Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What A Year


So many things. So many changes. So many accomplishments. So many places. So many.


video

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Preach it Sista! --A Must-Read

I came across this blog post and the following reply linked on facebook by two of my friends and former co-workers in New York. It is too good not to share. I can't tell you how tired I get of hearing people complain about how long they had to wait in the ER that one time when they had to go. A former patient of mine said it best on a particularly horrendous night at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, CA. He had just been assigned to a room, I came in and apologized for the wait. His reply has stuck with me for six years. He said, "You know, I never feel bad about having to wait anymore because there was one time I didn't have to wait. I brought my five year old son in who was not breathing. We were rushed back and immediately surrounded by a team of nurses, physicians, and techs. My son is alive because of those people, and I hope I never have to not wait again. Every time I have to wait, I thank God." Emergencies don't wait. That's what it boils down to. Remember that before you call your local ER to inquire what the wait time is. We will NEVER be able to answer that question because we can't see you over the phone. Hint: if the wait time or weather has any effect on your "need" to go to the emergency room, it's not an emergency. Rest assured, if you have an emergency you will not wait. It is called an emergency room, not a convenience room. That's my ten-years-experience two cents on the following article and reply. The blog post was written by and ER nurse and the follwing reply was written by a man who has been an ER physician for fifteen years.

Someone named Rose replied to the original blog post with her opinion that being busy is no excuse. An opinion that seems to be popular among those who have never seen the inner workings of the emergency room --be it as a healthcare worker or emergent patient. The following is the reply of Derek, an ER physician --priceless:

Rose, you must have accidentally thought you went to the “Convenience Room”. Believe it or not, you actually went to the “Emergency Room”. In theory, there should not be a single test performed in the ‘Emergency Room’ that we can just ‘send you home and call you later’. We are testing for, well, “emergencies”.
Can you imagine: Ring, ring… “Hey, Rose? … Dr. Smith here. … Yeah, so the tests came back. … You are, in fact, dying. Rather quickly, actually. … What?. … I know, right?! … Yeah, so, an-tee-way, do you mind, like, coming back in?… Great!…. Also, please stop by Arby’s and have a double roast beef and supersize curly fries before you come back. Thanks! Drive careful! … Of course you can have a work note. See ya in a bit! We’ll get the Demerol ready!”
The reason you are waiting so long is people have lost sight of what the emergency room is about. ED staff are overwhelmed with noise and trying to pick out that signal in the noise is becoming even more difficult. That includes PMD’s, specialists, nurses and especially patients.
Seriously, last shift I worked these were some of the chief complaints: ‘vomited once 3 hours ago’ … ‘no complaint- car accident yesterday, wants to get checked out’ …. ‘no complaint- had positive pregnancy test at home and wants to confirm’…. ‘bloody nose in a 13yo *yesterday*; mom read on internet it could be cancer; wants cancer testing’- at 3am …. ‘rash for 2 weeks, called PMD answering service at 2am, Told patient to go to ED’
The reason we ignore you is the same reason you turn the radio down when you are following directions. We need to concentrate so we don’t get lost. I say this about 10 times a shift, “If you are waiting in an emergency room it is a good thing.” You don’t want to be the person that doesn’t wait. Trust me.
The average stay for an ED visit is 4 hours. *Average*. So half of all ED visits will be over 4 hours.
God forbid you call your primary, wait 1 or 2 weeks and then to go to your primary, then wait another 2 weeks for results. Honestly, your problem will most likely be resolved before you get to the appointment. You can then cancel your appointment then BAM! Money in the pocket.
50-70% of what comes through the door does not even need to be there. Remember the Great Runny Nose Epidemic of 1746 that killed 17 million people? Exactly, because it didn’t f’ing exist. Colds just go away after 2 weeks. So does most everything else.
Also, when did fever in otherwise well appearing children become an emergency? And vomiting? Geez, when I was a kid I didn’t even wake up my parents. I would just get a trash can and vomit all night. By the next day gone.
Wait, you don’t have a primary? If only they could invent something, like a book that would have phone numbers in it– we could call it a “phone **book**”. We could even separate businesses from regular people. Perhaps, a different color of paper, like green, red… no! How about yellow?
Wait, you have no money? How can you then possibly justify a $1500 ED bill for cold like symptoms vs a $300 office visit? Don’t forget the $700 ambulance since you couldn’t find a ride.
BTW, No, I will not give you a work note; i need you to go to work and pay off your *&%$-ing bill so everyone else doesn’t have to pay double on account of your lazy ass.
Also, don’t tell me you don’t have $300, when you spend $2098.76 a year on cigarettes. What? Oh, you just bum them off of everyone else and don’t ever buy them? Ah, Just like your healthcare.
ED doc for 15yrs.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

An Admission

There are things I am not grateful for.

What I am grateful for is my bed. Always my bed. I'm grateful for this awesome and amazing world and all the beauty in it. I'm grateful for the opportunities I've made to explore some small part of it. I'm grateful for the opportunities I've taken to live in other places and to learn and grow. To discover myself, to become myself, and to love who I am.  I'm grateful for my parents. For my brothers and sisters, and my cutest nephews in the world. And I'm grateful for my people. For a small handful of my best friends. People that I don't have to explain myself to. Two of them here, three in Seattle, one in Iowa, one in Pittsburgh, one in North Carolina, and one in Ethiopia. People who have seen me at my best and at my worst. People who know me sometimes better than I know myself. People that no matter how much time we've spent apart, nothing changes when we get together again. Of the myriad of things I have to be grateful for each day, these are the things I'm grateful for most. And I'm grateful for Stefan. Obvi.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Color Me Wonder

Today I had a fair amount of anxiety over sharing my crayons with my favorite 3 year old nephew.  So, ya know, adulthood.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

White Girl Problems

It began last night. The prep work. My hair had to be washed last night so that it could air dry over night so that I could spend 40 minutes putting it in large curls this morning, which would set for thirty minutes while I did my makeup and got dressed. Then I could let the curls calm to a beachy-curl slash wave while running errands so that by my appointment time my hair was the perfect combo of clean, sleek, effortless, but still chic that is needed to meet someone who holds the future of your precious locks in his hands.  I mean, you can't just show up to an appointment to get your hair done for the first time in a ponytail --the horror! I even went so far as to manicure my eyebrows and shave my legs for the occasion --although the latter may have been overkill. In all honesty though, it's a big deal. So I left my house with hair and makeup perfected, ran my errands, then started the long drive to my appointment. Fifteen minutes can seem like forever :) I was more nervous for this than I have been for anything in a LONG time. And let's remember I've recently relocated to a new time zone, started a new job, and traveled out of the country twice in the recent past. Physically nervous --beyond butterflies. Which reminds me. If you're prone to gut-churning nausea-inducing anxiety, you should forego the caramel macchiato for breakfast and go with something of actual substance --less caffeine and sugar.  By the time I arrived at the salon I was honestly terrified, and it took several calming deep breaths to get out of my car.

