About Face 2.0
Seven years ago, I started on a journey as a caregiver to my Father, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2004. I gave up my career in Washington D.C. and moved in with my parents in Georgia to help my Mother care for the man we love so much. Since Dad still maintained a good deal of independence, I began working a part time job at a women’s catalog company and started my own business with Rodan & Fields Skincare while taking care of my Dad.
I started this About Face blog in 2013 to share stories of people whose personal and financial lives have been drastically changed by Rodan & Fields, myself included. But then my Father’s illness progressed and caregiving began to take an emotional, physical and psychological toll on me.
I quickly learned (as evidenced by the short number of skincare posts), that a good chunk of the time, effort and energy that I had poured into my business must be redirected into caring for my Father. This was an easy decision to make. I can always fall back on my business. I will not always have my Father.
The bottom line is that I had to do an ‘About Face.’ I had to stop, turn around and change direction. I still love and sell Rodan&Fields because it is the best skincare line I have ever used (I haven’t worn foundation since 2013!) and the business opportunity is unbeatable. But nothing will ever take the place of this time I have with my Father.
As a caregiver, every day is really an ‘About Face’. Ways you’ve communicated for years no longer work and things you’ve done for decades must change. Other caregivers understand this. Routines change. One day your loved one can dress himself. The next day he struggles to know what those armholes in his shirt are for. One day he’s lacing up his tennis shoes into double knots. The next day he’s fiddling with the shoelaces, trying to recall how to tie his shoes.
I’ve learned many lessons along the way and I know there are many more to come. I’ve written about my experiences on Facebook and at the prompting of friends, decided to put all these stories into a blog. So, while About Face was about Rodan&Fields skincare, now it’s about my upside down, right-side up life as a caregiver. I find it very therapeutic to write about what I’ve learned and I hope this blog will be a source of encouragement to you and many others.
Maybe you are a caregiver. Maybe you know someone who is a caregiver. Maybe your loved one just received a horrible diagnosis and is frozen with fear. Maybe you and your siblings are gathering information and trying to plan ahead. Whatever reason you’ve happened upon my blog, thank you. Thank you for taking valuable time out of your day to read my stories and pass them along.
If you are a caregiver, May God reach down from heaven, wrap His arms around you and bless you beyond your wildest dreams with strength, encouragement and peace like you’ve never known. He’s done it for me. He will do it for you.