Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day One: A Good "Start"

Well, today we welcomed in the seventh (or something like that) snow storm of the season! I go to my internship on Mondays and Tuesdays and I have already missed a day for snow, so I really wanted to make an effort to get in today. The roads were not actually terrible this morning--I made it into work in 25 minutes (it usually takes me about 12 minutes), but it took some of my colleagues 1-2 hours to get in. Of course, the snow was the talk of the day amongst the residents. It was sort of fun feeling like we were all hunkering down together for the day while the snow fell steadily around us. At one point, some of the residents suggested that the staff might need to spend the night if we were to get snowed in. Before I had much of a chance to respond, Jerry* turned to me and said, "You know, if you have to stay over, I have a warm and comfortable bed we can share..." I didn't know how to respond to this man--the same man who, last week, told me that he was going to spend the rest of the afternoon, "making passionate love to you." Yes, we've talked about being appropriate, but when you have short-term memory loss, certain things just don't stick! So, in an attempt to avoid further uncomfortable exchanges, I got down to my to-do list and knocked some things off that I have been meaning to work on for a few weeks now. The rest of the day went really well, but as it neared quittin' time, I still had not given my first "gift." I knew that, with the snow, I was probably heading home to lay on the couch for the evening (which is exactly where I am right now, and have been since 5pm), leaving me little opportunity to give much of anything to anyone. And then, I was presented with an ideal opportunity. As I said goodbye to my colleague, Paula, I asked her if I could go out and start her car for her before I left. Yes, I was heading out anyway, so it wasn't a huge deal for me, but it was really helpful to her. As I started Paula's car and cleaned off her windshield, I reminded myself that the value of a gift is not based on how difficult or expensive it is for the giver, but rather how much it means to the receiver. This is a good thought to keep in mind throughout the next 28 days and, as Cami did, I will use it as my giving mantra: The value of the gift is measured by how much it means to the receiver.

*some names have been changed to ensure privacy

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