Since last post in 2013, my life has changed in more ways than the pup family. It has been a busy three years, sometimes a bit too busy. But I would not change it.
I've been working at a home health and hospice agency for five and a half years now. I started out as a part time coordinator of hospice volunteers and coordinator of bereavement services. I've enjoyed it a lot. People often say "How can you do something that is so sad?" It is not sad. Supporting people who are nearing the end of their lives and the families who are there with them, is a real blessing. People are usually very real, genuine at this stage of life. Being a part of the support system to help make the transition as painless as possible is sobering, but is also one of the most reassuring experiences ever. Sometimes, there is forgiveness and healing; occasionally, people learn a lot about themselves and their loved ones; at times, it is filled with love and sweetness; rarely, it is stressful and agonizing, as families find out things about themselves long hidden away. With the bereavement program, I am privileged to be with the family as they begin to heal, to find their way back to normalcy.
Our agency was locally owned. That is nice, more personal. But competing against the large companies around the country is very difficult. About three years ago, the agency was sold to a large nationwide corporation. The change was very difficult for many of us. We stumbled along for a long several months until things began to fall into a recognizable form. Believe me, going from a small staff of about 20-25 to being part of a huge company like that, one that is "ruled" from afar, is a tough change. After a few months of rearranging, relearning, readjusting, we began to be comfortable except for one thing. Our social worker had left and a replacement could not be found. The position was part time, so finding someone in this small, rural community who was not already working full or was interested in working in part time was not happening.
Then, the VP of Hospice flew into Ruidoso to talk to me. Would I be interested in taking the position? I had retired my license in 2005, while Glenn was dying. After thinking it over a couple weeks, I agreed. The company paid for the relicensing expenses (a nearly year long process!!) and I became a full time employee as Medical Social Worker, Bereavement Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator!
I'm working 32 hours a week, Monday through Thursday, so I have three days off to rest and recuperate. It is working pretty well for me, and I'm loving being back in the field again. I enjoyed retirement, but I missed the work, too. Having long weekends allows me to have lots of time with friends, the pups, and to enjoy life, balanced with doing the work I love. Sometimes, it is hard. I'm actually on a vacation as I write this. I began to feel stress a few weeks ago, not for anything wrong, but just needing a break. So I'm enjoying a ten day reprieve. I've enjoyed being lazy!
Otherwise, my life is about the same as always. I'm still single, and I probably will always be. I have no inclinations toward remarrying, and I enjoy living alone, believe it or not. I know better than to say "never," but I don't see it. I was in a singles group for a year, and that was nice because no one was looking for dates. It was just a group of great people who enjoyed company, playing board games, taking short trips, having potlucks, and dancing. But in the end, I'm very contented with my job, my circle of friends, and the four-legged family I have. I enjoy life.
Yes, life is good, for sure! And I still have that wonderful view!