Nursing Saga, Continued….

Upon reading this, you may think, “Wow, she’s old”, or “That doesn’t seem right”…but here it is. This summer I am celebrating being a nurse for 35 years. Don’t bother doing the math, it’s all I’ve ever done job-wise, and I started nursing when I was 10 years old. Just kidding…

This length of time leads to reflection, and these are the things that I have realised:

  1. I have personally touched, and taken care of, literally thousands of people.
  2. I have been involved in some of the most scary moments someone can have, with people from all around the world.
  3. I have watched people die, and I have watched people being born. Those people probably have birthed their own people by now.
  4. I have seen very good healthcare workers, and very bad ones.
  5. I have witnessed critically ill people live longer by just their optimism, and not so ill people live much shorter lives from pure fear and negative emotions.
  6. Most of all, I have been completely amazed by the intricate, seemingly miraculous, inner workings of the human body.

Let me stress to you the important part of all this in relation to today’s issues. I work primarily in an operating room setting. I see naked people almost every day of my live. It doesn’t matter if you’re fluffy, lumpy, bony, wrinkly, deformed, or missing the outside layer of your skin: we are all the same in the most basic, foundational way.

Because I have seen all types of people, and I have taken care of people regardless of age, gender, color, shape, and personality, it’s all the same to me. I’m going to hold your hand when you are put under anesthesia even if we can’t communicate, because you’re scared. Holding your hand is what I would want you to do for me. I am in this profession to take care of people.

Some of you reading this may not be Christian. I have to say that even so, Jesus Christ was a perfect teacher. The rule is to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. That’s pretty much what it all boils down to. Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” I have to think all major religions across the globe call for mercy and love for each other. I am not a theologian, but I’m pretty sure about that.

We all are born here with a different set of circumstances, and a different set of challenges and obstacles. Some of us are seen as “lucky”, and others “cursed”. There is a spectrum for sure. One thing I have witnessed, however, is that some of those that are labeled as “cursed” have changed the course of life through gratitude and love. Some that are “lucky” have taken the path of fear and hatred, thereby slowing progression into a peaceful life. My thought here, is that it is not my – or your, job to “fix” people, either through argumentation, or judgement. We can steer people to a happier existence by eliminating thought processes that are unhelpful, like racism. For what is racism basically, but fear that you are not going to have what others have, or will be seen as someone less worthy to receive goodness? This is not real. There is plenty of goodness for everyone on earth. The paradox is that, the more you give, the more you will receive.

Take that and absorb it, or throw it away. I will still hold your hand when your mind is not in the right place, because I believe each little moment someone shows love, they change the world. That is why I will be working until I think I can’t do it anymore.

Have a peaceful weekend. Cheers, Deb

Why I gave up Anxiety

Anxiety seems to be a pervasive emotion nowadays. People are going to the emergency room in my state of Colorado at an ever increasing rate. Most of these mental conditions consist of depression and anxiety. I can’t say I have given up feeling depressed once in a while. After all, negative stuff happens to everyone, and I have had my fair share. I do manage to blow it off pretty well though.

Anxiety, by definition is: “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome” (Oxford dictionary)

Number one: I am getting into my mid-50s and have discovered that I thoroughly enjoy the feeling of ease and peace that comes with a certain age. Maybe I just don’t worry about stuff because it’s a little late to start now.

Number two: There are simple techniques to handle minor nervousness. Stop drinking caffeine, learn deep breathing exercises, talk to a friend for perspective, meditate…

Number three: “an uncertain outcome”… hmmm. Isn’t every event in life uncertain? Can we have utmost certainty that ANYTHING is positively going to happen? I have to argue NO on that one. If I spent time worrying about uncertain outcomes, I could worry all day, because every event is, by nature, uncertain.

Number four: This is the weird one. I have discovered that I have a type of apathy (but not exactly) about things in general. I want to explain this one. I don’t have the attitude that I just don’t care, because I do care. As a matter of fact, I care about things more now than ever. I care about my family, my health, my relationship, and my job. I care about the planet, and it’s future. I do care.

The difference now is that I have acknowledged the limits of my effectiveness in changing much of those things. I may love as much as I can, and still have a poor relationship event. I can recycle and spread knowledge about the environment, but have a very low impact on stopping it. I can work extra hours to make more money, but until I find a position I like better, I will remain there.

I guess you have to say that I have developed more faith that things will work out. We are living on this earth a very short time, and what will be, will be. I am here to experience things and learn from them. I am not here to drive myself crazy about the limitations I have.

Tragic stuff happens at unexpected times. I am not going to think about those things, because I truly believe that when you dwell on certain things, you attract those things. That is why I wake up and say, “I’m tired, but going to work. I really don’t have to do anything else today that is life-threatening if I don’t do it, so, might as well make some money.”

I wake up with gratitude that I can still physically and mentally function. I thank the Universe, God, the all-encompassing consciousness, or whatever you want to call it, that I have the things I do. Dwelling on what you DO have attracts good stuff. Dwelling on things you DON’T have attracts bad stuff. That’s it. No anxiety.

My hope for anyone that reads this, is that you can identify with a feeling of ease; that you can wake up with gratitude and stop the negative inner voice. Be your own coach and best friend. Tell yourself that everything will be okay – because it will.

Have a wonderful, peaceful weekend. Cheers, Deb