First of all, I would like to let everyone know that I did NOT come up with todays title. Alas, my Jedi Master (yes, that’s what I call him) did. His name is Mark. He’s a funeral director, and a darn good one if I do say so myself, and since this is my blog, I do say so.
It all started about six forty-five this morning. My alarm went off. I hit snooze. It went off again. I hit snooze again. This chain of events kept repeating until fifteen minutes went by and I somehow put one foot on the ground and found that the other one followed. It was a rough morning. Who knows why, it’s not like I was out partying all night. No, that was two weeks ago, when I was in Ireland. But that’s not the point. The point is I somehow managed to shower, get dressed, and drive a half hour to this snazzy little place I like to call the funeral home.
It’s eight thirty in the morning. I’m the first one in the funeral home, so I start to get the rental casket ready for this really nice guy whose going to be using it later this night. Now for you non funeral folks, a rental casket is just what it sounds like. You rent it. It’s a shell of a casket, and there’s a trick door by the foot that comes down and a new bedding and box gets put in. You’d rent it if you’d want to cremate a person after a viewing. Nifty, huh?
My Jedi master Mark pulls in about five minutes after me. Everyone give Mark a nice virtual hello. Within the next forty-five minutes I happen to do everything and anything to make Mark wonder what the heck is wrong with me. It wasn’t on purpose. It was just one of those days. I’d blame it on a case of the Mondays, but today was Tuesday. I’d blame it on not having my morning coffee, but I’m cutting back on coffee so that’s a lame excuse, too.
Anyways, Mark is here. The casket is there. I have no excuse for my lack of brightness this morning. He looks at the casket and starts to tell me how he likes my blog. We’re talking. He then came up with the title “life ‘outside’ the box.” I liked it. I’m using it.
If I would have spent today inside the box, I would have had it easy. I would have been looking all pretty, just laying down. People would have come up to me and looked at me, maybe sent some prayers my way. Probably pray for my family mostly.
Instead, I spent today outside the box. I made our guest pretty. I also customized and printed prayer cards, thank you notes, register books and entry signs. I filled out a death certificate. I got said paperwork ready so the death certificate could be filed. I got a visitation room ready. I worked a wake. I hugged a grieving widow. I showed compassion to a broken family. It may not sound like a lot to you, but maybe you’d like to take my place one day. When you’re resting your puppies after that long on your feet, doing work that you cannot mess up (high stress level, yes?) then we can talk.
Before I knew what had happened, it was eight fifteen at night. I’d worked almost twelve hours.
I’m a big social media kind of girl. I have Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. I think it’s a great way to keep in touch and to get creative. You know what one of the biggest problems of my generation is? People are lazy. Seriously, they are. Everyone wants to be rich, but no one wants to work for it. Everyone wants respect, but no one wants to show it. When I see people post on Twitter/Facebook “ugh work 10-2 sooo don’t wanna go” I laugh. It’s kind of cute. Some days, I work a forty hour work week in three days. Really. And I’m not complaining. I chose my path. But I’m not afraid to work. Maybe that’s why I like doing what I do. Yes, I work long hours. Yes, the work is less than glamorous most of the time. I mean, it’s not all Cadillac’s and suits. It’s hard, and dirty work. Not many people want to do it. But today, after my twelve-hour work day I had the family come up to me and give me one of the best hugs I’ve had in a long time. Do you know what they said? Thank you. Those are two pretty awesome words. You should use them more. They thanked me for being compassionate. They thanked me for caring. It’s almost like an addiction. When you do an act of charity for someone, no matter how big or small, and they appreciate it, and appreciate your work, it’s this indescribable feeling. You just want to do more for them. I work hard. I come home exhausted. Physically and emotionally. I don’t have days off. I mean, I do, but if someone dies, I go to work. I have this hat, that says “I’ve used up all of my sick days, so I called in dead.” I joke that even if I called in dead, I’d STILL have to go to work. But what I’m trying to say is my job matters. I do work that means something. And even when it’s six forty-five and I hit snooze, somehow my feet still find the ground and somehow I still make that drive into work and somehow I still give all I have to the families I work for. Because I’d want someone to do the same for me. Because it makes a difference.
So I’m happy I got to spend today outside of the box. I hope I have a long line of days spent outside of the box ahead of me. And I’m happy because tomorrow I can sleep until eight. So maybe I’ll have an eleven hour work day instead of twelve. Nice and short, piece of cake.