Sunday, March 30, 2014

That's Who I Am

I don't know how to sit down and shut up.

It's not who I am.

I don't know how to not argue for one side or the other. I don't know how to not stand up for myself, when I feel that I'm justified. I don't know how to not stand up for others, when they need a voice, too.

It's not who I am.

I don't know how to let things go. I don't know how to ignore a situation and pretend it doesn't exist. I don't know how to brush things or people or feelings under the rug. I don't know how to be quiet.

It's not who I am.

I don't know how to accept pleasantries as an answer. I don't know how to deal with feeling pushed aside.

It's not who I am.

Give me words.

That's who I am.



Saturday, March 8, 2014

I'm Telling You...You're Okay

There are a lot of things I, as a parent, have to teach my children.

I have to teach them how to tie their shoes, write their name and the days of the week. I have to teach them how to balance a checkbook and how to budget for things they really want. I have to teach them how to make scrambled eggs and how to pick a ripe pineapple. I have to teach them how to drive a car, pump gas and change a flat tire. I have to teach them how to make Grandma's chocolate chip cookies. I have to teach them how to make a bed and how to work the washing machine. I have to teach them how to use an ATM and how to file their taxes. I have to teach them how to properly dose and take medication. I have to teach them to recycle and reuse. I have to teach them to buckle up. Every single time. 

I have to teach them how to be kind to others. I have to teach them that nothing is a substitute for hard work. I have to teach them that showing up on time is a sign of respect and that standing up for yourself is okay. I have to teach them that saying "please" is always appropriate and to only say "I'm sorry" if you truly mean it. I need to teach them that although it takes big amounts of brave, they need to admit when they are wrong. I have to teach them that offering a helping hand in society is part of being a responsible adult. I have to teach them that loving someone else isn't easy and that loss is part of life. I have to teach them that people are different and that their approach with people needs to vary just as much. I have to teach them that they need to follow through on things they start. I need to teach them patience. I have to teach them how important it is to say, "I love you.", every time you say goodbye. I have to teach them how to laugh at themselves.

I have to teach them to question everything they've been taught, to be sure it is right for them.

Lately, I've had the recurring thought that I haven't given much time to one other important thing. One thing that maybe wasn't a factor when they were toddlers, running through my house, with their only need being Cheerios and hugs. One thing that maybe has only cropped up as they have gotten older and started becoming their own people.

I need to teach them that they are okay.

I have had song lyrics running through my head all day today; "She's just the way she is, but no one's told her that's okay."

I need to teach my children that they are okay.

Whoever they grow up to be, they are okay. Whoever they grow up to love, they are okay. Whatever they choose to do with their life...they are okay. Their choices, their feelings, what they want out of life...it's all okay. I do not have a mold I want them to fit into. I do not have expectations that I need them to meet. I just need them to know that they are okay.

So much of our lives are spent trying to be okay. Trying to be what we were told we needed to be. Trying to react to situations the way we were taught to react. Trying to be, what we were taught to be. Trying to be okay.

Instead of just realizing that  we already are. 



Friday, March 7, 2014

I Take Them Home

When I left my previous job and started my new one last August, I knew the change would be a transition.

I had no idea how true that statement would be.

One of the changes that I was most excited about, was the prospect of not working from home anymore. Anyone that works from home knows the challenge to separate work and home. There really isn't a graceful way to do it. As long as my computer was there, my work was there. Don't get me wrong, I loved my job. I loved the flexibility it afforded me, when I had five kids under the age of eight. I loved being able to essentially do my job from anywhere with wifi. I loved not needing to call in sick, because a kid was home with strep.

I just struggled with my work always being present in my home.

This new job afforded me the ability to separate work and home. I could leave work at work, and be home when I was home.

Damn, was that the biggest misunderstanding I have ever had with myself.

I take my work home. All the time. Every day.

I take home the resident that won't eat and is declining and I wonder...did I do everything I could have? Did I miss something? I take home the resident that is sad and depressed. I can make them smile. Did I do it enough today? I take home the resident that is lonely and just wants someone to talk to. Did I give them enough time today, or did they feel brushed off? I take home the resident that is actively dying. Alone. No one should have to die alone. I could be there to hold their hand...offer a simple gesture of comfort that tells them that someone cares for them. I take home the resident that is angry with their situation. I would be angry, too. I take home the resident that no longer recognizes their spouse. How scary for them and their family, to see decades of memories just slip away.

I take them home.

I stare at the ceiling at night and I think about this one, or that one. I worry on days off that I forgot to do something or that I could have done something more. I know full well that they are in good hands when I'm not there, but I care. And I worry. I have met such amazing people and been privy to part of their incredible stories.

I take them home.

I know no other way.