Getting your hair done by someone new at a new salon is one of the most terrifying things a girl can go through. I almost cried. #firstworldproblems

The Before. Terror. Terrified.

And it was all for naught, of course. It usually is. But my hair is my most prized possession, and sometimes all the research is just wrong. It's only been wrong once for me, and I got over it, but still. Dan was fantastic. I was in good hands. I wondered at first --being the only brunette in the salon, but I am back in Utah now and these are things I'll just have to deal with. The salon was sleek and comfortable, the music was fantastic and just this side of mainstream --my favorite. And when Jason Walker's "Down" came on, I knew it was going to be just fine.  No gossipy idle chit chat --I explained what I liked my hair to do in general and the problems I'd had in the past, handed full control over to my new stylist and spent the next very delightful hour discussing books and travel. And now my head is about two pounds lighter and smells delicious :)

The after. Happy girl. Happy hair day.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Adulthood

Sometimes I feel guilty ...not guilty... sometimes I feel as though at 31 I should be more of a responsible adult. For instance, maybe put the ipad away, stop watching teen-targeted shows, and go to bed when you have to be up in 6 hours. Then I think, ya know what? I spent last night rapidly transfusing massive amounts of blood products in to a gruesome humpty-dumpty who's tongue was sticking out of the middle of what should have been the base of his throat. So there. I can watch you-tube videos and Vampire Diaries reruns as much as I want. And I'm going to eat a popsicle and chocolate covered raisins for dinner. So there!


To clarify... I could sleep, I just don't want to. It's not the gore that is my daily routine that's keeping me awake, rather I use the routine-ness and mundane nature of the gore to justify some questionable decisions. Yay adulthood :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

An Ugly Truth

Tonight I came face to face with a very ugly part of my soul. I had an entire post written about the ordeal, then I realized it was much more journal appropriate. You know, as in the secret journal that not even posterity should discover lest future generations realize what a crazy maniacal person you truly are. But the feelings I'm having now, the realizations coming from that experience are so powerful.  I won't recount the entire story, but I will say this: Whatever you find yourself complaining about or feeling bad about WHATEVER it is, take a moment and imagine you telling the complaint to a friend doing purely selfless work with public health in a third world country. Or write it down as though you were writing a letter to such a person. Then hear yourself say it. Hear the gravity of what your saying to this person, and allow yourself to see and imagine what their daily problems consist of. Just let it soak in. It changes your perspective.  And maybe it brings you face to face with the root of the problem that you've been battering for some time. Stark reality is cold.

The grass really is always greener. Don't let yourself immortalize past experiences on a pedestal of the bright and shiny. Don't let yourself discount your present experiences because of dreams of the past or of the way things could be. This is not to say don't dream, don't change, don't become. Quite the opposite. Be where you are. Appreciate each day for what it is, and when that day has gone, appreciate it for what it was --nothing more, nothing less. Dream big, aim higher than the stars, but don't let it put a damper of where you are now. Just realize the beauty of the position you're in to control your own reality, your own experience. Take stock in what matters. What really matters. Don't mourn things you gave up to grow to where you are now. Remember the things you gave up and be grateful that you had them, be grateful for where they have gotten you, but BE where you ARE. Always. Always moving and going forward.

And be easy on yourself. We all have ugly spots on our souls, it's part of this human experience, finding them, accepting them, and cleaning them away. You can hate certain parts of yourself as long as you hate them while staring them in the face. Don't turn away and pretend they don't exist. Don't close yourself off from them determined to feign ignorance. Acknowledge that they exist, feel whatever feelings associate with them and then work like hell to un-blemish the spots. The best lessons often begin with the deepest pain.

And be grateful for friends who when you accidentally show them your most ugly spots, love you anyways. And maybe try to be that friend for other people.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Note To Self -or Argument to Self...

...In favor of...

Here's the thing. I'm meant to do this. It's in me. It's in every fiber that I am. And it's hard. And it has changed who I am and how I view the world. Sometimes I hate that. That's part of adulthood. No matter your chosen career path, life changes you. And maybe not everyone has to have empathy and show care for the 39-week pregnant mother who was brought in by ambulance after getting in a car accident caused by her drunken-ness. That's what I signed up for. I read a book once before I was even in nursing school. A book written by a travel-nurse and her experiences working in the ER. I don't remember much, but I remember one line in particular. Or I remember the way I heard the line. She said, "You will spend the majority of your time with drug addicts and alcoholics. If that doesn't appeal to you, don't do it." I'm not sure that the idea appealed to me, but it didn't deter me. And if I'm being honest with myself, the prospect was somewhat attractive. This is where all the good cases come from.  And by good I mean the ER version of good.

Sometimes I hate it. Sometimes I cry at the prospect of putting on scrubs and lacing up my running (work) shoes. Sometimes my biggest accomplishment is getting out of my car after that ten minutes in the parking garage and walking into the building. But somewhere deep down in there is the girl that remembers why this is what you wanted to do. Somewhere in there was the girl who dreamed of  "getting a good year or two of medical experience then ending up in the emergency room specializing in trauma. Preferably in a place where it's warm all year, like San Diego." (As written on my graduation-walk info sheet as graduating with my first nursing degree). And maybe the dream doesn't look exactly like what I thought it would when I was 21. Who's dreams do?!  The bones are the same.  

Somewhere deep inside is the girl who signed her work-journal (given by a seasoned RN in order to chronicle and remember the first year of nursing) proudly with a full name and the coveted initials R. N.  The girl who wrote on the first page of that journal, "When I put on my scrubs, stethoscope, shoes, and badge I become more than just a nurse. I make miracles every day. I save people's lives every day. I have the opportunity to bring a smile to someone sad, lighten the burden of a person worn out, and to perhaps leave someone feeling better than they were when I came on shift." And oh the thrill and sense of accomplishment and pride of signing RN after your name.

The girl who got her footing underneath her on a medical unit of a regional hospital and wrote about laughing over hearing 'Mary Had a Little Lamb" in her sleep for a week after having a pt with that song as a bed alarm who got out of bed every ten minutes for twelve hours. Who laughed when the patient started to sing along during hour two --including the BEEP BEEP BEEP of the staff cancelling the alarm. Twelve hours of a ninety-year old woman screaming "MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB -BEEP BEEP BEEP!"

Somewhere deep inside is the girls who wrote how frustrating it was to attempt to draw blood on a patient. And to be unsuccessful. And to be so unsuccessful so many times. And knowing that girl became the girl that physicians request and nurses would come find when there was a hard stick in Seattle.

