Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fall for Anything

Summer is a good time for a CSO. It's those 2 months that I get to work night shifts (9 pm to 5 am) and pretty much have all that time to myself. Needless to say, I get paid a lot for working "graveyard" shifts. For example, last night, I played Hero of Sparta on my iTouch, enjoyed Chris Caffeineman's company, watched Corpse Bride, and created my extensive and detailed schedule on my Sunbird calendar program.

Tonight, I decided to bring along my PSYC 125 course reader and some study guides to read until 11 PM (that's when we're "allowed" to bust out our laptops). I read some, then at 11 PM, I whipped out my laptop and watched hours of Scrubs and then researched potential future careers in the field that I am currently pursuing.

So, what's the point? Working these long hours in the dark, sitting outside in the terrace part of OVT, I find a lot of time for myself. I find that there is almost an unbearable surplus of time that I can sit here to think about whatever I want to think about and do whatever I want to do. I could buy a Rosetta Stone program or a book or something and learn French. I could practice watercolour painting every time I work and become a watercolour master by the end of summer. My head spins when I think about this time that is so free, so open. It's so paradoxical because most of us WISH we had all the time in the world to do things; like I do now.

Tonight was peculiar. In my reader, I read "A Glass full of Tears". Intrigued by the somewhat melancholy, depressing title, I started reading a memoir by June Lund Shiplett about coping and living with her husband diagnosed with vascular/multi-infarct dementia, an illness that destroys brain cells. It's kind of like Alzheimer's, but worse.

Dementia turned her husband, Charlie, into a highly irrational human being who often forget where he was or who he was. He became plagued with crazy paranoid thoughts that worried June, and he would become infuriated and abusive if she disagreed or tried to be rational. Charlie's dementia grew more severe as the months went by and he became increasingly dangerous. There came a point where June had to admit defeat and "let go" of Charlie to be taken care of by professionals.

What stuck out to me was her love for her husband. Mentioned often in the article was June talking about how Charlie was constantly verbally abusing her or even swinging at her in violence. Other days, Charlie was completely normal and himself, joking around and smiling. This was the man she loved. The other Charlie, the one inflicted with dementia, was a stranger; so cold and so detestable. Her dedication to her husband, despite the sheer difficulty of dealing and living with him, is admirable and amazing. June doubted God often, questioning His purpose and plan. But in the end, her love for Charlie was so deep.

I'll leave with this quote in her memoir:

"....And I think the best way is to stick out your chin, keep your faith, and a heart full of love. I've learned that I'm stronger than I thought I was and that love is one of the strongest emotions we have as human beings. Love is not just wanting to be with someone all the time, and it isn't just the physical excitement and touching, it's sharing who and what you are with that other person. It's giving yourself unconditionally, without thought to reward. It's hanging on when you don't think you can possibly hang on any longer."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Broken Toy

The end of my finals week is the same as the end of last year's finals week. It's that time of year when I probably gain the most weight. It's the time of year when I'm most tired and most frustrated with every little detail of my life. It's that time of year when I'm most likely to explode on someone or something.

Brand New put it best, I feel like a toy whose batteries have run dry. And I need renewal. I have two weeks to rest in between finals week and my first week of summer session. Once summer session starts, the onslaught of my two jobs and schoolwork will commence.

I need recharge!