I’m of that generation that so many of us baby boomers find ourselves in – sandwiched between our roles as spouses, parents, grandparents and increasingly, caretakers for our own elderly parents, all while still actively pursuing our careers.
On some days, it can be crazy making. Not that my adult kids, thank goodness, need any parenting at this stage, as I am blessed that they are all self sufficient and independent, though unfortunately that is not the case for many of us, and wasn’t always that way for me.
It seems to me that the crazy making is not so much born of others’ demands on my time and attention, but rather on my own relationship to it all. It’s about my own rather unrealistic and demanding desire to be there 100% for everyone in my life 100% of the time, and the reality is that there is more to attend to than there are available hours to do it in.
What to do then? I’m thinking back to Rory Vaden’s decision-making options – ignore, prioritize, delegate, postpone…. When you are a first-born and suffer from the Responsibility syndrome, (you know the one I mean?) it’s easy to get caught up in the compelling feeling that you have to do everything for everyone, perfectly, all the time. So it’s been really helpful to put these strategies that I usually apply to business decisions, to my personal life.
Ahh, just stepping back enough to realize I have choices brings relief. Asking myself these questions helps me to feel a sense of control over my life.
– What can I scratch off my list?
– What are my priorities?
– What can I delegate to someone else?
– What can I postpone to a better time?
And let’s certainly not forget self-care. It’s all so easy to neglect when you are feeling pressured to take care of so many things, but it is so vital to make your own well-being a priority. Taking that hike. Having dinner with a girlfriend. Going to bed early. Meditating.
Are you in the sandwich generation dear reader? I’d love to hear your tricks for staying sane!