Category Archives: choices

In order to gain my support from “Big Business” for worthy causes …

I have to sacrifice my own personal social media information and that of those that I choose interact with?

What kind of racket is this?

Businesses pretend to want to help spread news and articles of import; to support schools, sports, academics, Universities and the like, but there is a catch.

A rather large, bloodletting catch.

They want you to support them as they “give back” but before they allow you to give your support or share their stories, they ask for personal information and information on others who may have no desire whatsoever to support their cause.

I find this abysmal.

Oh, I’m sure their “people” could come up with a hundred good reasons why I should give up the information they ask, but if they really and truly wanted to help the entities they say they want to help, to share the stories they find so important, they wouldn’t have to resort to blackmail to do it.

That’s what it is.

In the end, anyway.

Blackmail.

I call a spade a spade.

Their policy is “I will allow you to engage our help in supporting causes important to you, share stories that may benefit your peers and friends and all you have to do is let us have access to your personal information and the personal information of people you know”.

The only thing missing is a baseball bat to the back of my knees.

I won’t do it.

I won’t give in.

I refuse to be coerced to hand over what they ask simply because I want to help.

I can write a check that will do no more than clear the bank and implicate no-one other than myself.

Target and NBC are two of the offenders that I have had personal interactions with.

I was really bummed to have to give up NBC’s news app because it is one of the best I’ve come accross.  As it stands, there are things I see on there I want to share with my peers … understandable, right?  NBC, however,  won’t let me share unless I give them access to my facebook profile and friends list.

And Target, a store I used to respect, won’t support the schools they say they will support unless I “tell all”.

They go on and on about supporting schools, but they require a blood payment.

I think not.

I’m not going to play along.

I’m not going to “give up” my own personal information or that of others in order to support anything through big business when I am perfectly capable of doing my part to support it however I can.

Which I have.

Many times.

I don’t have much money, but what I do have, I am happy to give away to help worthy causes.

I don’t need big  business, conglomerates and super-store powers who are more interested in trying to trick me into giving them what they want than they are in supporting the entities they pretend to be behind.

They call it tit-for-tat … i call it something else entirely.

I refuse to play their game.

Maybe I am cynical in some ways.  I never thought of myself as that way, and now I wonder.

Maybe I am.

Maybe I am the type of person that doesn’t give up everything just because a big name is willing to support the same thing I do.

I have standards and rules that I live by.

They aren’t written in stone, but they are my guidelines.

What these big companies offer is little better than the gang of thugs that offers to “protect” a business and then beats the crap out of the owner if they don’t accept their protection.

I find that reprehensible and if they don’t, they should.

Shame of them.

I won’t be a part of it.

Asking something in payment for giving freely is not, in any shape or form, giving freely.

I hear my drummer calling … I believe I will go march to it.

A kick in the teeth is a kick in the teeth irregardless of the animal.

A kick in the teeth is a kick in the teeth irregardless of the animal.

Seriously?

Seriously?

It has been so long since I have watched TV …

that I have no earthly idea where the remote to the blasted thing is.  I wouldn’t be looking for it now if it weren’t required to set the menu up for a favored DVD that I was wanting to watch.

I don’t watch the news and have no clue, unless it is on facebook or twitter, what is going on in the world.  My journalist peeps keep me informed on the pressing stuff and the “Oprah, Fox, MSNBC and just happened to be surfing the web  crowd” keeps me informed (and entertained) on the rest of the goings on.

I am perfectly happy with that knowledge (or lack of as the case may be) in my isolated, yet mostly serene, little world.

On the occasions that people I know feel the need to fill me in on the seedier things that are happening, I find myself cringing and saying things like “ewww” … “stop … don’t tell me anything else” … “OMG, you’re not serious?”

It is true.  I am so close to hermit status that if I didn’t have to work for a living, I would be completely and happily oblivious with a backpack in tow and some flint in my pocket …

Thank you Dr. Blackwelder, for teaching me to make a fire with flint and a few dry twigs.

I could, I am relatively certain, live off the land, and thrive on apples, peaches and blackberries … and if that didn’t work out perfectly, I could, irregardless of hunger and thirst, photograph it and then write about it.

