As of today, it’s been exactly one year that I’ve been at my job. There are still days I find it hard to believe I made it through nursing school and I am actually a nurse. When I look back on that process, I know that training for endurance sports is a major contributing factor to my success.
Endurance: the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. Synonyms: tolerance, sufferance, forbearance, patience, acceptance, stoicism.
Training to run marathons and complete long-distance triathlons gave me the mental capacity to keep going when it gets hard. Nursing school was hard. Life as a nurse is nothing to scoff at either. But here are a few things that I have learned, or at least been reminded of over the past 365 days:
*I care deeply for people. Even when it’s people who are threatening my sanity, I put my entire heart into serving them. Even if that means I have to sit on hold with a pharmacy well after the 5:00 dismissal so that someone gets a prescription they need so they don’t have to remain uncomfortable. Doesn’t mean I won’t complain about it, but I will still do it.
*The sound of a fetal heartbeat is the most beautiful sound in the world. It never gets old. Not. Ever.
*For all the nurses I fit for shoes at Fleet Feet, I daily think about how important good footwear is. But Aleve is necessary to keep on hard as well.
*I never get tired of carrying my dad’s stethoscope around my neck. I take him with me daily. Today our supply guy, Paul, asked me about it and I’m pretty sure we both had tears in our eyes.
*OB/Gyn is definitely where I am supposed to be. I love the hope of new life, the relationships I get to build over 9 months and the beautiful babies that come to visit.
*I have cried for my patients on more than one occasion, and I have prayed for them even more.
*There will always be someone who doesn’t like you. And that’s ok.
*Spontaneous triplets might be the coolest thing in the world.
*It makes me crazy when people leave a voicemail without telling me their name.
*Coffee makes the world go round.
*Scrubs have pockets for a reason.
*You can’t beat a good pen.
*Even better than the words “Thank you” are the words “I appreciate ya”.
Nursing is not for the weak or the faint of heart. It takes strength, and endurance to get through the days and the weeks. You don’t always know when you’ll get to eat, or pee, or even sit down for a moment. But take advantage of the aide stations when they come, keep putting one foot in front of the other and stick with it for the long haul. And it will be worth the effort.
Unrelated to my job, I’m pleased to report that I’ve been running a couple times a week. Even in the midwestern misery of heat and humidity, I’ve built my mileage up to 8 whole miles. Its slow and steady, but it gets the job done. No Garmin, I just know where the turn arounds are from many years of training and I couldn’t begin to tell you my pace. I don’t really care, maybe cause if I knew it would make me sad how far I’ve fallen off from where I was before. But also, I’m enjoying it more this way. So there’s that.
And last but not least, since we were talking about being in it for the long haul, I picked up a project recently that I had to set down for nursing school. It seems kind of appropriate that on the year anniversary of starting one job, I’m going back to another. No, I’m not selling shoes again, and I won’t be making an income from this one for a bit, but I started back today as a writer. I had a conference with my book coach this morning, in the chaos of my life, with a husband, four kids and a puppy in the background, and it’s time I got back to telling my story.
It’s never going to be easy to find the time to make this dream come to fruition, but it’s not going to get any easier the longer I wait. And so, the journey of Rambling Runner Girl resumes. Slow and steady, one foot in front of the other. Onward!
Maybe by my second work anniversary, you can all celebrate by buying my book. ;)