It’s interesting how your life can just speed past without even realizing what’s going on or having the feeling like you really aren’t an active participant. Reflecting on the past 6 months of my life I realize that’s exactly what’s happened. (I’ll get to more of that shortly). First, let me tell you what got me there. I have worked for most of my nursing career to move into a management position. Over the past summer, I got the opportunity I had been waiting for and with every part of my being, began sinking myself into it. Interview after interview, month after month, it finally was mine!! I was so excited to be at this point in my life and quite honestly, I still am. With this new transformation came a new abundance of stress and responsibility that even I didn’t quite realize until recently. Let me give you a quick glance into one of my days.
5:30 Alarm goes off
5:45 I actually roll out the bed and start showering with all the usual get ready activities
6:15 Get my son up out of bed
6:30 Make his breakfast (I eat mine at work)
7:00 Make our lunches and head for the car
7:15 Drop him off at school and head to work
7:30 Start all my daily activities, which include staffing, meetings, emails, etc.
5:30 Get off work and head to the gym
6:00-7:00 get my work out on
7:30 Make dinner and go over my son’s homework
8:30 Sit down for a few minutes to talk with my husband about our day and maybe read or watch TV.
9:30 Attempt to go to bed, this usually actually happens around 10 or 10:30 because I am still answering emails or doing something related to work.
This is pretty typical of most days. The only major difference is that I usually work out 3 days a week. I prefer to make it four but sometimes it only winds up being two. But you just have to roll with it sometimes and if it doesn’t work out that day then you wake up and do it all over again. In between those times when you would think that I have spare time, I am usually fielding calls or texts from work or getting to talk with a friend on the phone.
That’s what led me to my reflection about a week ago. My husband and I celebrated our 16th anniversary and decided to go somewhere warm and beachy. Punta Cana here we come! No emails, no text messages, and no cell phone period for 5 days. You might think this would evoke a full blown panic attack, but no actually quite the opposite. It was rather nice to sit back on the beach in a chair, with a frosty beverage in my hand. My husband and I actually had full conversation, without one of us having a phone in our hand. This was actual face to face listening and talking. Can you imagine!?! I can’t remember the last time we actually got to sit with each other and talk, not wondering if I’ll have enough staff for the next day or an email that I need to send out…not to mention what’s on his mind.
It really made me think about how we have to set aside time for ourselves, for our family and just for our mental sanity. I didn’t realize how stressed I had really been and what it was physically doing to me. Even my gym work outs had suffered some. The weights I had typically been doing suddenly seemed so heavy. I don’t want to change what I am doing in my career, but I have to be able to find the balance to make sure I include my family and also set aside time so I can read a book or play on the internet…Pinterest anyone? I definitely had not been doing these things and looking back I can totally see it. I was present, but not really. This also happened in the gym. During a workout, I would check my phone multiple times and answer various things which completely took my mind away from what I was doing. Would the work totally fall to pieces if I actually took about an hour for myself? HELL NO it wouldn’t!! Just make sure to actually be present in everything that you do.