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.
There have been times in my life when I have felt like I was in the zone. You know the feeling. It’s when everything seems to flow with ease and time has no meaning. The zone is always a fleeting place to be, yet great importance is placed on being there. It is associated with happiness and pleasure. When outside the zone, I seem to lose my perspective, my sense of where I am going. How is it possible to be so on in one moment of my life and so off the next? I used to feel uncomfortable during those “off” periods of time, afraid that I would never find my way again, but I have learned to trust that each moment has meaning, one is not better than the other.
This week I would like to present you with a poem I wrote. It’s been a long time since I’ve written any poetry and it felt like coming home. This poem is a true story about listening to my inner voice. While the voice may always be there, I sometimes don’t pay attention to it. I wrote this to remind myself that the voice is strong and true and that it is always there to guide me.
It started with a compliment, a few simple words of sincerity that opened her heart. She took a chance and revealed a story of a pain seated deep within her. The bearer of the compliment listened intently, showing understanding and compassion on her face. A connection was made, giving each of them a sense of belonging to something greater than themselves, a sharing of universal energy. It was a small moment in time, but it was important.
With each New Year many people like to make resolutions or set goals they would like to accomplish. Resolutions are when you resolve to make a change to a habit or pattern in your life, i.e. I resolve to eat better this year. Goals are measurable and have an end. Last year, I set some goals at the beginning of the year and set others as the year went by. I recently took a look at those goals and evaluated myself on how I did. I gave myself an A+ with one and with another, I earned an incomplete. That’s okay with me. I don’t beat myself up about things. What I need to do is take an honest look at what is keeping me from accomplishing that goal. We can always learn a lot from the things that we don’t do as much as with the ones we do.