Life and Caregiving: Thoughts from Dr. Seuss' Book

Dr. Seuss’ book, Oh! The Places You’ll Go! is a gift that is given at special occasions. Usually, it’s suitable for graduation or another momentous event. The reader is given an encouraging review of life’s ups and downs. It makes me think that this book might be a good resource for caregivers and caregiving.

Life’s Balancing Act

The book talks about life being a balancing act. Caregivers certainly know about balancing life in caregiving. It’s always difficult to keep everything going. As a caregiver, you may have a full-time job, children, and other responsibilities in addition to being a caregiver It’s a constant struggle to care for others and yourself in caregiving. The book mentions that you will fight against yourself at times. That certainly rings true in being a caregiver.

Highs and Lows

As caregivers, there are happy times, and low times. Dr. Seuss’ book mentions slumps, and un-slumping yourself.  As a caregiver for my mother, the good times came when she had energy, was in the company of loved ones, and was able to go out to dinner. The low times were during and after medical treatments and doctor visits that held bad news. There were times I made mistakes that I regret to this day, and times I could genuinely tell I was helping.

Dr. Seuss’ advice

The book offers some thoughts on moving along:

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact.

And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act.

And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)

Kid, you'll move mountains.”

Caregivers do move mountains. There are many challenges and obstacles. There are also moments of grace, peace, and joy. For all of the caregivers out there, continue on.

As Dr. Seuss says,” And when things start to happen, don't worry, don't stew. Just go right along, you'll start happening too!”

Thanks to the caregivers who keep going right along.

Kathy Dreyer, Ph.D., is an Advisor at AGE-u-cate® Training Institute, which develops and delivers innovative research-based aging and dementia training programs such as Dementia Live® and Compassionate Touch®, for professional and family caregivers;