I might go hungry, but I would be happy while my belly growled.

I have learned a great deal from my dad, who is like the mountain man extraordinaire, who knows something about everything that has to do with nature and he, kindly, passed it along to me.

I paid attention and took notes.

It isn’t that I don’t care about people and things that are happening.  I do.  But most, in my experience, of what is considered “news” is the misfortune of others exploited well beyond what is necessary.

When my husband was living, I was current on all the happenings.  He was a news junkie and found it oh-so-satisfying to fill me in whether I wanted to know or not.

I see, in the day to day happenings in my life, family and job, plenty of drama.  I don’t need to know who has been in rehab, who is having somebody who isn’t their husband’s baby or what the name of the new Prince will be.

In all honesty, I could care less about that.

If there is a wildfire or other disaster, I find out from my journalist friends on facebook and then, can pray or curse, accordingly, as the event warrants.

There was a time when I was much geekier than was good for me.  Of this, I am certain.  I was a facebook, twitter and google plus junkie.

I have weaned myself, however, to be only a part-time junkie and rely mostly on my friends and family to keep me informed of current events.

I am grateful that my Jim cannot see this transformation from Heaven as he would simply shake his head and say, in that deep, sexy voice of his “Gina … you need to know what is going on in the world in order to live in the world”.

Well, I have little clue about what is going on and I live a relatively normal life.

Yes, there are goats that randomly come onto my porch.

Yes, a possum, nearly nightly, filches cat food from my feed pans.

Yes, my brother-in-law brings me, fresh from the chicken, eggs that I will never eat.

I may have eaten them if he hadn’t said to me “be sure to wash them first”.  Ick.  I took them, washed them with Dawn and placed them in my refrigerator where they will remain until I either give them to some unsuspecting person or throw them away but I know, without a doubt, that I will not be eating them.

Not ever.

But all of this has little to do with the fact that I really want to watch Lord of the Dance and cannot find my TV remote so that I can do so.

Maybe tomorrow … or the next day.

Eventually, it will turn up and when it does, I will have forgotten why I was looking for it in the first place.

Such is the nature of my life.

But it is all good, or mostly so, and it is all part of the whole.  I am who I am and will be who I’ll be.

When every day is like opening Pandora’s box, who, might I ask, needs TV?

Until next time, be well, my friends, be well.

My sweet ride for a couple of hours ... even without the horses, the Jeep was magnificent

My sweet ride for a couple of hours … even without the horses, driving the Jeep on the beach and over the dunes was magnificent

He played like a demon angel ... talent in spades

He played like a demon angel … talent in spades

He looked right at me and I felt his power through the lens of my camera.  I was awestruck.

He looked right at me. I felt his power through the lens of my camera. I was awestruck.

fear and uncertainty …

filled his blue eyes, open wide and full of worry.  At first glance, from the hallway, the only visible things were a single foot protruding from beneath a blanket and a partially filled urinal on the tray table.

I wondered, before walking into the room to speak with him, what I would find.  I was already feeling badly for him simply knowing that a container holding his urine sat on a table where soon, his lunch would be placed.

I felt that surely, had there been family present, that would not have been the case and, not to my surprise, I found him alone.

He was worried.  It was evident in his sad, sad eyes.  They were wide open, showing the incredible blueness, wrinkled at the edges from a lifetime of emotion; laughter, tears, anger.

He was a widower.  He had children, but his voice betrayed his attempt at courage as he spoke of wishing to go home.  His blue eyes became even more sad as he spoke of a home that he knew, in his heart, he would not return to.

I felt a wave of righteous fury toward his children, none of whom had been to visit him during his week-long stay in the hospital, as he spoke of having nobody to care for him.

I thought of my own father.  Thought of his sadness were he to lose my mother and be left to live out his days without the woman that he loved more than life.

Many times, and to my mother I have said such, I have prayed that if my parents cannot die at the same time, I hope my dad goes first.  I cannot bear to even entertain the thought of him trying to cope without my mother.  He is strong in body and spirit, but would be lost without her.

