Tag Archives: Hope

A Change Will Do You Good

sunshineI was thinking of posting earlier in the week, but I was in a pity party mood and didn’t want to dump here. Could be a I missed a dose or two of meds (this seems to happen on the weekends) and wasn’t feeling 100%. I admit I was less than motivated and spent too much time in bed; didn’t have anywhere to be and was feeling a little isolated. But the funk has passed, and I have something to look forward to this week.

I am starting yet another new job (leaving undergrad teaching). I thought I would remain in teaching, but I don’t have a passion for it right now, and the pay is abysmal. So I found a new position in my clinical area and hope this works out well, I should be able to work my way out of debt with the better income. I look forward to working with patients again, I missed it. I particularly enjoy working with the elderly. They are complex, and often have wisdom to share with a youngster like me (haha, had another uneventful birthday this month). I also believe I have an old soul, and am attracted to kindred spirits. So, I am looking forward to this new position. And hoping the black dog will remain silent and not interfere.

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Dog Therapy and More

My two dogs have been faithful companions throughout my depression ups and downs. They are always there to snuggle and give me unconditional love. I don’t know what I would have done for the past year without them. And I have not  been the best of dog owners either; not that they are abused or anything, I know they need to go out for walks, but more often than not, I have crawled into bed after work to veg. Not living really, but they put up with me in spite of it. So I am sure they are glad to see me in a better, more active state of mind and body. I’m sure it is a combination of factors, including med adjustment, better weather and trying to focus on positive thoughts. My sister says, “positive thoughts lead to positive feelings.” I’m not sure that any of us can think our way out of depression. But positive thoughts sure beat wallowing in melancholy.

So I am looking forward to a new job this month. I spent the past year teaching nursing at a local liberal arts college. While it wasn’t bad, I really didn’t have a passion for it (or perhaps the depression was interfering with my work). I am more motivated by clinical practice and hope this job fits me well. Practice pays better than teaching too. My therapist says this time between jobs would be a good time to establish a “routine.” She specifically means eat right and exercise. Ugh. I know I need to, but it’s a really tough proposition. I know I need to take better care of myself so I can be more effective in helping others. Sort of like the airplane speech about putting your oxygen mask on before assisting your children/family members. But it is so very hard, don’t you think?

Meanwhile, I have made great strides in taking care of my home and yard. Mowing and pulling weeds is good exercise (push mower, one-quarter acre). The yard has been quite neglected since last year when my Mother got sick. By the way, she has made a miraculous recovery from being near death. She has gone from being unable to walk, to driving and socializing with friends. She is coming to visit me too. Hope to do something fun with my few weeks off. All work and no play makes Jen a dull woman. Can’t have that.

So, I am completing some unfinished projects and have gone back to some creative pursuits (pottery, crochet, jewelry making, blogging). Positive activities boost my mood for sure. Staying busy!

Looking Up, At Least Today

The darkness seems to be lifting a bit, which is wonderful. As far as what is improving my mood;, could be a few things. My meds were adjusted a few weeks ago, and I think they are kicking in. Also, wrapping things up at work for the semester and looking forward to better weather. Got a decent tax refund too, so I haven’t been so stressed about finances as usual. So, I’m feeling grateful, even as I look around the house and realize how I have neglected things at home. My goodness, the dust rhinos have taken over! I guess it’s time for some serious spring cleaning.
Time to sweep clean, not just the house but also my old soul. Need to think positive thoughts and stop sleeping my life away. Now to stay motivated. Hope this improved mood today continues…

Another Transition, or Find Something Else to Do

Hard to believe this has happened, but I shouldn’t be all that surprised. With the  chaos and instability in my workplace, it was probably only a matter of time until my turn came. So here it is, I’m looking for employment again. My therapist tried to prepare me for the prospect of losing my position, but I hoped I could ride out the wave of multiple discharges and frequent boss replacements. So here is a over-educated, middle-aged nurse with a variety of experience looking for a new position. Just have to put on my smile and positive attitude and try to minimize why I happen to be unemployed at the moment. I’m sure that prospective employers will understand, right?

