“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”
~Barbara Kingsolver

I have been at the same job for the past 26 years. It feels like forever!! I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I did not go there the 36 hours plus overtime four days a week.
The job name changes all the time but right now I am called a life skills specialist and the Nursing assistant.
My job description is: to provide people with developmental disabilities and mental health issues support in the everyday skills they need to live on their own. We provide support and assist individuals with a wide range of daily living activities including such things as home maintenance, healthcare coordination, social activities with peers, going on recreational outings out in the community, healthcare and physical care, skill development, and much more. We facilitate connections to people, resources, and experiences necessary for individuals and their families to live a full and safe life. I have worked with as many as eight clients at a time but now I have two Down syndrome men in my care for the past five years.
They have a one bedroom apartment.
One goes to day program during the day and the other has early onset Alzheimer so he stays home.
I love my job but it is very stressful and at times I feel like I can’t take one more second of all the crap that I have to put up with from the other workers. Then I have to implement and agree with the insane rules and craziness coming from the treatment team of social workers that is comprised of Applied Behavior Science Specialists (ABSS), Medicaid Service Coordinators (MSC), Qualified Mental Retardation Professionals (QMRP), Registered Nurses (RN) and Residential Managers.
It is a constant battle within me to stay in a calm and neutral place in my head because when I don’t I get myself all worked up and in trouble.
This happens because in my reality this is not a job to me. It is more like my “other” family. Most of the other staff do not even understand this concept! They are trained and it is their job. They are there only for the money. I am there for the money too which the pay is not great but it is so much more to it for me. It is my natural born instinct to do what I do and it is my calling. I love what I do and I love my clients. At the end of the day I am not sure if love has much to do with anything in the eyes of the agency but I know it fills the hearts and soul of the people I take care of and that is all the reward I need other than my paycheck.
My hope is that I never forget how blessed I am to be able to do the work that I do and in spite of all the bad stuff I will continue to remember this!!!!