The girl that had butterflies in her stomach her first shift in the ER. Who walked out of the hospital on cloud nine for months, unable to believe her good fortune in being able to have such a fantastic job.  The girl who made it through her first two years of nursing in heaven and on track to accomplish all her goals.

It's all there. All the stuff from before. I don't know what it all means, but it's there, and I'm grateful for it. I just can't help but wonder. I don't think I've missed it. I just think... I don't know. I think there's more. There's something new. Something different. I'm not sure how different, but this rodeo isn't over yet!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Favorite 74 Minutes

Seventy-four of my all time favorite minutes of music. My go-to songs. As follows.

1.  You Are My Sunshine by Nat King Cole
2.  My Girl by The Temptations
3.  Come Away With Me by Norah Jones
4.  Clair de Lune by The APM Orchestra
5.  (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
6.  Blurred Lines (feat. TI and Pharrell) by Robin Thicke
7.  Defying Gravity by Idina Menzel & Kristin Chenowith
8.  Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
9.  Theme from New York, New York by Frank Sinatra
10.  Breathe (2 AM) by Anna Nalick
11.  Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
12.  Knee Deep (feat. Jimmy Buffett) by Zac Brown Band
13.  Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles
14.  America The Beautiful by Ray Charles
15.  I'm Yours by Jason Mraz
16.  Only Fools Rush In by Elvis Presley
17.  Orange Colored Sky by Natalie Cole
18.  What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
19.  Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Rosemary Clooney
20.  Old Blue Chair by Kenny Chesney

And in case you were wondering, there are no links because my favorite versions aren't always playable online, and finding my favorite versions that melded into exactly 74 minutes was HARD!! In case you were wondering part II: The last three songs to be painfully removed from the list were:

1. Stay by Rihana
2.  Anything But Mine by Kenny Chesney
and
3.  Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N Roses

And then there was Loved You Tonight by Jon West, and Still Still Still by John Schmidt, and Ed Sheeran, and Saving Jane, and Etta James, and The Fray, and Whitesnake... I could go on. It's been a rough couple days!

Monday, September 23, 2013

What's in a Song

I've become obsessed with this idea. I was driving with a friend in the car last week and we were listening to a mixed CD she had in. I commented on what a great mix it was and she informed me that it was given to her by a girl she was in a wedding party for. It was all of the bride's favorite songs.  What a fantastic idea!  I immediately decided I'd need to convince all my family members and close friends to make a CD of their favorite songs. All time. And they'd have to fit on a single CD. Then you could share them all and have a CD of all your loved ones favorites to remind you of them at any time. Then I started to get palpitations at the prospect of having to narrow down my favorites all into one small CD.  I'm still in the process. I started with a list of 42 songs that had to be on there. Paring the list down is SO hard. SO hard. I'm currently at somewhere around 23... See, I had 23 at one point, then I'd think of a reason I could cut one off the list, but I'd need to add one or two more on.  So I'm at 23 ish.

The thing you realize is that when you have to choose so few songs to represent your all time favorites is that every song on the list has a deep back story. Tells a story about who you are, where you've been, and about what's important to you. It's unbelievably personal in a vulnerable and intimate way. 23 songs that are at the core of the person that I am. Music has always played a large role in my life. I've danced in the middle of my living room while no one was watching, I've danced in celebration with friends, and I've danced in professional sports arenas. I've sang in the shower and in my car, I've sang in church, and I've sang with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. I've played my parent's hand-me-down organ while teaching myself one finger at a time. I've taken piano lessons from a classically trained Italian pianist.  I've been in love with Broadway for years. I love all genres, I have weeks worth of music on my ipod and I truly believe that where words fail, music speaks. This process of choosing 74 minutes of my favorite songs is turning into quite the painful process, and it's really looking like the finished product will be pretty awesome :)  And I can't wait to have a collection of my friends and family!!!  Stay tuned for my final playlist!!  What would you put on yours?!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On Dreams

(Today's thoughts brought to you by a timely text from my sister followed by the above. You're welcome.)

The thing about dreams is, when it takes you more than ten years to reach one, you can't expect it to look and feel like you thought it would when you began the journey. You're a different person. You change. Things change. Life happens. Growth.

And that doesn't mean that the dream was flawed or that you screwed up the process. It just means that reaching for the stars and accomplishing things changed you. It's supposed to. I saw these beautiful words on the delightful and beautifully honest Meg's blog today:

When you can’t bear something but it goes on anyway, the person who survives isn’t you anymore; you’ve changed and become someone else, a new person, the one who did bear it after all. | Austin Grossman

I love the person I’ve become, because I fought to become her. | Kaci Diane

I do not understand the mystery of grace–only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. | Ann Lamott

Think of all the challenges you've faced in your life. The big ones. The ones that leave a hole in the center of your being that you're quite sure can never be filled. You got through it. And in retrospect, that first thing that felt as if it was shaking your world upside down was nothing compared to each subsequent one.  You've changed and become someone else, a new person, the one who did bear it after all. And maybe some of the struggles were personal. Maybe some of the struggles were more of a process --surviving nursing school when you constantly feel like you're drowning for at least the first 18 months. Maybe some of the struggles were watching dear ones go through their struggles. Everyone has their list. Their process, blueprint for making them who they are.

Whatever it is that got you here, embrace it. And embrace the here. If you can't do that, at least accept it. Breathe it in and just sit with it for a little bit. Accept it for what it is now as seen by the beautiful person you've become. Believe that the person you are is beautiful. It's most likely true. Give yourself time. Without a time frame for final acceptance or rejection. Give yourself credit. You're pretty great after all --and you can do hard things!!

Also --don't underestimate the power of a good nap and a good laugh. (Those Irish and their proverbs --smart!)

(Now back to the Vampire Diaries...)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Musings on a Toaster



My parents have had the same toaster their entire married life. Longer than I've been alive. It's been a constant. And it's still there. The timer might be broken and you might have to manually eject your carb-food source of choice, but I swear it still makes toast taste better than any other toaster. As I waited for my cinnamon bagel to be sufficiently browned this morning I had a sudden yearning for that toaster in my own life. Something that's a part of a home, part of a family, something with staying power. Something that in 30 years my children will come home and realize they've never seen my kitchen without. Something that while there are newer sleeker models out there isn't worth replacing because its just that sturdy. Well-built. Constant.

And two smaller thoughts...

At some point you realize that through all the perceived short-comings and failures in your life, all the time spent pondering where you thought your life would lead, the path you thought you'd take, you realize that you've built a life. Your own. And it's spectacular. And you can't have the life you were so sure you were destined for and the one you made. And you realize given the choice between the two, you'd pick the life you've made every time. And maybe that's a bit scary, but its also right. And maybe not knowing what's next is perfectly ok.

