Sunday, November 7, 2010

Crisp, Delicious Autumn

Autumn is my season. I say this because my birthday is on November 11th, and I have always considered myself a Fall child. Many of my fondest childhood memories have taken place during this perfect season. The aroma of Mom's vegetable soup simmering on the stove, Daddy outside raking the leaves and pine straw as my sisters and I would jump into the piles and make pine straw houses. The first taste of my Granny's apple pie and that heavenly melt in your mouth feeling. The warm, wet nose of Flicka the pony nudging against my hand and the soft feeling of her growing winter coat. The refreshing coolness of the air as it sweeps around your face on its way to rustle the leaves on the ground. Running through the woods, making forts, and make believing. When I step outside today, and feel the crispness of the air, all those memories come to me in one big ball of nostalgia and happiness. And it's time like those, that I'm so incredibly thankful for my childhood and the memories I have. And it makes me excited to continue to create memories that make this time of year so special to me.

On this beautiful Sunday, take time to enjoy God's artwork. Go outside. Take a walk and breathe deeply. Eat some apple pie. Enjoy a bonfire or two.Take a drive with the windows down and listen to some Allison Krauss (at least thats what I plan to do) Make memories that will forever stay with you. And let your worries be like the leaves on the trees, quietly drifting away as the autumn breeze carries them away.

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
George Eliot

Happy November!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Generation Forgotten

If someone told me two years ago that I would be working in a nursing home, I wouldn't have believed them. In fact, I probably would have laughed in their face. Me? With old people? I don't think so. In fact, when I decided on speech pathology as a profession, I thought I would be working with cute little kids that say 'wabbit' for 'rabbit'. But life is a funny thing, and it always seems that you end up somewhere you swear you would never be. And here I am, two years later driving to the boondocks everyday to a nursing home!

When I was a child, I remember being terrified of nursing homes. My great grandmother, 'Nanaw', as we called her lived her last few years in a nursing home, and I remember visiting her there. I hated it. I hated the smell. I was scared of how the people there looked, all slouched over in a wheelchair and talking all crazy. It seemed like a sad, depressing place and I didn't want to be there.

When I first got the job, I was pretty much terrified. All these crazy thoughts ran through my head. "What if I hate it? What if the residents are crazy? What if it smells there? What if I don't know how to be a speech therapist to these old people? What if these people don't even KNOW I'm a speech therapist?!"

I'm not going to lie, the first couple of weeks were tough, and my innocent little self saw and smelled things I had NEVER experienced before. While the nursing home is very well maintained and clean, you may pass by a room from time to time and the smell is so bad you think you might throw up! And then you'll stop by a room to get one of the residents for therapy and they don't remember who you are or what the heck you are doing in their room. Or you might not be on the look out, and all of a sudden the old pervert in the wheelchair gives you a little 'good job' pat on the rear. On top of that, you have tons of patients to see in a day, PLUS do all the paperwork all in an eight hour day. Those first couple of weeks I thought, "WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING HERE?!!! THIS IS NOT FOR ME!"

And then I came to a crossroad (I come to those alot in life). I can focus on all the negative things about this setting and be completely miserable, OR I could find the positive. And so I opted for the positives. And you know, I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

First of all, I stopped thinking about them as 'old people' and realized they are somebody's mother or father, grandmother or grandfather. They had a life. They lived. They loved. They had stories. They had a voice. They had opinions. And they just needed someone to listen to them. This generation is a forgotten generation in our society, and I soon realized that even though I was there helping them, they were really helping me.

Since working at the job, I now get the most hugs and 'hello darling' greetings than I ever had. I now have learned how to crochet a blanket and a scarf. I know the special ingredients you use to make your pie crust just right. I know about what it was like to grow up in the Great Depression and how hard life was back in the day. I know about the hardships the African American generation went through during the segregated days. And I most importantly understand the importance of living and loving and caring for people.

