So what’s next?
Its no surprise that after finishing nursing school and getting engaged in April, I’ve heard that question more than a few times this summer.
Initially, my response was, “I’m going to take boards and see where I’m at.”
Well, I took my boards (and passed, YAY!) in June, so what have I been doing since then?
I decided that I was going to take the summer off! Since I was going to have the kids for a big portion of the summer, and since we had a couple vacations planned, and since they have suffered through the last two summers with me going off to school every day, it seemed appropriate for us to have one last hurrah. Pretty soon I will be working, and by next summer we’ll be a family of 6, so I felt I owed it to them, and to myself, to have some fun.
I took my board exam while they were on vacation with their dad in early June and that was about the end of my peace and quiet for the summer. After that we had pool days and adventures. We spent a few days in Kentucky at a lake house over the 4th of July where we shot off fireworks, fished, jumped in and swam off the doc, played games, ate A TON and just generally enjoyed ourselves.
A couple weeks later, we spent 10 days in Michigan with the Jacobs side. We crammed 12 of us (my mom, brother and family, nieces and my kids) into my mom’s New Buffalo condo. It was cozy, but we made it work. We played Scrabble, went tubing, played on the beach and in the pool, watched sunsets, hiked up the dunes, picked blueberries, ate A TON and just generally enjoyed ourselves. Are you sensing a theme here? We’re Jacobs. We like to eat.
We celebrated Silas’ 10th birthday. We celebrated Greyson’s (my bonus kid’s) 8th birthday. We started planning a wedding. We took all the kids to Johnson’s Shut-ins, which they deemed the coolest place in the world, after whining the entire 1.5+ hour drive there that it wasn’t going to be worth it. (Just a hint: It’s totally worth it!) We sent my oldest off to high school (very bittersweet!). We watched a total solar eclipse, sadly not together, but it was absolutely stunning. It’s been a fun, and somewhat exhausting, summer of Lindsey.
But it wasn’t all fun and games. I spent quite a bit of time working on some projects around the house as well. While the kids were gone in June, I spent a couple days peeling wallpaper, painting and surprised them with a makeover in their bathroom. They loved it so much, they all stopped using my master shower and moved back into their own bathroom, that only took 5 years of living in this house. I guess I should have done it sooner. Unfortunately, the shift in shower usage, also revealed a leak in the pipes, resulting in a hole in my kitchen ceiling that is currently under repair. Thanks, Roger!
The wallpaper removal has continued, with the kids’ help in the upstairs hallway, stairwell and into the front room of the house. We recently hit a stall there, but will pick back up after these few nice days that St. Louis has for the year pass us by. I also started a project of refinishing a couple of old chairs. Since one of the dining room chairs busted several years back, we’re down to 5. We need to rectify that before there are six of us sitting around the table on a regular basis. Of course, that will also require that the dining room become a place to eat, as opposed to its current state of “craft and game room”. Ah, well, life is all about redefining purposes, right?
Another thing that happened this summer was I spent several hours working in the yard. This is something I always enjoyed the excuse of, “I’m in nursing school, so don’t judge my yard.” To my dismay, it was time to let go of that excuse and dig in. As many hours as I spent digging, you wouldn’t know it to look at it. I’ve made a dent, but it’s a never-ending process. Oddly, I did find it somewhat satisfying every time I filled a yard waste bag to drag to the curb for pick up on Thursdays.
You want to know what I didn’t do much of this summer? Run. If I got in an average of one run a week, I would be surprised. I’ll tell you this, running in St. Louis in the summer humidity is abysmal. Any confidence you ever had in your abilities can be wiped away as soon as you step foot out the front door on day that its 95 degrees and 95% humidity before the sun is up. As soon as you try to make your feet move you wonder who put lead in your running shoes. Gross.
