Depressed in Maui

I recently had a conversation that solidified my decision not to take an assignment in Maui, Hawaii.

I’ve been wanting a travel assignment in Maui ever since I learned of travel nursing almost 13 years ago.  A position in Maui doesn’t open up very often.

About 2 months ago, a position opened up and I wanted to take it.  The problem with the position was it was a rotation shift.  Which means that one week, I would work day shift and the next week, I would work night shift.  I like working day shift.  I’ve worked a few night shifts in my work as a nurse.  Every time that I worked night shift, I had a hard time sleeping afterwards.  I would only sleep for about 2 hours and not be able to get to sleep until night time.

I was excited and nervous to take this position.  More nervous because I didn’t want to work night shift.  Switching up my sleeping habits every week wasn’t appealing at all.

I talked with my life coach and she helped me to make a decision.  I’m at my best when I get good sleep, eat right, and exercise.  I wouldn’t be at my best having to change my sleeping habits every week.  So I decided not to apply to the position in Maui.

A few weeks ago, I was having a talk with another travel nurse.  She was telling me that she had taken a position in Maui.  It was a rotating shift.  She was used to working day shift.  She took the position because she wanted to go to Maui.  She told me that she had a very hard time adjusting to working day shift one week and night shift the next week.  She wasn’t able to go and do the things that she wanted to do.  She wasn’t able to get enough sleep.  She said that she became depressed.  She said that she couldn’t believe that she was in Maui but she was depressed.  She stated that she would no longer take any rotating travel assignments.

After that conversation, I learned a lesson.

Sometimes you have to say no to some thing that you want in order to not hurt yourself.

If I had taken that travel assignment, I would have been hurting myself.  Yes the assignment would have only been 13 weeks but would I have enjoyed myself if I was miserable from lack of sleep.

Now I’m choosing to wait for an assignment that works for me.  I’m going to wait for a day shift assignment that will allow me not to mess with my sleeping habits, eating habits, and exercise habits.  It was a hard decision to make at the time because I really wanted to go to Maui.  The right travel assignment will come when the time is right.

Leisure Time

I recently had a conversation with some one that got me thinking.

This woman was trying to convince me that going back to school would be the right thing to do.  She told me that she went to school full time, had 4 kids, and a boyfriend.  She said that she did have to give up her leisure time.  She told me that if she did school then I could get through school as well.  I applaud her for doing all that while going to school.

Without her knowing it, she actually validated my decision not to go to school right now.

The thing that she said that got me thinking was that she had to give up her leisure time.

I looked up the meaning of leisure.  Dictionary.com says that leisure is defined as, “freedom from the demands of work or duty, when one can rest and enjoy hobbies or sports”.  Reading that definition, it seems to me that leisure time is more important than some people think.

As a nurse, my days away from work are just as important as the days that I work.  When I’m at work, I take care of my patients.  When I’m not at work, I’m taking care of me.

In the conversation, she told me that going to school I may just have to give up going to the movies once a week.  I thought to myself, what if going to the movies once a week makes a person feel good and relaxed.  If someone told me that I had to give up whale watching once a week to go to school.  I would say no to going to school.

Whale watching relaxes me.  I get excited to see whales and dolphins.  I do that once a week because I love it.  Being around water helps me to meditate and feel relaxed.  Whale watching is one of my ways of practicing self care.  Some people call it leisure time but it can be interchangeable with self care time.

I recently took a trip up to Monterey Bay and saw killer whales.  I just wanted to see killer whales in the wild.  I had so much fun.  I even extended my trip to see them.  I took a week off in between my current travel assignment.  I went up to Monterey Bay by train on Wednesday.  I went whale watching on Thursday and Friday.  I saw a lot of humpback whales.  On Friday, I decided to extend my trip.  I really wanted to see some killer whales.  On Saturday, I saw a lot of killer whales.

Another thing that she said that made me think was, “people make time for what they want to make time for.”

I agree a little bit with her statement.  People do make time for the things that they want to but life does happen.

For example, a couple of years ago, when I was working in retail at Goody’s.  I remember this mom came in with her son.  The son was about 6 or 7 years old.  The mother got a call and she let out a little scream.  She then yells into the phone, “What hospital is he at?”.  She grabs the little boy by the arm and runs to her car.  I could only think that her life just changed that day.  Some one that she loves is in the hospital and it didn’t look like she had planned that.  She came into Goody’s to shop and she ended up not buying anything that day.

I make plans and sometimes I don’t follow through with them.  I recently wanted to go to a waffle and beer festival in LA.  I made plans but on the day of the festival, I didn’t feel like going.  That day I just felt like relaxing at home and that is what I did.  I love waffles and pancakes.  I was looking forward to the different kinds of waffles that they were going to be selling.  The day before I had had a very hard day at work and I just wanted to relax because I was emotionally and physically tired from work.  The next day I did go whale watching to relax myself.

To me leisure time is important.  Leisure time can be interchangeable with self care time.  Leisure time is when you can enjoy your hobbies like fishing, boating, going to sporting events, whale watching, knitting, reading, going to a spa, getting your nails done, or what ever a person enjoys doing.

My leisure time or self care time makes me a more productive person at work.  It makes me feel better.  I make time for self care every week.  Some times I even say no to working extra shifts at work because I need my leisure time.

When I do choose to go to school, I will make time for my self care habits as well.