Cows

You deserve cows today, including a small, brown calf. Mom is in the middle and baby is off to her right, facing away from the camera. I’m guessing baby is a couple months old. I tried to get them to come closer, but they were shy. These cows live on the property that borders the Bossy Spa to the north.

The cows are quiet and keep to themselves unless the fence comes down, as it sometimes does over the creek after a storm causes the water to rush for a while. If the water recedes low enough before we get out to repair the fence, the cows walk unobstructed up the creek and over to our property. We are used to having sheep, and the one thing I can tell you about cows is they are big.

Like other grazing animals cows hang together in a group. While the herd is grazing a few stand at the edges with their heads up, keeping an eye out for danger. They take turns standing guard, so each one has a chance to eat. If a guard spots something peculiar she alerts the others, and they decide whether it is safe to stay or move away.

Friends, family, and caregiver groups can work that way too. Even the smallest group, a group of two, can allow one person to rest or eat while the other keeps a lookout for trouble.

Do you have support in the form of a herd of some kind? Even online support can be helpful. I’m a member of a Facebook group where people just post how their caregiving life is going that day, and others make supportive remarks. It is surprising how comforting that can be. Even better, find a couple people in your part of town who are also caregivers and meet or email or talk on the phone regularly.

I know of three caregivers whose weekly lunch is a lifeline for them. It gives them something to look forward to. They can talk with one another knowing they are understood. They are up to speed on each other’s circumstances, so they don’t have to start at the beginning. This kind of support makes your caregiving life better and precious little does.

Looking for support can feel like yet another thing to do on your endless list, but sometime this week do something to make your support network just a tiny bit better.

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