Being Here Now

Waiting. It seems I spend an awful lot of my life waiting. Waiting for other people to do something, for me to grow up, for others to grow up. Waiting for the next pay cheque. Waiting for others to understand the changes around them. Waiting for the service man to show up with my new table, then waiting for the store to replace the table top. I’m pretty sure I am not unique in this waiting. I’m pretty sure everyone is waiting, eternally waiting…

When I was much much younger, at what is now called a young-adult age, I waited for the mother-ship to pick me up. Now I know that sounds somewhat psychotic, but really, who isn’t somewhat psychotic at that age? As I remember it, I couldn’t possibly be from this planet, all the people here were so weird and out of synch with me, my thoughts, my views. sadly I’ve discovered no mother-ship and it wasn’t them, it was me.

So now years later I still feel out of synch, but have discovered others who also feel that way – granted most of them are offspring so maybe I am just propagating the syndrome but at least I no longer stand out in the middle of field in the dark staring up at the night sky.

But the wanderlust has hit again. I fantasize about packing up the car and hitting the road. Traveling to exotic locals, getting a little apartment and taking a temporary travel position – to wander and discover. Then I look at the pay scales for those travel positions. Talk about sticker shock! I know, I know…it is a damn good wage, but I think I am worth more. And I don’t want to work 12 hour shifts. And I don’t think I should have to work nights. So really, I don’t want to do travel nursing, I just want to travel. Glad I cleared that up.

Nursing gets into your blood and brain and it is hard to kick the habit. I recently was seriously looking at a job as assistant dean of a college in the health providers department. Seriously. That would be so cool, to be in academia, but then I started to envision the days, filled with meetings and budgets and abstract ideologies of enrollment and vision and I realized I like the amount of clinical involvement I have now. Not too much patient touching, but clinical involvement on an intellectual level, assessing, planing, intervening and evaluation. The nursing way, without having to turn a patient, suction an ETT or crawl under a bed to hook up a chest tube, cause I am so over that part of nursing.

So ultimately, after a bumpy course of introspection and self-flagellation I discover I do like my job, despite the waiting for the collapse of the health care system under the new political regime, waiting for the physicians to get on the change train, waiting for clinical staff to understand that they, not the doctor, are the end of the line in patient safety. The sharp end of the stick.

Despite all the bad, it is still good. And since no mother-ship is coming, all I have is now, so living in the now seems a more useful way to be. How very zen of me.