Loyalty

Recently a nurse died after she was attacked at work.  The situation saddens me.

Nurses are loyal by nature.  This situation has me thinking that maybe we aren’t being loyal to ourselves.

Some reports of the incident said that the nurse finished her shift and some reports said that she didn’t and she went to the ER.  She sustained a torn ACL and her head was slammed against a desk.  I don’t think with those injuries she could have finished her shift but maybe she felt fine and thought that she could.  The unit may have been understaffed already and she didn’t want to put her fellow nurses in a bind by going to the ER.  This patient attacked multiple nurses.  I know that not all of the nurses could go to the ER at the same time.

I remember when I got my first job as an RN.  I wanted to be a good nurse.  At that time, in my mind, being a good nurse meant that you inconvenienced yourself.

For example, not taking a lunch break, staying 4 hours after the shift when someone called out, not letting management know that I hadn’t taken a lunch break, and going to work even if I was sick.  I probably lost out on hundreds of dollars by not telling management about not taking my lunch breaks.  I learned early on not to tell because I got called into the office and told that I need to work on my time management skills because I wasn’t able to take my lunch breaks.  It was hard being a charge nurse with 6 patients of my own.  When I stayed till eleven o’clock to help out, I still had to drive an hour home.  So I wouldn’t get home until midnight.  Those days were the longest days.  I got up at 4 am and wouldn’t get into the bed until after 12:30 am.  Sometimes I would have to work the next day.  The only thing that saved me those days is that the manager would let me come in at 11 am instead of being there at 7 am so that I could get some sleep.

I learned how to say no when they asked me to stay afterwards all the time.  I would do it sometimes but not all the time.  I was getting so sleepy trying to drive home after a 16 hour shift.  I was also spending a lot of money on hotels when I was too tired to drive home.  I didn’t want to get into an accident by being so sleepy.  I had to learn my limits.  I was in my late twenties but I was starting to feel like I was older than that.  I wasn’t taking any care of myself.

I also had to learn how to say no to my co-workers.  I don’t like to work 3 days in a row.  I never have liked to.  I’ll do it sometimes but I don’t like it.  When my co-workers would ask me to switch a day on my schedule that would put me working 3 days in a row, I would have to say no.  I also love to have 3 days off in a row too when it happens.  I don’t ask for it but I love when the scheduler puts it in my schedule.  It feels like a mini vacation when it happens.  When my co-workers would ask to switch because they saw that I had 3 days off, I would most of the time tell them no.  I learned that I had to stop inconveniencing myself all the time so that they would like me.  I will help when I can but I do have the right to say no, just like they have the right to ask.

I remember one time when I went to work sick.  I was giving a patient their medicine and all of a sudden the room started to spin.  My ears started to ring.  I had to sit down on the small dresser and take some deep breaths.  Eventually the room stopped spinning and my ears stopped ringing.  I had been feeling sick that morning.  I didn’t want to call out because we were already short staffed.  Once I got to work and had that dizzy spell, I was also scared to drive home.  I lived an hour away from my job.  What if a dizzy spell happened while I was driving home?  So I worked my shift.  Thankfully I didn’t have another dizzy spell and I was able to drive home safely but I probably should have stayed home and taken myself to a doctor.

Do you think that nurses are loyal to other people more than they are to themselves?

In my experience when I take care of myself, I’m able to be a better nurse for my patients.  I have to be loyal to myself first before I can be loyal to anyone else.  I can’t give anything when my cup is empty.

Nurses are givers by nature.  We love to take care of our patients and help them but when it comes to ourselves we put ourselves last on the list.

Maybe we can’t change that overnight but maybe we can start by eating a healthy lunch at work or drinking more water.  Your mood and energy level starts with the food that you put in your body.  Its a small step that will have a major impact on you.

Timelines

I recently had someone tell me that I’m almost 40 and I need to put down some roots somewhere.

I’m so glad I have a life coach.  I sent her an email about the situation and she reminded me of something.

I don’t need to live my life how anyone else wants me to live my life.

I did that for about 30 years and it never worked for me.

I feel like society and some people around me have a time line for my life.  At 40, I should be married with kids, living in a nice house, and have a career.

I have found out that you can plan your life in a certain way but life doesn’t always go as you plan it sometimes.

When I was in my early twenties, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in college.  At the time, all I wanted to do was get married and start having kids.  I wanted to be a stay at home mom.  I wanted to be married right out of high school.  I could have cared less about going to college and getting a degree.  I was trying to force relationships with guys that I knew wouldn’t last.  I eventually had to give up on that idea and start thinking about what I wanted to do in my life.  To be honest, if I had of gotten married in college, I would have probably dropped out of college.  The first 2 years of college, I didn’t see the point because I didn’t have a major and didn’t know what I wanted my career to be.  After the third year started and no proposals, I had to decide on a career.

I do know that I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I had of stuck to that plan.

Being a nurse has helped me tremendously in my life.  I am glad that I chose to become a nurse.

Like my life coach says, its ok to have a plan but its also ok to be open to changes.  God/Universe will work things out and sometimes it doesn’t look like what we planned.

