Should I stay or should I go? I am plagued by this question as I receive calls from both New York (where I used to live) and North Carolina (where I live now) to deploy in an unknown capacity in an unknown area with an unknown assignment. There is no doubt that, if I were untethered to family, I'd go wherever I was needed. But, with elderly parents who are completely on their own without me and my husband, I'm torn. What kind of daughter would I be to put my parents last on the list of priorities? What kind of wife would I be to leave my husband with the burden of weekly shopping, near-daily cooking, and sole first responder responsibility for regularly occurring mishaps? He says I should go, but the guilt and shame is already unsustainable. I can't sleep more than a few hours a night; I'm awakened by the pounding of my own heartbeat, anxious that I'm selfishly protecting my own interests while the rest of the front line suffers.
These are difficult decisions and there is no one right answer. The goal it would seem is finding the place where you can serve without compromising your own health and well-being. Sometimes if helps if we have to turn toward our limitations with kindness. What would you say to a colleague who was in a similar situation? Pause and listen to your answer.
Thanks for joining the conversation. That must be a difficult choice. But no one would blame for you for protecting your own family first.