Go Easy…


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Sometimes thinking about the past is appropriate, especially when you get news about someone that meant something to you, even if you haven’t spent much time with them in recent years.

Families are such slippery things–they are fragile and sometimes easily shattered. They also are defined by many different things, not just by blood. And often the ones that aren’t put together by blood can mean more. We define them ourselves.

When the some things that created them, like a marriage, dissolve, then they seem to disappear too–at least in the physical sense. But we may realize, especially at critical moments, they still linger within deeper parts of us; that these people who were once family are still dear.

So when I heard my ex-father-in-law is now in hospice, I found myself extremely sad. He was someone who had been very good to me while I was married. It’s been easy to recall so many memories of the kind things about him: his easy acceptance of our decision to adopt a HIV positive child, and his special love for her. And his overly enthusiastic attitude (and long conversations and questions) about my career as an EMT/Paramedic, something I didn’t always feel at home from his son. He loved the stuff!

I picture him as the typical unassuming New England man, quiet but always willing to help; that crooked smile, bald head and slight limp. He was my go to guy, always aware of what was happening with the weather, and loving to talk about it.

Maybe he’s not officially ‘family’ anymore, but in my heart he will always hold a very special place as he made me feel welcome and a part. I felt like family because of him.

Thank you, and may the rest of your days be easy…

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Gloom


Is there light ahead? It’s been raining non-stop for days here with no end in sight. This doesn’t help if ones interior landscape already feels a bit gloomy. The wet, dreary weather only serves to solidify any creeping negativity. 

Even my furry friend feels unlike himself and ignores a game of ball. He’s too busy hiding from the thunder. 

Here’s wishing for sunshine and brighter days ahead. 

Rainy Days


There is beauty in a rainy day. As the water pours down, soaking the earth and providing the plants with a drink, it can feel luscious to sit indoors listening to the purifying sounds. In a place where rain and storms can be scarce, a full day of heavy showers feels like a gift. The natural cascading cadence coming from the sky easily acts as a lullaby–rocking the unsuspecting book worm to sleep. Curled up under a blanket, the white noise soothes the brain. Soon the eyes will  close and the body drifts off to another realm as the drum of the raindrops beat on.

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It is a natural cycle, the sun and rain, the play and rest. The softer mood and grayer colors paint these moments. It’s slow and inward.

Use it. Lean into it. Even indoors let the rainy days baptize and renew the soul.

Cray-Cray?


As the hurricane is getting closer to where I live, I’m wondering if I notice its pull on the human beings around me? Am I imagining it or is it real?

Certainly humans are overly preoccupied with the weather now that we can have a minute to minute account of what it’s doing via social media on our phones and computers–this with a full onslaught of radar, photos, video and people telling us about the death and destruction about to hit us. No wonder everyone gets coo-coo.

I HAVE LOTS OF WATER!!

Are people better off not knowing? Well, probably not, because at least we can prepare, but wow, one would think it’s the end of the world rather than the possibility of a power outage, wind and some flooding. But maybe it’s just something to talk (complain?) about.
The endless lines for gas, the empty grocery shelves, the incessant talk about what our work wants from us. These folks have obviously have never lived through an ice storm and the following 11 days of no power in sub freezing weather after! Now that sucks! At least it’ll be warm here. Not to diminish the issues that may befall us…just that getting cray-cray is of no use.

HERE’S WHAT A VEGAN STOCKS 🙂

But clearly this kind of thing brings out the best AND the worst in folks, as I’ve experienced both in the past couple of days.

My most wonderful neighbors, who were just hanging out yesterday having a drink or two, chatted with me about the upcoming storm. I asked about preparations and two of them offered to help me get ready! They came over and together we put up my hurricane panels, a job I had never done before. They assured me too, that I have the special windows and should be OK. When offered money or a bottle of wine, they flatly refused, saying that this is what neighbors do for each other! Wow, finally a neighborhood where I belong and where folks are kind and caring.

On the other hand, my desk mate went off on me today. Instead of simply telling me something I was doing bothered him, he got very personal about it. It got mean and hurtful. And when we talked later, he took no responsibility for how it made me feel. While this didn’t totally surprise me, it was rather out of the blue and seemed ‘stormy’ that he should attack me the way he did.

IT GOT UGLY AND SPOOKY AT WORK.

Luckily, I’m used to it there and have learned so much better how to handle these things. It bothered me, but I will let it pass over me like the hurricane. It won’t change me any more than any weather pattern will change me.

In instances like this we can let the pressure make us or break us. We can pull together or decide to let the burden of stress be so heavy that we lash out like the items we haven’t battened down.

It’s really up to us how we want to be and how we want to come out of this: surrounded by our own wreckage or in good shape because we all worked together to prepare.

I’D RATHER BE PEACEFUL.

For My Work Newsletter


So this is the article I am submitting in response to my decision to being asked to reconsider my resignation at my job:

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My April Fool’s Day

When I moved here in September, it was for a few reasons. The main reason was to be close to my Mother, but it was also to be away from the brutal New England weather and to retire from a stressful career where my co-workers often did not care about one another.

It’s been a blessing living near my Mom and the weather is sublime.

Applying for jobs was exhausting, and when Bethesda called I was very excited. I actually had applied for a different position than the one I am currently in, but with my experience, they felt I would be better suited for this one.