Now I also have time to get back to blog writing. I have definitely neglected my online journaling, and it is an effective way for me to process some of the things that happen in my life. Perhaps I can spend some time figuring out my smart phone too. Somehow it’s supposed to improve my quality of life, but I haven’t plunged into the world of apps. I’m sure life will be oh so much better once I conquer the phone.

There never seems to be enough time to do all the things that need to get done when you aren’t working. Time flies when you are unemployed. Perhaps I won’t have time to pursue much else, but I’ll keep busy, I’m sure. Somehow, I think I’ll make this transition to new work…at least I can be positive about it.

Feeling OK, or at Least Not Bad

Despite all the things conspiring against me, such as the endless rain, financial concerns and misbehaving dogs, I’m feeling not so bad as of late. I have absolutely no explanation for this, as I have made no changes in any of my habits, etc. Still not eating as well as I should, would benefit from more exercise and socialization, etc. I can only claim to have definitely been sleeping enough and have the affection of two mischievous dogs and one well-worn cat.

No complaints here, I’ll take it. I may not be Sally Sunshine, but I don’t mind being with myself, so I’m sure I’m better company than I have been. Will I ever get past this point I wonder? Is there any more than just feeling OK? I can remember happiness, rather vaguely. It’s been a long time. Will I know it when I see it again? I continue to be hopeful that I will.

Have I Given Up Things?

Most people say that as you get old you have to give up things. I think you get old because you do give up things. —-Theodore Green

I don’t know who Ted Green is, but he got me thinking…have I given up things? I believe I have, but always rationalized it somehow. Thought it was part of growing up and being mature, the trade-off for having a family, etc. Was I supposed to let things go? Does everyone let things go? Do women just let things go?

Still having some deep discussions in therapy, a lot surrounding my career and choices. I have let things go because I made this career choice of nursing and thought I had to do certain things to be “successful.” Let’s just say I’m a high achiever, went to a high achieving college and nursing program and being “just a nurse” was not enough. I felt like I was expected to represent my high level of education and achievement by leap-frogging into management or something. So I did. This of course left little time for other pursuits as I was juggling being a single parent and fighting with my ex in and out of court. So I gave away little pieces and parts of what I enjoyed and had pursued before nursing dominated my life. Like ceramics and photography. Like needle arts and sewing. There were many things that I gave up along the way that I am slowly trying to retrieve. But now I am wondering if one of these things or perhaps something else altogether should occupy my work time instead?

More than halfway down the road and I’m questioning EVERYTHING. Doesn’t make for day-to-day stability. Some days I just want to escape and not have to think about any of it. I feel like a big goof. But then I think, I don’t hate nursing, I just don’t have a passion for it like some do. I’ve done a lot of good things during my career, and I’ve touched a lot of lives in a positive way. I am proud of that. It’s not a total wash. I don’t regret what I’ve done so far, although it has been a rough road at a number of turns. I just wonder if it’s time to take the road less travelled. Mr. Frost says it will make all the difference.

Listen, It’s More Than Just Shutting Up

Every once in a while I think we all take the time to be still for a moment and just listen…It can be in the midst of a hectic day at work or a lull in a Saturday afternoon. Right now I’m being still at home. The furnace just kicked on, I can hear the hum of the dryer as it tosses the towels about. I can also hear the twitter (how we used to use the word) of the birds outside that came back way too early this year. And the tick of the clock hanging on the wall above me. So there are lots of noises going on besides the constant noise in my head (and I’m not referring to the chronic tinnitus I’ve developed from ear infections either). 

But do we listen to each other? One of the skills I’ve developed as a nurse is the ability to listen to patients and families. Sometimes people just need to talk without interruption. Listening with intention is a skill. It’s becoming invested in what someone is saying, having empathy, being moved to respond meaningfully. Sometimes when we talk, we don’t want solutions or answers, we just need to be heard. It means we have truly connected with another human being, having communicated our thoughts and feelings.

At times it is ok to just be in the silence together. The unsaid is just as meaningful/powerful as what is given over to words. The old cliché of “reading between the lines” is an apt description of the power of the nonverbal. Listen  to the silence. What hasn’t been said? What might it mean? Perhaps we should just ponder it…in silence.