So now the question is, what do you do when you wake up one morning, consecutive mornings, and realize that everything you've aimed for and accomplished has led you to your dream job. You've made it, you have it, and you hate it. You wouldn't take any of it back, and each step was right at the time. But what now? It feels like a heroin addict perpetually chasing that initial high. You change all the pieces, the variables and you just can't get the same feeling as those first days walking out of the hospital on cloud nine, the perma-grin high. What do you do when you realize you hate the job the past thirteen years -longer really- of your life has been aimed at? For now, you smile, you fake it, and you buy new running shoes. #runhappy What's around the next corner?



Sigh. Dear Ethiopia, please get more consistent Internet... The current state of access to my dear friend is impeding my ability to whine and hash out my first world problems. So, ya know, when you get past the whole clean water, and basic health, safety and sustainability, if you could do wifi after that -that'd be great. I miss you Mercy!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

And...










The grass is always greener where you water it. Wherever you spend your time and energy, that is what will flourish. So spend it positively on the now because that's all we really have. --Riawna Capri




When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. --Alexander Graham Bell




Sweat is magic. Cover yourself in it daily to grant your wishes. --Chauntal Lewis












Tuesday, August 20, 2013

And then there's this...











"Today I am grateful because I choose to be. My glass is half full. There will never be enough money. There will never be enough time. But today I can have enough gratitude." --Scott Silver












Sunday, August 18, 2013

Transitional Blues

What is burnout and what is normal? I mean, not everyone loves their job all the time do they? I've been having a really hard time since I've been back. I love being closer to my family, and I have the job I've dreamed about for nine years. So what's the problem?  People just don't seem to understand. They ask how things are going, and usually I just smile and say that everything is fine or great, because really, that's what they want to hear -they don't comprehend anything else. A couple times I've answered more honestly and said, "The transition has been harder than I expected, but it's really great being closer to family." This is immediately met by the same response. A confused look and a complete lack of understanding. I mean, what could possibly be difficult about leaving an entire life? Friends that were family. A job where you knew every in and out of how the place ran. I was the go-to person for anyone that had questions. I was confident. What could possibly be hard about leaving all that love, familiarity, comfort, and solitude?  To come to a place where nothing makes sense. To a place where the general population doesn't know what do to with a single confident woman in her 30s --surely something is defective to not be married with several children. To a place where my most basic work skill -something I excelled at for the last nine years of my life- is nulled by different equipment. Where I don't know where anything is, no one knows who I am, and I can't be trusted until I've proven myself over again. I have one friend from college, who has been a great help on the days when neither of us works. I have a dear friend from high school who lives in the area, and I have my favorite brother and sister-in-law that are 20 minutes away with the love of my life --my nephew. And I have my parents, sister and brother-in-law and my other favorite nephew in the same time zone. It's just not the same. Maybe my expectations were too high about the move?

It's all just part of being new, and I know I have to be patient with myself, and soon enough I won't be new anymore. I just find myself wondering why this transition has been so hard. After all, for several years I moved cross-country and had a whole new environment every 13 weeks. Is it that I'm older now?

And how do you make your house feel like a home? At what point when I walk through the door will it feel like coming home?  I don't remember this being an issue before. Is that just selective memory? I escaped all weekend to my parent's house because I needed to be somewhere that felt like home. And that somewhere was a place that I haven't lived for ten years.

Am I just tired of doing what I do? We all go through burnout phases every once in a while. But I feel like while I'm still on orientation I should not so vehemently dread getting dressed in my scrubs and getting ready to go to work. I miss the days when I looked forward to going in to work, to saving lives, and making a difference. I'd walk out of work on cloud nine, grinning from ear to ear. Is it just a fleeting case of burnout, or is it something more? What else would I do with my life? Could I do something non-clinical related? Is it just the desert heat messing with my hormones? When did I become so non-adaptable?!

Disclaimer: One of my worst pet-peeves is complainers --debbie downers. People who can't look on the positive side and tough it out... can you see why I'm having a hard time with myself? Bleh! No one wants to be around this!!  It's all very first-world problem, and yet it's authentic, so ignoring it won't make it go away...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Diversion

Moving sucks. And the thing is, it's only the little things that are left. And I just can't bring myself to do it. So, here I am giving you the ABCs of me... something I saw on Jill's blog a while back and haven't gotten around to it. (Are you sensing a theme... ;) )

The ABCs of Me Right Now

Ambition:  To see. I want to see everything. Go everywhere. Travel is my current ambition addiction. (do I get bonus points for adding an additional 'a' word?)

Bad Habits:  Um... procrastination?

Celebrity Crush: Ian Somerhalder

Drink:  Coconut Water. I'm obsessed.

Education:  Associates of Science in Nursing from USU/WSU, Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from Utah State, Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Washington. Next up: Georgetown... tossing around the ideas of a Doctoral degree or a dual masters in clinical nurse education and public health with an emphasis in tropical medicine... I have a problem... :)

Food: Blame it on my liberalization from living in the PacNW, but I'm totally in to the whole organic, nothing artificial, no preservatives, good for you stuff. I crave vegetables. I believe that food should go bad if you don't eat it soon enough. I believe that you should know where your food came from and what is in it. I also believe in chocolate.

Guilty Pleasures: The Vampire Diaries. I'm a 31 year-old professional who saves lives for a living and I can't get enough of a teen drama about vampires. Don't knock it till you've seen it. Besides, you know I'm a sucker for a good love story and OH boy is this one epic! (not a word I use often)

Hometown:  North Logan, UT --although I did my young adult growing up in New York City and Seattle

Ice Cream: I actually found one that I like! Only one. And it was a limited edition. Go figure. But it was Ben 'n Jerry's Key Lime Pie (remember my ethical food rant earlier? Kudos to you B&J!)

Jonesing For:  A place that feels like home, and someone to share it with.

Kryptonite:  A man with a guitar... oy...

Look-a-like:  Pretty sure I don't have one. Except my dad and his mom --those are some strong genes!

Movie:  Last one that really moved me was 42. Last one I saw in the theater was White House Down --awesome. Next one I want to see... not sure. Suggestions?  All-time favorite: Dirty Dancing

Nickname: Depends of which one of my patients you ask and how many restraints they were in... (I really don't have one)

Obsessions:  Travel, family, friends.

Perfume: Dolce and Gabana Light Blue -Walking in Portofino

Quirk:  Temperature settings. My car or house always have to be set to an even number. 68, 72, 74...

Regret:  I believe in living life without regret. I'm terrified of regretting the road not taken, so I always take it when the opportunity arises. Challenges are part of life, and I don't regret those either.

Saver/Spender:  Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

The Last Book You Read: The best 't' word we could come up with is the?  Really?  The last book I finished was Beautiful Ruins. 

Unique Feature: I don't have a cleft in the cartilage at the tip of my nose. Put your finger on the end of your nose (you can sing head shoulders knees and toes if it helps) and rock it side to side. Feel that ridge between two bumps of cartilage? I don't have that. My nose is perfectly smooth and rounded.

