I had no idea that there was such a thing as “International Day of Happiness” a world-wide initiative of the United Nations where there is a sharing of their collective happiness. This was noted in Alice Inoue’s “Positively Young” article on 3/20/2018.
Over my years, happiness has been a focus for me. After my early years when I was found to have cancer and underwent the surgeries to prevent it from spreading any further, I knew if I survived, that God must have had a plan for me. So my search started there. I had to find a new job and finally found a job that used my degree and skills and pointed me in the vocational rehabilitation counseling services in workers compensation. That was 33 years ago. I can honestly say that I still love what I do.
As I get older, I figured that it is good policy to leave the office and gain important perspective. I plan and I arrange for staff to take over my cases when I am gone, I kennel my 3 dogs, I pack and arrange for people to teach my classes. Then I leave. It's not that I don't enjoy myself; I always do. I gain perspective that I am replaceable, that the world will continue and I have no control (during this trip NY had another terrorist attack). It also reminds me that there are beautiful places away from home; it is still not my home.
Home is where the relationships are...my family, friends, my VMC family, my clients, my furry pups, my students that I teach. And once again I am hit with gratitude that this is what I return to....despite DCD and their desire to limit, degrade or even eliminate VR services, this is where I belong.
During the past few months vocational rehabilitation services have come "under fire" making me question and feel badly for our clients, my staff and for those who serve the injured worker population.
As a counselor, we cannot help anyone if we aren't connected and balanced within. I was on the Big Island last week in Kona and gave myself some time to do my yoga, meditate and pray. I asked to let go all of my sadness and anger and bitterness to those who have hurt us. Once done, I walked back to the hotel and and started taking pictures on my phone. I started seeing a color which I thought was an aberration on my glasses but as I walked the color grew. I thought that it was my glasses but I took the picture of the color thinking that if it is only my glasses the color would not come through the photo. And here is what I took. And that needs no explanation except to say that this was my "God's Moment".
So I know it still will be hard and tough for all of us working in the field and trying to remain true to ourselves while we help others, but once again I am affirmed that we have a "higher power" working with us.
It’s Saturday. My chores somewhat done at home; now it’s time to finish my work at the office. Looking forward to quiet time on a hot, muggy Saturday afternoon in my office. Put on my music to keep me entertained while I finish reports, letters, memos to keep my clients cases moving forward.
I got a call while I was unpacking my car in the garage, hauling out the two dogs who accompany me on Saturdays (wild guard dogs, ha!) and it was one of my clients elated about a long awaited decision she received in the mail today from Department of Labor honoring her requests and the first person she called was me. Told her this was the best news I have heard today. This reminded me that yesterday, I got another call from my ex-client who is still in school who called to let me know that she was doing well in school and she wanted me to hold the date when she graduates from massage school. She’s expecting me to be there. Told her I will be there and put it on the calendar. Another blessing for the weekend.
Though there is “bad press” wherever you go regarding workers compensation, as a vocational rehabilitation counselor I believe that I have the best clients, ever. Injured workers come to vocational rehabilitation counselors in hope to find help, a possible job, some training if possible and a chance for a new start. I wanted to tell you about one of our clients who shall be named Ms. M. She came as a hand injured worker who no longer could work in the busy world of food and beverage restaurant business. She had limited education but graduated from high school in the Philippines and went to classes when she came to Hawaii. Because she couldn’t lift too much anymore and chop “too much” she was asked to see Vocational Management Consultants for vocational rehabilitation services.