I was recently reminded of a mandatory meeting that I had to go to back in my Home Health Care Nursing days.
It happened several years ago, back in my Homecare Nursing Days. Instead of the usual routine of getting up and going to my normal job, I had to attend a mandatory class on personal safety. Because of the job I was doing at that time, I sometimes went into people’s homes to provide patient care. In the 25+ years of nursing, I have not run into anything that has been too scary...unless you would consider attack turkeys chasing you to your car dangerous. Luckily for me, the turkeys lost interest when they found cracker crumbs on the ground that I had thrown at them. And there were the infrequent punches from nursing home patients with dementia. But all in all I have never been too beat up.
I woke up that morning already grumbling to myself that this mandatory meeting was not what I wanted to be doing for 3 hours. I had the preconceived notion that for 3 hours I would be sitting and listening to some corporate person drone on and on about how to stay safe out in the homecare environment. A place where few corporate people have dared to travel.
When I got there, I found a back seat, in hopes I could put my iphone in book mode and catch up on some reading while pretending to engage in the class. Sitting in the back of the class, I had hopes that I would be left alone and wouldn't have anyone sitting next to me so I could read. But the class did fill up and there was only one seat left...next to me. In walked the man that would be my partner in personal safety for the morning. He was over a foot taller than me, and had the forearms of the old cartoon character, Pop-Eye the Sailor Man. We greeted each other just as class began and the instructor told everyone to put cell phones and pagers on silent and ,yes, don’t have them even on the table or on your body.
The instructors were two nurses who had put together more of a sit-com than a training. Laverne and Shirley had nothing on them.They tag-teamed the instruction and made the time go a little quicker than the usual 3 hour meeting. And by mid-morning, it was time to put into action personal safety. It was a demonstration of how to get out of unsafe situations that may arise in the healthcare profession. They were the usual situations a nurse can face, like a choke hold, having your hair grabbed from the front and then the back, and the infamous two-hand grab that every female nurse is quite aware of. A piece of cake....except for the fact that I had the young 7 foot high Pop-Eye coming at 5 foot almost ready for social security me. And contrary to what I thought he would do, he didn’t go easy on me. And so I fought back as I would have my big brothers when I was younger. Nothing was off limits and he did receive a good punch to know the wind out of him. I managed to get out of all the holds he threw at me. Having grown up with two older brothers and raising four kids into adulthood, I had many "moves" to draw from in keeping Pop-Eye at bay. All in all, the morning turned out to be.....well... fun.... compared to my preconceived thoughts from earlier in the morning.
Remembering back to that day several years ago, it made me realize that now that I am mostly retired, I need to put aside my thoughts on what my day should be like and what expectations I may hold. I need to look past all that I need to get done and just really be settled in the moment of what is currently happening. By putting on an attitude of gratitude at what will face me each day I can keep looking for those “Kung-Fu” moments each and every morning when I rise. If I can remind myself to do that I believe life will just be a little easier when unexpected things get thrown my way.