Saturday, December 27, 2014

{Musings} Intro.

There's this book I love called Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It is one of those daybooks where there is a short daily chapter. The book is all about womanhood and finding joy despite the stress and pressure and busyness that assaults us on a daily basis. I love it and have probably read it four or five times, starting when I was about fourteen. I usually go through it about every other year, although there were a few years in college that it escaped me.

In this book, there are dozens of suggestions for living life with more grace and abundance. Every time I read it, there are things I try and things I ignore, picking and choosing depending on where I am in life. A few days ago, one suggestion in particular leapt off the page to me. After going into the way writing 365 meditations on an abundant life changed her, Breathnach challenges the reader to attempt writing her own meditations.

I know I've read that page before, and I think I considered the idea. But this time, this reading, it sounds like something that is absolutely indispensable. Lately, I feel like I walk around, collecting little meditations of my own, forming them into sentences in my mind, and then forgetting them when I neglect to write them down. I've always done better with goals and deadlines, so here they are: This year, every week, I am going to write what Breathnach calls meditations. I'm going to call them musings instead, since the word meditation suggests silence to me, and what I'm trying to accomplish is the opposite of silence.

I'm not sure exactly what will happen. I've been ambivalent about how much of myself I want to share in this public space, one moment feeling like I overshare and need to tone it down, the next feeling that if I ever want to be a good writer, I need to get more comfortable with being raw and free with my emotions. So, I'm not sure where this train is headed, but I'm jumping on for the ride.

I'll be posting once a week, Saturday nights or Sunday mornings. (Let's not be too picky -- I'll be lucky if I get it out at all). So here's to fifty-two musings on life and finding joy, this time next year.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thoughts on working.

I talk about work more than I realize, I think. Sometimes my life seems like it is split perfectly in two -- there is the me that is home with my son, that throws parties, that sings songs and cooks dinners, and there is the me that calculates medications, tries to figure out how to squeeze two blood products, an investigational drug, pre-meds, anti-nausea medications, diuretics, and morphine into one kid's body in a 12 hour day.

I think we all know which version of myself I like better. Or at least, I think I do. I am always wishing I could be home more, stressing out before work with worry like a weight in my stomach. My decision to work was a complicated one, and sometimes I wonder if it was the right one (aka, I prayed about it and felt right about it, but sometimes after a long day I have my doubts).

But here's the thing. Most of the times I've felt moved to bear my testimony of the Savior at church (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or "Mormons" have the opportunity to do this publicly before the whole congregation once a month if they want to), I feel like it has been because of an experience I've had at work. This is not to say that I haven't had testimony strengthening experiences at home, because I have. But it is obvious that I have some serious lessons to learn at work -- that this job stretches me in ways that I need to be stretched.

Lately I have the same patient every time I come to work, and I have some extra responsibilities with this patient. We call it having a "primary patient." This family is so sweet and devoted to their child, and they are so fearful right now. It is humbling to be one of the people they look to for answers and support. It also reminds me that no matter how stressed out I am at work, no matter how worried I am about my failings both real and imagined, at least I can come home, sleep in my own bed, and kiss my sweet, cancer-free child goodnight. I don't know if he'll always be healthy. I don't know if, in the future, I will have more healthy children. However, another gift working this job has given me is realizing that sometimes the present moment has to be enough -- I don't know what will happen in the future, but today, my family is well.

And that is what is going to get me out of bed tomorrow despite the day I had today.
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