She, on the other hand, is tough as nails.  A survivor full of beauty and strength and would, though with sadness and tears, move on and make the best of a seriously bad situation.

While her tears would cut me deeply, tears shed by my dad shatter me.  I would be of little use to him, not that he would last for long without her as he would soon die of sadness.  I know this as surely as I know the sun rises in the East.

But I digress.  I wasn’t speaking of my parents, but of poor, sad-eyed mister who lay in the hospital bed, dwarfed by the room, confused by the lingo, hurt by the antipathy of his children.

He wanted to go home and held, other than that wish, no other ambition or hope.

It would not come to pass.  He would not go home.  Not to the home where he lived for over fifty years with his wife before she died.  Not to the home where his children, who had now abandoned him, had been raised.

He would not go back to where the garden once thrived with vegetables and a myriad of flowers in the summertime, the trees bursting full and golden in Autumn.

He would not walk the familiar halls that had brought him comfort in his time of need.

He would not sleep in the bed that conformed to his body due to years of use.

He would be a stranger among strangers.

It took all of my strength and everything I could dig from the depths of myself to not burst into tears while speaking to him; seeing him old and broken and alone.

His wide eyes, full of worry, filled me with compassion and empathy.  I, in my mind and heart, brought him home with me.  Though there is an unwritten rule among nurses to not become too attached, he has been here, dancing on the edges of my thoughts, since the day I met him.

I have cried for him, prayed for him and inwardly cursed his children for their inattentiveness.   I want, in these last years of his life, happiness for him.

I try no to get too attached, but I am human and I fall in love with those the world has so blithely displaced.  He will remain in my prayers and though I will likely never see him again, his eyes will haunt me.

They haunt me now as do so many others; young, old, suffering, addicted, betrayed, sickened, world-weary souls who need, more than anything else, to be loved.

I have said it before and I reiterate it now … I am too softhearted to be a  nurse.  I always have been.

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Leviticus 19:32  ~ Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.

It’s not easy …

to look over decisions that we’ve made, roads we have taken, choices we have labored over only to find that they weren’t the right decisions, were the wrong turns and were bad choices.  But it is a constant in our lives.  Not every crossroad we come to will have an outcome that is favorable.  Sometimes, the results can be downright devastating.

If the only person such things effected was ourselves, it wouldn’t, I suppose, matter, quite so much.  But our decisions, our outbursts, our tantrums, our misdirects … they, like a long, intricate line of dominoes, fall, one against another, starting a chain reaction that can last for years and through multiple lifetimes.  Purity and innocence can be taken away so quickly that it would seem as though they never existed.

I have a wealth of understanding on making mistakes and living with them; learning from them.  Some of my mistakes have hurt no one but myself, others have touched the people I love the most, causing pain that was never intended, hurt that, though time has surely layered with a cushion, can never, ever, be completely erased.

I understand pain and insecurity.  I have known joy and heartache with equal measure.  I have lain, curled in a ball while sobs wracked my body to the point that I feared my bones would break and didn’t care if they did.  I have known despair and felt the icy fingers of death claw at my mind.  I have thought long and hard about how easy it would be to simply drift away into nothingness where life could no longer kick me senseless.

It is because of these things that I have more understanding than I wish to, that I stand now, with my head up and my spirit intact.  Life did not break me.  It bent me, at times nearly beyond redemption, but it did not break me.  I look around and see others that have been bruised and bent themselves.  They weren’t broken either, but none of us came out of the fire unscathed.  None of us came away from it all whole, but full of holes that left room for the pain and suffering of others to fill.

Because of my broken road, I have found compassion, I have found empathy and I have found beauty that is so stunning that, at times, it nearly breaks my heart.  And along the path strewn with shards of brokenness, I have found others, stumbling along trying to find their way.  And through discouragement, faith and determination, I was encouraged.  We are all, in one way or another, broken and simply knowing that makes me feel less alone.

