My staff and I have been joking for quite some time that the day-to-day comings and goings of Garden Terrace seniors would make a fun TV show or movie. I can see it now: “Garden Terrace — The Movie!”
I’m sure it would be a “dramedy,” both drama and comedy. Because the days here at Garden Terrace can go from tears of sorrow to tears of laughter, or vice versa, at a moment’s notice. And, I’m not going to sugar coat this, but the pandemic has not been fun. (Okay, just a little sugar.)
First of all, we’ve had some good news in that we’ve been able to vaccinate over 110 people. Also, I hear laughter in the kitchen pretty often these days and that feels good. There is also a sense of hope circulating that we’ll get back to something more normal to pre-COVID activity sooner than later.
The isolation for many of the residents has not been easy. Staying compliant with mask and distancing rules has not been easy. Serving meals to apartments instead of in our dining room has not been easy. Those among us that contracted the coronavirus were not spared some of the serious consequences of the illness and that certainly hasn’t been easy.
So, how do we get through times like these? In the book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and It’s All Small Stuff,” Dr. Richard Carlson encourages us to turn our “Melodrama” into a “Mellow-Drama.”
Carlson goes on to say, “I’ve found that simply reminding myself that life doesn’t have to be a soap opera is a powerful method of calming down. When I get too worked up or start taking myself too seriously … I say to myself something like, ‘Here I go again. My soap opera is starting.’ Almost always, this takes the edge off my seriousness and helps me laugh at myself.” “My melodrama is turned into a ‘mellow-drama.’”
I’m convinced that senior moments don’t need to be a melodrama. I think I can safely say that my staff and I look at the activity at Garden Terrace as a mellow-drama most days. We love to come to work and really enjoy our time together and helping those we serve.
Ken Neher is executive director at Garden Terrace Senior Living in Wenatchee.