Friday, February 19, 2010

Home Away From Home

This is where I spend 40 or so hours a week. Well not necessarily in this room for all of those hours. I am a psychiatric nurse supervisor. I work at an inpatient mental health facility, 3 units/100 beds. Specifically I manage Mod C, a 30 bed unit for the pervasive and persistently mentally ill. Our patients are people who have had a serious mental illness for many years, mostly schizophrenia. This is the unit of the hospital where people are admitted who are most likely to be violent or unpredictable.

I love my job.
That said, I usually groan a little every morning when the alarm sounds and I really love days off. But I am grateful to have a job, and furthermore to have a job over which I have some control as to how I spend my days. Last weekend I walked into my office and it was a mess. I wasn't surprised as it had been a mess for several weeks. It seems like all of the stuff that we aren't sure where to store, ends up on my office floor. Just like home, it gets away from you and you don't know where to start cleaning and so; you don't. Well I had had all I could stand so I dealt with the mess. Two of the large boxes that had been on my floor and I had been stepping around were empty. Why were they in my office? They had been delivered in December containing Christmas gifts and after the gifts were distributed I just never got rid of the boxes. I was going to use them for something. I was going to take them to the dumpster on my way out. I was going to ask around if anyone else needed two largish boxes.
Then there were the stacks and stacks of papers. Toss, toss, toss. Only ended up actually filing about 20% of the stacks I had kept on my desk.
But you know what, that slowly accumulating pile of stuff was getting to me in ways I didn't realize. I cleaned my office thoroughly on Saturday and on Sunday morning when I walked in I found myself happy to be there. I put a disc into my CD player and settled in for a great day. Not a day that was so much easier than the days prior, but a great one nonetheless.
I was sure that as people stopped by my office they'd comment on the beautiful job I'd done straightening. Not one comment! But that's ok because I am the one who has to "live" in that space. It only has to work for me and now it does.
In a time when we face lay-offs, wage freezes, home life stress...whatever the case may be, we sometimes forget to make life a little brighter in the spaces we can control. But what an impact it can have to look around and know that you have done all you can and now you can settle in and do what needs doing one day at a time. We underestimate things like the pleasure of a cheerful clean kitchen on a day when we are clipping coupons to try to afford groceries. So we can let life go haywire and suffer all the more than if we'd kept our hands on the wheel.
It doesn't cost any money to wake up early enough to enjoy the morning sun. To get yourself together in neat clothes and do your hair even if you've no where to go (does anyone else save their "good" sweaters indefinitely?) Go ahead and scrub that floor, open wide the blinds and make your space in life beautiful. Not only will it bring joy to your soul, it is a message to the enemy that Life still shines in the darkest of days.
Don't be overwhelmed today. Do what you can. It'll accomplish more than you realize.

1 comment:

Jada's Gigi said...

I like your pink coffee cup...:)