I love to watch The Real Housewives of… Well, any city, state or county. New York City, New Jersey, Orange County, Beverly Hills, Atlanta. I’m there. And, I love the spin-off, Bethenny Ever After. (I even emailed Bethenny to invite her to be a guest on the talk show to discuss forgiveness.)

The reality of their lives fascinates. They live in beautiful homes, they eat out a lot (and don’t gain weight), they attend parties on school nights, they bicker constantly with each other and then meet the next day for shopping and lunch.

It’s like walking through the neighborhood at night so you can get a peak inside the neighbors’ houses. Oh, what you can see when the lights are on.

Sometimes, though, the reality ends up being a fantasy. We learn that some of these real housewives spend too much and land in bankruptcy. It seems these stars have a public face they wish to show, at any cost.

I spent time this weekend with friends I don’t see often. The friends spoke for quite a long time about their cars, why they drive what they drive, what they’ll buy next, what cars they admire.

As the talk of cars spun around me, I almost moved my chair. Their reality—a reality of the newest, the fanciest—seemed so foreign. They seemed to speaking a language I didn’t understand.

I remember thinking: But… I thought everyone talked about how to make the most of the lives, of how to manage stressful situations with grace, of how to provide quality of life when quality seems scarce.

Then I realized: That’s what you do. And, you’re not everyone. Caregiving certainly sucks. It drains you—emotionally, financially, physically. But, it makes you such a wonderful dinner companion. You have insights and perspectives on life that make your company so much better than the company of those who only know about the latest car models.

I’ll always enjoy watching reality TV. It’s a terrific distraction.

But I’ll always find your reality so much more compelling and worthwhile. Your light is always on. I can see who you are because you live who you are.

From you, I learn that life, well lived with a real heart and soul, brings in the best ratings.


  • Our Caregiving Summer School, Session II, starts next week! Our classes will help you understand where you’ve been so you can plan for where you’re going on your caregiving journey. Our classes also help you start your journal; set boundaries; accept help; and start Mondays on the right foot. Each class costs $27 and takes place conveniently over the phone. Register today here.

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