March 4, 2015 § Leave a comment
All of a sudden my life has circled back to activities or experiences from the past. Things that I did as a young woman, just for fun, or for a part time job, are lately called upon for a new incarnation in my life now.
As a young high school graduate, I was intensely interested in Ceramics and an artistic life. So much so, that I applied to study Ceramics and undertook this study whilst also completing a degree at University and working full time hours. In the end, as much as I loved creating beautiful things, I did not feel I was talented enough to continue professionally. And I was also having a philosophical issue with producing more apparently ‘useless’ items to exist in the world.
How I wish now that I spoke of this with my teachers, but at nineteen, I was fairly shy about engaging in deep, authentic exchanges with the world.
Recently, I was asked to run some pottery classes for homeschooling children. I nervously jumped at the chance. All that training and passion from nearly twenty years ago came flooding back as I introduced clay and its transformational properties to some new people.
That full time job I mentioned was working with people with intellectual disabilities in their group home. There were five residents that I cared for. Five women to shower, dress and feed, washing to hang out and kitchen to be cleaned, all before 9am in the morning when the next staff member came on duty. Now, my sleep has always been important to me. So much so, that despite being required to get up at 6am to complete these morning duties, I often did not rise until 7am or even 7.30.
To get everything done, I learned to multi-task, and I learned to do things fast, whilst retaining the connection I had with each client. It was always important to me to treat the clients as more than, well, clients. These were high needs women but I gave them power where I could: urging them to choose their own clothes and helping them to look their best. Making jokes with them whilst cooking breakfast. Talking about the day ahead.
Nowadays, as a mother of five with four children at school and four lunchboxes to prepare each morning, I have become aware that I call upon the ‘training’ I had in that job years ago. I think of it as training because it is easy to see the parallels. I did not know back then that I would have a large family, but those mornings of multi-tasking, and fast focused work are exactly what I practice now as I prepare my family for the day ahead. And I still do not get up before 7am.
I feel a sense of satisfaction that those experiences I had as a young twenty something woman have enjoyed a second life of usefulness. It brings me a sense of destiny: a feeling that I am exactly where I should be in life, right now.