måndag 7 juni 2010

Listening to old people

You know how I usually complain about being a poor student? Well, it’s not like this fact really has changed in any substantial way, but I am still very happy at the moment because I have some good news: I have a job for the summer! I will be working part time taking care of old people who still live at home but who need some extra help getting through the day. I will be helping them with breakfast, assist as they take showers, help them put on their clothes, fix breakfast, hand out medicine, take them for walks, clean their homes, deliver lunch, fix supper, take them to see the doctor and the dentist, that kind of thing. I am really looking forward to this. I have had this kind of work many summers in the past and I have loved every bit of it. Maybe I’ll even get to work extra during this coming fall too, if all goes well.

I love being around old people. If you just take your time and really listen to them, they have so many stories to tell. About life. About what’s important. About the stuff that matters, and the stuff that doesn’t. About time. Often talking to them allows me to see things in a different angle, from a new perspective. They make me raise my voice, sometimes only to soon realize I didn’t really have to. Not all old people are deaf, you know. They have on many occasions made me change the radio station. Not all old people love old people’s music, you know… I have seen their scars and tattoos and listened to the stories associated with them. I have seen wounds and bruises. I have carried tiny little old ladies, and I have wheeled heavy ones in wheel chairs, uphill as well as downhill. I have held the hands of lonely people who have told me they have lost everyone and everything, even lost their hope, and I have been trying to comfort them but not always succeeded. I have shared tears and laughter. I have grown in the past. I will grow in the future. Soon I’ll be off meeting my new co-workers and some of the old people I will be taking care of this summer. I am so excited. I can’t wait. Wish me luck!

fredag 4 juni 2010

55 - We are all flowers

We are all flowers
Peeking up from the grass
Stretching out
Reaching for the sun
Roots digging through the soil
Craving water
Needing light
We are beautiful
We come in all shapes and colors
We may bow our heads in the wind
But we rise again after the storm has passed
Again and again

torsdag 3 juni 2010

Sun is shining

Summer has arrived… or at least it is here visiting for a couple of days. Summer makes me want to go outside. Almost makes me want to go outside to live. I live in an apartment with my family. Some day I would love for us to live in a house of our own with a lawn, a garden, trees, flowers and all that. The apartment where we live now is perfect for our needs right now however. It is fine really. It is big and the rent is reasonable. So I am not really complaining here. Well, maybe I am, just a little bit.

This time of the year I always get started dreaming about what it would be like to have a house of our own... It probably has to do with the climate here… In Sweden when spring and summer finally arrive, people go crazy. They go wild. They go find their bikinis (the females, mostly),bring out their barbecue equipment, lawnmowers, shovels (not the snow ones though… Ha!) and they plant flowers and tomatoes and strawberries, and then they sit their on their perfect green lawns in comfortable chairs sipping cold drinks next to their perfect houses with their perfect families and… well, I envy them. I might as well tell you that straight out, in case you hadn’t noticed… I am 35 years old. I should have come further along in my life than this by now. I should have a job by now. I should be making money by now. Instead it’s a fact that I am a poor teacher’s student living in an apartment with my family. I have 2,5 years left of school until I graduate. Sometimes I feel frustrated over this fact and also kind of sorry for my family. They deserve better. Especially this time of the year.

I will not let this post remain a pity party though. We have a lot of things to be grateful for as well. First, my in-laws own a summer house by the beautiful lake of Vänern on the island of Torsö. We have our own room there and we can spend as much time as we like with them there during the summer. Secondly, we live next to the lake of Vänern and there are lots of places to go nearby if you want to go swimming. Mariestad, the town where we live, is beautiful during the summer, it really seems to come to life this time of the year. We have lots of friends who own houses with nice lawns. And the lawn outside our apartment is actually a perfect spot for picnics with kids, just bring strawberry lemonade and cinnamon rolls and go out there. I have realized that the rule must go something like this: If you don’t own a lawn of your own, go sit on somebody elses… And believe me, I do.

Sun is shining. The weather is sweet. I am still swamped with school assignments and I will remain that way until next Friday, 11:00 am. (We will have our last quiz 10:30 am…) Today I will take my books and go sit outside and study. I need all the energy that the sun can provide for me. My barefoot feet need to feel some grass under them. I need to meet a couple of lady bugs and butterflies. I need to pin a flower in my hair. My hippie soul lives and breathes the beautiful greens of this season. It is gorgeous out there now. I might try to do to some kind of a photo post tomorrow to try and show you all. Until then, take care. / Jo.