I can honestly say I use a pink razor every morning. It doesn’t diminish my male pride at all to admit that. In fact, it’s great fun. To be completely honest, however, I have to admit that I only use the pink razor when nobody is watching except the squirrels.
And that the razor in question is a Razor Scooter that technically belongs to my daughters.
Since the start of school year, we’ve developed the morning ritual of raising the garage door and the girls ride the scooter down our rather lengthy driveway. Then I bring it back up to the house. They ride two different buses separated by a fair bit of time, so this requires two trips.
Watching them ride down on the scooter has always stirred envy in me. Why don’t I have a scooter? I want to ride a scooter! One day I got on it. The squirrels stilled in admiration. It’s true! I felt the wind rushing through my hair. Or I would have if I had any hair, but I still had the admiration of the squirrels, and that is not nothing.
I must have been too busy soaking up their adulation, because I didn’t see the acorn. That’s all it took to topple me. And since squirrels don’t talk, you would never even have known if I weren’t such a transparent guy. The important lesson here is I got right back on that pink scooter the next morning.
It sounds cliché, but sometimes clichés are true. So many times we don’t see things coming. We plan. We enjoy the ride. We think we’re doing so well. Then something gets in the way—and it doesn’t even have to be a big thing—and we’re scrambling not to lose our hold on the balance we took for granted.
Sometimes we need abrupt reminders of what matters most. I’ve been watching as some of our staff support an individual who has been in our care for a long time.Her needs changed and my colleagues responded accordingly providing love and comfort as she neared the end of her life. The care and support our staff offer changed from one type of intervention to another, and their ability to change course quickly is deeply admirable. Their responsiveness to circumstances was remarkable—and the change they didn’t see coming was much greater than the acorn that brought me down.
That speaks to the creativity of a workforce in mental health services. We often don’t work with simple protocols or with individuals only for short periods of time. Over long periods of time, we form relationships that are substantial. This provides the context for multiple levels of support when the needs arise. The enduring nature of therapy and support is the wonderful part of mental health practitioners.
I’m still riding my scooter but trying to avoid the acorns while learning the lessons of falling off, pivoting, and changing course. If the squirrels are not as impressed as they once were, it doesn’t matter, because I’m even more impressed with South Shore staff that surround me every day.