Vacation:  Next up is Nashville TN this fall. Next big one is England/Ireland/Scotland hopefully next fall.

Wardrobe: Sun-dresses and khakis --not together of course

Xrays:  I've worked in emergency medicine for eight years, I look at xrays every day. If I can tell what's wrong with it, it isn't good. Last one I had taken was sophomore year of college (the USU one) when I thought I broke my thumb, Turns our I just shredded all the ligaments and tore a tendon instead.

Years:  I just finished a daily photo blog capturing 365 days of my 30th year. The way I feel about years --any way you group them-- can best be summed up by the note I authored on the cover page. But if you don't want to wait for the book to come out, it goes something like the following. There's a million different ways you can measure a year... Thank you lyrics to RENT...

Zen: Meditation. Deep breaths. I'm obsessed. It works.




Friday, July 19, 2013

Closing Time

Time for you to go out to the places you will be from.
...
Gather up your jackets, move it to the exits,
I hope you have found a friend.
Closing time.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

And so it is. I have logged out of EPIC for the last time. The photos of my loved ones no longer grace the space that was my locker. Tears have been shed, hugs have been hugged, and goodbye's have been spoken. On to the next chapter of my life. And I have to be honest. I'm nothing but excited. I will miss my friends dearly, but we will be friends still. It's all onward and upward from here, and I'm giddy at the prospects.

The emergency department is a strange vortex of sorts to work in. A friend describes it as the island of misfit toys for staff, and that's kind of true. We're all thrown together in this crazy jungle,with only each other to survive. We see people at their absolute best, and their absolute worst. The people you work with are not just your co-workers, they're your family. They are the only ones who know what it felt like to look the father of the dying child in the eyes as he plead with you to save his baby. They are the only ones who know exactly what it feels like to go home completely spent in that particular way after a long day. They know what it feels like to haul ass down to hallway because your cath-lab pt is starting to look particularly grey. They, and they alone, know the look in your eyes as they run the lifeless patient into your arms. They know the tone in your voice as you call to announce something terrifying and scary -before you even speak.

You've been to their weddings, you've been to their divorce parties. You've held their newborn babies. You've seen them laugh, you've seen them cry, you've seen them love, you've seen them hurt. You've shared tears of loss, and tears of joy.  

How to say goodbye. And is goodbye really a thing in this day and age? I kind of think not. And I don't like goodbyes. So I say keep in touch. And I hope that you do. I hope that I have behaved in such a way that you all know what you have meant to me. I hope that I have been grateful and teachable in the appropriate moments so that I don't need to dole out group thanks and speeches at the end. The moments I have shared with you will last in my memory for a lifetime. Moments in the hospital, and especially out. I hope you are aware what it meant to me to be your friend, your co-worker, your mentor and your mentee. I have been extremely blessed over the last five years, and it is these good memories that I take with me. 

I was pondering the other night as I was staring up at my ceiling waiting for sleep to come. I have often said that my heart is in Seattle, and my soul is in New York. I don't think that my heart is in Seattle anymore. I think that it is mine and will be staying with me. It will be hard to give it to another city again. New York I'd imagine will always have my soul. There's just something about that place. But what is in Utah, I wondered. Obviously my family, but that's not what I meant --what of me is in Utah. What am I doing?! The best thing I could come up with is that my bed will be in Utah. And that is a big deal for me. And now, my future. My future is in Utah. Of this I am sure. And that's all I need for now. Because it's going to be awesome.

In the meantime take care of this box, new owner, whomever you will be. Love your co-workers, smile, and be happy. Even when it's not easy. 





Thursday, July 11, 2013

Packing a Life --Memories in a Bedroom

The faint hint of perfume that remains on that shirt.  The words on the pages of those letters; kept but forgotten. The smell of summer barbecues on that top. The sound of the jazz band that played during dinner that lingers on that dress. Those two photos in frames forgotten in the bottom of that drawer. The carefree day that calls from that pair of capris and flip-flops.  The "haven't slept in two days and  desperately need to let this out" thought vomit from three in the morning. The laughter emanating from that black feather boa. The small trace of cologne that still sticks to that hoodie I kept. The tears that still stain that sweater; the way fall looked on the Central Park leaves in that one. The blister from those heels worn dancing the night away. 

It's a strange thing sorting through and packing up five years of your life. Pieces to keep, pieces to discard, and pieces to donate to someone else for new memories to be made.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Beautiful Ruins

I started this book on the coast of somewhere beautiful. Laying on a beach staring off into the crystal clear aquamarine water off the coast of Cancun Mexico. My sun-tanned toes glistening in the sun, flip-flops forgotten by the lounge chair. I was excited about the prospect of visiting the Cinque Terre myself (my planned 40th birthday adventure --start planning all those who are interested :)  You have nine more years). I read a few pages at home in Seattle, cuddled on the couch under a blanket, the occasional ray of sunshine coming through the sliding-glass door of my apartment living room. I finished the book on a shaded park bench at the entrance to a canyon in Utah, gazing into the blue-green waters of the dam, staring at the clear blue sky above me, and pondering all the places my life has been; My flip-flops keeping my feet company as the geese meander around in the lush green grass bathed in sunshine.  I never thought that I'd make it to the glitzy shores of the Cancun paradise. It seemed a place out of reach for a long time in my life. And for a long time, I never thought I'd make it back here. Back to a place where I could see myself returning- to the place I left to become myself in a time that is at once so long ago, and a blink away from yesterday. The person I was when I left is not the person I'm returning as. Am I ready to turn the page to this next chapter of my life? I finally think that I am. I've contemplated it for a long time --whether I was strong and secure enough in who I am to return to a place that is so different from a world that I've come to love. I spent a short time today driving through the college campus that consumes so many of my memories from this place. So much of my foundation spring-board into life. And it too has changed. Buildings are new, buildings have changed, and some are just gone. But my memories remain unfiltered by the shadow of time. And what a metaphor that was for me today.

There would seem to be nothing more obvious, more tangible and palpable than the present moment. And yet it eludes us completely. All the sadness of life lies in that fact. 
--Milan Kundera (as quoted in Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter)

My next few tangible present moments are going to be hard. There's going to be tears and smiles, laughter and silence. And isn't that the way it should be? Isn't any situation worth living in deserving of wistful tears of sadness and farewell when it comes to an end? All situations come to an end, you know. For better or for worse. Nothing is permanent and fixed. Such a beautiful fact of life. If it wasn't so, what a dull boring existence we'd have. No room for growth or failure. No room for experiences, love, loss, and learning. It's a strange thing to feel so significant a chapter coming to a close. Standing on the precipice of change; fear, trepidation, and excitement coursing through your veins as you count down to leap.

This is the stuff life is made of. And at the end I only hope I am able to reflect back on my journey and realize that I made the right decisions and marvel at all that I've seen, accomplished, and become. That's all any of us can really hope for.