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Matthew 12:20 ~ A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench

a single day in a remarkable journey

Early this morning, well before sunrise, I was up because I had planned to go to Sunrise Service at church.  Had been looking forward to it.  There is something inexplicably peaceful about standing in the cemetery on Easter as the first blush of morning blooms behind the quaint little country church.  There is a knowing that this is real, that what I have believed, what I have based my life on, is true.

Standing there in the cemetery.

But the sound of the pouring rain and knowing that because of it, the service would be held inside the church, changed my mind.

I tooled around the house a bit, restless.  During lulls in the rain, I stood on the back porch, absorbing the heavy, moisture-laden air, smelling the scents that can only be found during springtime in the mountains.  Thinking about things.

As the seemingly random thoughts passed through my mind, I found myself immersed in memory and longing.  It has been over three years since Jim died and I haven’t dreamed of him once.   Now, though, images that have been building over the past few days floated before me in a lovely haze.  Annie’s song.  The bagpiper in the cemetery.  A sharp tux at my first gallery showing.  The painting of the tree in my closet.  Looking back, the signs were there.  I think the memories were likely kindled last week when I was fiddling around with his clarinet.

Out of nowhere, it occurred to me that in all the years we were married, he never played for me.  Not once.

Of course, thinking of such things can do nothing but ruin an otherwise lovely day and I said as much to myself as I turned on the music.  It didn’t matter what kind, just anything would do until, as usual, I migrated to what was on my mind all along.  The melodies and verse filled my mind.  It didn’t stop the memories, though; they came anyway, unbidden and uninvited.   That’s the way of it sometimes.

The more I listened, the more I allowed myself to be carried along as I stepped back, in my mind, in time.  The music continued to play as  background to my thoughts while scenes long past wavered and became clear on the edges of my subconscious.   Jim and I had a great deal in common when it came to music.    It was a huge part of our lives, both a joy and a heartache; a double-edged sword.  At least it was how it seemed to me.

We took something very different away from it.  I shared with him the thoughts and feelings the music evoked; the way it made me want to weep or laugh or scream … to dance in the grass under the light of a full, summer moon … the excitement in the pit of my stomach.  To him, it was only sound and what I was trying to explain made sense only to me.  Seeing it now years later, with eyes unobstructed by grief, I realize I wanted him to want to understand me and was perplexed when he didn’t.

That knowledge chipped away at something vital to my well-being and made me feel foolish and insecure.  It was hurtful.  It wasn’t intentional, but it was still hurtful. I had not yet reached a point in my life when I trusted the way that music made me feel; didn’t realize that it held the same power over me whether anyone else felt it or not. I tried to bury, or at least quiet, the discombobulating range of emotion that it evoked in me … but the music was just too powerful.

It still is.  It will always be.  I not only know and understand what it can do to me, but embrace it and that in itself is freeing, like falling through the air.  Through his indifference, not just about music, but other things, came encouragement to find my own skin and be comfortable in it.    To everything, there is a season.

Memories teach me many things … for one, life goes on … my past doesn’t change, but my perception of it often does.  God takes the pieces that seem out of place and puts them in perspective.  Even with its ups, downs, doses of reality, complexities and melancholic rantings, life really is quite remarkable.  There is enough joy and wonder to balance out the rest if we embrace it.

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I haven’t been manic in months …

so I suppose I am due.  It has been a peacefully wonderful time in which my mind has been moving at a pace that is within the realm that is called, by the rational world, normal.  Unprecedented would be the word that comes to mind to describe the amount of time that has passed since the last episode.  I knew, however, that it couldn’t last forever.  It never does.  And curiously, I am glad to have my old friend back, at least for a time.

That doesn’t mean that in a few days I won’t be wishing for silence and a functionality that I can live with, but I have (and I can’t believe I am saying this) missed the wild and random thoughts that roll though my brain like an out-of-control revolving door.  Since I started art class, however, I have been in a state of normalcy.  It is foreign to me, this normal thought process, and it took a couple of weeks to realize that I could control what entered into my brain pan.  I am certain, as I have been certain of little else, that my friends haven’t missed the random, rambling, incoherent and often off the wall messages that they usually receive when I am on overdrive.

