We have lives, too!

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Teri Weiman, SSD-AD
Teri Weiman, SSD-AD

Fellow co-workers in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living and elderly care settings, take note: We have lives, too!

On some Friday afternoons, I feel like taking my fatigued body home and staring at a blank wall for two days. It sounds tempting to put my phone on silent, lock the door behind me and think of nothing. (My sons admit that they can actually think of "nothing" — is that possible?)

We pour out energy, creativity and every ounce of diplomacy possible on a day-to-day basis. This week alone, I attended five morning reports, two interdisciplinary team meetings, resident council meeting and eight health team conferences. With that I wrote approximately 22 activity/social service summaries for the charts and a newsletter submission. I don't even want to count the emails that I read and sent out.

I'm sure you're relating. Our days are swift and full.

For your sanity, remember that you and I have lives outside of our careers. People run into me in the grocery store in my jeans and flip-flops and are somewhat startled that I shop for produce and toiletries. This is no exaggeration: Once, someone saw me run out for quick food, while wearing a baseball cap, sweats and no make-up, She gasped. I must have looked really scary!

Whatever you choose to do outside of work, enjoy it. I salsa dance, garden, entertain friends, bake, embrace my family, write, attend church and enjoy a good movie. It's our therapy — no, it's our lives!

Today, I had a beautiful pause. While I was at work, my son texted me that his wife was getting ready to deliver their baby (my first grandbaby). I waited for this news while I went on with my duties. When I heard that "ding," I quickly packed my purse and asked my staff to shut down my computer and lock up my office. Nothing was more important than being involved in my life — my son and his wife's life — and my grandson's birth.

After all, as wonderful as our jobs are, we all must remember: We have our own lives, too!

Carpe Diem.

Teri Weiman, SSD-AD, is a social services designee and activity directory in a central California skilled nursing facility. She oversees 80+ volunteers, supervises 11 activity aides and has two amazing assistants. She has learned that all long-term care residents have valuable attributes and can teach a lot about life ... which she will share here. An early riser and eternal optimist, she lives by the saying Carpe Diem.

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