You know those times in your life when certain things start recurring over and over again, to the point where they become a trend? Pretty soon, the trend becomes a fad. Finally, you just have to throw up your hands and accept that your life is taking you in a new direction, completely of its own volition. Sound familiar?

This is definitely one of those times for me. Yesterday, I spent almost twelve hours as a caregiver, first to a five-year-old and later to an eighty-five-year-old. Strangely enough, their needs were very similar: some food, plenty of entertainment, good company, and a little bit of exercise — but not enough to tire them out. Best part was, I received an equal amount of joy from fulfilling each of their needs.

At eight-thirty yesterday morning, my new friend Anna came over. Anna is a total rockstar. She has a marked preference for the color pink, a fabulous sense of humor, really sharp eyesight, and a great haircut. Anna is also five and a half years old. Her mother, who is quickly becoming a very good friend of mine, was going on a photography excursion nearby and didn’t know if it would be as entertaining to Miss Anna as it would be to her. So I told her to drop Anna off to hang out with us for a while. We planted seeds, went for a walk, spotted myriad monarch butterflies, and laughed at the many different dogs we saw. I made her snacks, we played Chinese Checkers (or some version of it) — it was a blast.

After Anna and I parted ways, my hubby and I headed out to my parents’ house to watch my dad for the afternoon. Now, he may move a bit more slowly than my friend Anna, but my dad is every bit as entertaining and just as wise. He too has a really cool haircut (or lack of one), and a fondness for fruit juice, cheddar cheese, and cookies. We also tend to spend a lot of time watching butterflies and taking his walker for leisurely strolls around the grounds.

I am definitely sensing a trend here. Be they young or old, I am being cast in a caregiving role more and more often in my life. This may just be a traditional part of being a woman, of getting older and taking more responsibility for others in my life. Perhaps. But I think it is more likely some form of karma, a way of giving back after having had my every need taken care of for the first quarter-century of my life. I was able to do amazing things, like go to Cuba and move to London for a year, just because I wanted to. I have been given so much, and now it is my turn to be the giver. That is clearly the current trend in my life, and I am more than happy with it. I have no idea where this path is going to take me in the long run, but then, that is what I’ve learned about these things — you can’t question it, you just gotta run with it. So here we go.