The alarm goes off each morning, dragging us from a peaceful slumber that exerts its own grip in an effort to keep us in bed. We lay there for a moment, making bargains with ourselves for just ten more minutes. We succumb, closing our eyes until that dreadful noise starts all over again. The snooze button brings no relief. It's merely delaying the inevitable.
Is this how your mornings go? Mine did for many years. I remember thirteen years of going to a job that I didn't like. That's a long time to be miserable for most of your waking hours. I never want to go through that again.
Then there were almost ten years of running my own small business. The excitement of making your own way is a great motivator. So is a healthy fear of failure. And starvation.
Since I left Texas, there have been a couple of jobs that, while I didn't hate them, I also didn't love them. They were just... jobs. I was treading water. I knew there was something better for me out there, but I wasn't finding it.
In 2015, quite unexpectedly, my life changed when my path crossed with that of the CEO of Boone Supported Living. I didn't know it at the time, though. I thought I was just lending a helping hand by working part-time in direct care. I had no idea what the future held for me.
I admittedly didn't have a lot of exposure to people with developmental disabilities in my lifetime. It was new and different to me, and like many people I freely admit to some trepidation over the unknown. But I discovered they grow on you, and even though we often can't readily tell, we grow on them. I have been asked more than once, "When will ____ be working with me again?"
Early on, one fellow discovered I love Star Trek and sci-fi as much as he does, so we instantly had something in common. He still loves to drill me on tidbits from the shows or movies that I didn't catch. It's those kinds of moments that reinforces my belief that this is not just a job. It's experiential.
My involvement and my role grew. As much as I enjoyed my time as a business owner, this is better in so many ways. When people left my salon they felt better about themselves, but it was nonetheless a superficial feeling.
At Boone Supported Living, we get to make a difference every single day, often just by simply showing up. My experience and talents brought me from direct care to the position I now hold, yet I am constantly amazed at how much our Direct Support Professionals love and care for our individuals. I never cease to be impressed as I watch them give so much of themselves. I see the joy they bring to the lives of our individuals. And, I see the joy our staff gets in return.
Life is great when the work you do is more than just a paycheck. That silly alarm clock has no effect on a life driven by purpose.