Autumn has arrived and it is very apparent. The temperature has dropped and the leaves are changing at what seems to be a rapid pace. The changing seasons match up quite well with the changes happening at Ironwood right now. So much has changed in the short time I’ve witnessed. Big plans are in the works, lots of new staff being trained, and a large cluster of new intakes. Things are always shifting and changing around here.
This week has seen a lot more time inside or with people bundled up in the colder weather. School and groups have kept trudging along as usual. Lodge and house chores have been pretty regular. However, Barn and Mini Barn chores have undergone some changes as we prepare for winter. The arrival of October means Fall-fest is coming our way. Up at the Farmhouse, people have been learning to lasso in preparation for Fall-fest. The campuses are looking better than ever with the vibrant colors of the leaves brightening up the place. Despite the beauty autumn brings, I dread the raking that follows along with it.
In some groups we have been learning about setting our own boundaries and respecting the boundaries of peers. In other groups we have been learning self-regulation skills and how to better communicate with staff as well as our peers. In a newly created group we have been focusing on goal setting and the resilience and persistence to achieve our goals. Non-therapeutic groups like art or music have been teaching us new hobbies and helping us find new interests. In these groups we have been practicing creativity and learning new techniques. We are surrounded by changes right now and rather than be unchanging, residents, like myself, are adapting and undergoing change as well. The new skills we are learning and honing are being developed alongside our personal growth, in some instances these new skills may even be helping us to grow.
These last few weeks I have seen so much change and growth. I have seen residents grow so much from when I met them to where they are now. I have seen people graduate and been able to know that they are going to be alright outside of Ironwood. I have met new staff, I’ve seen them in training and I’ve seen them complete that training. Most of all, I have learned new things and grown myself. I hope that you begin to notice change more after reading this, even little changes that seem insignificant. I hope you can acknowledge growth and support people with their growth. I hope you can understand no one is ever done growing and that you have grown a lot in your life, just the same way everyone else has.