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Posts Tagged ‘school’

Exhausted and Busy

I’m resurfacing briefly to let you all know (those who are still reading… 😀 ) that I am still wanting to blog, have even started some posts. But things are pretty crazy. Plus, for school I’ve got reflective journals to do so I feel like I’m doing what I’d normally do here somewhere else for grades. Unfortunately I can’t crosspost due to the risk of being told I’m plagiarizing myself (yes, that’s possible!).

 

For example, I had a paper due today and I ended up writing all about the adoption topic I’ve discussed here. Maybe once this course is over I can re-work the paper and post it, assuming I do okay on it. I assume once the course is done it’s fine?? Not sure.

 

The rest of my life is more or less on hold:

  • The distraction I’ve commented on in the past is most likely done and no longer a distraction (or shouldn’t be). I may be wrong, hope I’m wrong in fact, but such is how it seems. I’m fine. Dealt with it when I couldn’t figure out how to post what I was working through but wanted to write about it.
  • Still annoyed at finances — is there any bank who will treat a client properly as a student to build a long term relationship? Both banks I’ve dealt with have treated me like dirt. Yet I have no choice. I’ll stick with them for now because I have to, not because I want to support them.
  • School is going okay. Grades are fine  so far. I can’t complain, even if it’s not the ‘perfect’ that I expect of myself. Heh. I’ll get over that.

 

Anyhow, I’m still here, I’ll try to post shorter or longer posts as I can.  For now, Clinical Week 1 is done, I’ve got 5 more weeks of school this term, finals and then a break! I was so tired that tonight I slept the entire evening. I managed to cook dinner, do dishes and nap. I did nothing.  Tomorrow night I’ll get some work done, catch up on the weekend and hit the ground running next week with another paper due. Oy.

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I’ve spent the last little while studying, working to get ready for a final, lab exam, midterms.  I think the exams went fine, but I don’t have the results back yet. It’s made me tense, but enjoying school and it’s made me a bit more sensitive than usual.  So as a result I’m thinking and processing stuff in my personal life too. I’m not sure I’m ready to write about it but I’m still here. 18.5 months to go…

For now though, the nightmares are gone (attempting, badly, to communicate at least is a good thing), so I’m going to sleep.

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I have had an intense week. It’s late, I should be asleep but I also know that when I wake up in the morning final exam prep begins in greater ernest than before. This week I had a reflective journal entry due, a debate to do (and let me tell you I could post on group dynamics etc but I may save that for later– right now I’m thinking of different things), and this is the week where we’ve dealt a lot with communication techniques, theories, and discussions such as grief and loss.

We watched part of a movie called “Wit” and it’s certainly not one that’s easy to watch, and it certainly opened my eyes to both good and bad healthcare practice. Also, watching this woman die of a very aggressive form of cervical cancer was heart breaking, and stirred so many emotions. It’s definitely a movie I want to watch all the way through — when I have time. It’s not an easy movie but one that I think is important to watch.

The other topic that impacted me was ‘grief and loss’.  We all know that entering nursing school means we will face grief, loss, death. In fact, in many ways I’m grieving the past freedom I had in my career. Now my time is school work, exercise and more school work. Oh and work too.    But beyond that, we dealt with grief in the context of our own lives.   It brought back the grief of my grandma passing away — which is natural as it’s only been 6 months (though it feels like an instant) and in many ways I’m still grieving her loss — as one could expect.   And, more surprisingly, I was reminded of the grief I felt for my other grandma’s loss — many years ago.  Her loss was long ago so it was not immediately intense, but that process of grieving was long, painful and one that I’ll never forget.  But the truth is, it’s important to address these things now, at school, so that we can be prepared as we enter the clinical setting where we will face death. I’m glad we spoke. Everyone had stories, experiences that gave them much wisdom and the environment was safe.

But it does mean that this week was intense , very intense.  It’s made my emotions a bit of a basket case this evening.  I have certain things I’d like to explore and experience. Sometimes, in my current situation I wonder if that will happen and I feel sad, confused, uncertain.  In the normal day to day, I don’t feel sad, confused or uncertain (at least most of the time), but right now I do. It’s just a response to the intensity of this week. I know this (oh and excuse the vagueness — public blog and all that).  This comes to the forefront of my mind right now because of a conversation I had with a friend of mine this evening.   The things I’d like to experience? She’s having that chance right now.  In fact, it seems that most of my friends are.  I’m so happy for them, 100%.  But for the moment, I need to be selfish and say that I wish my current situation was slightly different. Reality is though, my current situation is probably for the best, but I can still wish, can’t I?

The intensity will continue next week, though my hope is that there will be no more grieving.  That being said, my final exam for this course is on Friday. So yes, this will likely be my last post until that exam is done.  Whatever else, Nursing School is a profound experience.

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Stress is going to be a theme for the next 20 months as I go through my Nursing School Program.  I realize that, and am prepared for that.  Some tools I have for managing my stress are:

  • This blog — blogging for me is a place to reflect on my life, my experiences and to process what’s going on in my world.  It’s a tool I’ve been using, it’s a place that I hope provides my readers with stories and insights into my world. A place that I hope provides others food for thought as they too seek to live their lives well.

