Session 2: Learning by looking at my life over time


Today, yesterday and tomorrow
Figure 2.1

What can we learn by looking at our life, our experiences, over time? How can this be helpful for the future?

Session 1 drew on the experience of carers as they reflected on their present situation. People learn from good and bad experiences and the ups and downs of life. We saw how the experience of caring can have a strong influence regardless of how old you are, or how long you’ve been a carer.

A caring role may be something that developed over time and, as we saw with Jade and Dean, people don’t necessarily realise they fit into this category: it’s just something that’s ‘normal’ to them. For others, becoming a carer might have been a sudden event. Whatever the situation, circumstances can change quickly and sometimes things happen that are out of our control.

The value of looking at our roles and experiences, and recognising the influences on our lives, is that we can identify what really interests and motivates us and start to understand our decision making and how we react to events. Is there a pattern? What we consider important can change over time: our priorities can differ at different points in our life. How we feel about these experiences can vary too.

So, how do we define high points and low points? Are there recurring themes in the choices we make? Can we see the difference between choices that we make and changes that happen that are out of our control?

In this session carers look at their life experiences, focusing particularly on their caring experiences. The aim is to work out what skills and attributes they have built up, together with the qualities they have developed, particularly from caring, in addition to the obvious ones gained from education or work experience.

Learning outcomes