Monday, June 17, 2013

Significativo

Every vacation I go on there is a moment. A moment when I sit back in wonder and say to myself, "This is why I travel." There is so much culture in the world, so much beauty, and so much to experience! I'm not naive enough to think that resort life is authentic real-life culture, but its in the meeting people, talking to them, hearing their stories, smiling, laughing with them, and learning their language. It's in the food, the drink, the music, the dance. That moment that must be felt, words cannot do it justice. We are all the same. And that is why I travel.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

That Little Voice


There are just a few things that have the capacity to cripple me with instant self-doubt and loathing. That make it so hard to quiet the voice in my head. The voice that says unkind things. Walking into a salsa room in New Orleans or a merengue floor in Cancun. And it's sad because I can dance. I LOVE to dance. I am not evolved enough to dance over top of that paralyzing voice. Yet.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I Believe

Today I believe:

In love.

                     In friendship.

      That being the truest version of yourself is the only way to be happy.

             In saying Yes.

                                       In hope.

That even when you work your ass off to make your dreams come true, sometimes God has a better plan.

                                                            In being selfish.

        In Books.

                                               That traveling is the best means of maintaining one's sanity.

In playing full force until you run out of money --then eating the food from the back of the freezer until payday. Lather, rinse, repeat.

                      In staying up late and going to bed early.

                                                               That life should always be full of surprises.




Monday, June 3, 2013

Today's Literary Wisdom

"That night at the Brooklyn party, I was playing the girl who was in style, the girl a man like Nick wants: the Cool Girl. Men always say that as the defining compliment, don't they? She's a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games ...and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she's hosting the world's biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want...

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they're fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men --friends, coworkers, strangers-- giddy over these awful pretender women, and I'd want to sit those men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who'd like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I'd want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn't really love chili dogs that much --no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They're not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they're pretending to be the woman a man want them to be. Oh, and if you're not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn't want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version --maybe he's a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he's a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every F****** thing he likes and doesn't ever complain...

I waited patiently --years-- for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to love cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we'd say, Yeah, he's a Cool Guy.

But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon Cool Girl became the standard girl. Men believed she existed --she wasn't just a dreamgirl one in a million. Every girl was supposed to be this girl, and if you weren't then there was something wrong with you.

But it's tempting to be Cool Girl. For someone like me, who likes to win, it's tempting to want to be the girl every guy wants... I didn't worry about anything that came next. Nothing had consequence, I was living in the moment, and I could feel myself getting shallower and dumber. But also happy.

...But then it had to stop, because it wasn't real, it wasn't me... It all started collapsing on itself.I hated Nick for being surprised when I became me... He truly seemed astonished when I asked him to listen to me. He couldn't believe I didn't love wax-stripping myself... That I did mind when he didn't show up for drinks with my friends... Again, I don't get it: if you let a man cancel plans or decline to do things for you, you loose. You don't get what you want. It's pretty clear."

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (p. 222-225)

(Maybe this is the rant of a sociopath teetering over the line *spoiler alert* but the premise is that level of raw that can only be achieved by stark truth.)


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Truer Words...

Spent more time than usual perusing facebook and instagram and found a few gems too good not to share.  Including this


And this:


But the pinnacle was the following article I found on facebook. I guess technically it was from tumblr written by the husband of a nurse (you can find the original link here), but either way, truer words have never been spoken.

The Reality About Nurses
Written by a husband of a nurse...

Ah, such mysterious wondrous creatures are nurses. What treasures lurk beneath those crisp, white uniforms... What young man doesn't have fantasies of discovering those secrets for himself?

SCREEEEEECH!!!!!!!!!!! Reality check!  I've been married to a nurse for a quarter of a century, and let me tell you, nurses are not what you expect (and I don't even care what you expect, because you are wrong!).  Let's begin by tearing down some of the more famous assumptions about nurses right off the top:

The Nurse as Sex Kitten: Any man who lived through the early seventies or has made it a point to rent such famous videos as "Night Duty Nurses" or "Student Nurses" or "Night Duty Student Nurses" or any one of several dozen nurse-centric skin flicks will immediately believe that all nurses have heaving bosoms, just millimeters away from popping out of skin tight white uniforms. you will also believe that nurses always wear garters, fish-net hose, and stilettos. This, of course, is a handy dress code because movie nurses spend *a lot* of time hopping in and out of patient's beds.

The reality is that most nurses wear scrubs --shapeless, draping hunks of cotton that could cause you to breeze past Pamela Anderson without a second look. Shoes are white and chunky with blobs of things on them better left unexplored. Socks replace white hose and garters, and when is the last time anyone saw a nursing cap? Graduation, perhaps?

The Nurse as an Angel:  If you want to hear the latest gross jokes, just find a nurse. Some uninformed males seem to think of nurses as angelic creatures: demure and loving, a cross between a nun and their mom. Well, hate to bust your bubble guy, but as a group, nurses are some of the rawest folks you'll ever run into. I don't care how sweet and demure they may look on the outside, inside is someone who has seen things that would gag a maggot, break your heart, and drive a normal person nuts. So most nurses develop a very wicked sense of humour squarely lodged in the black-to-sick side of the scale.

Also, in case you are looking for angelic sympathy for the little boo-boo you had in the shop, forget it!! Let's say as a typical male klutz, you manage to saw your finger off. You go running to your nurse wife who is on the phone with a nurse friend of hers. As she continues to talk to her friend, she gives the stub a good eyeballing, slaps a towel on it, takes out a baggie to put the severed digit in, and tells you to get some ice while she is explaining to her friend that her dummy husband just sawed his finger off. As you stand there bleeding profusely for 15 minutes she calmly finished her conversation as though nothing is going on until finally she says, "Well, I guess I better get him to the hospital." She hangs up the phone, looks at you, sighs, and calmly says, "Let's go."  You have just learned an important lesson. On the nurse scale of emergencies, yours is about a minus nine! As my wife has told me, "When you are on a ventilator with six drips running, your head down and your feet up, then you're sick. Anything less than that isn't worth getting excited over."

The Nurses Mutual Benefit Network:  As a male either dating or married to a nurse, you should realize one important thing. There are nurses everywhere.  That, in itself, is no big deal. The fact is, every nurse knows other nurses who know more nurses, so that by the time you are finished, a nurse of the Island Nation of Chuuk who observes you doing something you shouldn't has the immediate capability of getting word to your wife. This system is way more reliable and efficient than the internet and has existed for a much longer time. Take it for granted that your nurse wife will know anything you have done, good or bad, before you get home!

