This is the best thing about pretending to be a writer–I get to do it wherever I want. For the first time in a couple of weeks it is sunny in Portland. Not only is it sunny, but it has been for the past couple of days. My mood is definitely better, and for the first time in months I actually feel like sitting down and writing. For the first time in a while, this doesn’t feel like a chore. So I have set up shop outside. I have my laptop on our TV tray, surrounded by my lunch of yogurt, Fresca, and water. I am sitting cross-legged, on top of our green, plush foot stool, and my skin is a speckled patchwork of tree-limb shadows and sunlight. Panda and Boaz, the dogs, are camped out on the wooden deck, panting in the sun like there was never anything better.
I can’t help but to feel incredibly lucky, and maybe a little smug that I thought about coming out here in the first place. This morning I was in a class for Hospice volunteers. There were just six of us, as we learned how to use bed pans, move patients, how to lift properly, and how to help with their oxygen. It was a short three-hour seminar–as a volunteer they don’t take you into a lot of depth. They just want you to know the basics, so that if a patient needs help you get the mechanics of it, but that you never assist beyond your physical capability.
I think that was the biggest lesson: never go past your limit. As volunteers we are not there to lift, we are there to guide; if the patient starts to fall get out-of-the-way. I think that lesson is going to take a while to sink in. It is against all logic and instinct. If someone is falling, I would think my body would immediately go into action. But they problem with that is that my mind doesn’t have enough time to fully asses the situation in order to do what is right. If I grab an arm while the person is falling, I could rip it out of their socket, or I could fall with them and do damage to myself and more damage to the patient. The nurse running the training kept drilling it into us that EVERYBODY falls. It is normal, and most of the time we don’t break anything when we do it–even if we are old.
There are many lessons I can learn from this I am sure. A lot of it has to do with control and knowing when to let go. Some of it is staying calm in unnerving situations, while some of it is learning to have the presence of mind in order to overcome natural (and sometimes harmful) instincts.
Anyway, things to think about. Right now my phone is set to Do Not Disturb, everything on my computer is closed except for the blog and my novel, and the wind is gently churning the trees and wind-chime. Looking out over the back yard, where the rhododendrons are starting to bloom, following on the heals of the azaleas it is hard not to be content and let the mind wander. It is a mind wandering kind of day–if you couldn’t tell from this post.