Often when life turns scary and strange, upside down and alien with change, we turn to cliches. We whisper those well worn words to ourselves, mantra's against the fear.
"A change is as good as a holiday"
"When one door closes, another one opens"
"The more things change, the more they stay the same"
Cliches, so oft stated, but still saturated with truth. Full of comfort.
And when the shit hits the fan, cliches can console and offer hope.
For we have all been there haven't we, hunkered down under the weight of the fear, arms wrapped around our heads as the beast of change looms and menaces over us, threatening life as we know it.
But someone wrote one of those cliches, and so they must have survived the shit storm.
I am not exactly sure of what I am trying to say. I have a cyclone of words and emotions whipping about me and yet I can't seem to pin anything down to express myself properly.
I do know that I am sorry for not keeping up with my bloggy buddies and posts but I have felt like I have been at the bottom of a deep black hole and no matter what I did, I just couldn't climb out.
I am leaving my job of over 11 years and I am in such a mess of emotions. One minute petrified, another hopeful. Angry to sadness. Apprehensive to liberated. Flip flop. Flip flop.
When I began my position as Lifestyle Coordinator (surely there never was such a silly job title!), I was a footloose and fancy free single lady, and my job was my entire life. I nurtured it and bestowed it with my attention and gave it all of my love and care. I made it grow and thrive.
I know it sounds crazy, but before my kids, my activity program was my child. The residents I cared for were my family.
My life, over the 11 years, has been intrinsically entwined with the often amazing, always inspiring, (and sometimes grouchy, crotchety, and bitter) people.
I have shared meals with them, laughed with them, grieved with them and for them.
I have helped them and been helped by them. Sat with them on their final journey and welcomed them with open arms as they arrived to join our little community.
I have learnt so much from these peoples experiences and occasionally taught them. (Wonderful professional moment of seeing an 100 year old woman get 3 strikes in a row on Wii bowling!)
These people have loved me and allowed me to love them. They have given me bridal teas and baby showers, and there is a gentleman who never ever forgets my kids birthday with a home made card full of well wishes.
I have embarrassed myself in front of them too many times to count. Dressed as a royal, a flapper, a ballerina, a parrot, Scarlet O'Hara and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I've been French, Dutch, Greek, Italian and almost every nation of the world. Just so I could entertain them and hopefully get some smiles and laughs I would make myself as ridiculous as possible.
I've danced with them, stimulated and challenged them and oh-so-many times been challenged by them.
Even my dogs have been a part of their lives.
We have experienced so much together, and I have bid farewell to so many of these people over the years.
And soon I will be but another person in a picture, because for so many of the dementia riddled residents, they don't even have the comfort of memory to fall back on.
And the idea of not being a part of these peoples lives wounds my heart to the core!
But now as I prepare to leave them I must put my faith in another old cliche, "everything happens for a reason", and trust that the universe, in all of its crazy wacky wisdom, has a plan for me and will place me where I should be.
And so this week has seen me sallying forth in my most professional attire (thankfully not a suit! Never a suit!), plastering on my most confident, "I-am-super-and-clever-and-you-would-be-lucky-to-have-me" smiles and trying to ignore the heart palpitations, rivers of perspiration and mouth that felt full of glue and porridge.
And you know what? I didn't have a sudden embolism when the prospective employers bombarded me with tricky questions. The interviewers didn't eat me. I didn't lose the power of speech. I didn't even pee myself.
Yay! Go me!
Who knows what will happen in the future, but after a dark period of tears and sorrow, I appear to have turned the corner on my grief at leaving, and am beginning to feel strangely optimistic at my prospects.
And no matter what, there are more important things in life. Like these guys.
And when life has a hissy fit and turns upside down, these guys are what get me through.