I’ve been spending some extended time with my frail and forgetful father-in-law. I love him to bits, but he’s not the man I used to know.
He’s been falling over and failing to get back up. While we rush from Derby to Bolton, the blue lights have already been and he’s sitting, bewildered, on an NHS trolley.
The NHS is what it is: wonderful, compassionate, yet creaking at the seams, chaotic, overwhelmed and slow. An 89-year-old with Alzheimer’s is new to us, but not to them. Too ill to go home, he’s currently in a ‘half-way house’ (not quite an old folks’ home) while social services assess his needs.
We’ve all got a story like this. So effing what?
It’s given me a chance to observe health and social care. At close quarters, you can smell the compassion, but you can also see the exhaustion. It’s etched in, deep.
Such tough circumstances. Thank you to all the everyday superheroes who toil on all our behalves.
Here’s something from my hero, the remarkably talented David ‘Naked Leader’ Taylor:
This next week on Monday and Tuesday, really go for it. Be your true self and unleash your true and total personality on the world. Come to work with a bounce, walk tall, shoulders back, head high, and smile. Remember your purpose. See the very best in everything and everybody and help others to do the same. Let your positivity seep into your work colleagues, patients and visitors. Smile when you see the sun, laugh when you feel happy, bubble with love, energy and the thrill of being alive.
On the Wednesday and Thursday, go for nothing. Be that impostor who inhabits your thoughts and body. Don’t bother. Slouch, drag your feet, complain a lot and say that life has got it in for you. Grumble about the patients and see if you can bring others down by telling them how you feel. Frown baby, frown.
And on the Friday ask yourself this single question – which of these two days did I enjoy more?
If it was the Monday and Tuesday – live like that every day.
If it was the Wednesday and Thursday – live like that every day.
Pass it on…