Friday, February 13, 2015

Tinkertoys in Real Life

I. Sometimes You Can Save Broken Things

It took four of us Thrift Herders working together to do it (five, if you count the flocked frog who watched over us), but we did it: 
the footstool with the broken-off foot ^ has been repaired, its foot replaced with a pile of Tinkertoys, and the hooked-rug cover I hand washed back in place.
I left the stool to glue overnight at the Thrift Store. I'm not sure where it's going to live. Maybe it could stay at the store as a mascot...

II. Grant Me Wisdom

The Grant Committee met for the first time last night to determine what other nonprofits get a share of the store's profits. We did not work so beautifully together...

I'm the new member and the only one who isn't part of the Old Boys Club. I sense that I walked into a set-up: 
one of the members of the committee works for the nonprofit that every year is awarded the largest grant. It seems everyone assumes we will again grant his group money.

I kept saying, "Wait a minute, am I missing something? Is there some legal or bureaucratic reason we have to award this grant?" 
[No, they admitted. But....]
"Also," I asked, "why are we doing X either? And what's this Y-thing? And, gosh, I just don't understand Z at all..."

By the end of the evening, two of the four other members were glaring at me.

And here's a funny, wonderful thing: Unintentional Consequence of Working With People With Dementia:
I didn't care!
Usually people like me, and usually I care very much a lot if they don't.

But four months of wearing what a psychologist at the Aging Conference called a "anti-personalitzation suit" has paid off.
I've been practicing pretty successfully not to take it personally when a person with cognitive impairment insults me. (A rare occurence, actually, but not as rare as in the rest of life.)

Further, I've been practicing not taking compliments personally either, because, honestly, while they're nicer to hear, and while both insults and compliments reflect truly how the giver is feeling, they're not actually good mirrors of how I am doing.

And you know what? That's kind of true in everyday life too.
Other people's reactions are often as much (or more) about them as they are a clear-eyed reflection of us. 
Shane orders soda pop
With this Grant Committee, I feel like a character in a Western-- 
some newcomer who walks into a saloon, everyone goes quiet, and he realized he's walked into some history. 
Some history that's nothing to do with him, but it is now.


Zhoen said...

Here's to transformations, beautiful footstools, living in our own skins and upsetting the most deserving.

I love the prosthesis for the stool. If you can't match it perfectly, then make it obvious and playful.

bink said...

That stool is supper cute! I would definitely take it if you don't have other plans for it. It looks the perfect height to be useful in my studio.

Fresca said...

ZHOEN: I agree--it's like darning socks with fun contrasting colors!

BINK: Well, OK, then, I think you should be its new home!