Wednesday, April 28, 2010

one way or another, i'm just hoping to find a way to put my feet out in the world.

all because i am a nurse..

i am a waitress, refilling drinks and delivering bedtime snacks; a babysitter, watching over those who wander and feeding those who can't do it themselves; a teacher, passing on what i know to accepting ears; a caretaker, wiping noses and behinds, rubbing backs and holding hands, tucking patients in at night. i get coughed on and pulled on. i see and hear and touch and step in things i won't mention here. i get offended when people ask, "why don't you become a doctor?" (because i am a nurse and love being one). i watch minds get weary as the body and time take over. i get excited by things like good blood sugars and easy admissions and doctors who are polite on the phone. i feel a genuine sense of happiness in my heart when i see the subtle signs of someone improving. i love dressing changes and wound care (don't ask me why). i've seen first breaths and last breaths and surgeries and procedures that fascinate me. i remember names and faces and stories shared. i enjoy listening to each patient's story and giving them the time to get it all out. i get attached easily and quickly and go home with the night and morning behind me still fresh in my mind. i am a new friend, someone patients seem eager to tell and show any and everything to. i am a double- and (sometimes) triple-checker. i feel fortunate to be in the position i am and love every part of it; i feel fortunate to be able to take care with a smile on my face and compassion in my heart.

commandment: kindness first.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

i find that even time well spent gets bent if you need it to.

so, it happened again. i had started an entry a while back and just finished it today. if you're interested in reading it, though, you'll have to look for it. the entry is called, "there are too many distractions.." (march 21st).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

i'm only this far and only tomorrow leads my way.

i'm a quiet-natured, family- and friend-oriented, open-minded optimist-at-heart who loves laughing, taking care, finding new music and hearing live music, long drives going nowhere and nighttime falling rain. i could eat pizza bites every day (oh, wait. i already do that). the way to my heart? thoughtfulness. genuine thoughtfulness. i'm a sucker for puppies, paul rudd, guitar players, conan o'brien and movie musicals. i'm directionally- and mathematically-challenged. i'm a t-shirt, jeans and flip-flops kind of girl. i'm ready to get my tattoo. i love being a nurse and taking care. i love painting pottery, taking pictures and having so much to write i can hardly get it down fast enough. i love getting my hands dirty in the kitchen and baking for people. i could watch the gilmore girls and sex and the city all day long. i hate broken promises and plans, but i'm learning to love change and the new and the unknown. i love my family and friends, my time and many laughs with them, and the kind of care and support they always give. i'm right where i'm meant to be and i love being here.

commandment: share from your heart.

Monday, April 19, 2010

let go of the life you planned; accept the one that is waiting for you.

it's amazing how fast the weekends go by lately. actually, time in general has been flying by like crazy these days. it's funny. last year seemed to drag on and on; this year, the days never seem to slow down. funny how things change. funny how change - something i was once very afraid of - can be a good thing.

i spent the better part of 2009 thinking of what all was wrong, what needed to change, what needed to be fixed. i lost focus. then, after almost a year in this same state of mind, something hit me. it was never going to be right, things would never change, and some things, as much as i hate to say this, can never be fixed (at least, not in the way you had in mind). once i let all this settle in, things began to look a lot different.

instead of feeling as if i had given up, i began to realize that i had done all i could and there was no more to be done. instead of looking at things in terms of what i was losing, i was then able to start looking at my life in terms of what had been there all along and what i was gaining because of what i had lost. instead of wishing for future things that were uncertain and unpredictable, i shifted my focus to the present day, the here and now.

i get to spend my time with my family and friends who all make up and bring out different pieces of me. i get to laugh with them, share memories with them. i get to get to know them and let them get to know me all over again or for the first time. i get to take care of people for a living and, even though it can be very stressful, i try to keep that in mind - i get to go to work and take care of people. i've finally gotten the opportunity to become the kind of nurse i want to be. that might not make any sense, but it makes sense to me (ask if you want to know). i've gotten to, and i get to, try new things almost every week (pottery, live music and comedy shows and plays, margaritas the size of my head, new restaurants and movies and books and recipes, walks and runs for good causes..). i get to be myself. for the first time in a very long time.

i'm thankful for it all. and so many other things.

and on those days when i start to lose focus again, letting the "what ifs?" get the best of me, i think of what i have now and what i've had all along. what i would have missed. and i'm truly thankful for the way it all turned out. i'm right where i'm meant to be.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

i’m not running. i’m not scared. i am waiting and well-prepared.

