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Do these dreams still exist? Do you feel guilty for thinking them? After working so hard to be able to have the liberty to go on trips, meet new people, I chose to bring my mother to live by me. I have no regrets, but my dreams have dwindled and am downhearted about the life I use to have and the way I used to look forward to life in general. It's so easy for people to say "you should go", but these people have never been a caregiver before and have no idea what it's like and how it changes your life with time. Do we ever 'find' ourselves again?

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A couple years ago, before my folks needed almost daily help from me, I had bought myself a sewing machine and lots of quilt materials, all that is just waiting for me.....I have to laugh at those "10-20-30" mins to sew books, its just not happening. Right now my desk is not only covered with my own taxes, but my parent's taxes. The sewing? Would be sew relaxing. I wish one or two of my un-involved sibs would send me on a quilting cruise. They sure get to take their little hobby trips (hunting, sailing, shopping in NYC). Still, I will try to find a way to "make room" for sew time.
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I had to take a hard look inside to answer this question. I realize that in the last five years I've given up on the idea of having a normal comfortable old age. With the divorce, the leaving everything I owned -- no place for it here -- and the downturn in online sales, my life is not going to be an easy one. My mother is nowhere near death. She's not sick enough for a NH. The way it looks now I could be here until my own cows come home.
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I moved in a couple of years ago to help care for my parents. I was quite apprehensive. I continued to run my own business, but I felt like I had taken a step back in life and that I would never do as many things as I wanted to do, like travel again. Eventually, their health improved and they don't need me as much, but I now love living with them. Sure, they drive me crazy sometimes, but I love it. I actually have my house to go back to, but I like it here. lol No one is more surprised than me.

My main issue is caring for my cousin, who I am DPOA for. She has dementia and is in Memory Care.

My goal is to find romance and I think I will. I know that life still holds some great things in store for me and I'm determined to find it.
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Heart2Heart, I never re-married... I didn't want to feel that sig other was *trapped*, nor did I want him to feel obligated to care for my parents if something happened to me. He's not the hand-on caring type... he thinks when he drives my parents or me to the doctor that it was a major sacrifice on his part... methink he's waiting for the ticker tape parade :P
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Thank you so much Captain....you've given me some much needed perspective in the midst of big-time burnout.

I've been caregiving for over 4 years, living with mom for 1 year...i am on disability so dreams of a career are long since gone...I bought a timeshare in August so my travel dreams are still very much alive. I would love to go to art school..that was my dream in college but i ignored it so i could get a 'real' job someday.
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We had hoped to do more traveling, maybe scope out a place to live when we retire to see where we might want to settle. We had planned to travel around visiting various baseball stadiums too. Ironically my husband gets more vacation time now and now we cannot go anywhere. I would just love to sit through a local baseball game without having to rush home or worry, let alone get to someplace interesting or exotic. I get depressed when I start seeing those Spring vacation commercials for warm weather places right about now....I am hoping that like Captain, I will look back on all this as a chapter in life that was a learning experience.
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Captain... Thank you for sharing what you said... It gives hope
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im back to living life for myself again and looking back on 6 yrs of living with my mom i dont see the time as wasted . it was just a few pages in my life that taught me about empathy , obligation and patience . i feel more accomplished for having had that life experience . it was a good example to my sons about giving and sacrifice .
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Oh…do I feel you guys on this one. Just when I got almost done with the kids, had to move Mom in. When my husband retired we were supposed to do a bunch of traveling and now we're sitting here stuck like chuck. I wanted to go back to school, open my own business...Trying to find a ray of sunshine here somewhere.
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Definitely get the Jeep... That way I'll know it's you when you drive down the street!
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That's exactly what I mean freqflyer. You gave up so much!... Then in retrospect to this, I get scared about loosing my mother because we've been together and through so much together. Did you ever marry?... this is another can of worms...
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Oh, there is one thing I still hope to do... buy a Jeep Wrangler... I still think about what color I want.... red, school bus yellow or silver. If my sig other's grand-daughters ever get a chance to visit [it's been 6 years] I want them to think of us as very cool grand-parents :P
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Heart2Heart, I know exactly what you mean. You and I can't go. My sig other always wanted to travel to Europe as he has never been there, and we were going to do that a few years ago, even thought about getting married in Italy, until my parents ran into some medical issues and Dad had to stop driving.

Me, as the dutiful daughter and only child, how could I drop what I was doing to skip off to see the Eiffel tower. Who would get my parent's their groceries, take them to doctors, to get their hair cut, to Home Depot for mulch, yada, yada, yada?

My dream is seeing a moving van in front of the house aiming for the retirement village a few miles down the road.... no, not for my parents, but for me :)

Will we ever find ourselves again? Well my bucket list now consist of only buying some cleaning buckets :P
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