For example, last year I wanted to take some time off but I also wanted to extend at the hospital that I was at.  I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to extend because I wanted to take a vacation.  I decided to try anyway.  I asked for a week off after my assignment ended and then I would work for 4 weeks and take another week off after that.  My contract was accepted.  So now that has become my norm.  After I work the first 3 months, I take off a week every four weeks.  That way I can go somewhere for a week or just stay at home.  My mood has improved because I know that I have a vacation coming after working four weeks.  When I started travel nursing, I never imagined that I could take so many vacations.  Some travel nurses work for 6 months and then take 6 months off.  Some take a month off in between every assignment.  I didn’t know that was possible until I became a travel nurse and started talking to other travel nurses.

To some people around me that life style isn’t good enough.  A woman approaching 40 should have a house, she should be on her way to being married with kids, and have a stable career.

Right now I don’t know if I want to settle down somewhere.  I like being a travel nurse because I can take a vacation when ever I want to.  As a permanent staff nurse, I would have to build up enough PTO to take a vacation and I have to have it approved before I purchase anything for a vacation.  I remember at my one of my permanent jobs, administration would tell us not to book anything for a vacation until the time off was approved.  Even if we saw a great price on a plane ticket don’t purchase it because the time off might not be approved.  For example about 6 years ago, a nurse that I knew was planning her wedding, and she had enough PTO saved up to take a month off.  She only wanted 2 weeks off.  The floor was so short staffed that she was only approved for one week off.  The hospital gave her the week off for her honeymoon but not her wedding week.  That nurse ended up having to postpone her wedding.  Some hospitals are so short staffed that they aren’t able to give the nurses the time off that the nurses request.

Have you ever felt like you weren’t meeting your time line or some one else’s time line for your life?

Every thing happens when its supposed to happen.

I needed to take some time off from dating and get to know myself and love myself.  There was nothing wrong with that.

I’ve learned that every one has a different path in life and also a different time line for their life.  Some people get married in their twenties.  Some people get married in their sixties.  Some people have children and some don’t.  Some people become a millionaire and some don’t.  Some people own their own business and some don’t.

Just because a person isn’t where some one else wants them to be in their life doesn’t mean that the person isn’t on the right path for them.

As a woman I do feel pressure from my family and society to be married and have kids.  Especially since I’m in my late thirties.  Some of my patients ask me why I’m not married yet.  Some of them even try to hook me up with their sons or another family member.  Some patients tell me not to settle and that its ok to wait to be married and have kids.  I will get married but in my own time.

Every one has their own dreams and goals in life.  I’m working towards a life that I love and in my own time.

I read this quote recently, “Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb.

Just one more quote that I love from Steve Jobs.  “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most importantly have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

 

Abstinence

I recently went to an overeaters anonymous meeting and to become a speaker a person had to practice abstinence for 90 days.  Abstinence from the food that the overeaters binge on.  While I understand abstinence from the food for a while but to give up your favorite food for the rest of your life would be really hard to do.  Usually the overeaters binge on food that they like.  The binge food is usually filled with a lot of sugar, like cake, doughnuts, and fast food.  My binge was doughnuts and cakes, which are my favorite foods.  I love red velvet cake, glazed doughnuts with chocolate, and pancakes.

For a while, when I was losing weight, I was able to give them up and not eat those foods.  But after losing the weight, I slowly added them back into my life.  I’ve added back muffins and cake.  That choice is one of the reasons that I have gained some weight recently.

I thought about why I eat my favorite foods.  It isn’t just because they taste good to me.  Its the feeling that I get when I eat it.  When I eat pancakes, I remember the times when I was little and my mom would cook pancakes on Saturdays.  I looked forward to that when I was a child because I liked the taste of pancakes.  I even remember when my mom had to work weekends and my dad would cook the pancakes.  They wouldn’t taste the same as my mom’s pancakes even though he used the same pancake batter.  I know I could recall those memories any time that I wanted to but I can get them also when I eat pancakes.

I wonder how many people eat their favorite foods because it helps them to bring back some good memories from childhood or a good time that they had.

Do you eat your favorite food just because you like the taste or is it the memories also?

If you had to give up your favorite food for the rest of your life, would you or could you?

I’ve found that having a balance is better for me than abstinence.  I’ve always liked sweets and that hasn’t changed since I became a vegetarian.  I’ve found some vegan chocolate chips muffins at Whole Foods that I love.  That helps with the sweet tooth at times.  Some times I just want a piece of red velvet cake too.  I have also found that almonds covered in dark chocolate help as well.  I just have to find a balance between eating some of my favorite foods and taking care of myself.

I did abstinence in the past in the wrong way and sent myself to the ER.  I took out carbs and fruits from my diet for about five weeks.  That didn’t turn out well.  You can read what happened in the first post that I wrote on this blog.

I do agree with abstinence from binge eating, that behavior doesn’t work at all.  I do agree with giving up your favorite food for a while.  After the person gains control of their eating habits, that person may find that they don’t like the taste for the food anymore.  Some cakes that I used to love now make my stomach bloat, hurt, and the cake tastes too sweet.  I never would have guessed that I would say that because I used to love really sweet cakes.  Some of the red velvet cakes make my stomach hurt.  My taste buds have changed.  I love to eat vegetables now.

Its ok to have balance.  I’m not going to give up my favorite foods for the rest of my life but I will not let them control me like I allowed in the past.  I will not use them to deal with my feelings like I did in the past.  I have developed healthy coping habits to deal with my feelings and I will continue to show myself love.  I will be kind to myself for gaining some weight and I will lose the weight.  I can’t change the past but I can change the future.