I was, I must say, somewhat surprised that a complete meltdown did not occur last weekend after taking my nieces to Chuck E. Cheese.  There are few things that have everything conducive to a manic attack as the flashing lights, loud, repetitive sounds and cacophony of smells and voices to induce a full blown manic attack.  I was rather perplexed that it did not trigger an episode;  perplexed, and yet grateful as there was much to do during the limited hours of that particular weekend.

In my experience, which unfortunately, is vast, sudden, unexpected change seems to be the biggest catalyst.  While I have gone through many changes in the past few months, I say again that an art class that I began in February has had an amazing impact on the ability to focus and thwart manic swings.  My art teacher, an enigma unto himself and a genius in his own right, has had more of an impact than he could ever know, on my officiousness to harness my thoughts into interpretive ideas.  Art has, without doubt, changed the way my mind works.

But as anything else in life, it has it’s limits and eventually, the substance that makes me who I am will become evident.  I have spent many months thriving on the racing thoughts and have learned to cope with what most people would find overwhelming and unbearable.  The things that seem intrusive to others, I thrive on.

There is nothing wrong with being different from everyone else.  As time passes, I realize that being the “odd person out” is more of an attribute than a handicap.  Imagine, for a moment, a world where everyone was exactly the same.  It would be a slow and arduous form of torture.  I can’t even fathom a world with people just like me.  I am certain that, were that true, we would brain ourselves with a hammer within a week’s time.

I knew yesterday, when I caved and began listen to Billy Joel’s “Always A Woman” that times, according to Bob,  they were a changin’.  I had refrained for a long time from the over and over and over, et al, replaying of that particular song and the moment that I made a conscious decision to play it was like admitting that I was warped.  It has been on repeat now for the past 36 hours.  It isn’t that it is my favorite song of all time, but that seems to have little relevance.

I suppose, more than anything else, I am talking to the millions of others who face themselves on a regular basis and run, screaming, in the other direction.  We are who we are.  We live as we live.  We think as we think.  We cope as we cope.  There is nothing, inherently, wrong with us.  We are who we are and if the world cannot handle us as we are, then the insecurity lies within the world, not within ourselves.  I am me.  The music I dance  to is mine.  Regrets are useless as nothing that has passed can be changed.  I am comfortable in my own skin, even when my skin seems odd.

Love me or hate me, I am who I am and irregardless of others’ opinions of me, will continue to march to the drum that my God plays for me.  I am not ashamed of who I was for without my past, my future would be irrelevant.

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Romans 12:2 ~ And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

There is nothing …

like that moment when a locked box pops open.  When things that I thought I had no knowledge of became clear because there was a remnant of it somewhere in the recesses of my mind.  Something that had a familiarity about it, felt good, wholesome and real; that  lingered just beyond my grasp.

Having a key to open a lock is, for obvious reasons, optimal, but the key … who is to say, at any particular time, what that is?  As a photographer, I know a bit about light, shadow, depth and perspective, but in photography, the image is already there and I simply capture it.  It sometimes takes a great deal of work and, at times, planning and a hint of imagination; other times, it is just there.  Tonight, I found that I had the ability to capture another kind of image.  The one that lives in my head.  The one I can’t see with my eyes until I actually create it.  It was the closest thing I can imagine to writing a song, taking a blank page and making something that wasn’t there before.

Starting new things is often difficult for me as I lack something vital.  Confidence.  Confidence in myself, my ability, my strength and even in my weaknesses.  I find that I look, with distressing regularity, for an outlet to take me somewhere other than where I find myself to be.  I use words, images, nature, books and music to name a few, to transport me.  I seem to be  continually trying to expand my horizons; horizons that I am often afraid of because they force me to step outside of my comfort zone.  Expanding ones  horizons takes confidence, and therein likes a big part of the problem.  Why, I ask, would anyone care to look at photographs I’ve taken, read words I’ve written or hear of experiences I’ve had?  It is difficult, when something comes from deep within, to believe that anyone other myself has any reason to find it interesting.

