Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby

Yesterday was a good day. Well. For me. My clinical instructor had a family emergency that took her out of town unexpectedly, which made us unable to go to the hospital for clinical rotation. I was disappointed to an extent - it was to be my first day in L&D. Instead, we did virtual patients on a computer program up at school. Not nearly as fulfilling, let me tell you. But the up sides were an extra hour of sleep and about three hours less of clinicals, leaving more time to squeeze in the bajillion other things on my mind right now.

Despite the gift of an easier day though I got pretty melancholy last night. I have this huge mental pile of things that need to be done, not the least of which is clean up the den where I do most of my studying. It looks like a bomb went off, as does, frankly, the rest of my house. It feels right now like everything around me is a partially completed project. Pile of clean laundry waiting to be folded here, floor needing mopped for longer than I care to admit over there, clutter clutter everywhere and pollen making a fine yellow mist-like coating over pretty much everything. It annoys me. I dreamed and dreamed of having a warm, comfortable home and I don't have the time to put into it that I would like to right now. On top of that stuff is all the things the boys have going on and all the end-of-semester projects that are getting wrapped up at school. It feels like a giant weight pressing down on me and, I confess, last night I just kind of sat down underneath it and felt the weight and opened the door to the Poor Me's, who have been knocking and knocking for weeks.

I can't say I feel much better this morning, but Joe was sweet to me last night. I made myself a nice, rich cream of mushroom soup from scratch, bought a book about a hospice nurse's experiences with death and dying and Heaven, bought a cheap bath soak for the jacuzzi tub. I took my bath and read my book and cried a little bit. I wore my most comfy PJs and indulged in the little shot of Grand Marnier that Joe poured for me to sip on and fell asleep in his arms. I didn't wake up until the cat discovered another cat encroaching on the front yard and commenced to communicating her displeasure by hurling herself against the window screen while making the Sounds of Satan that only cats who are threatened can make. So as far as feel-sorry-for-myself evenings go it was a pretty good one. Now the dawn is here and I muse again over the wry knowledge that all my moping about did nothing to resolve the issues that are pressing on me. They just kind of waited patiently in the corner, looking down their collective noses with superiorirty and asking "Are you finished now? Can we get to work?".

So in that vein, I acknowledge that today is a gift. Normally I would spend the day mapping out care of my patients from yesterday, racing to satisfy all the documentation requirements that will maximize my grade and get it up to the nursing office time stamper a few minutes before the 3 o'clock deadline. Without having gone to the hospital yesterday, I don't have to do that. I have today to focus on a major project due next Tuesday and a major exam next Monday. No feeling sorry for myself allowed - no time. I will put away the daydreams of a trip to Cancun or Hawaii, the silent yearning for a dark movie theater and giant bucket of popcorn in front of a feel-good flick that has no hidden moral message other than "Once in a while it all turns out okay". I will put my nose back to the grindstone and remember I just haven't earned it yet, but that I am and I will.

One thing is for sure. Nursing school is not for wimps. Or at least not for those who can't hide their wimpiness most of the time.


karen gerstenberger said...

I'm so grateful that you have that loving and nurturing man, and your wonderful sons, supporting you while you do this work. I suspect that they can easily tolerate the things that aren't getting done just now, because those are things that can wait. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. will always need to be done, but the training you are receiving, & the work you are doing now, take precedence over the cycle of chores. You are very close to the goal; I hope you won't let fatigue (and its sidekick, discouragement) take your joy away. (WOW, that really sounds like a mother talking!) HUGS to you.

Karen said...

I loved Karen's encouraging note to you. She has such a way with encouragement. I have to admit I was right there with you...wanting that dark movie house and light-hearted movie and bucket of popcorn and carefree hour. Sometimes you just wish all the stresses and pressures and losses would just GO away. I actually think you've earned all you long for and more, but this world isn't big on evening up the scales. Someday it will all be yours, I am sure. You are a very strong woman and I know you will get through it all.