I’ve found I can’t stick to a diet but I have found a lifestyle that I can maintain.  I have gotten off balance lately but I am able to get back into balance.

If you yourself have found yourself falling out of balance or off the wagon as the saying goes.  Its ok.  You can get back into balance and keep going.  Nobody is perfect all the time.  I show my imperfections on this blog to help people see that no body is perfect and has it all together.

I’m imperfect and I’m the perfect Shavawn!!

 

Your Cells are Listening to Your Thoughts

I was recently talking to my life coach and she was telling me about some research she did that stated that your cells listen to your thoughts.  That statement just made so much sense to me.  The more I thought about that statement the more it rang true with my spirit.

I remember I used to get a bad cold at least twice a year.  My throat would start to get dry and scratchy.  I would then think to myself that I was getting sick.  I would take on the role mentally of being sick.  Now when I feel my throat getting dry and scratchy, I just think to myself that I’m not getting sick.  I don’t entertain the thought of being sick or take on the role.  I haven’t had a cold in about 2 years now.  I do attribute that to me not taking on the role, my thoughts, and of course God/Universe.

Every time I go to work, I am exposed to different germs. I’ve taken care of patients and come back the next day and the patient is on contact precautions.  I’ve already been exposed to the germs the patient had the day before.

Another example, is on the first day of my period, I used to get bad cramps.  I would have to take medicine and I could feel when the medicine was starting to work.  The cramps wouldn’t start until I realized that my period started.  When my period would start overnight, the cramps wouldn’t start until I was aware that my period started.  I remember I used to think to myself, when I saw my period had started, oh boy here come the cramps and then the cramps would start.  I noticed that when my period started while I was at work, I didn’t have any cramps.  I noticed the difference was that I wasn’t thinking of my cramps while I was at work.  I had so much to do at work, I didn’t have time to think about my cramps.

In the past three years, I’ve only had cramps with four of my periods.  The cramps haven’t been bad, I don’t even take any medication when I have the cramps.  I had been on birth control for around 10 years and I didn’t have any cramps when I was on birth control.  Its been about 8 years since I got off of birth control.  I don’t know if that affected my body and that may be why I have cramps with some periods and some periods not.

This morning, I was reminded of how bad my cramps could get.  My period started before I went to bed.  I wasn’t worried about having any cramps.  I didn’t take any medicine, I just went to bed.  I just assumed I wouldn’t have any cramps.  When I was making lunch, I started to feel light headed, feeling like I had to have a bowel movement, feeling weak, and I started to get cramps.  I forgot about those other symptoms that I used to get until that moment.  I couldn’t even finish making my lunch before I had to get my mom to help me to the couch.  My ears were ringing, the room was becoming fuzzy and I was feeling weak.  It had been years since I felt like this.  Those symptoms started when I had my fourth period when I was in middle school.  I took some motrin and then I had to lay down.  I had to toss from side to side a little because it didn’t feel good to stay in one place.  The movement of turning from side to side helps a little with the cramps.  I could feel when the motrin started to work.  It was like God/Universe was reminding me of how bad it could get.  Thankfully I have never felt like that at work because I would not have been able to continue to stay at work or even drive myself home.

Another example are my patients.  I used to work at a hospital that had the 5 P’s.  We were supposed to do the 5 P’s every time we went into the patient’s room.  The 5 P’s are position, potty, possessions, pain, and I can’t remember the last P. The managers would sometimes stand outside the door while I was in the room just to see if I was asking the patient about the 5 P’s.  We would ask the patient if they needed to go to the bathroom, change their positions in bed, or get to the chair to sit, if they had their possessions in arms reach, and if they were having any pain.  Some of my patient’s would say that they weren’t having any pain at the time that I asked.  About 5 minutes later, the patient would call and ask for pain medication.  The patient would tell me that they thought about it and the pain came back.  Just 5 minutes ago, the patient stated that they were having no pain.

What are your cells listening to?  Are your thoughts negative or positive and what reality are you shaping for yourself?  Are you ignoring something hoping that is will go away?

Your thoughts create your reality.

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.” – Henry Ford.

I love that quote.

You are the only one who sets your limits. 

I use to tell myself that it was too overwhelming to lose 50 pounds.  I used to tell myself that I had to lose weight before I became a travel nurse.  I used to tell myself that I couldn’t do things alone like go on vacation.  I was limiting myself with those thoughts and beliefs about myself.  When I changed my thinking about myself, I was able to achieve my dreams.  I lost the weight without a diet, I became a travel nurse, and I go on solo vacations.  God/Universe takes care of me.  I believe that I can overcome alopecia without steroid injections or creams.

Ever since I started to love myself and become more positive, my life has become more positive and loving.

 

Emotional Rollercoaster

I recently went to an overeaters anonymous meeting.   I went there because in San Diego they have a speakers and a sharing meeting.  I wanted to see what a person had to do to become a speaker.

As the speaker started to tell her story, I realized that I could relate to most of the things that she was sharing.  I had been through most of those things with my own food struggles.  I had tried the fad diets and binge eating.  When that speaker was done, she opened the floor for other people to share their stories.  I found that I could also relate to most of the other people’s struggles with food.

Then came the time for the new people to introduce themselves.  The group turned and looked at me.

I said, “Hi, My name is Shavawn.”

I paused and let them say hi Shavawn.

I continued and I said that I was a travel nurse in San Diego but originally from Georgia.

Those two sentences seem very small but they are big in my world.