throughout last year, i watched myself grow into a stronger version of myself. it wasn't by choice. it wasn't something i set out to do. it happened on its own as the strain of 2009 almost got the best of me. at a great cost, i was standing up for myself; i was going with my gut; i was doing what felt right for me. amazing how much you can lose when you follow your heart (then again, i know it can go the other way as well). and, from then on out, i felt this great sense of determination and independence and strength. all the sudden and all at once.

i've noticed lately, though, that i'm quick to get defensive, and while i mostly blame myself, i also blame last year. even in simple disagreements, my defenses seem to take over. i'm defending my beliefs, my thoughts; i'm defending me. and because of last year, i'm taking it all to heart even more. i'm letting it be known that i won't be "messed with" (ha). even when i'm offered friendly help or advice, a voice inside my head says, "thank you, but i can do it myself." in a way, i don't want the outside noise getting in; i'm trying to listen to myself first.

you look back and see all the red flags you ignored (when you clearly weren't listening to yourself), promising yourself you won't make the same mistakes again. it can't happen again. and, suddenly, you realize it isn't so much about being hurt again. it's not that. that i think i could handle. it's about being determined to not lose yourself again; to not be made a fool out of again; to not be this altogether different person just to try and make it work. it won't work that way. if you don't know yourself first, it won't work, and it would have never worked, trying to be someone else. i know this only now.

instead, that same determination and independence and strength - they've taken the place of anger and bitterness and uncertainty; they've taken the wheel this time around with me, and only me, right behind them.

but now what? now, you've got to be you. the me from last year, and many years before it, is a very different me than who i am now. and it takes some time to get used to; to re-learn who you are; to get to know the new you. and, as determination kicks in again, you realize you'll get there, and for the first time in a long time, you're able to just enjoy the getting there.

commandment: call it a lesson learned.

[hey, let's all share. ha. send me your lesson learned.]

Monday, April 12, 2010

when we see the early signs of daylight fading, we leave just before it's gone.

after i've been out or gone for a while, i always get the need to come back home. even if it's just for a little while. i've always been this way. a homebody at heart. don't get me wrong, though. i love going out; i love the new things i've gotten to do and to try lately. but there are always those times when i feel the pull back home. it's almost like a "reboot"; a chance to unload my thoughts, clear my head and start again. and, for whatever reason, i need that every once in a while.
the same thing happens when i'm confronted with something. it's as if i can't react right away. i literally can't find the words; my mind is almost blank. i have to remove myself from the situation first, give myself the time and space to think on things and only then can i respond. it's hours, even days, later before i get my thoughts and words together; before i find what i had hoped to say all along..

it's in the removing where i find those little pieces of me. whether i come back home to get away and start over or separate myself from the situation and get my head around it all. but i've also wondered, by not responding right away, if i'm losing little pieces of myself along the way as well. in a way, by getting away, i'm able to say exactly what i want to say and, at the same time, i lose exactly what i wanted to say - or what i needed to say - in the moments.


[not sure if this is making any sense.]

what's interesting to me lately is i'm letting go a lot more than i used to. sure, i still get labelled the quiet one. that never fails. and i know there are some who will read this who still think i'm quiet or shy or in need of letting go more. that's okay, though, because i know i'm getting there. i find myself becoming more comfortable with me these days. and i'm not only finding myself in those times of "rebooting," but in the moments - right in the moments - as well. when i'm not thinking of what i want to say and how i want to say it; when i'm not wondering how it's going to sound when i get it out; when i'm just letting go.
i'll always need that time at home; i'll always need that time to myself and my thoughts; but the days and the moments are becoming fuller as i continue to (commandment) be here now.

