Tuesday, September 13, 2005

so much stays unknown 'til the time has come 

So. Hm. How was your summer? Nice? Really? Great.

Wanna hear about mine?

After 26 years, 7 months, and 20 days, I heard my calling. It wasn't quite as dramatic as the parting of the Red Sea or the Burning Bushes, but pretty close. It was like having my own personal earthquake.

And it's so not what you think.

It took me a little while to accept the idea myself, because it's something I never seriously considered before, and truthfully, would have actively rejected it if I had. I would have found it repellent. And maybe after some time in this career, I will move on to the next thing that presents itself, the next work that I will have to grow into. Okay. (I recently found out that my daughter's teacher is 51 and on his fourth or fifth career. He said he was glad he waited this long because he's so much more patient and mellow now. That's awesome.)

So I'm going to be a paramedic.

And it feels really really super-right, for a lot of weird reasons, like I like really finite tasks (which I like about waitressing, too-when people leave, they're gone.) and I like puzzles, and it seems that each patient would be a kind of puzzle. Plus you may have noticed that I have a tiny rebellious streak, as well as a Marty McFly chicken complex. Not to mention I have more than a passing familiarity with bodily fluids--did I ever tell you about the time a baby Alice woke me up, at 5:30 am, on Mother's Day, by vomiting on my head? When I was seven months pregnant? I had to have told you that story. (P.S.--Teddy potty trained this week. After !7! years of continuous and sometimes double diapers, Thank You Jesus, I am FREE!)And I hate working in an office. I hate a daily routine that is always the same. And I'm so seriously ready to just go out there and kick a little ass. If I can't replace childrearing with a job for the next two years, then I have to have a plan, or they're going to have to call the paramedics on me.

But I kind of figured it out under the surface over the past two weeks because of the hurricane, because that was the job I was pissed off I couldn't do to help. (Now, there are a few jobs I'm a little pissed off I can't do, like apparently I can't even donate blood because I was an Army brat. Bananas.)

Oh, I am scared as hell, which I guess is a pretty strong reason why I should do it. And frankly, I have little-to-minus interest in becoming a doctor or a nurse or a therapist. The healing arts have never really pulled me. But there is something about being a paramedic--and believe you me, I have run into more than my share in the marketplace, you could say--that is in essence, I think, a lot like waitressing. Clearly the level of service is higher, but it's like an impersonal personal job, where you are most successful when you treat someone as you wish to be treated.

I'm also really looking forward to it, too, though, and the synchronicity abounds. Pman nearly wrecked the car when we heard the radio ad for a Kathy Bates T.V. show called "Ambulance Girl." People's reactions are interestingly enough, all across the board. My mom, my goddamn mom, said the most astonishing thing, she said, "It's about damn time." Of course I don't know what in the hell that means, it couldn't have been more odd and surprising if it was the dog that said it.

I don't even know where to end this for now. I guess I will keep you posted, because next I have to wade through the community college quagmire and get up to date on my CPR certifications. I find my overall experiences with CPR to be sort of meh. So we'll see if my newfound enthusiasm makes the subject more interesting to me.

I just thought about something. No matter how surprised (or not) you are, out there, somewhere, my high school health teacher is going to be really surprised

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Okay, Denver Knitters, it's time to get in gear. There are three hundred hurricane families at Lowry, and 700-1000 more coming soon. According to my sources, they are bored out of their minds, no jobs to go to, nothing to occupy the teenagers, so let's share our skills.

Any Denver Knitters who want to work with me to start a knitting group or collect donations of supplies, email me directly. Maybe knitting isn't the single most productive thing we can do right now, but in conjunction with all the other relief efforts, maybe we can help raise peoples' spirits.

Let's really welcome these people to our city. And don't forget to give blood!