Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Matter of Attitude

Yes, it has been a while. Thanks for asking. I've been enjoying my new job, trying to do justice to the part-time one and then there's life. Busy times but I'm grateful to have them. Not sure what's next, the person I'm covering for is due back from her maternity leave on December 7th. I've started looking to see what's out there and hope it's better this time around. I figure there were things to learn and experiences to have and I'm kind of excited to see what God's got planned for me next.

In the meantime I've been observing life in the nursing home/rehab center world. There are stories there, as I'm sure there are in all of them, that could fill volume after volume with stories of love, pain, bravery, fortitude, hilarity, sadness and escapades of d erring do. We lose a lot by letting those stories go untold or forgotten. And there are personalities - oh, are there personalities. I stepped in to one of my resident's rooms yesterday to see how things were going. She is what we like to call "pleasantly confused" and her language is a bit on the salty side but I enjoy talking to her very much. I asked how her day was going and she replied, "Not worth a damn!" with a little laugh. I was not just a little bit annoyed by the young physical therapist who entered after me and proceeded to lecture her on using her "nice words so we don't offend anyone." Jeez Louise. She may be elderly, pleasantly confused, salty-tongued and mischievous but she's still a grown woman who deserves the dignity to be treated as an adult, not a 4 year old. But I digress. The point is that it is the ones who can laugh even when their day isn't going that great, who get up and go to therapy or out in the dining room even when they don't feel like it, who can see the silver lining even in a day filled with dark ugly clouds, they are the ones who are still engaged with life. They generally fare better in their progress but even when they don't they have a positive impact on everyone around them. I have seen even the grumpiest of nurses, aides or other residents thaw out and even chuckle when persistently engaged by a merry soul. And the biggest impact is made by those who have little or no reason to be merry but yet they persist in their cheery ways. I like hanging out with them and I want to be just like them when I grow up.

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