They were forthcoming about the stress of the job, which made me a bit nervous at the time because of my hopes for coming here mentioned above, but assured me about teamwork among colleagues.

It’s been three months, and yes indeed, it’s stress on steroids! I’ve seen how the stress reveals parts of people that probably, under normal circumstances, wouldn’t bubble to the surface.  Some of these parts have directly affected me and, I won’t lie, this has been difficult.

For years I’ve been told ‘you are too sensitive’ or ‘have a thicker skin’ and often it made me feel there was something wrong with me. But as I grew older, I realized that I embrace this part of me and know that this is what makes me a kind, compassionate and loving person. I don’t want to keep people out with a thick skin and I prefer being sensitive to the world around me.

So I had to make a decision about the stress once again in my life and if I wanted to (not could) deal with it. And after much soul searching I decided to resign on Friday, April 1. Even though it killed me because there are so many wonderful people and I actually really like the job and am not ever a quitter. But I had also promised myself not to live a stressful life anymore.

Amazingly though, something happened. I was asked to reconsider. And many people, including some that had been stressed out directly at me, came to me and were very kind.

This made me think about some things.

  • We all have our troubles, so trying to be conscious that another person may be suffering personally may help us to be more patient
  • We all are tired and over worked, but acting as a team will help us all in the long run
  • A smile and a kind word goes a long way
  • Someone we think may not care, really might in the end but just may not know how to show it in the moment
  • Be the first one to extend a helping hand, or even consider being social with someone
  • Try to talk directly to the person first if you hear something you don’t like—remember: don’t assume
  • Let’s accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative in regards to people, how we say things and our attitudes

I guess this all sounds hokey and maybe I’m being unrealistic. But my feeling is that if we reach high than maybe we may obtain at least just short of our goals. And this is better than not reaching at all.

The decision then about reconsidering? After so many great people asked me to, and because I am hopeful and positive person…

The answer was absolutely!

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I’m not sure how my co-workers will take it. They are a mixed and motley bunch. Some may be sympathetic and find it inspiring and others may find the words insipid. None the less, I am choosing to put them forth, just like I put myself forth every day in my blog to my blogging community. Many here hail me, some have walked away. Hey, it’s a free country and freedom of speech is regarded highly and we must be brave when we put ourselves out there to a new audience.

So shall I do when this gets published in our Surgical Services Newsletter. And then let the commenting commence….

 

Poem : Foggy Morn


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There is a beacon in the fog
To show us the way
One we follow
Through thick thoughts
And whispered wishes

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In the light of the distant call
Echoing footsteps
Under billowing banyan
Father tree carry me
Forward

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The watchful eye of nature
Everywhere knows the way
Just follow
Just follow
Into the your precious day

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And with the drip and wet
Of dewy foggy morn
Walk boldly where you want to
And you will be reborn

Tornado


We had a tornado watch at work today. A strange alarm kept going off in the dungeon where I was working and voices kept coming on overhead to announce the possible tornado. Everyone but me seemed pretty calm having lived through it before, although some were checking the alerts on their phones (actually we’re not supposed to have our phones on at work). But I was just sort of bewildered figuring when I left work that I would be swept up like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz never to be seen again….

I told them this at work as I was leaving…and they assured me that I would know if one was heading towards me, but not if it was coming from behind. And yes, I might just end up in Oz…so just make the best of it. Yikes, I had actually forgotten my ruby slippers….

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You see, I’m actually a girl of blizzards and ice! This I know from…cars doing 180’s or hitting your breaks and having nothing happening. But being picked up off the ground by a giant funnel of wind? Egads! No thank you! Give me snow and freezing rain any day! That I can deal with!!

When I left the building there were some guys standing around where I punch out and they assured me the tornado had left the area, but it was still pouring. Oh great, my umbrella was in the car and the parking garage is not close! When I mentioned this, they asked why I wasn’t walking through the hospital to leave? Um, because I’m new and didn’t know the way I said sheepishly. Luckily these dudes were happy to help a sister out so I only got slightly wet.

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I have no idea if all the palm fronds laying on the road were left in the tornado wake or just from heavy winds, but I made it home safe and sound…. And I didn’t see any Flying Monkeys on the way home either!!

Yes indeed: there’s no place like home!

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Poem: Rain


As I sat cross-legged trying to meditate

I was distracted by the pattering rain outside

It was a constant beating in my head

Like a tiny drumbeat of a thousand natives tapping their rhythm

Trance-like I traveled back in time

And was once again a child

With my nose pressed against a moist window

Peering outside at the damp world

Hands leaving marks on the glass

Fingerprints of me

Wishing I was outside running in the sun

Or the days in camp

Not really a child anymore, but not quite a grown-up

Laying in the cabin on a night with a raging storm

Snuggled in my blankets

And a counselor reading, taking us somewhere else

While the lightning struck and thunder boomed

Sometimes even blowing raindrops through the openings

Feeling safe

Or the time my girls were with me to celebrate an Uncle’s birthday

Caught in a downpour in a city

Running like banshee, disoriented and wondering where we left the car

Hysterically laughing

Rain is cleansing, annoying, flooding, biting, gentle, life-giving

Desert rain, tropical rain

Tap Tap Tap

Too much can destroy, too little whither

And with the sun can bring a rainbow