I’ve been evaluating all the ways I use my time and spend my energy over the past few months. I do this when I feel the need for a change or when a new interest needs space in my life. I take stock of what I’m doing, asses the level of importance for each item, and decide which things will stay and which things will go.
I started writing this blog because I felt I had something to say and needed a platform from which to speak. I have enjoyed writing about topics that interest me and have meaning in my life. I have been writing in one way or another throughout my whole life and now it is time for me to put energy into a project I have been dreaming about for years, writing a book.
I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to read my words. I hope that they helped you in some way.
You’ve all heard the saying, “The grass is greener on the other side”, and I suspect that most of you have found that to be true as you’ve gone from one patch of green grass to another. At first, you may think your new patch of grass is greener, but one day you notice it has lost some of its color. It doesn’t seem as green as it used to be and you start dreaming of what the next green patch will look like. From your current perspective, that next patch will definitely be better. What is it that makes us think this over and over again despite proof to the contrary?
Last week at work was very busy with all the Positivity Week festivities. Residents and staff enjoyed watching the conga lines going through the halls, and the art festival was a big hit, bringing people together to create something positive. The week has left me feeling tired from all the extra work and stress of having to organize some of the activities. Something I’ve learned about myself when organizing events is that I tend to be a perfectionist. I have a picture in my head of how everything will look and it causes me stress when things don’t go that way. I am learning slowly, over time, that things will be fine even if they don’t measure up to my level of perfection. So, in order to release some of the tension from the week, my friend Springy and I treated ourselves to a morning at the spa. It was the perfect way to end the week and recover my soul by way of my feet.
You’re walking through the woods on a warm, bright Spring day. Everything is a lush green color highlighted by the sunlight’s rays streaming down through the branches. The path is grassy and wide and curves down a small hill. At the foot of the hill is a stream, running full and strong powered by the heavy winter’s snow melt. The water runs over the pathway, and the grass that is covered by the water sways with the current. There are several large rocks carefully placed by nature to allow pedestrians to cross. You carefully step on each of the rocks as you make your way across the small stream. You stop to watch the water flow and reach to touch it. It is cold and clear and rushes past your hand. You can see everything beneath the water: the rocks, the grass, the leftover fall leaves, and other small plants that hold on tight to keep from being swept away. The scent is intoxicating, fresh and clean. The sound is mesmerizing and your senses struggle to take it all in. When you are ready, you continue past the brook and up the hill leading in to the woods. Where will you go today? How will you know when you’re there?
When my children were young, I asked them to learn to become monitors of themselves. As a parent, I wanted them to become aware of their surroundings and their feelings so that they could keep themselves safe while away from home. I wanted them to think for themselves because I would not always be there to do it for them. I asked them to notice their behaviors and monitor if they were being appropriate in situations. I knew they would act a certain way around their friends, but they needed to learn to adjust those actions when out in public. It was important for them to learn boundaries and respect for others. I also told them to trust their feelings and if they were at someone’s home and felt uncomfortable, that they could take the steps they needed to remove themselves from the situation. I wanted them to learn to trust their higher voice, to be able to monitor their emotions and use them as guides.
My boss is always using the term “constant vigilance” to remind us to keep our eyes out for issues that would cause us to get a tag in a state survey. Once a year, the nursing home must undergo a state survey, where a team of surveyors come into the facility and check on all our systems. It is a stressful time, but if we always do our jobs in accordance with the rules, then we know there will be no worries when survey comes. Constant vigilance is needed year round to ensure that the needs of our residents are being met and that we are operating under proper procedure. It is also needed in our personal lives to ensure that we are making choices in accordance with our values and what we want for our future.
You and I have a lot to say. We want to share our experiences, our stories, with others. Sometimes we feel our story is so important we forget to listen. When we start telling our story we expect everyone will pay attention. The problem is that the other person in the room feels the same. They hear your story and cannot wait to tell theirs. What happens next is there are two speakers and no listeners. Their stories are lost to each other, they cannot be shared. When they walk away from each other, they are not aware of what just happened because they are still living the feeling of their stories. They don’t realize they were not heard.