I didn’t introduce myself as an overeater.  All the other people stated their names and then proceeded to say that they were a compulsive overeater.  I didn’t.

I don’t consider myself an overeater anymore. 

I was overjoyed that I don’t look at myself as an overeater anymore.  After saying those two sentences, I wanted to jump up and start to do my happy dance.

I also realized that most of the 12 steps that they used, I have already done those steps with my life coach.  I don’t have to practice abstinence with any food now because I know I don’t want to go back to the way things were.  I have people to inspire and I love myself too much to allow myself to go back to the way I was when I had my eating disorder.

I learned that I changed the way that I see myself.  I wouldn’t have realized that had I not gone to that meeting.

This lesson came at the perfect time too.  I recently got back into the dating world and things haven’t been going my way the last two weeks.  One guy ghosted me after 2 dates, another messaged me only one time and disappeared, and still another one didn’t respond at all.  I also sprained my ankle on that first date.  My ego was hurt after all that.  I realize that not every man is going to like me, but I would make a awesome girlfriend and wife.  I really did like one of those guys but maybe all of those things happened to get me closer to the guy that I’m supposed to be with.

For a couple of days my ego was hurt.  I had to have a talk with myself.  I told myself that I could no longer base my self esteem on my relationships.  I had done that for thirty years and it didn’t work for me.  I didn’t like the emotional rollercoaster that I had allowed myself to be on when I practiced that bad habit.  I couldn’t allow myself to go back to the way I was when I was allowing other people to be responsible for my self esteem by being in a relationship with me.

It was okay for me to be sad for a little bit but what was not okay was for me to continue to beat myself up about what made the guys stop talking to me.  I was being myself and some guys will like it and some won’t.  I will never know why they stopped talking to me and it is also none of my business.  My business is to keep loving myself and being myself.

I know that God/Universe always takes care of me in all situations.

After the overeaters anonymous meeting, I drove to Newport Beach and went whale watching.  I went whale watching because I needed to do some self care.  Being near water and seeing whales always gets me in a good mood.

I would love to read in the comments, what is something that you have been doing that you are ready to let go of because it no longer helps you?  Do you want to get off of your emotional rollercoaster?

It could be something like you are going to stop being so negative to yourself or you are going to stop beating yourself up for a mistake that you have made.

I’m letting go of beating myself up and I’m letting go of putting myself on the emotional rollercoaster.  I’m going to be myself and the people who appreciate it will stay in my life and the others will leave.  My self esteem is up to me and no one else.

 

 

Dating and Alopecia

I’ve recently decided that I will possibly get back into dating but there is a problem.

My alopecia is getting worse.  The bald spot is getting bigger.  I used to be able to hide it even when I put my hair in a ponytail.  Not anymore.  If a person were to look closely then they would be able to see the bald spot with my hair in a ponytail.  When I wear my hair down the bald spot doesn’t show.

This is bothering me because I might have to start telling people about my alopecia.

I thought about hiding it with a wig, weave, scarf, or a headband.  At work, I wear my hair in a ponytail and I would be comfortable wearing a headband to cover the bald spot.  I haven’t ever worn a wig or a weave.  I don’t want to go that route.  I did a little research into wigs and the ones that looked more realistic were more expensive.  I even looked into putting makeup on the bald spot.  I don’t wear makeup anymore.  Then I asked myself a question.

Do I really want to hide what I’m going through or do I want to be myself?

I’ve been hiding myself for over 30 years.  I’ve just recently started to love the woman that I have become.

I’m not saying that the woman who have alopecia and choose to wear wigs, weaves, scarves, or headbands are hiding themselves.  Every one doesn’t need to know every thing about you.  I don’t want my co-workers knowing about my alopecia.

I’m saying that for myself it would feel like I’m hiding a part of myself if I wore a wig or a weave.  I would feel uncomfortable going out in public with a weave or a wig.  I’ve never worn one and I wouldn’t know how to.  I’m finding that I just don’t want to go that route.

My life coach also told me that maybe this alopecia is enabling me to be a more authentic me.  Having this will weed out the guys that are only superficial.

I was thinking of having a photo shoot done and have a few pictures showing the bald spot.  I was going to use one of those on my dating profile.  It wouldn’t be the first profile picture but it would be in there.  That way the guy would know beforehand and would be able to choose whether he could handle it or not.  If they can’t handle it then we wouldn’t waste each other’s times.

The Mona Lisa painting doesn’t get any less beautiful or any less valuable because someone doesn’t think that its not beautiful or valuable.  I say that to say that just because I’m losing some hair doesn’t make me any less beautiful or valuable.  That is what I told myself before I put up my dating profile on a dating app.

I did go out on a date and I had so much fun.  I have really changed.  I didn’t even recognize myself.  The conversation flowed naturally.  I actually went hiking and it was raining.  I was a bit nervous because I did have to put my hair in a ponytail.  I didn’t know if the bald spot was showing or not but I just kept talking and having fun.  Usually when I like a guy, I’m very shy and don’t talk much.  The reason I wouldn’t talk much is because I was scared that he wouldn’t like me or find me too weird.  This is a different Shavawn that I’m seeing.  I’m not afraid to show the real me anymore.  If a guy likes it then great and if he doesn’t then that is still great also.

I can’t let the alopecia stop me from doing what I want to do.  I want to find love and I’m going to find it.

