A Brief Resurfacing

I’ve surfaced for a moment to take a breath and wanted to update everyone. I’m still plugging away on my internship, which is going very well. I’m almost halfway through, and have been getting some very positive feedback on my work, so fingers crossed there’s a job offer in the near future. As difficult and stressful as this internship has proven to be I am so grateful to have this opportunity to gain experience and get a taste of what is to come in my new career. Once things calm down, I’m definitely planning on returning to a more regular posting schedule on my blog. I have some things planned that I hope you all will enjoy. Well, better dive back into it.  Hope you all are doing well, and I send you much love.

Caregiving’s Downside

The first week of my internship and I don’t think I’ve been this mentally exhausted in years. Not that I’m complaining. I’m not. I’m also feeling a sense of fulfillment I haven’t experienced in a very long time. I feel like I’m working for my future, which I didn’t feel when I was caregiving. But underlying all these emotions is a deeper sense of needing to catch up to all the time I lost while taking care of my mom. I try not to focus on it. I try to appreciate all the time I got to spend with my mom, but it’s hard when I look at my dwindling bank account and realize all the time I lost working and all the money I missed out on making. That’s definitely the biggest downside of caregiving, the financial impact. When your caregivee isn’t here anymore, and you are left alone with thoughts of imminent financial ruin. But, that’s why I’ve worked so hard to get my transcription certificate, so I can start earning money. I just hope I’m not too late to pull myself from the brink of the abyss.

The Cardinal Ballet

The colors of this late winter day

Are muted.

Ashy snow-threatening sky

White birch trees stand tall

Planted in the dirty snow.

Even the pine trees exude

A verdant boredom.

Then a flash of red sparks

Through the air.

Then a second

And a third.

Three wondrously colored

Cardinals alight on the

Cold.

I watch them flit from

Tree to tree.

Their delicate winged ballet

Enthralling me.

Reminding me that

Spring is not far away.

Good News!

So, good news! I passed my exams with a high enough average score to qualify for an internship with a transcription company! Yeah!! I’ll find out more details tomorrow, and I’m pretty anxious about it. I’m not questioning my skills or abilities; I’m wondering whether or not my time as a caregiver will be an obstacle to me getting a job. I haven’t worked since the summer of 2005. I spent the last 13 years caring for my mother full time. Ideally, I’m hoping my work will speak enough about who I am that the work gap won’t be a factor for prospective employers. Realistically I know there are people out there who don’t see caregiving for an elderly parent or a family member as work. My own siblings slightly fall into that category, although now that our mother is gone, I feel like they are beginning to see what my reality was like. It was work. It was 16 hour days, 7 days a week, 365 days a year nonstop. I’m hoping those I encounter in my job search will be empathetic and realize that what I did was work. I have the skills to do this job well and be an asset to any company I end up working for. I just hope I get the opportunity to prove my worth and the 13-year work gap won’t be a hindrance. I hope potential employers will see that my caregiving shows that I am dedicated, that I am a hard worker, and I would be a valuable employee to add to their team. So onwards and upwards with fingers crossed.

The Turkey Truce

“I feel like I’m in a slo-mo version of The Birds.” I found myself thinking this afternoon, while I was outside with my dog. To the left of me, half of the flock of turkeys was moving around the perimeter of my property towards the back. I watched them moving through the trees, their clumsy-looking bodies moving with surprising slow grace. I watched them for a minute or two and then turned my attention back to my dog, who was playing “rockey.” Rockey is his favorite winter sport where he pushes a rock across the crusty snow and then chases and pounces on it. It’s pretty funny to watch. Anyway, my attention on him was stolen by movement out of the corner of my eye. The other half of the turkey flock was crossing the property to the right of me. My mind drifted to an image of the two halves of the flock meeting in the yard of my neighbor behind me. The flock and I have an uneasy truce. Even though he’s getting better, my dog still tends to chase them when they are in my yard. The central part of the day, they have learned to avoid my backyard. But, evidence of their early morning visits is seen in the ghostly trails of dinosaur-like tracks in the snow that crisscross my entire yard. It’s a weirdly beautiful co-existence we’ve created.

Not Alone

On this day commemorating

Love

My thoughts turn to those

Who are

Marginalized

Abused

Bullied

Beaten down

Physically

Mentally

Spiritually

My thoughts turn to those

Who feel the bitter sting

Of isolation.

I wish I could reach out

And tell them all

How much love in

The world

There is for them.

I wish I could reach out

And give them the

Tenderness and compassion

They are longing for.

To show them that

They are not truly

Alone.

The Soccer-Playing T-Rex

You had been too quiet for too long when I went to look for you. I found you standing at your parents’ window that overlooked the backyard. I walked over and kneeled next to you. You were so focused on what was going on in the yard that you barely noticed me.

“What are you looking at?” I asked you. I had looked outside and didn’t see anything.

“Kardhu (the family’s golden retriever).” You replied your eyes never leaving the scene you were seeing.

“What is Kardhu doing?” I asked watching you.

“Soccer.” You replied with such conviction that I almost believed it was what you were seeing.

“He’s playing soccer?” I asked. You nod, and then you laugh.

“What’s funny?” I asked him.

“T-rex.” You said as you glance at me with your laughing blue eyes.

My eyes grew wide, and I whispered, “Kardhu is playing with a T-rex?”

You laugh and look at me, your gaze piercing my soul with a curious look as if you were gauging if I was really seeing what you were seeing or not.

“Who’s winning?” I asked you. You think about this for a second before saying, ‘Kardhu is.”

“He is?” I ask. You look at me, and I can tell you want to tell me something, but your words aren’t quite there yet. You shorten your arms like a T-rex and start growling at me.

“Oh because Kardhu has four good legs and T-rex has two?” You nod with such a grin on your face, and you come at me with your T-rex legs, and we dissolve into a fit of giggles on the floor. As I look at you, I can’t believe an almost three-year-old has such an imagination, and I hope it is something you never lose.

The Crumbling Wall

My goal is in reach.

I see it through a broken

Stone wall.

Each exam passed

Has cracked another

Section into rubble

Which lies scattered

On the ground beneath.

Why my mind has

Conjured up this image

I don’t know.

Yet, here I stand

In my mind’s eye.

In front of a crumbling

Stone wall.