How many thoughts, beliefs habits do we learn from our parents without even realizing it. In those 18 years of breathing the same air as those who gave birth to us, we learn values, beliefs and habits. Sometimes as adults, we realize the error of those ways or, unfortunately, we may just continue to do what we have been taught…right or wrong…and never break destructive cycles. Other times I think something clicks and we realize that we need to alter the way we think so we set upon a road of discovery….perhaps in our own minds we do this to save the next generation or more likely we just make changes because the learned habit or behavior just does not feel right.
…..and then sometimes something just sticks….like my dad’s mantra…I’m saving it for retirement. Good clothes, boots, plans and dreams. i.e. Dad was given an allowance by his employer for new boots every year….he bought boots….but he put them away for retirement and continued wearing his old boots. Unfortunately when he passed, we cleaned out several pairs of unworn boots. I learned from my mother to put your “good” clothes in the back of the closet so they are there when you need them and wear your faded clothes with stains around the house everyday so you don’t have to worry about ruining them.
I made inroads yesterday accompanied by an eye roll. I needed to take food for a Labor Day gathering. I pulled out the picnic basket (which I’ve had for many years…perhaps a wedding gift 38 years ago 🙄) and some hot pads I bought 20 years ago on a couple trips to Charleston, SC. Yep. they are in perfect condition because to keep them nice, I’ve used towels and cardboard boxes for food transport.
I realized yesterday….how silly this habit is and that I’m probably not normal…blame my parents!
Until next time….
I’ve known for the last few years that I’m not the person I used to be…I stopped laughing…the healthy laugh, I was still smiling and was still using so-called gallows humor to help relieve stress but really laughing about something that tickles you way deep inside – it had stopped. Emergency workers – whether they are EMS personnel, cops, nurses, dispatchers can laugh and eat their way thru a conversation about horrible things…the above mentioned HAVE to laugh their way thru their job or they would totally end their life bonkers swinging from the end of a rope from the top of a high ceiling. I always go back to the story of my shift dispatch partner taking a particularly disgusting call that would make the normal person do a little shiver and shut down. She took the call, got EMS enroute and went back to eating her hamburger. I, who often congratulated myself on my ability to cope, turned to her and said OMG stop eating. It has been a story retold several times in the dispatch center as a stress reliever for someone else taking a particular nasty call that no one should have happen to them, let alone anyone else should have to know about.
It’s the nature of the beast. But years and years of it changes who you are. I found myself being more normal after spending the afternoon with my old friend, Gena. Normal is probably not the appropriate word…but I felt like my old self. I didn’t feel the negativity and the dread in my soul that I so often feel… Waking up on Valentine’s Day, I will be retired. I will be a former 911 operator – it was an incredible career. I will always have my memories. I’ve delivered babies over the phone, I’ve been the very last person to ever speak to someone taking their last breath. I always remember the black lung victim who passed as the ambulance was approaching his door, murders, plane crashes, horrific traffic accidents, house fires and all of the people I have referred to as assholes after hitting release on the phone….many will always be remembered. I’m so glad I’m done…I’m very tired of the ugliness…I hope to put those rose colored glasses back on and laugh until I can’t breath.
Until next time….