I saw a sign last year and I should have bought it at that moment – but the size was wrong, the color was off and seriously, I’m not paying nearly $40 for an old, beat up piece of wood with some witty words scribbled on it. I knew I could make it and do it exactly the way I wanted it for about $6. I stopped at the craft store on the way home. I found almost everything I needed except for the board. No problem, I’ll pick one up later, right?
The best things in life rarely come easy. There is something about the struggle that embeds meaning, grips our soul and connects us to the parts of life we value most. Marriage. Children. Careers. None of it is easy but most of us can’t imagine our lives without them.
Life has taught me to surround myself with goodness and beauty. It keeps me alive and feeds my spirit. I anchor it with truth. Without the truth, nothing is real, so I cling to it as if it just might be the single thread holding us all together. These are the goals I aspire to. This is how I want my life to be carved. Simple. Real. Beautiful. Full of goodness. Full of love.
I’m not petitioning for sainthood and I don’t always live up to my own expectations. I don’t claim to be perfect. There are days that I don’t even feel ‘good enough.’ We all fall down. We all have bad days, myself included. I make mistakes, too. It happens. It just means that we can be better or do better next time. Most of us are able to rise above, endure and find ways to recenter ourselves. We recalibrate. We start over. We pull each other towards goodness. We move on. We grow into better humans.
I haven’t been writing as much lately because I have been very busy with a new job. I transferred from the first hospital that launched my nursing career to one that is a lot bigger and a little closer. The truth is, leaving my old job was heartbreaking. Things had changed to the point that I had begun questioning why I had ever become a nurse in the first place. I know. The enormity of that statement is not lost on me. It was a very big deal. I needed to recenter myself. I needed to seek out goodness and a place that supported the ideals that I believe in. I needed to let go of what once was so I could reach out and find what I needed.
I’m not going to lie, it was terrifying. I’d been in one place for 7 years and they were the hardest but best 7 years of my adult life. All established nurses know that nursing school teaches you to pass the boards – all real nursing skills come from “Boots (ah, Danskos rather) on the Ground” action. Understanding the pathophysiology of multiple disease processes is swell but it doesn’t really teach you what you need to do when a doc orders a STAT dose of lasix at midnight on a demented patient with Sundowner’s who is suppose to be on full bed rest.
Nursing school doesn’t prep you for specialty areas, like emergency nursing. You learn all of that from your endearing coworkers and supervisors who build your skills and support you like you have your own personal education and cheerleading squad. Leaving meant letting go, jumping the nest, flying the coop. Walking away from all of those genuinely wonderful people and that amazing team was one of the hardest, scariest things I’ve done. I still can’t talk about it without my eyes filling up with tears. (Crap, tear wipe. Sniff.)
Ok. Deep breath. The point of my story is that I did it and it was a great decision. I love my job again. I love showing up. I love being a nurse. I love working around ER medicine and ER patients. I love my new coworkers and manager. It’s still a hard job. It’s still scary sometimes. It’s suppose to be. It’s often what we do or don’t do that means the difference between someone living and someone dying. We all take that very seriously and it’s that purposeful teamwork that I love most. I enjoy learning new skills from other nurses that do things a different way. It feels good to dust off these Danskos and spread my wings a little. It feels so good and I love it so much, in fact, that I’m picking up many more shifts than usual. I’ve been working just shy of what a full time position would be which is why I’ve been so busy. I believe those hours will decrease as open shifts become less available in the next few weeks but for now, I’m a little worker bee.
This also means I have a pile of unfinished projects, my house is a wreck, laundry is backed up and all of the hilarious stories I have to share are protected by HIPPA laws and will never get to leave my own head. Bummer. There are some good ones! Did I mention I love my job?!