Tonight, I learned a valuable lesson.  It came in the form of a charismatic genius.  An artist who opened his world to me.  His time, his mind, his talent.  And as I sat in the class, following the instructions he gave, I watched, in awe, as an image appeared on a previously blank page.  An image that wasn’t there before and emerged as I coaxed it with lines and perspective.

I was apprehensive about trying something that I had already convinced myself I could not do, but was willing, simply for the need to know, try.  I left my first art class feeling like there was nothing I could not accomplish.  I learned that I could, in fact, draw a straight line with a ruler and that the possibilities are endless.

The box I opened tonight wasn’t Pandora’s, for it was full of things that were inspiring and wonderful.  The box I opened tonight was was the one I drew by using the knowledge I have, the tools I was given and the instruction I received.

I am, for the moment (and the moment I am in is all I really ever have), at a place where I decide whether I will stay where I am or move forward and become more than I thought I could be.  When I went to bed last night, I felt broken.  That feeling carried over to the morning and self-doubt, my oldest nemesis reminded me that I had no talent or artistic ability.  This evening, that self-doubt took a serious blow.  I found it to be one of the most empowering times that I have faced in a very long time and I was reminded that I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.  Yes.  A long time, indeed.

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I am just as at home everywhere …

as I am in only one place.  As I look over the past several years and think of the places I’ve visited, it occurs to me that the short stay I had in those various cities and towns, in the air and on the roads simply wasn’t enough.  I needed more time.  Weeks.  Months.  Not just days.  There were things I didn’t have time to experience, time I wasn’t able to spend wandering around in and absorbing that which, although unfamiliar, was as familiar to me as my own backyard; people I didn’t get to meet and sit down with.  There was food I didn’t get to taste and sheer beauty, of which, I wasn’t able to become a part.

I suppose such words are those that only one with wanderlust can understand.  Everywhere feels like home, at least for a time.  The people are different but so similar, the air smells different, but is, again, essentially the same.  The roads all lead somewhere, the sun rises, the sun sets, the moon shines, the stars twinkle and even though I haven’t actually seen it yet, I know it is will be beautiful.  There really isn’t anywhere on earth that I can think of that I could lay my head and not, at least for a bit of time, feel at home.

Last night, I started driving for no other reason than to be somewhere other than where I was.  I was driving West.  No radio.  No sound at all except my wheels on the road and the thoughts in my head.  It was very cathartic.  After about one hundred miles, though, instead of continuing on until I came to another ocean, I turned around and headed from whence I had come.  It wasn’t my time to go; not yet.  While my family and friends are perplexed by my consuming need to go, I know in my heart that there will come a time that I will leave them.  It won’t be easy, but it will be necessary if I am to fulfill what has been predestined for me.

That sounds so mystical, but it isn’t.  I have dreamed of it my entire life.  There is nothing mystical about hoping to see a life-long dream fulfilled.  I sometimes feel selfish when I think this way, but I have to remind myself that there will be no one else to live the dreams I dream; no one but myself.  I will follow the will of my Father God where His wind takes me and I will do my very best to honor Him no matter where I lay my head.

There are so many places I want to go; some I’ve already been and want to go back again.  I don’t care, really, if I have a place, other my car, to rest when I get weary.  Where I stay is the least of my concerns; what I see, though, well, now, that’s a different story altogether.  It isn’t that I’m not content where I am, it is simply that there is still so much of creation that I want to see.  No, that isn’t right. If I only wanted to see it, then it would just be a passing thing.  I need to see it.  To feel it. To breathe it.  To taste it.  To touch it.  To stand in it; whatever “it” may be.  And need surpasses want on every level.

I consider the people of the world to be my family and friends.  I don’t think of them in colors, religions or nationalities.  They are just people.  We are not, in our hearts and dreams, dissimilar.  I suppose some of my optimism spills over into what I perceive the world to be, but at the end of the day, I need to know, to learn, to experience.  I want to see for myself and not rely on the eyes of another to mold my perceptions; not live vicariously through the stories that have been told.

There will come a time, if God wills it, that the places of my dreams will become places of my reality.  I can wait, for nothing  truly worth waiting for is time wasted.

