Every week, for one of my classes, I get to spend an hour hanging out with an older lady that lives in a retirement center near by. I call her "my old lady", and I really like her. She smells like maple syrrup, has one eye that goes off to the side, is full of smiles, and always ready to talk with me openly and honestly.
I am supposed to ask her questions related to our class, so classes about aging and the things that come with it, and at the end of the semester I am supposed to write a paper about it. I am so thankful for this class or else I would have never met my old lady. We talk for an hour and I jot down the things that she says, trying my best to preserve the wisdom and experiences that may die once she does if no one is careful about collecting them. And every time we are done I slowly walk back to my room pondering over some bit of subject that she has shed her unique light on.
Today I didn't really have anything planned, so on my way over I jotted down a few ideas in my notebook. I thought about how old she is, 82, and how so many of her friends and family must have passed on before her- I asked her how she copes with that. When my words fell upon warm air that filled her house she paused for a second, gazed off for a bit and finally said, "I think I am getting hard."
Closing up to feeling and not allowing people to get close- do we all do that or is this something only my old lady and I understand? Why do we fear pain so much? Why do we feel that everyone will only end up letting us down- that is if we give them chance to even try? Why do we choose to silently suffer and put on a face for everyone else? And why is pain such a horrible thing? Don't we learn from it? But it's nice to be happy- to brush it off like we aren't affected. And what is wrong with that? Why can't we hold every one at arms length? We are happy then at least aren't we?...or are we?
Saturday, February 16, 2008
My life is a smorgasbord of activities lately. I have a lot more homework than I have done in the last 9 months of my life, and it has been interesting getting back in the swing of things. I have spring sing practice quite often, but every week practices are at different times, days, and locations. Every Friday I have my house cleaning job, and scattered throughout my week I will occasionally babysit or have my leisurely activities. But here is what really gets me, my work study job. It is the easiest job you could ask for. I am a receptionist and all I do is sit at a desk and do homework. Sometimes I have to hand out keys or vacuums to girls who are desperate for my services, but mostly I remain unbothered and quite productive. My times during the week are set, unless we have to switch in the invasive spring sing practice gets in the way of our already routinely schedules lives. This mess in my routine equals a mess in my head and I get confused about the hours I switch….just one more thing to keep track of. Every other weekend I work at this desk and I sign up for my hours. I am usually quite good about keeping track of work and being faithful to my duties, always on time, the person everyone can count on… This week however, with three tests, an average of 4 hours of sleep a night, a couple of spring sing practices including a lock-in, and a lot of switching hours, I have already been late and/or skipped work twice!!!!! I don’t know where my head has gone, but I feel as though this week I have gone missing.