Monday, April 20, 2015

Welcome to the Working Week

Monday morning, and I woke up thinking of "Welcome to the Working Week" by Elvis Costello, though––unlike in that song–– I'm happy to start working today. 

Last week was kind of hard---my first week not working on Memory Care, and I was also house sitting, so I felt doubly displaced. 

"The self is not infinitely elastic."  --Parker Palmer

I felt comforted, reading that reminder last week.
There's a myth out there (is it peculiarly American?) that the self is infinitely elastic, and for a long time I wondered what was wrong with me that my rubber band kept snapping...

I'd say a grace of midlife is recognizing my limitations, and seeing them as helpful, as things that work to hold me together and give me shape.

So, while I do feel sad for leaving the residents, I [mostly] don't feel that I failed, personally, so much as that the circumstances were beyond my capabilities, for what I wanted to do.

The job needs someone who's OK with just doing what you can, even if it's only a little. But I wanted to reach each person with dementia to help them create meaning. 

What I learned is that this is possible (to varying degrees) with dementia. Exciting! But it requires a lot of time and a very low ratio of people without dementia to people with dementia, neither of which were available at work.

II. Back to the Books

Now I'm home again, with two huge piles of books and videos to sort. 

This is one of them >.

I'm going to start by writing a bibliography, a very satisfying task for a list-maker like me, and a good way to start to enter the various povs into my brain, which will sort them out eventually. 

III. Bags

And then--treat!
I'm going to start sewing cloth food bags, to take to the grocery store and use instead of plastic produce bags. 
This will be fun.

I realized, talking to Laura on the phone last night (thanks, Laura!), that I already miss my Sewing Group at work; it'd surprised me how much I enjoyed making hot pads and baby bibs and Easter bunnies. I also enjoy rummaging through the fabric recycling bin at the Thrift Store for usable cloth.

(Like all Thrift Stores, mine gets a lot of unsellable donations--stained and ripped clothes, for instance––and they sell the cloth for pennies a pound to a recycler. It's the old Rag and Bone trade.) 

I'm not sure I can find sheer cloth there, but I do think it's a good idea so you can see your produce,
< like here.

Photo (and instructions) at DIY Reusable Produce Bags

Lots of us already use big cloth bags to carry our groceries but not little ones for produce or bulk items. This project will meet my longing to keep making crafts and also address my heightened distress at how much garbage we make.

My subconscious seems to be on board with my plan of action:
last night I dreamed I was taking final exam in Calculus and had no clue, so I started writing a poem instead––
. . .and the teacher was enthusiastic with what I was doing.



Zhoen said...

Elasticity is very individual. I'm less elastic, but rather compressible. To a certain point, anyway.

Like the bags. Very good idea. Old wedding veils? Do those come through often enough?

poodletail said...

Old wedding veils. There must be loads of 'em.

Fresca said...

Good idea, old wedding veils!
But I've yet to see them come through the Thrift Store.