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Proverbs 3:6 ~   in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

 

As a nurse …

and thinking as such, I think it is safe to say that every now and again, nurses wake up one morning and ask themselves why in the hell they ever decided to do this job.  It is thankless.  It is, at times, backbreaking.  It is confrontational.  It is humbling.  It is rewarding.  It is unbearable.  It is heartbreaking.  It is encouraging. It is maddening.

When I first became a nurse, we still wore hats, all whites (including hose) and really and truly believed that Doctors were a god of sorts.  Many young nurses I have come into contact with have been enamored by the “hat statement” … but then they never had one fall off into a bedpan.  There aren’t enough  bobbie pins in the world to keep a hat securely in place when you are bending over doing lord knows what to lord knows where.  I was never so glad of anything as I was when hats became a thing of the past.

I don’t want to portray the opinion that I don’t like being a nurse.  I do, for the  most part, but I feel that I have reached a place that many nurses reach after many years of seeing things, even as they change, stay the same; burnout.  I find that I have to work harder to really listen.  I roll my eyes more, wish I were somewhere else more, hope that I win the lottery more.  I think it is safe to say that I have all the signs.  I have a wanderlust that eats away at me.  I want to be so many other places than where I am.  I know that I have the freedom to just get in my car and drive; it is the courage I lack.

I don’t want to carry the responsibility.  I don’t want to bring people home with me in my mind and think about their well-being in the middle of the night.  I want to be selfish and self-centered and think of no one but myself.  I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.  The problem lies in the fact that I’m not wired that way.  I don’t really know how to say “you have no importance to me”.  I can’t, in a million years, imagine telling someone that they don’t matter; even people I don’t especially like.

I give it everything I have.  I don’t believe in doing something halfway.  It’s just not what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Sand Cave

Sunday evening …

is one of the perfect pieces in the time puzzle that serves a dual purpose; retrospection and contemplation.  It is at the cusp of the end of one week and the beginning of another.  A time to look back on the past few days, to see strengths and weakness, to view insecurities and inadequacies to come face to face with failures.  I don’t want, and doubt anyone else wants, to admit to insecurities, inadequacies or failures; we have them, though.  In spades. How, otherwise, would we know our strengths if it weren’t for the ability to isolate our weaknesses?

I cherish these moments where I am alone with my thoughts and my thoughts have purpose.  A time when I can reflect on how I handled myself in difficult situations  A time to review my circumstances… my interactions.  How I could have avoided meltdowns, hurt feelings and unnecessary  chaos.  Don’t get me wrong; there are times when I thrive in chaos, but not when it is permeated with negativity.  Coming into full, thought-jamming contact with the negative is like two trains colliding.  My positive brain pan tries to adjust, to defend and to avoid such an event so that my rational mind can do what it does … rationalize.  Those rare but damaging collisions, however, nearly always end up causing an overload.  Meltdown mode usually commences soon thereafter

When I can look back and see the catalysts to these events, it provides me with knowledge and knowledge, as everyone knows, is power.  I have the information and the sense to use it to see the warning signs and avoid a potentially volatile situation which has me coming home from work and throwing porcelain cups against the wall just to hear them shatter.  I don’t like feeling that way and while I am usually able to keep it self-contained, there are times when it explodes to cover my family and friends in the same sticky rottenness that I have allowed to get beneath my skin.  This is humiliating for me as well as perplexing and hurtful to them; unfair to them on every conceivable level.

Knowing that I can step boldly into the week ahead with a new piece of know-how and take each day as it comes, with compassion, patience and grace (or even one of the three) gives me hope for the coming days.  It is egotistical to believe that it will be perfect.  This is life, remember.  There are no certainties, no infallibility clause, no precision.  It is simply knowing when I go in that I am going to be the best person I can be even in the midst of those who are  having a moment which proves that there are no certainties.  If I, however, forget what I know simply because something happened to upset the apple cart, then I didn’t learn anything useful after all and it’s back to the drawing board.

On this night, my introspection is accompanied by the brilliance of fellow Sagittarian, Paul Desmond.  Music.  There is a certainty, pure and beautiful, after all.

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