In my job, I work with life and I work with death. It is not always pretty, but it is always important. Some of my tenants had been homeless before coming to my building, some were quite prosperous before an economic fall. Some were disabled through no fault of their own and others have worked hard at low paying jobs. But they all are treated fairly by myself and those that work in my building.
I am not a nurse, I am an administrator. Currently I manage low income senior housing. My building is independent housing, with no services provided. Previously I was the Administrator of an Assisted Living Facility. The difference? In independent housing I have many more terminal tenants, than I had in the Assisted Living Facility. Yes you read that right, I have more terminal disease in my current building.
I am not a saint, but I am a hard worker. I have no office staff, I am all I have. I do have excellent support for maintenance and janitorial (thank you gentlemen!). I must follow and adhere to all federal housing mandates, conduct all business per federal standards and do it all, in a timely fashion. And I have to care, because I do not know any other way. And let it be known, I love my job.
I have a nine hour day on most days, plus the hour and half commute. I sometimes have to be reminded to leave, because I have an open door policy and some days that door simply stays open. I also help with some of the tenant activities and often donate funds to keep the program fresh and fun. I often serve as a Social Worker, Mental Health Counselor or Goof-ball for comic relief. But it is important to repeat this, I am no saint.
And now that I have yammered on for four (yep 4) paragraphs, what is the point? The point is about taking a risk. You see, from time to time this been very difficult for me. Maybe I was not interesting enough, or expressive enough, or too brash or even ________________ (you can fill in the blank with your personal favorite). Funny how we get these ideas, isn't it?
- Do you need to tell someone something? Please go and tell them. Yes, there is a risk, do it anyway.
- Do you need to apologize or explain an action on your part that possibly was not understood? Go and start talking. Yes, there is a risk, do it anyway.
- Do you need to nudge yourself to do what is needed to be done? Start nudging. And yes there is a risk, but nudge yourself anyway.
Today I learned that one of my favorite people in my building will be passing away. She is 95 and only stopped driving about 4 months ago. As she explained it, she kept driving because her license was still valid. In some ways you cannot argue with that logic. She was never in a wreck, was never ticketed, and never put anyone in harms way. For 95 years, She took the risk to be all she could be.
So if I stumble on my words, in person or in written form, it was still worth the risk. If my brain works faster than my mouth can keep up, yes it too was worth the risk. If I make a choice and quickly change my mind, yes, it was worth the risk And even if I choose not to trail behind, instead going my own way, it is worth the risk.
You see, taking a risk did not come easily or early in my life, but I am learning how to be comfortable, when taking one. Often I will blurt out my thoughts or concerns, rather than speak them. Often I said how much I cared, thinking later, that possibly I should have waited. In the past I have wondered about how, what I had already said, was received. Even thinking later that I lacked polish in how I presented my thoughts and feelings.
But maybe, I was already taking the risk, and did not realize it in myself.
How about you?