I am loving life!
Yes, my life is good. Great job, wonderful family, nice apartment, good friends, what more could a girl ask for, really? I’m even loving life single.
Now before anyone thinks I’ve flipped my lid or I’m painting a dream here, let me explain. No, I’m not always a little ray of sunshine. Some days are overcast in my heart and soul, grief is still an uninvited guest in my life. Not every shift is full of fun, laughter and dancing with the residents. Sometimes I work 16 hours straight, come home to take a 5 hour nap and go back and do it all over again. It isn’t what happens in life, it is our response that makes or breaks us, and I’m not breaking.
Grief has invaded my life and I’m learning to live with it. An uninvited intruder that creeps up behind me in the shower, or when I’m in the middle of a great book and suddenly I’m missing mom and crying for a short spell. Rather than let it pitch a tent I go look over a video on my phone I have saved of her with one of my grandsons. I can hear her voice there, see her and smile. I’ll look at her picture, go hug the memory bear made from her pajamas, dry my tears, pray for a bit, then move on. I find myself missing her at odd times that make no sense, then other days it will be when I want to pick her brain about a resident or experience at work. Instead I have to stop and think “what would mom do?” and laugh when the answer, “get your shit together” comes to me. #GYST is our rallying cry in the family, mom’s verbal cattle prod to each of us when we were wallowing in self pity or confusion over life.
The positive side of grief, and yes there is one, are the wonderful memories. So many people I know do not have this gift. Their relationship with their parents wasn’t what it could have been for one reason or another. But our mom was awesome! We were all close to her. Many of the grandchildren also had solid relationships with her. Those wonderful memories are actually a healing balm on this raw wound in my heart. I have so many treasured recollections that I’m wealthy in that regard. To know that while she was here she fiercely loved us and was our greatest cheer leader is a gift.
Lately I’ve found a new therapy not just for when grief strikes, but for life in general. BUBBLES! Mom used to love them, she’d buy them for herself and sit on the deck and blow bubbles now and then. Whenever I spy them in the store I smile and think of her. Well last week while shopping I decided to not just smile and remember, I bought a bunch. After I got home and settled for the evening I took my bubbles out on The Perch (my balcony) and spent time making colorful soap orbs to blow across the landscape. It was fantastic!!! So yesterday I bought more, because as summer winds down they will be harder to find. Feeling funky? Blow some bubbles. Down and depressed? Blow bubbles. Happy and you know it? Heck yes, blow some bubbles! Simple, inexpensive and when others see them floating by it makes them smile too.
Now to address the single aspect. Once again someone asked me how I stand being single and why haven’t I worked on finding a new mate. SERIOUSLY??? I have zero desire right now to be in a relationship. I’m working insane hours some weeks, really crazy ones. My job is interacting with people. All. Day. Long. As an introvert that means when I’m clocking out of work, I’m FINISHED with being in social situations. My batteries are blinking the empty lights. At that moment the need to be alone to recharge is critical. I have a very difficult time being in a social situation after work, of any kind. My filter is broken by then and there is zero tolerance left for anything remotely rude, unkind, stupid, mean….all of those are likely to get a less than sweet reaction from me. My residents I care for all of have dementia/Alzheimer’s. Their brains are broken, they have no filters left (hence I have to have mine in good working order), and they need someone to help them with everything from remembering where their room is, to dressing in something that matches, cleaning up incontinence accidents, or answering for the 18th time in 5 minutes why they are here, or where their walker is, or what time is it. They need lots of love and patience, understanding, tolerance and kindness. I’m tapped out when I clock out. I LOVE WHAT I DO!!! Loving the hearts that are still whole that are attached to brains that are broken isn’t for sissies, but it is one of the most rewarding careers you’ll ever find. I get lots of hugs, kisses, smiles and appreciation from my sweet old souls. But when I’m done for the day, I am D.O.N.E. The thought of having to come home and nurture a relationship with a significant other is simply not something I’d look forward too. He’d have to be someone who could grasp that I need peace and quiet, a good book or crochet project, a glass of wine and to be the one loved on. My off days are the days I’d have for that and those days are for my kids and grandkids, cleaning my apartment, laundry, health coaching, catching up on sleep, etc. I’ll stick to owning a cat, all she needs is clean litter, water, food and occasional head scratching (which can be done for hours while reading a book). And while I dearly love this little fur ball, I’m not at all sure I’ll have another because I feel bad that I don’t have a lot of time for her and she is often here alone from 6:30am – 11:30pm. Believe it or not, I am happy and not lacking or missing being in a relationship. I’m alone, but not one bit lonely! I already was married to the love of my life, and while not perfect I felt it was a great ride. But it is part of my past and I’m in a new chapter of this book of life, one I get to pen all by myself!
Well, this nice apartment isn’t going to clean itself so I guess I best be getting to it. I dropped the cleaning lady because it was money I couldn’t really spend right now so I have some dusting, vacuuming, toilets to scrub and floors to be mopped. Y’all go blow some bubbles and enjoy your weekend!