When the Dog Bites

4 Dec

This week started off a tad bit rocky.  Yesterday, a friend at work told me that I looked stressed.  I reminded him that it was December, and that I am an Activities Director.  Seriously, it looks like Santa threw up in my office.  It’s covered in glitter, garland, candy, plastic crates, and all kinds of Christmas paraphernalia.  I was trying to manage decorating the building, putting up trees, writing a newsletter, scheduling performers for our holiday party, and facilitating group activities, all while trying not to daydream about running away to a deserted island with a good book, a margarita, and no responsibilities.  It’s easy to get lost in the busyness of the season instead of the excitement of it.  I have always favored this season.  I love love love Christmas.  With the addition of trees, garland, and lights to the rehab center, so much life and color comes along with it.  It makes people feel more at home.

I let myself slow down a little today, making a conscious effort to not let myself get overwhelmed.  It came easy when I heard my residents’ reactions  following the lighting of the Christmas tree that they had adorned with ornaments they made with their own hands.  In that moment, everything was okay.  For them, it was as if they forgot they were living in a health care center.  Instead, they were admiring a beautiful tree surrounded by friends and peers, that maybe in those five minutes, felt more like family.  And for me, I was oblivious to my stresses.  I remembered that the tiresome days were worth it, even if just for those five minutes of pure joy.

photo (32)

On top of that, the resident Christmas tree sure as heck beats out my tree at home.  See below.  Squint… you might miss it.

photo (33)

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3 Responses to “When the Dog Bites”

  1. Mom December 5, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    We have all your ornaments here. Too fragile to ship so you guys should probably move back East so you can use them…… 🙂
    Any Christmas tree is beautiful when done with love – remember Charlie Brown!

  2. Julia December 5, 2012 at 3:20 am #

    Tis the season! That tree in the health center is beautiful…..Your tree however, looks pathetic…but my suggestion is to not concentrate so much on the tree but focus on the ornaments….I figure I will eventually have a big beautiful real tree when I’m more of an adult/married with kids, but for now, what I like to do is buy or make a few special unique ornaments every year that remind me of a place I was that year, or of something that was happening. Then when you get older you will look back at those ornaments and you will be filled with memories!!! 🙂
    That’s all she wrote.

    • Jaclyn December 5, 2012 at 9:12 am #

      Agreed, Julia!! The beauty of the tree definitely lies within the ornaments! Can’t wait to have some homemade ones on my own tree!

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