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Sep
03

A New Day Coming

Hello, friends. I have missed you!

I have missed this.

Boy has it been a hell of a year (and counting).

Since I last posted, I found a new job as a palliative care nurse practitioner. I firmly believe that I am doing what I was built to do. It is beyond gratifying, even when it is exhausting. Steve has also graduated from nursing school and is studying for the NCLEX (ahh, memories). He starts his first job in October, in oncology critical care. There are no words for how proud I am. It warms me to see him doing what he was built to do also. We have figured out how to be a team and help each other become our best selves. That is a gift that I don’t take lightly.

We also have a new president. Don’t get me started. I can’t. Being an American these days is hard as shit. I alternate being ashamed and horrified. I have channeled my rage into some healthy and no-so-healthy habits. But one thing that I have noticed is how much I want to share, how much I want to connect. How much I have missed this blog.

So in the spirit of being constructive, in the spirit of pursuing a healthy, whole life in the midst of so much anxiety and angst, I am putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, in this case). Writing has always been my way of reaching out and making connections. And I have a lot I want to say.

Very little of it will be related to nursing anymore. I am nine years into this journey and I feel like I have found my place. I feel like I am where I belong. I no longer wonder what brings me joy and meaning in my professional life.

No, friends. I’ve got the professional Me figured out. Now begins the harder stuff.

I’ve spent so much time and energy for the past 15 years trying to explore my sense of vocation. My sense of where I fit into the world. And I put my work at the center of that question. I figured that if I could do work that brought me meaning, that made me feel that I was part of something bigger than myself, then I was golden.

What I failed to recognize or remember was that vocation is not only about what brings home a paycheck. Am I gratified and thankful that my job gives me joy, that it makes me feel that I am contributing something important? Absolutely.

But is there more to me than this? Yes. And in pursuit of a life of the mind, I neglected the life of the spirit. And of the body.

A few weeks before my beloved father passed away (probably right about this time ten years ago), I was sitting at his bedside while he rested, studying my pathophysiology notes. I had thrown myself furiously into studying for nursing prerequisites while I was home helping care for him. He opened his eyes from dozing and saw me poring over my flash cards and said “You know, Teeny, sometimes I think that you work so hard because you are afraid to face or deal with your other needs. I worry that you use school and work to escape from the ongoing work you need to do on yourself.”

Okay, Daddy. Ten years later, I finally get it.

Message received.

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