"it melted and i let it fall and break
but i was well upon my way to sleep before it fell
and i could tell what form my dreaming was about to take.."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

life is short but sweet for certain.

i love blue hydrangeas.
i love black and white
photograpy.i love lyrics, quotes, poetry and
beautifully written words. i love baking and getting my
hands dirty in the kitchen.
i love cookbooks and reading recipes.
i love watching dance.

just a few of the many things i love.
commandment: get back to basics.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

and timing is everything. and this time, there's plenty.

it's my favorite kind of afternoon. rainy, cloudy, chance of a storm. the kind of afternoon that makes you want to write, even though the creative part of me seems to slow down during the week. so, let's see.

working on a unit for the elderly in the hospital gives me a new fear in life. getting older. everything seems to slow down a bit. almost everything requires a helping hand from another, an extra minute or two to get going, a second thought. i've watched as wrinkled hands reach out for assistance; feet shuffle unsteadily across the hospital floor; and as fear resides in the eyes of those who are confused.

things as simple as walking to the bathroom, turning over in bed, getting out of a chair - things you and i rarely, if ever, have to even think about - involve additional effort and attention. if you put your hands here, it might help; if you swing you feet around first, that might make things easier. a plan before motion.

i've thought about this new fear of mine - growing older - a lot over the years and it has always scared me for one reason or another. part of it has to do with the fact that life at this time seems amazing and fun and full. and part of it has to do with everything i've just written about. but, recently, i've begun to look at it a little differently. maybe the slowing down isn't such a bad thing. in the slowing down, we're able to have more time to notice and appreciate the little things that bless the air around us.

the tiniest of gestures and good deeds stand out; the simplest things mean the most; and the smallest of details never go unnoticed.

when i think of growing older in this way, it doesn't scare me as much. in fact, it makes me continue to think of things now in an altogether different way. i've found myself lately watching life fly by, but at the same time, i'm trying to slow down as things seem to speed up around me. that's what my commandment be here now is centered around - being in the moment and taking it all in.

[more on this later.]

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

just when you think you've got a hold, here it goes again.

things that make you go, "hmm."

i started writing an entry last week but just finished and posted it this morning. so, if you're interested, scroll down a little to the entry called "here goes nothing.."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

let's go drive 'til morning comes. watch the sunrise and fill our souls up.

all the trips back and forth to radford and dc that seemed to get shorter and faster each time we made them. all the times we got lost together - especially that night in dc when i got lost, alone, at night, in a not-so-great area of the city and had to stop and ask for directions from a lady whose advice to me was, "if anyone tries to mess with you, just hit 'em with your car"; and that afternoon a few years back when i ended up in knoxville on my way to maryland; and that time i decided to try a new way home from work in northern virginia and found myself in downtown dc and then, as it turned out, in another not-so-great area. you were right there. remember the time we backed into my mom's van in the driveway? slammed into a questionable object in radford one night, leaving a huge hole and dent in your front-side? backed over and got stuck on that large "decorative" rock at the end of the driveway? got slammed from behind by a distracted, but friendly, driver? i remember many nights driving. just driving around, listening to music, going absolutely nowhere. you gave me a place to cry when i didn't want anyone else to see; a place to get my thoughts together; a place to get away to. you always get the same laugh. when i tell people how long i've had you, how many miles you've racked up, you always get the same laugh and they're always, despite the many jokes, amazed you're still hanging in there. i'll admit, i haven't always treated you the best. i've spilled things on you; i've run you into things; i've abandoned you at times. but, no matter what, you've never let me down and you continue to surprise me. thank you for a memorable 10 years, green machine.

[haha. i had to do it.]

commandment: share from your heart.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

it's nice today. the wait was so worth it.

that thursday afternoon in october when you could feel fall's beginning and our end all around you just days after i made the trip back home. my new-found love of painting pottery. that saturday morning in december when i ran my first 5k and nearly froze to death dressed as an elf. christmas eve opening presents and going to midnight mass. my 25th birthday and the secret wish i made over the candles that evening. ringing in the new year. my discovery of saturday mornings. the first red velvet cake i ever baked. the night i cried for hours because i heard our song played on a favorite show of mine. the way i fell in love with music and writing all over again, in an altogether different way. the first shot i ever took. that week in january when even i began to get sick of the snow. that foggy night, just days before halloween, when i made my determined drive home in the welcoming rain. the day i decided i actually liked to run. the day, several months later, when i began to hate it again. christmas cookies. that night, early in april, when i was finally able to look through old pictures without crying. my first almost speeding ticket (ha). my first parking ticket. ice cream runs at the first hint of springtime. the beginnings of a book i hope to finish one day soon. the moment when i realized i wasn't afraid to let go anymore; i wasn't afraid of not knowing ("leap and the net will appear"); i wasn't afraid of proving you wrong. the greater part of 2009. the better part of me.

you missed it all. you weren't here. but i'm used to making memories without you. hope it's worth it for you.

commandment: share from your heart.

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