I’m a caregiver for my mother’s cousin, and she’s been admitted to a nursing home for rehab, the second time in six months. Last time, she was “incarcerated” for six weeks, and this time around it looks to be the same.

You would think that I would be able to really relax and enjoy my free time, time without responsibilities or accountability to anyone or anything, but that’s not been the case. In truth, I’ve been in a kind of funk. I think I miss the companionship and the need to get up and care for someone other than myself. Two days ago I went to bed at 10:30pm and finally got up at 4pm the next afternoon. Last night was a bit better: I went to bed at 8:30pm, woke up just in time to see the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup at 10pm, stayed up watching the second Sherlock Holmes movie, woke again at 5am, but decided it was far too early to greet the day, and finally got up and started my day around noon. I can, perhaps, blame a bit of my depression on the weather. In the Chicagoland area we’ve had a slew gloomy days in a row recently, and even had a severe storm with a tornado warning blow through here yesterday. Still, not everything can be chalked up to bad weather.

Much as I hate to admit it, I think I rely as much on my cousin as she relies on me. Though I’m in grad school, it is she who gives my day focus. My school schedule doesn’t require that I get up early–so I’ve had no compelling reason to get out of bed. I was thinking as I walked the dogs today that very few people at the end of their life will say they haven’t slept enough. Okay, maybe there are a few hearty souls out there who could use more sleep, but I don’t particularly like them anyway. I first heard the saying, “I can sleep when I’m dead,” when I lived in LA and worked in TV. Despite its laissez faire reputation, people in LA, at least those in the entertainment industry, work really hard, and scrimp on sleep.

I guess this blog is just me musing on what it’s going to take to motivate myself to get out of bed and start my day, my effort to find a reason for being outside of being a caregiver for someone else. When, for that matter, did the term caregiver even evolve? My solution, I suppose, is to ride out the proverbial storm, and create reasons to start my day.