I've dreadfully neglected my little Adiaphoron this past year, both from busyness and from a lack of time for thought. I've felt as though I haven't anything significant to say that touches not on either the highly personal or confidential. My confidence in my own knowledge and mind are declining. (At least, on most days. There's always the occasional spurt of confidence with which I do something idiotic to rue later.) I'm learning to shrug off my social accidents and awkwardness; it's not like I can do anything about spilling the drink down my dress after the fact. Sure, I can be more careful: if anything, I'm learning to be more deliberate about social moves. If I must be conspicuous, I try to choreograph the period of visibility ahead of time. At the same time, I'm tired of trying to be someone. Even trying to be who I am is challenging. (You'd think it a simple thing to be yourself, but, actually, if it is important to you to be consistent and you are a woman, being a consistent self is a constant struggle.)
I've always kept myself soothed and calmed by singing to myself. It's not a lullaby - it's a "workaby". If the song is running on, I can continue to move forward. When it stops, my wheels slow and grind to a halt. At work, I sing my day through, one song-story after another, out loud in the hall, inwardly as I bathe patients and clean up messes. When I stop singing, I'm in trouble. Truly.
When I was very, very small, it was Wee Sing Bible Songs. In early elementary, I sang patriotic songs, old Methodist hymns, kids' Bible songs, and songs from church. Middle school and highschool floated through on tunes of Michael Card and LW hymnody. My first year of college, I got to know LSB and historic Lutheran and Christian songs amid a surging tide of Hope College postmodernity and Augustine College classic Christianity. This past year, I've hit a new lode as I've nosed down the shaft of folk through a tunnel of celtic gems. There's more sadness here, to be certain, and a few wells to avoid falling into.
Speaking of work, that's a pretty new part of my life (though it seems routine to me now) that hasn't gotten much coverage on this blog. Confidentiality is partly to blame. I do like my work. If I weren't serving people whose needs (physical, emotional, and psychological) didn't demand immediate and careful attention, I'd be bored with working. But people can't sit on the shelf like paperwork, nor can one ignore them like dirty dishes. They literally scream at you.
12 hours is a long time. When I walk into the unit, I leave the rest of my life behind. It's just my patients, the nurses, therapists,aides, and doctors and me dealing with the same problems from different perspectives. I'm a valued part of the team as are all of the other members. If one of us left, the whole system of work would go up in smoke. Even though I'm relatively new, I feel like I belong and am useful - and that is nice. It's fulfilling to be needed (if only to empty a bedpan) and comforting to share something (if that something is but the challenge of getting a confused patient to eat supper).
Somedays, I feel as if I'm in a madhouse. Disoriented and demented patients are calling out without surcease and other competent patients hit the call button before you have even walked 5 steps from their door to have you rearrange the pillows yet again. On these days I constantly sing myself calm and constantly plan the next steps I must perform. When I leave, it is as if I have lost part of my life. Whatever happened that day has to stay at the hospital until I come back to it. My family and friends are totally excluded from it. And yet, my work is the most interesting and challenging (physically, psychologically, morally) part of what I do now.
I've taken back over management of the goat herd. We're selling out all but six does and the buck. I'm keeping them dry until school gets out next year, so hopefully I can get by with only daily chores. It's been hard letting some of the girls go. I've shed tears.
There's more I would say, but I cannot and if I could, time would not permit now. Dear reader, farewell and Godspeed where'er ye be.