Your Social Life With Nurses:  Nurses hang out with other nurses and soon you may find that all your friends are married to nurses. The reason this happens is because in situations where nurses mingle with non-medical folks things can get ugly. For example, you are out to dinner with your nurse wife, another nurse couple, and two civilian couples. The nurses sit and chat, discussing fun things like bleeding bowels, open sores, how much fat was sucked out of some patient, projectile vomiting, traumatic amputations, etc., all over a nice pasta dinner. The nurses carry on talking as the civilian couples turn funny colors, make faces, and suppress their gag reflexes (and this is if the nurses don't have any really gross things to share like the homeless guy with maggots in his bleeding sores!) After several dinners and gathering like this, you will soon find your circle of friends has shrunk significantly.

The key to avoiding this is to do the following:  Never go out in mixed groups with more than one nurse. A lone nurse is ok. The trouble starts when you have more than one, and when that happens, keep the regular folks away. Also, get used to the idea that some friends and neighbors will take advantage of the fact that your wife is a nurse by calling at all hours of the day and night for advice.  This may include male friends "dropping by" to show your sweetie his rash. The best advice I can give is to just deal with it and hope it isn't contagious.

The Health Ramifications of Being With a Nurse:  Most nurses have been described as having the constitution of horses which isn't true, because I've been around horses and they get sick more often.  The reason for this is pretty simple. After about 3-5 years on the job, nurses have been exposed to so many bugs that they either end up dead of full of every antibody known to mankind. (If you want the ultimate booster shot, just get a blood transfusion from a nurse who's worked in a hospital for 20 years!) You don't have all these antibodies though, so when she does come home with mild sniffles, a week later you're flat on your back with the worst case of the flu in your life!! Oh, and if you are the least bit squeamish, don't even think about the bugs she brings home on her clothes. It will mess with your mind as she talks about her resistant TB patient, the patient full of body lice, or the one with poison ivy in his mouth. So don't ask.

Conclusion: Ah such mysterious wondrous creatures are nurses.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Growth

My marathon of exciting events and first world problems is continuing and going quite well. Presently a dear friend is in town from Asheville, North Carolina. We met when we were both travel nurses here in Seattle five long years ago. We worked together for the summer, each went our separate ways and then both ended up back at the same hospital near the start of the next year -where we both stayed for a year. She has since moved home to NC, traded the ER for case management, and had a baby who is now three. I went out to visit her there three years ago when Kannon was three months old. We also met up in New Orleans for Mardi Gras two years ago. I've really been looking forward to her coming back to Seattle, and I've thoroughly enjoyed having her here.

It is odd though how different we are. Today as we were getting ready to go to Alki and do some sightseeing as tourists in the place where we both live(d) I was lounging on my couch in khakis and a peasant blouse waiting for her to finish getting ready for the day. She said to me, "I'm just not used to this Toni that doesn't have to get all glossed up before we go out!"  I was a bit taken aback at first. I mean, my hair was done, my makeup was done, I was wearing cute but casual clothes --what was she talking about? And then I realized, yeah, this is not the way it would have rolled five years ago. I shrugged it off, smiled, and continued flipping through stuff on my iPad. I related the happening to a coworker tonight who was around back in the day when Serena and I first came to Seattle. Before I could even finish the story, she said, "Oh my gosh, you're a completely different person!" And that was the nail on the head. I really am! I was 25 when we used to go out all the time. I'm a very different person now than I was when I was 25. Wow. The things I've gone through, lived through, seen, on and on!  It was really remarkable to think back at how starkly different the person that she was used to and expecting was. And that's what true friendships are about. We haven't seen each other for over two years, and each of our lives and selves are vastly different than when we lived so close, but despite the changes the friendship remains. And that is a beautiful thing.

2008

2009

2010

2011

2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Little Reminder

When your life is giving you an ulcer, just remember what you learned in your "working full time plus going to nursing school full time" days. Take a deep breath and don't look beyond what you have to do today. Right now. One day at a time. You can do this!  Deep breath, put the good tunes on in the background, and tackle one task at a time....

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Working Playlist Update

I got home from New Orleans yesterday. Note to self, in the future avoid scheduling layovers in the Midwest during tornado season. Amazing trip filled with amazing experiences. And I should be telling you all about it. But this is my one day to myself before my friend Serena gets into town for the weekend. And while on the one hand, I should get the purging of one amazing weekend's worth of experiences out of the way before another begins, I just want to recoop.  Read: Lay on my couch enjoying a moment of solitude --while doing laundry, dishes, and unpacking --things that CAN'T be put off.  What I did do today though was send my sister a copy of a playlist that I posted about earlier. It's kind of a working playlist and I thought I'd update those of you keeping track.  Here's the latest additions:







It is truly amazing to me the way music speaks to the soul. Amazing songs --all of them. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Take Me Away

Today I opened a bottle, lotioned my arms and found myself standing on a warm tile floor in a room with white-washed plaster walls. White canvas canopies hung from the ceiling over plush white bedding. The mahogany armoire standing majestic in the corner. The windows open, the white curtains blowing with the ocean breeze, the sound of waves crashing from not-so-far away. The Mediterranean sun glistened off the cerulean water and in the doors of our private balcony and I was in heaven. And then I shed a tear, because I had to leave this paradise and go to work. But I was there. Only for a moment, but it was so visceral a moment. Real. I miss you Mykonos. Do you miss me?

Friday, May 10, 2013

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday on my walk the first thing I saw was a crow picking up a rigor-mortised mouse and flying off with it. Not normal. And then I went to work and within the first hour of my shift one of my patients unexpectedly died. He was 93 and a DNR, but I had left his room from having a full conversation and checking his vitals five minutes before, and when I ran back to check the alarms he was dead. Weird.

Today on my walk I saw baby geese and toddler geese and a mommy daddy and baby turtle, and even a blue jay! Much more normal stuff. Here's to a less-strange night at work!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Uuuuurrrggghhhh

Sigh. Sometimes it feels as if the universe is trying to tell you something. Over and over and over. Or maybe you should just stop following beautiful men you don't know on instagram... None the less, as I was getting ready for bed I came across this quote on Ian Somerhalder's instagram account. Hello, my existential crisis!!! (see last post)

"Something changes the moment you decide
you've found a person you are ready to reveal parts of your soul to.
Something stands out and makes the moment unique.
A profound multidimensional clarity resembling
a piece of carefully gathered stardust; 
As if you are whispering "finally" and
your eyes fill with light and spontaneity.
As if you do not care whether your heart will
melt or crumble in the process 
because your brief courage
undoes your tremendous fear of disbelief.
You live for these moments;
For you are, maybe for one second or more, 
sweetly forced to surrender yourself to unconditional intimacy.
A moment of psychological reward smashing
all self-imposed disciplines founded on terror.
This is all you need."

