So, I guess I’ll begin with a confession. I’m a negative person. I grew up with negative people. I find them everywhere all around me. But now, now I work in an area where people go out of their way to be positive. One reason for that is, in the food pantry, we see a lot of terrible things. Domestic violence, people who can’t seem to escape whatever it is that is haunting them, or those who just simply can’t get a break. Secondly, and possibly most importantly, those who work with me are all happy, cheerful people who work hard everyday at helping others. It’s hard to do any of that when you’re down in the dumps.
So there’s me, I’m the negative Nancy but I try to keep it hidden. I don’t always succeed. I find myself going on silent rants inside my mind that really were a huge waste of time and creativity. So I’m trying to be better. Some days I succeed. Some days I’m Nancy.
But it is hard to basically go against your personality. I’m a melancholy, for those who know the reference to that. It’s natural for me to be blue, down in the dumps. My childhood hero was Eyore. Even though he was always depressed, he was always invited everywhere and participated in so many things that didn’t always work out but he was always around people.
Anyone who has ever been a caregiver knows that caring for anyone means spending a lot of time on your own. Even when I wasn’t alone, it wasn’t as if I was with someone. Old people sleep a lot, usually in front of a blaring TV that is on some objectionable channel. However, if you try to change the channel while they’re sleeping …
Working at the pantry is always busy. There’s always something happen and it’s exciting and busy. So why do I want to quit? Maybe because I’ve been a caregiver for so long that it seems like another planet some days. I can barely keep up. But it is a place that has forced me to change, grow and become something else. Something other than Negative Nancy.
Despite all of that, there are days when Nancy wins. I try to make those times more and more infrequent.