Often, I lay in bed (or on the couch) and allow my mind to wander. I think about life as it is now and what is happening in my world (I try not to dwell too much on what is occurring in the world at large because that is just too depressing). Recently though, I’ve realised that my thoughts are often rooted in memories of the past.
Current events in my life appear to be the trigger for these flashbacks.
Then I think “I should write that in my journal”. However my journal (along with my blog) has been sadly neglected of late unfortunately. I need to spend a couple of hours of my time in writing and just catch up on everything that has been happening in the past couple of months. Believe me, it’s been a ride and a half but not altogether a bad one.
So back to what I was talking about.
I’ll give you just a small example of the sort of things that have been crossing my mind lately.
First a little back story……
I am coming to the end of an incredibly huge two weeks at work. I have been pushed out of my comfort zone due to a viral outbreak in the facility in which I am working. This virus is affecting both residents and staff. Now, I won’t shy away if there is a job to be done and my superiors have discovered that I hold the equivocal qualifications in disability that they require in aged care for an AIN (Assistant in Nursing). This has meant that I have spent a huge number of hours walking the floors and nursing this past week or so instead of doing my usual job as a Lifestyle Coordinator (diversional therapy).
So today I’ve been doing a bit of catching up on sleep and spent time napping on the couch this morning. When I woke up, I had the following conversation:
Me (speaking to cat who was purring loudly in my ear): “I wish you could massage my feet”.
GG on the other couch just rolls his eyes
Me (this time to GG): “You know, when I was younger I remember massaging my mother’s feet. She worked in a foundry and spent all day on her feet so on the weekends and at other times I would massage her feet for her.”
GG: “So you’re saying you have feet like your mothers?”
Me (ignoring his attempt at bad humour): “No. What I am saying is that now I understand what she was going through”.
This is just the most recent thing that has crossed my mind linking the events of the present with those of the past.
The past weeks have also given rise to a lot of introspection on my part. I’m learning a lot more about what makes me “Me” and working on ways to change the things I don’t like. I’ve found myself mumbling to myself at times “Stop it Sue. You are better than this” or “Do you really need that chocolate”? (Actually I usually answer yes to the chocolate question).
I am discovering that the studies and interests that I have undertaken over the years are now having a bearing on my present. It’s not just my disability qualifications that are bearing fruit right now, I am also using my coaching skills, fitness skills and interest in crafts, wellness and aromatherapy on a daily basis.
Another way that my past has been showing up in my present is through people.
Since beginning work at this aged care facility, people from my past are turning up. One of my supervising RNs happens to be an old boss who changed her career path. We have maintained contact and I consider her a friend. She was the one responsible for encouraging me to volunteer at this facility which in turn led to the job. Our friendship is not known to anyone else in the workplace and we’re happy to leave it that way. The last thing we need is workplace politics interfering with everything.
Another of my old bosses regularly visits one of our residents. He was not the best boss I’ve ever had and we had a few run-ins when I worked for him but I’m seeing a different side of him now as he sits at this resident’s bedside talking to him (without receiving any response) and feeding him. He also orders lunch from our kitchen and then has lunch with another resident and spends time chatting with him. He’s become a familiar figure in our palliative wing.
I could also mention the President of the Committee of Management from the disability organisation that I used to work for, who comes in to visit her mother.
Then there are some of the residents who I worked with in my previous position at another organisation. Or those residents whose families I know.
I can’t help feeling that this job is a culmination of sorts. It’s bringing together so many people and things from my past.
I often think of the adage “People come into our lives for a reason and a season”. These people have come back and there must be a reason for it.
As I said before, it’s been a very big couple of weeks in a very busy couple of months. Unfortunately, the virus is still within the facility, so I see many many more hours on my feet before things return to normal and I can get back to doing my diversional therapy once more (with a few nursing shifts thrown in here and there).
The events of the past couple of months have given me a cause for reflection. My daily interactions with those who are aged, dying or have dementia have given me a wonderful opportunity to alter my perspective on life.
I’ve raced the hallway (and lost) to a sprightly 89 year old. Held the hands of ladies who have both recently celebrated their 103rd birthdays. Comforted those who are confused or lonely. Sung to those who have needed cheering up. I’ve cried at my inability to handle some situations. And I’ve laughed. I laugh so much with these wonderful people who have so much life experience that they just adore sharing with those who will take the time to listen.
As I’ve heard many a time, from many a different person “What good is living life if you can’t laugh”?
So, as I reflect on my own past and how it has impacted my future I feel so very blessed. I’m blessed because although my past has shaped my present, the future is an open book. The lessons I have learned and the experiences I have had seem to have all led me to now. Now, is when I continue to write my future. And of course what good is living life, if you can’t laugh?