Are you allowing something to stop you from doing what you want to do?

Maybe if you do what you have been scared to do, you might end up having some fun or discovering that you are good at it.

 

Patterns

I have recently been noticing a pattern in my life.

A lot of my patients have been in denial lately.  I could see how that denial was not only affecting them but their families as well.

I was seeing an energy ripple effect happening.  When a person doesn’t deal with an issue it effects the people that are around that person also.

I was having a talk with my life coach and she asked me a hard question.  She told me that when people notice a pattern around them that could also mean that the Universe is trying to tell them something.  It could be that I was indulging in the pattern that I was noticing.

She asked me what I was denying in my own life.

I immediately knew the answer.  I had a lot of time to think this past week.  I got an unexpected week off from work last week.  I enjoyed myself and took some time to reflect on my life.

I was denying that I have not been eating well lately.  I have been eating more sweets than usual.  I haven’t been showing myself love.  The reason that I have been doing that is because I’m ready to fall in love.  I have not dated in 9 years.  In March it will be 10 years since I went on a date.  The first few years that I decided not to date was to get to know myself.  I’m 36 and I’ve never fallen in love.  I don’t know if I should continue to wait or start dating.

Now that I have become the woman that I saw in my dreams, I’m ready for the next chapter in my life.

During the talk with my life coach, I told her about one of my patients being a hoarder.  I realized as I was telling her the story that I have been hoarding my love in a way.

Love is an energy that needs to flow like water.  When water is stagnant it becomes stale and dirty.  For a while I did need to hoard my love and start to love myself.  I’m grateful for the love that I do have in my life, its just not romantic love.  When will it be the right time, I don’t know.  But like my life coach said there will be a 0% chance of getting to a fourth date with a man if I don’t date.  I have never made it past the third date and not had the feeling that that man wasn’t the one for me.  That is one of the reasons that I don’t like dating.

I had made an account on Tinder and Match.com a few months ago.  It just didn’t feel right.  I had to pay to see the messages that I had gotten.  I didn’t want to create another monthly bill.  I wasn’t enjoying it or having any fun.  I ended up deleting my accounts.

During our talk, I also realized that I needed to change my energy.  Whenever I get a feeling that a guy wanted to approach me, I start singing in my head.  The song that I sing is Beyoncé’s – End of Time.  The part I sing to myself is the beginning of the song, Don’t fuck with me, you’re not Jay-Z.  Except I sing, Don’t fuck with me you’re not Lil Wayne.  I remixed that part.  I keep saying that phrase over and over in my head.  That always keeps the men from coming up to me.  The energy that I’m putting out there is don’t approach me and it works.

I have to open myself up to the idea of dating.  When I meet my future husband, we are probably going to have to date.  I would love to just get married on the second date but I understand that that may or may not happen.

My life coach also made a statement that really got me to thinking.  She said by me not dating maybe I’m withholding experiences from other people.  Maybe they had some lessons that I could teach them or some lessons that I needed to learn from them.  That really hit home.  The 2 boyfriends that I’ve had taught me so many lessons even though I knew they weren’t the man for me.  I still think that for a time I did need to stop dating to get to love myself.  I used to define myself through my romantic relationships.

I do know that I will start taking better care of myself and showing myself love.  The food choices that I make every day will either help me to my dreams or not help me.

What patterns have you been noticing in your own life?

The people around you are your mirrors.  If you have a lot of angry people around you then that is the energy that you are putting out there.  The energy that you put out comes back to you.  The very thing that you call someone else may be the very thing that you yourself are guilty of.  It’s ok to check yourself and ask yourself questions.  Am I in denial?  Am I being selfish?  If the answer is yes then you have an opportunity to work on yourself and do better.  If the answer is no, then you can relax and know that for now you are doing good in that area of your life.  When my friend called me selfish, I examined myself.  I asked myself, am I being selfish.  My answer was no and then I relaxed.

I had tried writing this post for 2 weeks now and I couldn’t finish it.  The reason I couldn’t finish was because I hadn’t realized that I was in denial.  As soon as I had the talk with my life coach, the blog post was easy to write.  I wanted to tell my patient’s story because it was a perfect example of how not dealing with your own issues can affect the people around you but that wasn’t my story to tell.

Now that I’m gotten to the bottom of my issues, I have some action steps to take and a story to tell.  I felt so much lighter after my talk with my life coach.  I never realized how much having a life coach helps.  She will ask me the hard questions.  Like she says, she doesn’t care about people liking her, she cares about getting results for her clients.  Sometimes that means asking the hard questions.  Some times, I am shocked by the questions but those questions turn out to be so necessary.  In my opinion, its always great to have someone in your life that will ask you the hard questions.  I’m grateful to have my life coach in my life.

If you are noticing any patterns in your life, I challenge you to look at yourself and see if that pattern is in your own life.  Maybe God/Universe is trying to show you that you yourself are indulging in that pattern.  I just started singing this next song in my head as I was typing that last sentence.  I don’t own the rights to this next song, but it sums up what I just said.  I love this scene from the Color Purple.  For some people who haven’t watched this movie, this scene is powerful.  The pastor would not forgive his daughter for something that she did. I can’t remember what she did.  He hadn’t talked to her for years.  The pastor preached about forgiveness but couldn’t forgive his own daughter until this moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nursing Problems

I’ve been seeing a trend in nursing that is good and bad.

The problem is that nurses don’t want to stay in nursing especially bedside nursing.

