Wednesday, August 27, 2014

embracing the journey

We spend much of our life working towards various goals. It begins when we are young and the goals may be simple like holding your breath underwater for a certain length of time or jumping rope 100 times without tripping. As we get older we find that reaching a goal often creates new goals and new challenges. Making the team in high school means extra time, effort and money (usually mom & dad's $$)spent to maintain and excel. Practice time means less social time, less time to get homework and studying done and we learn to prioritize, hopefully.

If there is one life lesson that has become glaringly obvious to me the past few weeks, it's that where one journey ends, another begins. Reaching a goal means new goals are birthed and there are transitions to be made.

On August 9, I completed a HUGE life goal. I graduated from nursing school. At age 37. The only career I ever remember wanting in life was to be in medicine. When I played with my dolls, I played hospital. When I gave the gift of chicken pox to my younger siblings, I made them medication charts. Somehow in high school I got an interview with a neonatologist for a career paper assignment.

I entered college as a pre-med major. My chosen school didn't have a nursing major at the time and I was pretty sure I wanted to be a doctor. However along the way God changed my path and sent me into ministry. I had perfect peace about this change and it's where my heart was. But I never lost my interest in medicine or my desire to work in that field.

Following God's path was most important, and the 10 years I spent in ministry were incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. However, for a gazillion reasons, both positive and negative (because that's just how life is)a few years ago I began to feel a shift. Ministry wasn't fitting like a glove and I began to seek God for the future. The only other career I was truly interested in was medicine and nursing was most logical as I didn't plan to try to go to Med School while raising children!

I slowly started fulfilling some pre-requisite courses. Then God surprised us with the blessing of Lilybug, baby #3 and nursing school went to the back burner. My time in ministry wasn't done. I made my plans. I wrestled and questioned as my timeline didn't quite match God's. But in His perfect time, the release from vocational ministry (i.e. getting a paycheck from a church) came and my acceptance to nursing school was in the mailbox.

And now, two years later I have achieved my lifelong goal. My nursing school journey has ended. But the journey has just begun.

I have been incredibly blessed and fortunate to get hired as a nursing assistant. This is helping provided for our family and hopefully will help me attain a full-time nursing position. I went straight from an intense, demanding summer school schedule to working full-time--and working 12-hr night shifts. A new journey to say the least! Learning how to balance family and sleeping during the day. It's not just a journey for me, but for the family as well. I have stretches of days I'm at home and can take care of a lot of stuff, but there are times I work 1-3 shifts in a row and sleep during the days which means Bean has to manage life at home and my kids have to let mama sleep.

It's a new journey. We never arrive. Where one journey ends, another begins. For me, it's a refining process. It's constantly challenging and growing my faith. It's about priorities and time management. It's a new part of me. Just like I named this blog--Embrace the Day--we also must embrace the journey we are one and realize we will always be on a journey. And each journey comes with the excitements and the challenges. It's just how life is.

Yes, I'm currently in the "challenges" portion of this journey as I figure everything out--but it is still exciting and rewarding and always, worth it.

Monday, August 11, 2014

thoughts at 0400 {4am}

It's 4am and I'm struggling to stay awake. It's a slow, quiet night on the floor at the hospital where I am a nurse's aide/unit clerk. I'm supposed to knock on wood right now that all hell doesn't break loose in the next 3 hours before our shift is over. That's something I've learned in the several weeks I've worked here so far--don't ever say out loud that it's quiet or slow. Hopefully typing it doesn't count as out loud.

Busier nights make it easier to stay awake. In about an hour or so though, things should get a little more active, and that will help. Doctors often do rounds early, kids wake up early and parents stumble to the family room for coffee. I started out on the floor tonight, but the unit clerk had to leave early so I've been at the desk--which makes it harder to stay awake.

Hence the 4am blogging. Stay awake...stay awake. I'm not going to fall asleep sitting her, but I do get pretty delirious.

I made the mistake of eating gluten-free pizza for dinner tonight. The hubs offered it and I just couldn't resist. The truth is, the last few times I've eaten it, I've gotten pretty bad indigestion. But I haven't had it in months, so I thought I'd try again. FAIL. Having a gassy, bloated, crampy stomach while working the night shift isn't fun. It makes me sad that I can't even eat gluten free goodies.

Thankfully I can eat chocolate and ice cream without too much reaction. Now that I'm done with school I need to get serious about healing my gut so that I can enjoy the occasional gluten free food. I do believe that a gluten-free, mostly grain-free and nutrient diet is the best for our bodies and I will probably eat that way the rest of my life. But I do want to be able to indulge from time to time and I need to heal my gut.

Did ya catch that I'm done with school?!! The nursing school journey I started almost two years ago now is done! Well, mostly done. I still need to pass my boards and get an R.N. job, but the daily grind of school is over with and I am so thrilled. In my head I have some posts planned about the end of school and my pinning. Hopefully they will happen.

Things I am excited to focus on once again now that nursing school is done...
My kids need quality time with me and a lot less babysitters. They also need stricter discipline again!
Fitness...once again the summer semester KILLED my exercise habits. Exercise is my stress relief more than anything, and quality me time. The hubs is currently doing P90X3 and I've done several sessions with him. I want to continue this as I can, but add in some run days and hiking/trail runs once the kids are back in school.
My needs a BIG deep clean and purge. I would like to move out and then move back in again. We also desperately need a refreshing of so much in our home. All in due time...when I get that R.N. job!
Our menu....feeding a family of 5 isn't easy. Everyone has opinions and preferences. I haven't been able to menu plan or bargain shop at all. I am looking forward to finding new dinners to make and varying our meals.
Friends...I've had precious little time with friends in the past several months. The bit of free time I did have needed to go to my family and I just didn't feel right leaving again for girl time. But now I will have time again to get together with friends.

These are just a few things on my mental "to do" list.

But more than anything right now, I need refreshing and rest! In between family and work. But not having school is such a huge relief and will allow me the rest I need. A lot of this stuff will wait until the kids (all 3!) are in school again in 3 weeks. I'm in no rush, there is no hurry.

I'm loving my family and enjoying life. That's what matters right now.

Well, at 0430 what really matters is I wish it was 0730 and I was getting in bed. Can't come soon enough today!