"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"
Monday, December 31, 2012
Appreciating the Moments
This is going to be a long blog, I think. So 1) I apologize, and 2) like I always say, go get some popcorn and make yourself comfortable.
Let's start with life updates and then I'll focus on the title of this blog. Maybe they will relate to each other, maybe not. Then again I'm running on 5 hours of sleep right now and earlier tonight I was thinking maybe I was having a stroke because I was delusional and words were coming out of my mouth before I could catch them. I do that a lot when I'm really tired. Its remarkable how much the brain changes on a lack of sleep, and quite scary come to think of it, considering I'm a nightshift nurse. Hmm....
Anyway, life updates. So I'm buying a house! I know, crazy, right? It's absolutely insane. I'm 24 and if you told me when I was 14 "In ten years you're going to be a successful college graduate with a good job and buying a house by yourself", I can guarantee I would have laughed at you. And then probably would have gone to burger king or written some teenagery post on my xanga.
But yeah! Everything in my life so far has been.....like right place/right time kinda thing. Everything bad thats happened to me has opened up a brighter door, even if that door didn't open for a long time. So this sort of falls under the same circumstances. The entire situation started from something I didn't know how I was going to get through, to now I'm buying a house because of it. The same push that knocked me down to the ground is the exact same push that gave me the courage to actually get a realtor and now I'm closing on a house. I honestly didn't think I'd be buying a house until I was in my forties. I thought thats how it worked. I guess I'm still a kid because I don't consider myself an adult that can buy a house. Ah!
So thats my big update. It's amazing and all but holey moley crapbeans, buying a house is stressful. I'm probably an idiot for buying a house and starting a new job all in the time span of about 3 months. Smart, I know.
As for the new job....thats been....interesting. Like my old job, there's been some shifts where I leave and I'm like "I know I chose the right profession". It's those shifts where you do everything right, go above and beyond and feel awesome about it, your patients tell you they love you, you help your coworkers, your boss is like "Yeah good job!" and everything is just awesome. And maybe throw in a really nursy emotional moment you have with a little old lady or something and its icing on the cake.
But then there are those shifts where you SERIOUSLY question why you ever would have wanted to not only put yourself through four years of tormenting nursing school just to deal with crabbypants doctors, deal with patients (or family members) that call the police because they pooped in their bed and couldn't find their call bell (that happened), or tell you you just aren't good enough despite doing the best you can, having 7 patients every night, dealing with a lot of WTF is going on situations, etc. And there's been more of those shifts than the good ones lately. And like the typical human condition, we always remember the bad memories which totally override any good memories.
I've been realizing lately that I have some serious issues I need to get over, and STAT. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my job. I care about my job. I care about my patients, deeply. I'm a hypochondriac with my own body and this translates to extreme anxiety when it comes to my patients. They complain of new pain and I'm automatically thinking OMG they're gonna end up in the OR by the end of the night. Thank goodness after a 1.5 years of being an RN, I'm finally beginning to know the differences between serious symptoms and symptoms that may appear to be serious but aren't. But back to my serious flaws, I am the type of nurse where I hate leaving shit behind for other nurses, I hateeeeeee giving medications late or letting a patient down when I said I'd be there at a certain time but end up not being able to. I hate when the computer yells at me for giving something late and it's all like "WHY ARE YOU GIVING THIS LATE?" and there's no option to write in, "because my other patient couldn't breathe and I was swallowed in another room and I HAD MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO". It sucks. So I try and finish everything and be everywhere at once and solve every problem. I don't ask and I hate asking when I have to, for help. I hate admitting weaknessess in myself and asking for help. I try and do everything on my own and its going to be the end of me one day.
I also have a problem with appreciating the good times, hence my blog title. I always thought that I related to President Obama in a way that I heard once from someone that he finds it hard to feel extreme emotions. He's always calm and cool, he's neutral. He doesn't feel extreme sadness, anger, but also doesn't feel extreme happiness either. And that's how I am and I hate that. Hate it.
I cannot tell you how many times I've been in the middle of a shift, and thought;
"man I cannot wait to be in my bed later, it is gonna be so amazing" or
"I can't wait to blast my favorite song on the way home and wind down from all this" or
I see a patients tv and its a good show and my patient is enjoying it and I'm just like, "how much do I seriously want to be at home just chilling watching tv? THe next time I chill and watch tv, I'm gonna think of how lucky I am." But then.....when I finally get to my bed, when I'm finally done with my shift and blasting my music on the way home, when I'm finally just chillin watching tv, I don't think of how much better it is, because I carry home the sorrow and anxiety from my job. I drive home like a super zombie, my mind reeling from what I did wrong or right at work. When I watch tv, I just get lost in the show and watch it like a zombie. When I have a day off, I let myself get stressed of the shit-ton amount of things I have to do that day, that I don't even enjoy it, because hey- I'm not at work at least. So I have to work on that this year coming.
