Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Deliberately choosing a lens

One of my clients called me first thing this morning. She was upset because she was left to wait in her bed for an hour and a half for someone to help her start the day. I was sympathetic (even empathetic), but asked about how many caregivers were on duty this morning. It turns out there were 3, at least on her floor and in addition to everyone else, they were tasked with helping 8 elderly and other people (ambulatory and non ambulatory) out the door for day programs by 7:30 a.m. I suspect they got to her as quickly as they could, though I didn't say that and the problem lies with management and staffing.

My client doesn't understand and thinks they were deliberately ignoring her. After a few minutes of listening and sympathetic understanding, I suggested alternative possibilities, but she hung up.

I don't take this personally of course. She is my age, and has a different understanding of the world (don't we all?). She is who she is today and I accept her differences, even understand some of them. But the whole start to the morning was the indication that between the heat and everything else it could be a difficult, rough edged day for me.

I have been in a deepening funk for the past several weeks. Today I resolve to find the positives. There will be something about each place and person I encounter that will catch my eyes or ears. My teeny camera will be with me and I will be watching for pleasing pictures, even if I don't take them. I will be listening for birds, especially crows (meaningful to me), and listening for people's laughter. I will be watching for smiles and the tiny moments of simple pleasures. I will notice these things and not absorb the rest. And I will make sure that where I can, I practice the tiny kindnesses that often have a ripple effect.

I am headed out the door now in a 'be gentle' with the world, 'let the negatives slide away' frame of mind.... in the hopes that using that lens will soothe all the rough edges that the day might contain.

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