Sunday, May 6, 2012


Mind My Own Business. I am writing this acronym: MMOB everywhere this week. On my planner, my to-do list and even on a Post-it in my car.

As a caregiver it can be hard to sort out sometimes, but I’m working at it. Years ago a great play about the right to die was called, “Whose Life is It Anyway?” I’m reminded that even though I may care about his life and his health—they are both his, not mine.

But, again, it’s tricky when you are the caregiver and the consequences of another person’s choices might eventually tumble into your lap. But this is where having good boundaries, and maybe a Black Belt in Alanon, can come in handy. (I do think that every caregiver qualifies for Alanon—the free, anonymous program for family members).

I have to say MMOB when he doesn’t want to take the B vitamins that will help his neuropathy. And I say MMOB when he scoffs at the baby aspirin that can prevent colon cancer. And I say MMOB when he says he might skip the next round of tests that the doctor recommends. And I say it also when his kids are struggling and if his ex has stuff going on. In each of these cases the consequences might tumble back on to me later, but if I take them on now I’ll have no peace of mind at all.

I also have to have a quiet moment and be honest with myself. It’s too easy as a caregiver to pretend that the reason that I mind other people’s business is because I am kind and altruistic. I might say that I only want him to be healthy or them to be happy or her to be at peace, but really? In reality it’s all pretty selfish—The reason that I want any of that for them is so that I can be happy and so that I can have peace. I get caught in that old control fallacy.

In truth the best way for me to be happy and to have peace is not by getting everyone else’s life straightened out—(even in my head and even in my driving alone in my car fantasy time. Yes, guilty.) But my peace will come from detaching and letting go of their lives, and putting the focus back on myself.

Yes, much easier said than done, but I am slowly learning that being “selfish” is the most unselfish thing I can do. So I’ll scribble this little note to me where I can see it every day MMOB and I’ll mind my very own, all the time growing and changing, business.

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