, mind and spirit at a time living by example, following her passions and sharing through pictures, writing and in person. Her whiskey journey, began in November 2010 as she was on her way home from her brother's graduation from boot camp in Fort Knox, Kentucky. On a tour at the Jim Beam distillery her love affair with bourbon began. Since then she has procured tasting events and taught whiskey education to various groups, been involved in multiple private barrel picks, blended her own bourbon, was inducted as the first female member of the Bourbon Mafia, was written up as Bourbon Babe of the month and in 2013 opened a neighborhood bar with her husband that was recently named one of the best whiskey bars in Chicago in Forbes magazine. Hillary is just as passionate about her family as she is about whiskey. She loves being a mother to her two kids and is happily married to her best friend and business partner Bruce. In November 2018, Hillary relocated to the first coast in Jacksonville Beach, Florida and became the full time live in caregiver for her dad with Stage 4 Parkinson’s. While in Florida, Hillary launched Hillary Lake Event Planning which combines all of her passions into one business. She is offering Kentucky bourbon country retreats, coastal wedding planning and catering. In her spare time, besides sipping on fine bourbons, Hillary likes taking road trips, sitting on beaches, planning dinner parties and reading recipes.