I found that doing yoga with a background of Pandora’s Instrumental Chill station was just as productive and better for my mental health. I’ve also found that after a long hiatus from the pool, as in the lap pool at the gym, I look forward to the soothing sound of myself blowing bubbles in the water. Silence IS golden. Especially when your house contains boys. I’ve also averaged about a book a week, reading for pleasure is nice. And it’s hard to run while reading, so I jumped on the elliptical with my book more often than not.
But between yard work and not running, here’s what I figured out. This summer was not just about the summer of Lindsey because I got to play so much, it was more about the summer of redefining Lindsey. I started thinking…I used to be a runner. But does the fact that I don’t want to run because St. Louis is miserable this time of year mean that I should change the name of this blog to Rambling Swimmer Girl or Rambling Yardwork Girl? I’m no less a runner just because I’m not as fast as I once was, or because I am only running when I feel like it and, sit down for this runner friends, WITHOUT a Garmin (Gasp! The horror!) I’m no less a runner when I average 5 miles a week than my friends who are posting about having a hundred-mile week…well, ok, maybe I am less a runner than them, because I literally AM running less. A lot less.
But ya know what? I’m ok with that.
The other day while I was sitting in a church parking lot with one of my best friends in the entire world waiting for the moon to eclipse the sun we were discussing how my relationship with running has changed. I used to run 2 or sometimes 3 times a day. Seriously. It was kind of a sickness to be honest. I had so much inner turmoil, my head and my heart were such a mess, that I felt this need to make the outside hurt just as much as the inside. Every time I ran and pushed to the point of feeling sick. Now I don’t think of that as particularly fun. I told Lynn, “Running is there when I need it, but I no longer need it to be everything.” Redefining Lindsey.
So where is the metaphor in this summer? Because I’m RRG, and you know I’m all about metaphors. Well, here you go. I distinctly remember one of those days of working in the yard, I was a sweaty dirty mess in cutoff jeans that I’ve had since college and orange rain boots. What? I don’t want to come across some long slithery thing and have it take a stroll across my foot. No thanks! And besides, the one time I went out in sneakers, I ended up with poison ivy on my shin. Grrrrrr. Anyway, I was out there trimming hedges and gathering the clippings and pulling weeds, but it wasn’t just about making the parts you can see presentable, there were points that I was on my hands and knees digging underneath the bushes pulling out old, dead, rotted leaves that had collected in hard to reach places. It gets nasty under there. And I’m still bearing the battle scars of evergreens, holly plants and pricker bushes. It got pretty ugly. But it was necessary. You have to clear out the crap to keep everything healthy and growing. And it’s NEVER going to be finished, it’s always a work in progress. There’s going to be blood, sweat and tears sometimes, but it’s going to be worth it in the end. I guess you could pay someone to do it for you, but where is the satisfaction in that?
I am no more a gardener and no less a runner than I used to be. I’m just RRG, doing what makes me happy. And somedays that looks different than other days. I will continue to redefine who I am, or maybe refine is a better word. I’m sure I will find another race to train for in the not too distant future, but in the meantime, I’m going to leave the Garmin at home, or read my WW II novels, or whatever.
So, what’s next? The year ahead will be one with some pretty major transitions. I’m going to start working again full time. I’m planning a wedding. I’m trying to finish some projects to get the house ready for 2 more. Redefining and refining. The leaves will fall, weeds will keep popping up, and so forth, but I’ll keep doing the best I can.
People have also been asking what exactly I want to do when I get a job. I’ve been answering that I’m not really sure, so I’m keeping my options open. I know I do not want to work in a nursing home, I prefer OB or Peds to geriatrics. About a week and a half ago, I decided it was time to send out a resume with some intention, now that the summer is winding down I should start what has the potential to be a long, tedious process (like yard work?). So, I sent a resume. Yes, “a”. And yesterday afternoon, I was offered a job that feels completely meant to be. Without knowing exactly what I was looking for, it is exactly what I was looking for. It doesn’t always work out that easily, but sometimes, like every 400 years or so, the sun and the moon align. And when that happens, it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.
I’m a nurse. I start September 5th. Stay tuned for more…