I took advantage of an opportunity and changed jobs at my place of employment. I’m now working entirely with clients in their homes rather than doing oncall work. It’s been a much scarier move than I had anticipated. Largely because I gave up a guaranteed amount of income and replaced it with an income dependent on the number of client hours I can build. I’ve done remarkably well in the 2 weeks that I’m not doing oncall and have replaced that income all ready, however, now I need to relearn time management, something I haven’t had to do for the past 11 years.
Doing oncall work happens at home, so daily chores aren’t being interfered with since you can accomplish them between calls. Now, since I’m out of the house for a number of regular work hours, I am finding that time I would have spent doing chores is now used up by client care, and time spent online is now used up by chores. Add to the fact that it’s Fall and the sun sets earlier, outside chores are no longer something that can be done after supper. I’m also not as young as I used to be and after working with clients and doing my own chores, bedtime comes earlier than it used to.
This morning I got up and decided the chores could wait for a bit and I’d try to get a blog post for the Tazzone done. I can do Twitter and Fried Eggs during the breathers I take from chores, however, sitting here creating a blog post takes time. Writing in between chores isn’t working for me since I lose my train of thought and end up with a post that isn’t saying what I wanted it to say to start out with, plus what it finally ends up saying doesn’t please me. It somehow doesn’t work to write when I’m distracted. The distractions here are not necessarily of the shiny kind either.
One of those not necessarily shiny distractions was the realization that being a member of the online community is not as important to me as it was. When I compare what I can accomplish online against what I’m accomplishing with my clients in real life, I am left with a feeling that being able to make a difference in how someone feels is better. Much better. Sometimes I’ve done nothing more than help them take a shower and get dressed in a favorite outfit, or reminded them to take their medications. Other times it’s having someone there to talk to while they eat a meal they might not have enjoyed alone. It might even be nothing more than taking a walk with them in the sunshine for a short distance. A walk that they can’t take on their own. I wash their dishes, vacuum their floors and change their bed linens. I also make sure their refrigerators aren’t full of moldy food that they might accidentally consume because their eyesight is poor and they can’t see the mold.
In the short 2 hours I spend with each client I am engaging their minds with something besides the latest not so good prognosis from their doctor. They aren’t being left alone with the bad news. I’m not too busy to listen to the same story over and over and act as if it’s the first time they’ve told it to me. I’m not judging them because their minds are no longer what they used to be. I don’t make them feel that they’re a burden to me because after a lifetime of caring for others they now need care for themselves.
I’m making a difference in a real way to people who might not be able to live independently if myself or others like me weren’t there. I can’t do that sitting in front of a computer talking about helping someone. I’m also benefiting from the situation in ways that I hadn’t imagined. Rather than spending half an hour exercising and then sitting for hours at the computer, I’m moving more which is healthier for me. I’m making better choices for myself because I’m seeing the reality of what might be ahead of me if I don’t. To top it all off, kind of like the icing on the cake if you will…I’m getting paid for all of this.