Think about what you want your life to be like when you’re done caregiving, suggests O’Donnell. When her parents were both diagnosed with terminal illnesses on the same day, she initially felt obligated to give her entire life over to them. “Then I realized that my happiness depended on maintaining a loving daily connection with my husband and kids, and keeping my job. So I talked with my family about my responsibilities and how we could make the situation work for all of us, and I asked my boss about adjusting my availability. The juggle was still a challenge. But maintaining the things that mattered to me made my life feel more balanced.” You have the right—and the responsibility—to grow, learn, and fashion a better future for yourself.
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