Anne Smith :: Blog for June 2016

June 16, 2016

Hi, Everybody-

Words are failing me this month. Lots of stress for me on the job; it is increasingly clear to me that I am becoming drained and exhausted from the commute to Boca Raton daily as well as from the very nature of the position; I am being forced to take stock of what is really important to me, at this stage in my life. Events around me are underscoring how short and unpredictable life can be, and how important it is to be connected to one's self, one's loved ones, and those things in life that give joy, energy and light. Something has to change. Me.

I received my new employee health insurance card in the mail last week. It was in a plastic panel that had to be punched out. On the second half of the panel, across from the insurance card, was a plain white card, the same size, on which was stamped, "intentionally blank". For some reason, this struck me as both hilarious and profound at the same time. First of all, it wasn't really blank if the words "intentionally blank" were stamped across it. Secondly, I have been striving to keep my mind "intentionally blank" in a Bhuddist kinda way….but lately my mind has been jammed with all kinds of extraneous information/tasks/chatter that is robbing me of sleep; for example, just as my body is sinking into that delicious feeling of 'ahhhhhhh", at night….my mind chirps, "hey! you forgot to write the AP Request to Corporate to process the entertainer's check for next week. AND don't forget to pick up a doorstop for Ms. M---s at the Dollar Store, make sure it's a white one because she has difficulty seeing; and while you're at it, they need wine for happy hour on Friday, so I have to remember to make a run to Walgreens after I lead the Current Events session, that way I can pick up candy for BINGO, and that reminds me, the requisition form for the Culinary Department has to be submitted as well….I wonder how many days off I have accrued……" by then, I am wide awake, resenting the onslaught of work related stuff that won't leave me alone.

In light of all that is happening in our world, is a white doorstop so freaking important? Well, to a 93 year old handicapped woman in a motorized wheelchair, with limited vision, yes; the doorstop allows her to keep her door open during the days when she feels lonely and wants to hear people coming and going on the floor. It is a little thing, but something I can procure for her that will make her life easier. When I think of it that way, it becomes something other than a chore. It is up to me to manage the amount of time I am spending on work. It is up to me to make the connection between my heart and my job. It is about balance. I can only do what I can do between 8am and 4:30 pm. I am only one person. I will do what I can do and get up the next morning and start in again.

I don't need to remind you that there are some beautiful and recently departed souls who will not get up tomorrow and start in again. I find myself wanting to become intentionally blank when it comes to receiving any more heartbreaking news. Erase the pain, erase the history of hate, erase the judgement, erase the endless gun control rhetoric. Erase horrific memories, and face an intentionally blank future, full of potential and get up and start in again, with a different kind of purpose; to write a narrative that is sacred. But that would mean having to also erase my memories of writing and recording music, laughing with my twin sister, flying to Paris in Business Class, falling in love with a very sweet Aquarian, hugging my dogs, teaching Music, and hanging out with my family, to name just a few heart-bursting moments.

In my work, I observe a high number of residents in varying stages of dementia. The blankness that they experience is not intentional. They cannot choose to tune in or tune out. One of the things that gives my own life meaning is to help them remember with pleasure a flavor, a song, a poem, their favorite model car. I have observed that their long term memories are the happy ones. It is a lesson to process; our human experience is a duality- Fear vs. Love. How we choose to perceive our life determines our experiences. Is it possible to become intentionally blank, to really understand the full potentiality of our souls, that which exists beyond being human?
By doing so, we transcend the experience of duality and judgement and accept the totality of our experience. And that is love!

Until Next Time xx00xx

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