For the past month and a half, or so, I have been on a self improvement journey. A musculoskeletal pain issue has motivated me to explore other options in my life, and I find myself on this path that is fairly unfamiliar.
Growing up, both of my parents worked, and their example taught me that work is not only necessary, but good for the soul. My mom was a Registered Nurse and my dad was an oil executive, with a background in Geology. Mom’s personality was very similar to mine (wait, my personality is similar to hers) and it seemed logical to me to become a nurse. Since the age of about 8, I was in and out of her workplace, which made me more comfortable than most, in hospital and nursing home settings. When I was a senior in high school, I got a job at a local nursing home as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Back in those days (1986) the “Certified” part was taught at the bedside. I spend that year doing the hardest job of my life. Physically demanding, being a CNA in a nursing home was an eye-opening experience. I learned that I REALLY enjoy listening to people’s stories, and became attached to a handful of the residents. During that year, I witnessed my first death, and understood what it felt like to lose someone I cared for. At the age of 18 I was accepted into nursing school, and I graduated just shy of 21 with my Associate of Science in Registered Nursing.
Fast forward 27 years to today. With a huge range of nursing experience including most acute hospital departments, lead nurse and Director positions, and even half a dozen years in the Worker’s Compensation arena, a Bachelor and Masters degree in Nursing added later, I have had an exceptional career in nursing. I don’t regret a single day or experience. That being said, I have often mused with my co-workers, “Isn’t there an easier way to make money?” The hardest thing about nursing is not taking care of the patients. That is, by far, the easiest thing about nursing (in my mind). The things that are hard are much more complicated than taking care of a patient.
When I went down the road to become an RN, I didn’t say to myself, “I sure hope that when I graduate from nursing school, I will be able to do the job.” That thought never occurred to me. I KNEW I could do the job. I was CERTAIN I would graduate, pass the boards, and become a nurse. However, after being in nursing for my whole life, it was difficult for me to see myself being anything else. Yet, here I am, turning myself into something else. The book that changed my whole paradigm was “Wake Up & Live” by Dorthea Brande. I listened to it on Audible (in a day and a half, it was so compelling) and in this book she states, “Act as if it is impossible to fail.” THAT is what I am doing.