There was a recent post in a travel nurse Facebook group asking the nurses what career would they choose besides nursing.  In about 18 hours the post had over 800 comments.  I went through all of them.  Only about 2 or 3 nurses said they would still be a nurse.  I was expecting most of the comments to say that they would still be nurses.  There were also a few comments saying that they were in the process of getting out of nursing.  Some were going to be photographers, real estate agents, or lawyers.

In another Facebook travel nurse group, the question was posted about what is your dream job.  Only about 3 or 4 comments mentioned that they were already working at their dream jobs being a nurse.  Again, most of the comments didn’t mention nursing.

I am one of those comments that is trying to get out of bedside nursing.  I am going to be a life coach and do oceanography on the side.  I will probably just get a PRN nursing job to keep my skills.  I’ve been a bedside nurse for 14 years now and I’m tired.

I recently worked with a nurse that had only been a nurse for a year.  She told me that she couldn’t see herself being a bedside nurse for the rest of her life.  She was in her late twenties.  She had already talked to her husband about going back to school to become a nurse practitioner.  I was happy that she had a plan.

In the past few months, I have talked to about a dozen nurses who have plans on leaving nursing all together and starting a new career.

When I ask why, they say that bedside nursing is taking their passion away.  The stress is getting to be too much. They are tired of some of the doctor’s attitudes and the patient’s attitude.  The nurses are tired of the violence that they have to endure from some of the patients.  Some of the nurses I talked to also said that they are so tired on their days off, they don’t do anything.  Some nurses said that they are burnt out.

I understand everything that the nurses were telling me.  All of those above mentioned things can lead to serious burn out.  When I was burnt out, some nurses told me just to go to a different area in nursing.  In my opinion, going to a different area wouldn’t get rid of any of the stress or burn out.

The only way that I have found to combat burn out is to step up my level of self care.  On may days off, I go whale watching, hiking, or just sit in a park.  Some times I just watch a movie and relax.  When I don’t do any of those things on my days off, I notice that when I work, I’m more anxious and get stressed out more.

If a nurse comes to me an says that they are burnt out, I suggest that they find something to do on their days off that they love.  That will get rid of some of the stress from the job.  Do that thing at least once a week.  Some times getting another job in another field helps.  I love to take photos of whales.  If the whale watching company offered me a part time job as a photographer, I would take it.  I could get paid to see whales.

Let’s face it.  Bedside nursing is never going to be easy or stress free.  Since I started in nursing, it has only gotten harder.  Nurses are expected to do more with less help.  Nurses have more patients to take care of and the patients are sicker.  The hospital that I’m currently working at, the nurses get the vitals signs and the blood sugars.  Just having to do those two things makes the day busier.  I really appreciate the CNAs.  Most hospitals that I’ve been to, the CNAs get the vital signs and the blood sugars.  It helps the nurse so much to not have to do those two tasks.  I don’t get to spend as much time with my patients as I like to at this hospital.

Another reason that I want to get out of nursing is that I’ve been feeling that I’m just putting a Band-Aid on my patients problems instead of getting to the root of the problem.  I don’t have enough time at work to really get into a conversation with the patient about some of their problems.  Sometimes I feel like I’m just throwing a pill at the problem.  If the patient is anxious, give them a Xanax or Ativan.  Maybe meditation can help.  If the patient is constipated, give them a laxative to help them go to the bathroom.  Maybe helping them to eat a healthy diet would help them not to be constipated.  As the body get accustomed to the pill, larger doses are needed to get the effect of the pill.  I’ve had some patients taking 3 different laxatives and still have no bowel movement for days.  They have been taking the laxatives for years.

About a month ago, I got a shot and a Band-Aid was put on.  I still have the imprint of the Band-Aid on my arm. I took this as a sign from God/Universe that I’m putting a Band-Aid on the problem.  I need to be a life coach so that I can get to the root of my client’s problems and help them.

So if you are ready to come up with ways to deal with your stress or burn out, contact me or visit my new website and book a Break Through Session.  http://www.joyfulnurse.com.  Maybe you will find your passion for nursing again or find out that you have another passion.  I will be transferring this blog to that website soon.

 

 

 

Using Your Resources

I recently was called selfish by a friend because I wanted to use my resources to pay for a flight that I need this week.  I wanted to ask my parents because that is the only thing that I need for Christmas.  They have been asking me what I want and I keep saying I don’t know.  I don’t need any clothes or any thing else.  It would really help me for them to pay for my plane ticket.  I need to fly out this Friday and it’s now Tuesday and I haven’t talked to them about it, because I allowed my friend’s comment to make me feel bad about myself and the choice that I had made.  I’m not sure if they will even say yes.

Her comment got me to thinking.

Her comment had me sad for a second until I realized that I should never feel bad for using the resources that I have available when I need them.

Then I also realized that just because she labels me as selfish doesn’t mean that I am.  Just because she says that I haven’t grown in that area doesn’t mean that I haven’t.  At the end of the day, she is entitled to her opinion but I don’t ever have to accept her opinion about my life.

I am what I say I am.

The Universe/God then sent me a message.

I was watching the red table talk with Jada Pinkett Smith about forgiveness.  I got a message from that.  Jada and her brother were talking about their father.  Jada stated that her father’s journey was not about being her father.  Her father’s journey just so happened to include giving her life but not to be her dad.