-Anais Nin

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This Ridiculous Obsession

What a funny thing this heart of mine is. Why the desperate need to believe in love, to believe in passion that conquers all?  Why the inability to be truly happy without the secure knowledge that it exists in a tangible way out there? In the absence of it in my own life, I seem to find joy in the love others have in their lives. Which is all well and fine, except, well, when other people's relationships don't work out it breaks my heart a little bit. My eyes well up and my chest hurts a small hurt.  Even if I don't know them. Why? I'm not sure it's healthy to allow others to influence my emotions so. But it's my silly little heart and I'm stuck with it. Emotions are funny things. It's silly I suppose, but I need to believe that two beautiful people can be blissfully happy and make it work. Famous people, regular people, everyone.

Along a similar and very vulnerable line, from my night-time notebook last night:

I lay in my bed swaddled by darkness. My mind however is deep in the middle of the novel that lies discarded near the couch in the other room. I love Scarlet O'Hara. I love her gumption, her fortitude, her survivability, her strength, her brazen disregard and defamation of convention. And yet, she is one of the most truly terrible human beings brought to life. She's a terrible terrible person when it comes down to it. A terrible and wonderful person. I find myself relating to her all too easily, readily, and on the whole. So I love her.

As my mind races through thoughts and feelings, it opens the door to a stark cold room of fear that brushes past. I feel myself recoil from the feeling as though it never existed and race to other thoughts. "No," I tell myself. Feel it. It was fear you felt. Why? Fear of what? Find the hidden door that led to that room and enter it. Sit with that emotion. Don't run, don't deny, don't refuse, don't ignore. What is it about that train of thought that opened the door to the cold draft? Am I afraid to admit that I love those fierce qualities? That I'm like her? That the ways in which I relate to her will ultimately keep me from happiness as they did her? Or maybe it was just a supremely written novel with a cast of characters that we all have a piece of within us. I don't know.

But through the dark I probe the corners of my thoughts searching for the release to the trap door. I open it up, feel the cold draft brush past, go to the back wall of the room and sit down.

That's a lot of vulnerability right there... struggling to stay open, not to close it off... Progress.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Here's What's On My...

This blog inspiration brought to you by Jill :)

Here's what's on my:

Vanity

  • Curling iron, Red lipstick, red lip gloss, makeup brushes, face wash and moisturizer, fake diamond earrings, real diamond earrings, pearl earrings, small mass of bobby pins, 7 clips, 3 ponytail holders, contact solution, two bottles of foundation that I blend together for the perfect color coverage, soap --duh, wide tooth comb, deodorant ...and don't sleep on the NYC series photo on the wall :)


Perennial to do list

  • Clean apt pre-vaca style
  • Pack for said vaca
  • Finish SoCal scrapbook pages --only one more envelope to go :)
  • Laundry... lots of laundry...
Refigerator shelves (Kinda proud of how much food I actually have in my fridge -not gonna lie )
  • Pur water container ...that I haven't used or changed the filter on in months...
  • 12 hard boiled eggs
  • 3 oranges, 3 english style cucumbers
  • Homemade raspberry jam 
  • Olive oil mayo
  • Salsa
  • Ground turkey -browned with my homemade salt free taco seasoning --delish!
  • Tzatziki sauce
  • Spinich, romaine lettuce, pico de gallo
  • Sugar free grape gatorade (for post hot yoga)
  • Low sodium chicken broth
  • A carton of expired milk
  • 2 liter bottle of fresca that's probably flat --haven't opened it for a month or so...
Itinerary (It's a rough life)
  • Leave Friday for Utah
  • Come back and work the next weekend --or try to get it covered because my dear friend is coming to stay with me from North Carolina!!!
  • Leave the next Friday for New Orleans
  • Come back and work the next weekend
  • Enjoy a weekend off with Kenny Chesney, work friends, and the Mariners
  • Enjoy a second weekend off thanks to vacation time and Jill's visit --spend weekend with Jill, and the Yankees
  • Leave for Cancun
  • Come back and work the next weekend
  • Leave for UT to see my new nephew be born ...Yeah!!
Playlist

  • Alarm, lamp, allergy swabs for when my nose wakes up plugged, two jars of hand cream, three bottles of lavender pillow spray, lip conditioner, photo from my favorite sister, at least two books -always, today it's an Anne Rice novel and Gone With the Wind, my nighttime notebook, an Ensign from about a year ago ...I'm a little behind

Workout Plan


  • Four mile walk along Lake Washington every day when it's sunny --see photo blog
  • When possible explore surroundings by hiking and travelling further for walks
  • Go to work
Phone

  • Home screen is a beach background, with the accuweather widget on the top -including the time, quick access to my most frequently used apps --pinterest, play store, twitter, calender, facebook, camera, instagram, and my photo album
  • Also noteable that I have a work specific home screen with quick access to MedScape, a calculator, my schedule app, and the assistive light
  • The bottom of every screen has the phone, contacts, messaging, internet, and app buttons. I love my Galaxy S3 :)

Top 5 List
  • Travelling, Friends, Bed, Books, Family
Bucket List
  • Oh so long... a few of the highlights I'm looking forward to knocking out soon include touring Europe, driving Route 66 from Chicago to LA, visiting TX and FL (Orlando and Miami), Getting my Masters and possibly DNP from Georgetown, Getting my Forensics Nursing certificate from Johns Hopkins, buy a house, get a puppy.
Mind
  • Geographical Identity Crisis
Blogroll --so many --here's a few I check daily
  • Jill, Chel, Heidi, Kristy, Jenny, LoveTaza, Meg Fee, Brooklyn Limestone, and Mkhana in Transit
Walls of Your Favorite Room in Your House
  • I only have one little quote plaque on my walls in my bedroom --my favorite room. So I changed this to my favorite wall in my house. A canvas photo print that I took at Alki Beach here in Seattle. Photos of my work BFFs and me and a former roomate and dear friend on our birthday a couple years ago, a candle and candle holders I've never used, a fireplace I've never used, a favorite life advice sign, a mirror, quote plaque from my mommy, decorative crystal from the Pittsburgh Conservatory, and my bamboo plant Ferdinan
Last Credit Card Statement
  • Only one and a half to go ---YEAH!!!!!
Screensaver
  • Technically I don't have one set. But my desktop background is my favorite shot from Greece.
TV every night
  • The only things I watch every night are Intentional Talk (MLB Network), Jimmy Fallon, and Chelsea Handler -and technically they're only on weekdays
  • Things on my DVR that I never miss include, Vampire Diaries, Swamp People, 19 Kids and Counting, Grey's Anatomy, Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, New Girl, Criminal Minds, Myth Busters, Project Runway, True Blood, Dexter --I kind of enjoy my TV :)
  • TV on DVD that I own complete series of --ER, Grey's, The OC, Sex and the City, Entourage, Vampire Diaries, Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and of course FRIENDS. ...I also own the compilation of the best episodes of Yankeeography -a throwback from my NYC living days when I had unlimited YES Network access