Keeping it Real and Positive with Kiley

Positive, proactive, & persevering

Welp, what a complete & crazy year this week has been, amirite?  Seriously, on Wednesday I had a job. It’s only Sunday. I’m proud to say I haven’t binge watched much on Netflix, but I did sort & reorganize my entire yarn stash.  A lot of you know that I’m usually found with at least one knitting project on me. Keeping busy is important to me.  

I am definitely a “do-er”.  I feel the need to be proactive & make plans in times of crisis.  Like a famous snowman once said, “It’s called controlling what you can when things feel out of control”.  I’m sure I’m not the only person out there that feels this way, my sister in-law usually ends up remodeling at least one room of her house. During this time, I have decided to continue volunteering at my facility.  Now, not all zookeepers can do this, I get that. I am allowed to because we are a full nonprofit operation. It allows paid staff to voluntarily come in on off hours to do work they wouldn’t normally be doing.

It means that I am not allowed to work in the same situations with the animals I used to.  But it does mean I still can rake & wash a whole lot of dishes & even get some training time with my small parrots.  So why am I doing it? Because it’s the best way I know how to support my team. There are only 4 of them now. While they aren’t working full days, they are not getting days off.  Giving them a helping hand is a huge way to show that I respect & understand the severity of what’s going on.  

We are giving our all to these animals.  That includes whatever finances we have. I cannot be resentful or spiteful when it comes down to it.  We have an income of zero & expenses that will never stop. It’s too important to want to pout.  

Get up at 6am. 

Put your boots on & keep on keeping.  

The other thing that volunteering allows me to do, is to help. If I can use this time to make something positive happen, I 100% will.  I can teach. I can make people smile. I can be live on facebook cracking stupid giraffe jokes! I could never do this as a keeper because I just don’t have time.  But I have a whole lotta time now. My huge passion is teaching. So now I can post from home. I can showcase the facility online. I can explain how & why we handle things in the animal world in a way that people could never see before.  Sure, I’m doing it through the facility pages, which a lot of you can’t do. But I’m also doing it on my personal stuff too. I’m collaborating with animal care professionals to do webinars & Q&A’s & animal yoga for kids! We can be the lights that shine through in this world that might seem darker every day.  

Yes there is a lot we cannot do right now, but oh my, there is so much that we CAN do.  We can pick up litter around our street. We can get on citizen scientist sites like Zooniverse & help others around the world with their projects.  We can offer to do an “animal fact scavenger hunt” chalk walk around the park! Use this time to come out stronger. We adapt so much while we are at work.  Don’t let the fact that you might be outside those walls let that trait fade. Doors are closed, but hearts are open.  

Don’t just be keeper strong, be keeper stronger.  

Love you all.  Stay healthy. Stay strong.  If anyone wants to learn how to knit, now is a great time!

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