“My father was a person first with his own journey.” – Jada.  She was also talking about titles and labels.  “We get so caught up in these titles and these labels,  of what people are supposed to be.”-Jada.

Her brother then says, “How arrogant of us to believe that we know who someone is supposed to be or supposed to do.

That statement right there was the message from the Universe/God.

We label and attach titles to people and then we assign them ways that they are supposed to act or to be. We may do this consciously or subconsciously.

For example, some patients have an idea of how a nurse is supposed to act.  One patient told me that nurses are supposed to be direct and to the point and not smile too often. That was one patient’s expectation of nurses.    I’ve learned that every nurse is different and that is good.

What I also gathered from this was that every one has their own journey in life.  Some people are here to help others and some people are here to receive that help from those people.  No one owes you anything but if they are willing and able to help you, why not take the help.  I have a problem asking people for help.  In high school, I almost flunked out of trigonometry because I didn’t want to ask for help.  I believed that I should be able to do it for myself.  Math was my favorite subject.  My teacher and my parent’s forced me to get a tutor and it helped.

For example, a person might have a business idea but not the money to get the business started.  They might have to go to a bank and get a loan.  The person can also choose to work extra at work until they have the money.  That person might also have a family member that is willing and able to loan or give them the money.  Either choice that they make, they are just using the resources available to them.  What ever choice that that person makes, they should not allow other people’s opinions to dictate their choice.  Some people believe that a person should be independent and not ask anybody for anything.

I’ve heard people say pull yourself up by your own boot straps.  Meaning do what you need to do but don’t ask for help.  You can do it yourself.  Sometimes you can’t do it by yourself.  For example, a recording artist goes on a tour, they need other people to help them.  The recording artist can’t perform on stage and work the lights and sound system at the same time.  They need other people to help with that.

I spent many years of my life living how other people wanted me to live.  I knew all along what I was meant to do but I wanted other people’s approval.  I wanted other people to like me.  I had to get clear by meditating, praying, and listening for the answers.  When I did that I knew that I also had to let go of other people’s opinions.  I still listen to other people’s advice but I now know that I don’t have to take that advice or do what others want me to do, if it doesn’t feel right to me.

There is freedom when you don’t live your life based on other people’s opinions.  I am responsible for my own feelings.  My friend didn’t make me feel bad, I chose to feel bad.  So I had a talk with my life coach and I let go of the negative feelings that I had.  I made the decision to use my resources and not to feel bad about it.

Towards the end of the red table talk, Jada says that she needed to, “focus on what is going well, instead of what is going wrong.”

That is a lesson that I am learning.

My alopecia is still there.  The hair is growing back and the bald spot has gotten bigger.  I am grateful for the hair that I have on my head and that my hair is growing back.  I’m choosing to focus on the positive.  I have alopecia but alopecia will not make me stop living my life.

At the end of the show, Jada’s brother says that, “love is everything.”

That resonated with me because it is.  When I really fell in love with myself, then I became more compassionate, loving, caring, and kinder to other people.

I appreciate what my friend had to say.  She was saying that not to make me feel bad but to help me grow.  I also know that I can use my resources that I have available.  Another example, this Monday, I was going to wash my hair.  In the morning, my mom texted me and asked if I wanted her to wash my hair.  Of course, I said yes.  After my grandmother died, my mom did my hair until I was about 29 or 30.  I am not ashamed of that.  I was using the resources available to me.

Don’t be ashamed or feel bad for asking or needing help.  Asking for help is being strong enough to recognize that you need help.  In life sometimes a person may need financial, emotional, psychological, or physical help.  I asked for help with my eating disorder and I don’t regret it.

I challenge any one struggling with asking for help or the opinion of others, to just listen to your own wisdom or intuition.  That is the Universe/God talking to you.  That will never steer you wrong because it knows exactly what you need.  No one whether its a family member, friend, doctor, or co worker ever knows every thing that you need.  They mean well but you have to do what is right for you.  They may now some things but not every thing.

I challenge you to use your resources and not to feel ashamed or less than for it.

Update:  I asked my parents and they helped me out.  I understand no one owes me anything in life.  Sometimes everyone needs a little help.  If I don’t ask then the answer will always be no.

 

Trolls Part Deux

The trolls have given Bridget a make over.  Bridget feels like she can’t talk to King Griselle even though she has been the scullery maid since she was little.  She has been around the King since he was the prince.  Now that she has the make over, the trolls hide under her wig and tell her what to say.  She is so nervous. She is nervous because most of her life, every body has over looked her.  The chef has called her Idget.  Bridget has been ordered around for most of her life.

On the way to see King Griselle, Bridget sings a song and dances.

Through out the whole movie, the Bergens sing and dance.  I think the reason that the Bergens think that they can’t sing and dance is because they compare themselves to the trolls.  The trolls are very good at singing and dancing.  The Bergens don’t have hair that can change colors, hair that can grow fast, or do backflips.  There is a saying that says, “Every one is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”  Since the Bergens are comparing themselves to the trolls, they believe that they can’t be happy unless they eat a troll once a year and transfer the trolls happiness to themselves.  They believe they can’t sing or dance since they don’t do it like the trolls do.

