A brief explanation of my disgracefully extended absence. Tonight is the first night, literally, in months, where I have had no pressing responsibilities which precluded a bit of writing for fun. So I will update you on my life since April.
About five minutes after I wrote the last entry, we got a puppy. So that took up a few months, wiping pee stains off the new carpet and getting up every 2 hours all night to let her out. It was just like having a human baby, except I didn’t get stretch marks from this one. Oh, and it has a lot more hair than any of my other children. She is becoming a lot more civilized now, too. Unlike the other children, she’s matured quickly. The humans seem to be developing into adults at a geological pace, when it comes to things like table manners and putting the toilet seat down, but at a lightning fast one when it comes to popular music and social networking websites. We can’t expect innuendo to float subtly above their heads any more, and we can’t spell things that we don’t want them to know… come to think of it, even the dog knows how to spell w-a-l-k now.
So there was the puppy, who really has been good for the kids – the novelty still hasn’t really worn off yet – they walk her daily with minimal whining. They are conscientious and thoughtful, at least when it comes to her. Of course they fight over who get to have her sleep in their bed, which I could do without.
Then there was the marathon. I ran the half marathon on Father’s Day. I was five minutes slower than my goal time of two hours, but discovered something very important about myself that day. I have the physical fitness to run a stupidly long distance, but I lack the mental fitness. By mile 15, I had resolved any cognitive dissonance that my 2:05 pace was causing and no longer cared about my finishing time. In the end, I was reasonably proud of my time, but realize that had I the mental toughness necessary to accomplish something really hard (like, maybe parenting?) I will need to train that part of me as well. I really don’t know how to do that but now it’s on my list of things to work on. I am really not sure if I have the balls to carry on when the going gets tough. I guess I’m lucky that the biggest test so far has been a meaningless road race. My running partner wants to do the Great Canadian Death Race next summer – that might be another good training ground.
In between training the puppy, and training for the marathon, there were about a thousand mini-soccer games, two weeks of vacation wherein I landscaped the front yard (heavy labour, that. Looks great), and a job interview for an impressive new job, which I start Monday. I also took another course towards my Master’s degree, with which I managed to maintain my perfect GPA, despite my deadbeat group project partners, whose work ethic and fixation on grades pale in comparison to my own anal retentive nature. Oh, and I read Harry Potter.
So all that, and despite a funky bleach blond haircut with vivid blue chunks in it, I got myself a new job. I have exactly two shifts left as a front-line nurse, and I fully expect that with my resignation from my current position, I will never go back to direct patient care. I confess to having mixed feelings about that. Never again will I have to track down a doc at 4:30 on a Friday for a narcotic prescription – a pet peeve to say the least (I know every job has one – the Subway Sandwich Artists hate when the tomatoes don’t get sliced straight, and the mailman rages at every lazy sod who refuses to shovel the snow off his front steps – I fume when people don’t pay attention to their medication needs until it is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY – not my fault but definitely my problem). However, I will probably never again give a little old lady a warm blanket to make her feel better. I have probably been thanked in an obituary for the last time. I’m pretty sure I will never again be able to sit down with someone who has a new scary diagnosis and reassure them that “people survive this all the time”. Anyway, this is a much more intellectual job I’m moving to, it is a stepping stone to something major – and should be interesting to boot. I am having a bit of identity crisis, though. I will now join the ranks of people who “used to be a nurse”. Although I will maintain my license, and could easily go back to nursing, I likely won’t.
I will miss the white coat and the status it confers. I am proud to walk down the hall in that building knowing that everyone is aware that I have a legitimate reason for being there, that I provide an essential service. I will miss my colleagues, who often make it worth coming to work. I will miss some patients, and others I will forget tomorrow (if I’m being honest). I won’t miss thirty phone calls a day, many of which are medical emergencies which I am responsible for managing with appropriate assessments and advice. There is far less potential that I could actually be responsible for killing someone in the new job. I will have an office, and a pager, both of which I acknowledge may become liabilities in the grand pro/con list. I am quite anxious. What if I hate it? I’ve given up all my seniority, not that it was much, and I am certainly qualified to go back – would I? Would I hate going back? Probably. I think what I might miss most of all is the feeling that I really know my job well and suddenly, I will be in a situation where I know next to nothing. Hey, maybe that’s where the whole mental toughness thing might come in. I’d better re-read that one I wrote when I started this job. I think it will be a challenge.
Anyway, enough of my rambling – it does feel good to articulate my anxieties. Going to play monkey-in-the-middle with the kids and the dog, before the summer is over.