Friday, October 8, 2010

Bless Us All, We Made It To Friday

I keep musing on how much I am wishing my life away the last few weeks. Oh please let me just make it to the weekend....oh please just let me survive until the end of the semester....I can't wait until Saturday night....Will Christmas ever get here....? I wonder if that is why I am having so many internal feelings of just being off pace right now? It is not like me since Joseph passed to look away so much from the present. I think maybe I need to work on that more, which will be a challenge. The present is intense and uncomfortable a lot of the time in a lot of areas. I need to rediscover my joy.

One thing that definitely makes me feel pretty darn joyful today is this goofy kitten Joe got me for my recent 40th birthday. I like cats a lot, but having been raised by a farming family, animals never quite take on the level of stature as a lot of people's pets. I will probably (hopefully?) never be the Cat Lady. But I have to admit, this hyper ball of fluff has me bowled over. She is, in fact, the perfect cat. Playful and impish. But cuddly and affectionate. She TALKS to me! If I say her name, she comes running. If I say "Hi!", she has this certain sound she makes that definitely means "Hi!". And if I whisper it, she says it under her breath like she is whispering too. And I am laughing as I type this, because being all about one's pet is just NOT me, or rather, never has been before. She has just brought a lot of cheer into this house. I love hearing the boys laugh at her antics. Alex will laugh to the point of making no sound but a high pitched squeak. And she likes to get into Nick's room and sleep on his pillow next to his head. Alex say he is so happy he can finally say he does have a pet now when people ask him. And Joe, who is often alone during the day while I am off frantically pursuing my life's dream, unfailingly has her on his lap purring away when I get home. It has shown me a side of him I have not gotten to see before - gruff and nurturing. Very sexy.

So Layla (the cat) definitely helps keep me rooted in today. She is a blessing to our family. She is pretty hyper, which is normal for a four month old kitten and I have worries about the Christmas tree this year. Should be interesting.

I think one of the other reasons I am feeling all angsty and discontented inside is the inner sense of coasting. To be honest, I am not working as hard as I could be on school. I search for time to myself and time with my husband and kids and frequently let things go that I probably ought not to in terms of review and reading and in depth studying. Its that ever present struggle to find balance, and the truth is, I am a lazy soul deep inside. I will always flow toward the easiest path. But I am learning, the easiest path doesn't make me happy. I am happiest when I work hard and see results. So this sense of avoiding the hard work is making me fretful. I am doing okay in school but could be doing better. I may challenge myself to put in two weeks of good hard studying of the type I feel I ought to be doing on an idealistic level and see if it nets a better result than I am seeing now.

I am looking forward to some social time this weekend. Mani-pedi with my sister in law, Stacey, then a fancy night out with my husband. Stewart and the boys are headed to Camp Sol, the grief camp we usually attend as a family. I am tossing around some feelings of guilt, as I chose not to go this year, for a couple of reasons. The main one is that an entire weekend away from studying just isn't going to happen at this point in the semester. The other is that as much as I enjoy that time to just focus on Joseph, it is always, always draining emotionally and there is always a recovery period needed, which is additional time I don't have to give it right now.

So there you have it - the dull editorial reporting of the facts of my life. Some day I will get back to being a philosopher. ;)

Monday, October 4, 2010

I don't like Mondays

Nursing school this semester has been a challenge for me. It is no secret among those who know me well that I am more of a sprinter than a marathon runner when it comes to tough things in life, and I am having to face some of those issues within myself. Right now Christmas of next year seems a LONG way off.

The semester was set up oddly and it is taking a toll in terms of my internal anxiety and sense of well being. We all do a six week rotation through psychiatric nursing this semester, and I drew the straw that had me there doing it first thing. So basically I have not even been to my regular hospital or clinicals yet other than at orientation six weeks ago. I start this week. There have been horror stories pouring out of the group left and right regarding the depth of paperwork this new clinical instructor requires, that humiliation is used in teaching and that the nurses on the floor of that hospital are evil and mean and eat students for lunch. All of this is workable to me - I have always been the type of person who can get along with the crotchety provider etc. It is the massive paperwork that has me most concerned. The rumor mill holds that people are staying up until as late as 2 AM to have this stuff completed in time to turn in at 6:30 AM to the instructor at the clinicals site. Since I am not sleeping particularly well as it is, the thought of my very interrupted sleep schedule going off the deep end that completely has me totally freaked out. I generally am falling asleep around 9:30 or 10 at night, then wake up around 2:30ish and can't get back to sleep. Cumulatively I am starting to see myself suffer from this, both in terms of motivation and confidence, not to mention just an inner sense of discontentment that I cannot put my finger on.

I am anxious to get back on the floor at the hospital. Psych was interesting, but it doesn't give me the same internal sense of fulfilling something I am supposed to be doing as being at the bedside does. I am missing that aspect of my education. I have not been back to my externship since school started. Starting clinicals this week will get me back doing hands on care, and that always does a lot for my weary spirit. I need it.

We have our second exam today. I am not sure I am ready - attempts to study felt largely unsuccessful due to anxiety and fatigue. My last exam was fine, but not nearly good enough of a grade to carry me if this particular exam doesn't go well. We have so many extra projects and papers and side bars of activities going on. I will be super glad when the end of October arrives and most of my "extra" stuff has been accomplished and all that is left is to just go to lecture, to clinicals and do my lab skills. The boys have a ton of stuff going on too, and Stewart (their dad) has started back to school as well. Joe is semi-retired at this point and I find myself very relieved. I go to him for hugs, for reassurance, for loving, for my regular kicks in the ass that push me toward where I really wanted to go anyway. He cooks for me and helps around the house and takes care of our finances so that we stay on course through my schooling, things that get hard to pay attention to when in a program this intense, but that also contribute to the middle of the night fretting I seem to be stuck doing. It is impossible for me to fathom right now how I would be coping if I didn't have him for support.

I am hoping I get a chance to start an IV on a real person soon. I am doing well on the rubber arms in lab, but I can't tell if that really means anything when it comes to a flesh and blood vein.

So this week is going to be a humdinger in the sense of starting regular clinicals with an instructor who is now used to students being six weeks along. It will be good to get that over with. Saturday night Joe and I are attending a fundraiser gala and get to be all dressed up. I am vascillating between wearing my wedding gown (which was really just a while evening gown) or wearing a little black dress. We shall see which makes me feel most goddess-y that evening. My sister in law and I have tentative plans to get mani/pedi's that day, which at this moment sounds decadent enough to bring tears to my eyes. I am just so stressed out inside. Let the next few days go smoothly. Please let me not let myself down on this exam.