Most of the things I do along the technological line occur by accident. I’m the bell curves extreme to the left of the graph and hiding in the corner sort of gal when it comes to nerd potential. My nerdism (just invested a new word according to the little red squiggly line) lies in people, institutionalisation and all the weird behaviours that result. Aged care I have discovered is the end of the line example of all the systems established to protect and “help”. Sometimes the roles get confused and even those working within them have difficulties justifying their actions. God help those of use who sit on the sidelines and watch the confusion.
The person I aspired to be is not the person I became. I’ve almost given up struggling with the guilt of not loving/caring/giving/sacrificing/having time/being selfish/not skilled and a million other labels that drift into my everyday self talk. I say “almost” but not fully because deep inside me there is the dutiful daughter who is still solidly locked into the “should” of her generation and the expectations of earlier generations. I have no reason to abandon the daily ritual because I have no other activities planned or demands on my time important enough to stand in the way – I’ve not had time to develop them. I aspired to be strong, independent and all the other good words our feminist gurus told us were out there for us. My strength and independence these days sits on the back burner – waiting.
Caring has become about money, investments, profits, cutting corners, covering their backsides and covering up the smell of urine with polish and floral sprays. Caring is about looking good, meeting the yearly assessment criteria, filling in the ever expanding mountain of paperwork or dealing with new computerised records while I receive a call to say my mother has just been involved in an altercation with another resident “but she’s o.k. I just had to let you know”.
I feel so much better now.