The trolls make up a name for Bridget and call her Lady Glitter Sparkles.  The King and Lady Glitter Sparkles go out to eat pizza and then skating.  While eating pizza, Bridget says something.  She says that, “being here with you, makes me realize that true happiness is possible.”  The king says that she is right and that happiness is closer than she thinks.  He then shows her that he has Creek hidden inside his necklace.  The king asks Lady Glitter Sparkles to be his plus one at Trollstice.  She says yes.  They then go skating and have fun.  The chef interrupts and says to the king that he looks like he is having fun.  Bridget runs off because she fears that the chef will recognize her.  She leaves one of her skates behind and the king finds it.

When the trolls and Bridget get back to her room, every one is excited.  Bridget is excited because she just had a date with the king and the king likes her.  The trolls are excited because Creek is alive.  The trolls decide to go get Creek.  Bridget stops them and says the they have to help her tomorrow because she is going to be the king’s plus one at Trollstice.  When the trolls say no, Bridget starts to cry.  Princess Poppy says that she and the king can make each other happy.  Bridget says no that only eating a troll can make a Bergen happy.  She forgets that she said that true happiness is possible when she was on her date with the king.

The trolls go to save Creek.  They find the king’s necklace in his room.  The king’s dog is also in the room and starts to chase the trolls.  The king is on his treadmill while the trolls sneak into his room.  The trolls take Bridget’s skate that the king has saved from the date.  They escape the dog on the skate.  After crash landing the skate, the trolls open up the king’s necklace, only to find that Creek is no longer in the necklace.  The chef captures the trolls after they make that discovery.

The trolls are put back in the cage and discover that Creek is with the chef.  Branch then figures out that Creek is now working with the chef.  Creek explains that when he was put into the king’s mouth he had an epiphany.  He didn’t want to die so he made a bargain with the king and the chef to turn in the other trolls as long as he didn’t get eaten.  He then steals Poppy’s bell.

The chef and some other Bergens go to the trolls hiding place.  Creek uses Poppy’s bell to get the other trolls to come out.  All of the trolls are then captured by the Bergens.  They are put into a huge pot to be cooked when Trollstice starts.  Poppy becomes sad because she thought that she was going to save the trolls.  Now she and all the other trolls are going to be eaten.  Poppy then loses her color when she is sad.  Then all the other trolls lose their color as well.  Branch then starts to sing to the princess.  At the end of the song, Poppy has found her happiness again and her color comes back.  All of the other trolls find their happiness again too and their color as well.  Even Branch gets his color back.  He states that he is finally happy.  “Happiness is inside of all of us, some times you just need some one to help you find it.”

Right after he says this the lid is taken off the pot.  Bridget has decided to let all the trolls escape.  She says that she can’t let the trolls get eaten.  She tells Poppy that,”she showed her what it feels like to be happy.  I would have never known if it wasn’t for you.”  Poppy and the other trolls escape and Bridget goes into the main hall with the empty pot.

King Griselle is sad because Lady Glitter Sparkles hasn’t shown up yet.  He holds onto her skate that she left.  The trolls have made it to the troll tree.  Princess Poppy then makes a decision that all the Bergens can be happy.

Poppy and her friends go back to the castle.  Meanwhile the Bergens have found out that the trolls are gone.  The chef accuses Bridget of eating all the trolls and orders the guards to put Bridget in jail.  The guards surround Bridget and just when they are about to grab her, the trolls bust through the window in the other skate that Bridget wore on her date with the king.  They make the rainbow wig out of their hair to show King Griselle that Bridget is Lady Glitter Sparkles.  The King is surprised and asks Bridget why she would do that.  She then tells him that she didn’t think that he would want her because she is just a maid.

The chef still insists that the guards lock her up.  Princess Poppy then asks King Griselle if he was feeling something when he was with Bridget.  King Griselle says that he was but he thought that feeling was just eating too much pizza.  Princess Poppy states that that feeling was happiness.  Another Bergen then says that, “you have to eat a troll to be happy.”  Princess Poppy then points out that King Griselle has never eaten a troll but he was still happy.  King Griselle then puts the skate onto the foot of Bridget and states, “here I am, my belly empty and my heart full.”

The Bergen chef is angry.  She wanted to rule the kingdom and be in charge.  She wants things to stay the same.  If the Bergens discover that they don’t need to eat trolls to be happy, she won’t be in power.  She tells the Bergens that there is only one way to be happy and she is the only one that can give it to them.  She tries to force the king to eat a troll.  She puts Branch onto the kings tongue and Poppy saves him from being eaten.

Princess Poppy then states, “happiness isn’t some thing that you put inside, it’s already there.  Sometimes you just need some one to help you find it.”

That statement resonates with me because of my eating disorder that I dealt with.  I used to think that happiness could be obtained through eating or when I was losing weight.

A Bergen then asks her can he really be happy and Poppy states yes.  The Bergens then start to listen to Poppy.  The trolls start to sing one of my favorite songs.

A big dance party breaks out with the Bergens throwing their bibs in the air.  The Bergen chef is again thrown out of the kingdom along with Creek.  They end up getting eating by a huge creature.  Poppy ends up getting crowned Queen.

The whole message of the movie that I get is that happiness is already inside of every one.  I didn’t need to buy any new clothes, get a new boyfriend or husband, lose weight, or get a new career.  I can be happy right where I am with what I already have.  Yes, I needed some one to help me find it.  I got a life coach and now I’m living a life that I always dreamed of.  I just took a solo vacation to Sydney, Australia.  These are just some of the pictures that I took.  I believe that you can just see the happiness radiating from me in these pictures.