As caregiver to my parents, life has changed dramatically. Project deadlines and sales goals are a distant memory; estate planning and Alzheimer’s support groups now replace corporate jets and board meetings.

But my true purpose in caregiving goes beyond human boundaries.

Besides elderly parents, I take care of old houses, maintaining my mother’s 150-year-old farmhouse, winterizing my father’s island cottage. I volunteer as a trail steward, patrolling and caring for two-hundred-plus miles of local trails.

And through volunteer work at an animal shelter, I care for homeless pets. From that, springs an unexpected petsitting side job. Caring for my own elderly dog, who passed last year at age fourteen, gives me experience in pet hospice care. Animal welfare articles I write encourage animal advocacy.

Taking care of people, places and pets: with this simple message, the essence of humility emerges.