Thursday, September 1, 2011

she may be young but she only likes old things

Go ahead and listen to this song while you're reading, if you're going to do that.

[Finally we have seen some things 

Some awfully nice
Some dreadfully bad 
But we will sing 
Wash the blood off our knees
Cause our love breaks through rough seas our ship will sail
And I don't understand how this world would work
Cause time will tell us nothing
I'll take a chance on something

Feeling old, feelings this time take you 
Down river, down river, down river, down
Walk these stairs, put the pieces back together 
Go don't stop, go don't stop, go don't stop now, go

Finally, we have seen some things 
But bells in your hallways
Don't move you in the right place
So we will sing, cast our hopes out to sea
Though our hearts break, through violent winds our ship will sail
And I don't understand how this world would work
Cause time will tell us nothing
I'll take a chance on something

Feeling old, feelings this time take you
Down river, down river, down river, down
Walk these stairs, put the pieces back together
Go don't stop, go don't stop, go don't stop 
Go don't stop now, go.... ]

Work has been rough lately, and that has nothing to do with what I'm going to talk about. I guess I just wanted to say that. I've been given a promotion of sorts, and it comes with some stresses that are rather unrelated to the actual work that I'm going to be doing. But that aside, I work with a population of people that tend to be very, very depressed. I mean, who wouldn't be? No matter how nice a nursing home is, it is still what it is. I'm so glad that my grandma got to live with us, but not everyone is that fortunate.

I don't want to get old. I love the elderly, but I don't want to become one of them. (See, "one of them." They are separate from me, at least according to that sentence. That bothers me.)
Anyway, there is a particular lady that baffles me. One minute, my heart can be breaking for her, while another minute, I have no sympathy for her. You see, she's a bitter woman. She's depressed; she hates everything about the nursing home. But we have a great time together! Most of the time she likes me, so we have good conversations and share a lot of laughs.
Well today, she was on a rant. We had a looooooong conversation, and I ended up talking to her very frankly. It's always a gamble when I do this, because people will either respect how blunt I am, or they will be offended and shut me out. Fortunately, she listened. (I think...)

It all came down to a cliche: Life is what you make of it.

Yeah, I know. It's a cliche. And I'm the one who could really benefit from this particular cliche a lot of the time. I always have something to whine about.

In spite of my hypocrisy, I told this crabby woman that she needs to stop with the pessimism. "Yeah, the clock in this room is nice, BUT it's ridiculously huge, and it took an entire year to get it in here." I cut her off before she could go any further, and I told her to simply stop at "The clock in this room is nice." Leave off the rest of it! I don't care about the rest of your sentence. There's no point to it, and honestly, I don't want to listen to it anymore.

I can go on all day about how Texas is so much better than Missouri, but if I dwell on those differences, I'm going to be miserable as long as I am here. What's the point in that? Instead, I've tried looking at all of the things that I enjoy about Missouri while I'm driving to work. I listen to music that I enjoy and revel in the fact that Springfield is 7 degrees cooler than San Antonio. I pass Bambu and realize that I enjoyed boba tea for the first time here and not there. I met Anthony in Springfield, not San Antonio. I graduated from college here. I got a wonderful job here. These things happened here. I am here, not there. Maybe I'll be "there" some day, but for now I'm here. We'll lose years comparing here to there if we're not careful. From the post before this one, "It's the here and the now and the love for the sound of the moments that keep us moving." (The Temper Trap)

It's okay to visit the sad/depressed/unhappy places, because after all, we're human. (Hearts need a mind, like a clock needs the time, like white needs black - The Rocket Summer) But we can't live there!!

I rambled for a few minutes about this and that, and I really thought that I had lost her. She looked shocked for a few seconds, but then she laughed. "Liz, I need you around me all day."

I was surprised that she took my soap box speech so well, but hey- sometimes words spill out for a reason. Did my rant do any long-term good? Perhaps it did not, but at least she'll be thinking about it for a little while.

I don't want to be bitter.

So chin up, buttercup:

And now, out of "14,000 things to be happy about," here are a few:

- the color of an old brown library sofa
- recipe chests
- knowing the correct pronunciation
- fall foliage
- cotton clouds
- schizocarps: the wing-like single seeds that fall from maple trees
- phytoplankton
- serotonin

I know, I know, I'm rambling. I seem to always do that. But maybe this is the good kind.


Amylou said...

I think she needed to hear it! I loved her response. Maybe it will cheer her up. I know I'm always cheered up when I focus on the good instead of bad.
Great post Liz!

suzy said...

that dancing one is AMAZING. i love nathan barnett. did you ever watch him as trale lewous?? AHHH LOVE.
k, plus that video led me to this one. {especially note 0:56 and and 2:37.}