I will never not be a caregiver.

I realized as I was helping my family in the face of my mom’s return to the hospital that there will never be a time when I’m not a caregiver and that given my family’s medical woes, I am much more likely to need to drop everything to caregive than many other people. It would be wise to design my life to accommodate this fact, rather than hoping for some imagined time with minimal caregiving responsibilities. Even if I get my own conditions well-managed, even as M. grows and becomes more independent, I will still benefit from the flexibility I need as a parent of a young child and a chronically ill worker.

This is a radical shift in my thinking about the future. I’ll write more about it as I tease out what it means for my planning practices and daily life.

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Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @KimberlyHirsh
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I acknowledge that I live and work on unceded Lumbee, Skaruhreh/Tuscarora, and Shakori land. I give respect and reverence to those who came before me. I thank Holisticism for the text of this land acknowledgement.


We must acknowledge that much of what we know of this country today, including its culture, economic growth, and development throughout history and across time, has been made possible by the labor of enslaved Africans and their ascendants who suffered the horror of the transatlantic trafficking of their people, chattel slavery, and Jim Crow. We are indebted to their labor and their sacrifice, and we must acknowledge the tremors of that violence throughout the generations and the resulting impact that can still be felt and witnessed today. I thank Dr. Terah ‘TJ’ Stewart for the text of this labor acknowledgement.