I started noticing this in myself when I first saw a baby being born. This was a moment I dreamed about for a long time, one of the BIGGEST reasons I went into nursing in the FIRST place. All I wanted was to see a baby be born. But about 3 years ago when I finally got the opportunity, it was happening right in front of me- I was all decked out in the scrubby gear, I saw the whole thing happening and I just stood there watching. There was no euphoric moment in my head. Sure It was a lovely thing happening, but in my mind I wasn't freaking out like "Oh my god this is actually happening". Nope.
Ever since then I've noticed this a lot on multiple examples.
The only way I can seem to find enlightenment or euphoria, is when I surprise myself. It can't be something I've been looking forward to. It has to be something I decide to do last minute, something that surprises myself and everyone else. It usually involves a journey of some kind, like when I was driving home from Long Island one time and just decided (literally last minute before the exit) to just go to the beach. Being on the beach that day by myself, walking along the ocean waters, one of my most enlightened moments ever.
I'm not perfect, I get that so much. But I try so hard. Too hard, And I have to learn to let that go. Because humans aren't perfect. But somehow I've got it stuck in my head that I have to surpass normal humanity and be a superwoman.
Which is funny, I actually just giggled to myself just then, (that could be because I'm really tired), because if you saw my room right now you would NEVER EVER peg me for a perfectionist. My room is literally not sustainable to most forms of human life except me. I would normally try and blame it on the fact that I'm back in my parents house while I wait to close on the new house, and all of my belongings are shoved into this little room with me along with the stuff my parents moved into here as an extra storage room since I moved into my own apartment, BUT I really can't because my rooms normally a mess anyway. *deep breath that was a really long sentence*.
Back to the point, I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my performance, in all areas of my life. In my relationship. In my job. In my friendships. I always try and prove to the people that love me that I am a worthy friend, I am a good girlfriend (I usually fail miserably on my face on that one just ask my boyfriend), or I try and prove that I am a good nurse. I am usually very generous, and this past Christmas I could only get people very limited gifts because of money and that killed me. It seriously hurt my heart and I'm still feeling bad over it. My boyfriend hates how I can never remember stuff he told me already and I hate that I can't be perfect, the model girlfriend. In nursing there will always be moments where no matter how hard you try, something will always fall through the cracks. You give extra attention to one friend one day and then the next day another friend chews you out for not spending enough time with them.
I know I said above that I don't let myself feel extreme emotions usually. But there have been so many instances in the past month and a half where I felt like I was seriously in over my head and I was about to lose it. And I usually, usually can contain myself, keep my cool even if my plate is overfull, but its when something really small goes wrong on top of everything else is what tips over the edge.
*sigh* . Sorry for the sad ish post. It wasn't all sad, was it? OK yeah it mostly was. Sorry. I say sorry way too much too. I have to work on that as well.
Don't get me wrong, I have an amazing life. Like I said, everything in my life has happened for a reason. I have a great job, good pay that's stable, I am like 92% healthy (lol), I have the most amazing boyfriend that makes me so happy, I have the most supporting, nurturing nuclear and extended family, I have some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. I have a good life.
I just saw the movie "This is 40" tonight, and despite its comedic nature, it really hit on a serious topic. Or maybe I just thought too much into it. It showed really well that everyone is under their own ridiculous amounts of stress, and we all try and hide it, we are all about to blow up but we all try and keep our cool. No one knows what another person is struggling with, and we all try and put so much crap for other people to deal with, not realizing how much they already have to deal with. People accuse others of "not understanding" or "you don't know what its like!" or "you do nothing all day" but they really could be struggling with anything, you just don't know it. So have patience with everyone. Be nice to everyone. Try and see the best in people, I try to (Sometimes its hard, I know). Trust people even when you know you shouldn't. Have a little faith and go with it.
So I'm going to leave with you with one of the most famous and most helpful prayers that got me through one of the shittiest shifts last night (that ended in tears- there's real emotion for ya),
"God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
That prayer is perfect and applies to so many aspects of my life. Nursing, relationships, and just life.
If you've made it this far, you get.....a gummy worm..........ok well you would if I had some. It was really just the first yummy thing I thought of. But you get my love, that's for free. Gummy worms are expensive.
With so much love,