For various reasons, I’ve been thinking about my old nursing home lately. No, I’m not going back there.
I suppose it’s natural, working 50 hours a week for an extended time during the summer drags my thoughts back to two summers ago.
I think about it a lot. My memory is far from perfect and not even two years down the road, I can’t remember a lot of details about the building where I spent more time awake than I did in my own house. I remember the color of the hoyer slings, but the hoyer itself? Zilch. Can’t remember anything about it other than the general hoyer-lift shape of it. Layout of the care-guides? Um…they were black ink on white paper? They had grids?
Some coworkers and residents’ faces I remember clear as day; some I can’t even recall their names. Is that terrible? Is that just normal? Either way, it’s kind of sad.
If I focus, I can remember slightly more, details about the dining room layout, the dining utensils, the music that was played.
So why don’t I go back, for a visit? At first I couldn’t because I needed to look forward, not back. When I thought of “my residents”, I thought the old gang, not the current one.
And then one day, a shift happened. Work, job, nursing home, residents, boss, coworker, these all began to describe people and places in the present, not the past. I don’t know when exactly it happened, but from that moment on, there were no slips of tongue, no “Wait a minute” corrections either in my mind or in conversations.
It just happened, organically and smoothly. No drama. The old place slipped into memory; it no longer dominated the largest part of my mind. Then I finally got some forward momentum on my life and just plain didn’t have time or energy for going back. Also, I think I needed a clean break, a fresh start.
And I’ve done well, professionally and personally, since then. But I think I need a little reflection on the past right now. My biggest regrets stem from being passive and not proactive…that’s something I need to remember right now. Sometimes, making a choice, even if it’s a mistake, is better than remaining static. Two years ago, I told myself: “Stay or go. Just choose and stick with your decision.”
That decision to make a decision is something I’m proud of. And something I need to remember.