Not all days are perfect, of course. But I count it a rare opportunity to spend time with a dying generation that has experienced things in life people will only read in history books. So whenever I hear one of the residents say to me, "Did I ever tell you about the time...." And while I may have heard the story several times before, I just smile and listen. Because that's all they really want... someone to just listen.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Growing Pains...

My oh my! How ironic is it that my latest blog post was nearly 9 months ago and it was about not promising to write every day this year. Sheesh. 9 months is taking it a bit far. I'm afraid life got busy. Real busy. Number one: I graduated (hallelujah!) from graduate school and I now have my masters in Speech Language Pathology (this is a huge accomplishment in itself and I still wonder sometimes how I survived). Number two: I got a job working with the ever so entertaining elderly population as a speech therapist (just wait till you hear the stories). Number three: My husband and I moved back to our quaint, small southern town of Laurel, MS and now live in a cozy one bedroom apartment above a coffee shop. Not bad. Life is good, and I can't complain.... until a couple of weeks ago.

When I was a child, I remember having cramps in my legs when I went to bed at night. It was bad for awhile, and while my dramatic self thought I was going to die, they were simply growing pains. And while I'm pretty sure at the age of 26 I have reached my maximum height, I still experience growing pains. Not physically of course, but emotionally and spiritually. And these growing pains kind of turned me into a pouty two year old version of myself. It was pretty pathetic.

Life is full of responsibilities and choices. Neither of which I am terribly good at. Am I responsible person? Yes and no. I'm responsible with things that are important to me. Like brushing my teeth every night before bed. Like making sure the pillows on the couch are just the way I like them. Like making sure I get the remote on the night my favorite tv show comes on. When am I not responsible? When I worked all day and the sink is full of dirty dishes and I don't do anything about it. When I know I should probably clean out the closet but don't because I just have a few more pages to read in that book. When I should get my oil changed and that crack in windshield fixed but haven't. When I pout that almost half of my hard earned pay check goes towards taxes and health insurance.

Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who helps me. And this is a mysterious thing. We just recently celebrated our one year anniversary. We laugh about how we are. Both so stubborn and passionate and hard headed... and yet it works. We work. And life works with us together. We certainly are blessed. Sitting in my favorite, comfy chair and thinking about it all, it actually sounds pretty silly to complain about anything at all. So what if Jerod's toyota is on the brink of falling apart and we've got bills to pay? I think about the summer I went to Honduras on a medical mission trip and slept on dirt floors in a hut up in the mountains. We all have it so much better than so many others.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, life is one big growing pain. Although, it doesn't really have to be so painful if you just surround yourself with people that love you for who you are. God certainly does. And that's really enough for me.

That's all for now. Goodnight ya'll :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

War of My Life

I don't really believe in New Year's Resolutions. Not that I don't believe in trying to improve yourself, your life, or contributing to the greater good. I just don't believe in setting yourself up to failure. I mean, seriously, most people's resolutions last what, a couple of weeks if that? I think people miss the point when a new year rolls around. "This year, I'm going to loose that ten pounds" "This year I'm going to be less selfish and more about others" "This year, I'm not going to loose my temper so easily..." "This year, I'm not getting on facebook so much..." "This year, I'm not going to spend so much money on shoes..." This year.....

Let's be honest. Whats going to make you keep those resolutions? Consistently. My wager... fat chance. You must be thinking I'm that 'half glass empty' kind of girl. Honestly, I'm not. I'm actually quite optimistic when it comes to alot of things. All I'm saying is this, don't set rules. You will only break them. Life is war. Life is war with yourself everyday. Just as John Mayer says, " I'm in the war of my life. I'm at the core of my life. I've got no choice but to fight till its done."

Fight what? Fight yourself. Fight what keeps you held back. Just be prepared to fight with yourself all the time this year. Some days you will loose. Some days you will win. But keep the good fight, my friends. Fight on.

With that said, I'm not promising a blog entry every day this year. But when I do write, I will promise it will be from the heart every time.

Stay warm out there.