Category Archives: Working it Socially

Thursday

You would think, on the whole, it would be a great day. The “Best All Around” of weekdays, if you will. I mean, we’re on the downward slide to the weekend and we already have 3 whole days of good work behind us. We don’t have to deal with the delirium that Fridays can cause quite yet, and we can now start really planning for the weekend–without that underlying knowledge that it’s still only Monday, and we have mountains to climb before our plans come to fruition. And, as if that wasn’t enough to make someone love Thursday–Ugly Betty and Grey’s Anatomy, anyone?

So, fast forward to my now second semester of my Social Work masters program. Or as I like to call it, “Will It Ever End, 2007 edition.”

It is a requirement of this program that in the second semester, students are assigned to an Internship. Students are supervised by professionals and work 2 days a week when not in class. On Wednesdays I visit patients, and on Thursdays I work in the office with my supervisor. The purpose of this, of course, is to gain knowledge in the different areas of social work, learn vital professional skills, get hands-on experience, and put into practice all the concepts and strategies learned in the first semester of classes.

It all sounds very exciting and professional, I know.

For my intership, I was assigned to a Hospice agency. For those who may not know, Hospice is a service given to terminally ill individuals that includes obtaining everyday “comfort care” from doctors, nurses, chaplains, social workers, and many more. It is really an awesome concept and can be so beneficial for families during a very difficult time. That’s what they teach us to say about it anyway, but I actually do believe it to be true 🙂

There are so many uplifting and heart-warming stories I could tell about my experience with hospice patients and families. And I am sure I will, a lot, in the future.

But, I would like at this time to tell you how interning has ruined Thursday. That way, in the future when I am typing through tears about amazing moments I have had and all the wonderful people I have met, you will really know the complete story and know my heart fully. The good with the bad. The happy tears with the frustrated ones.

The drama all started the first day when I met the woman who I now know is my complete opposite in every way. I wish I could tell you that the woman I am referring to is just someone who works in the office. Someone I pass in the hallway and give a friendly smile, only to see her walk past me and hear her as she lets loose a few of her characteristic patronizing comments to some innocent bystander. But no. The woman I am referring to is not just some co-worker, but my supervisor. And the innocent bystander at the brunt of all the mean remarks is me.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not an overly sensitive person. I stick well to my laid-back guns, and I really do try to see the good in everyone just like every little social worker should.

But, this woman has broken me. I dread Thursdays when I become her right-hand girl and am subject to all her non-constructive criticism and craziness. Let’s just say, homegirl seems to have her panties in a wad most of the time. Why? I don’t really know. And for this laughy, light-hearted, perspective-seeking gal, the negativity causes a bit of failure-to-thrive. I have walked away many days discouraged, disappointed, and downhearted.

My soul does not fair well with such conflicting emotions and so much pressure. Thursday. It is a Long Day. Dreadfully Long.

If I was not so Southern and well-mannered, I might tell Crazy Lady what I think of her at times. I am sure you can probably think of a lot of phrases I might choose to bestow upon her. But, I would never do that because 1) it’s just not in me and 2) as crazy as she is, God has used her to teach some very valuable lessons for this road o’ life.

Lo and behold, I actually learned something through all that negativity! I like to call this portion of the experience “Miracles Do Exist, 2007 edition.”

Yes, Crazy Lady wore me down a wee bit. She was indeed the topic of conversation for several vent sessions with trusted friends, and I feel I will never truly understand her ways. But, somewhere along this path, I realized something I’m sure God has been trying to tell me the whole time—IT’S NOT ABOUT HER.

It’s about Him. It’s about me. It’s about Him helping me find my way into the woman I was created to be and for whom He has amazing plans. It’s about how I am using whatever situation (good or bad) that He has placed me in to learn and grow. It’s about how I respond to harsh words and criticism–not by becoming frustrated and offended, but as an opportunity to seek His wisdom and ask for His guidance. It’s about making the very best out of every single minute because each one wasted for fleshly concerns could have been used to give Him glory.

Good gracious, I wish I had remembered all of that sooner. I could have saved myself a bit of heartache these last few months–not to mention throwing Thursdays under the bus for no good reason! Don’t misunderstand, it is still hard. She is still crazy despite my moment of clarity, and the whole process is still a challenge. And sometimes I still cry.

But thankfuly, now most of my tears are those joyful ones I mentioned earlier. The ones brought on by the sweet stories and moments with my patients that I will treasure all of my days. I can’t wait to share with ya’ll what God has shown me through those experiences.

But, I am going to have end there for now. I’ve got to rest up for tomorrow–it’s time for another Thursday. 🙂

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