  • Exercise — exercise is a key stress management tool for me.  It’s helpful that I know that when I’m working out regularly I’m generally healthier, better able to function in my stress.  But, the challenge I have is balancing everything. In past degrees I’ve fallen victim to the panic that if I’m not studying every second I’m going to do poorly.  This degree I’m NOT going to let that happen because I do not want to gain the ‘Freshman 15’.  So what tool am I using to make sure that I don’t fall off the running wagon (at the very least)? Train for races. I’ve been training for a marathon with the specific intent to keep running goals as a priority.

  • Friends — I have some friends on campus — close long time friends — so getting together with them for lunch occasionally really helps. Also another friend is a nurse and is also in school again so she’s a great resource and it is great to have her ‘in the trenches’ with me.

So what are some stresses that are coming up for me now? There’s nothing particularly that is causing me acute stress right now, but there are many little things that I’m sorting out and such.  So there are things that causing me the beginnings of stress and I’m working through them right now and I don’t yet have all the solutions to the concerns

  • Financial — I have a bit of a student loan but got no where near sufficient money to cover costs of living etc. I’m still working at my job, and am trying to stay, BUT, it wont cover living costs even remotely.  So I’m going to work on this a bit more this weekend so that I can at least have a plan in place.  I am trying not to stress about generating debt because I know that the current canadian pay rates for nurses — even if I’m at the lowest level and don’t work any overtime — means I will be okay once I’m done (assuming the fraser health authority restructuring doesn’t spread).  But, given my ‘hate debt’ sensibilities, it’s tough. Given my life dreams. It’s tough.  It’s also easy for me to fall into the pressure of not having a life to save money, but I don’t want to regret this time, I don’t want to hate my time in nursing school — I want happiness and amazing memories. Both in school and out.  So I will travel, visit those I want to visit (like going back to New Mexico), and enjoy my life to the best of my ability.

  • School — I haven’t yet figured out the tools I need to keep up with the work and to really learn the work.  I have to learn them quickly because my first final is on October 9th.  Yes, OCTOBER 9th.  So this means that keeping my job is stressful (yet not keeping my job is also stressful) because it’s a lot of hours that I could read (that being said, I took tonight off — was wiped out) and study.  How to balance everything is a learning process in itself, and it will come. The one benefit is that at least the material isn’t difficult, there’s just a lot of material to learn.

  • Personal life — the stresses in my personal life relating to family — that led to much reflection, counseling and processing last year are still on going. They’re under control because I have boundaries in place to protect myself.  One thing we’ve been talking about in school is connection and support networks.  This is an area of stress because I sometimes wonder if I have a good support network.  The challenges I’ve faced this past year or so have meant that I’m careful about who I lean on very much for support.  And as time goes on I really will need the support so I need to work on trusting those who could give me support, and not putting on a mask of ‘everything’s okay’ just because other people have betrayed my trust in the past.

  • Relationships — this both amuses me (as I watch the young girls in the program flirt with the few young single guys in the program) and makes me sad.  I guess this is somewhat connection with my personal life comments above — a lot of students in the program who are my age are married, often with kids. I’m comfortable in my situation because they all have to balance much more complex lives than I do.  But, the type of support that they have available is something I miss.  But, I need to relax on this and not start stressing because, really, I’ve been accepting that there are few men in this city who capture my interest (now if we talk about outside this city, that’s different — but that’s a different topic). Also, if there were someone here with me I would need to split my time more.  So I’m okay with where I’m at, on the whole, but due to ‘distractions’ in my life there are certain things that have the potential of stressing me out.

BUT all these things (except financial — that is more of a present concern) are things that have the potential to stress me out if I’m not careful.  So I’m trying not to let myself focus on them and instead I’m trying to do what I need to on any given day — such as this week I’m tired at the end of it, so I took the evening off last night and did nothing productive.

The rest of this weekend will be cleaning, planning (to reduce some of the stress I’m facing), and studying.  I’ll try the ‘timer method’ to attempt to get everything done. And now, since I’ve done little this weekend so far (except call a couple of banks, cell phone company etc — all important too) it’s time to start reading for next week.

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Yesterday was a big day for me.  It was my annual review day.  It made me laugh a little, my manager acknowledged that I’m a perfectionist — she noted that I’d told her that in my interviews and that it is both a strength and a weakness. It’s something I need to relax on and work on but I’m well aware of it so I wasn’t surprised or concerned. I chuckled more than anything because I told her exactly that in my interview for my job (and she commented that she remembered this).

It was an important day too, because it’s the day when I knew I had to present what I want to do with my career, where it’s going and how I want to get there.  I’ve been holding this quite closely and I’ve been very vague here on this blog (such as this post) — not mentioning it on facebook or in public (it’s this reason I’ve not posted my blog on my FB profile — though it may be a while before I’m ready to post this there openly), because I’ve been concerned that colleagues would find out — to me, I feel fairly ‘find-able’ on the internet. That being said, I have two close friends at work who do know the story, but my manager didn’t. Until yesterday.

I presented it gently, as ‘here’s what I’m thinking of doing’ rather than bluntly and ‘I’m doing this’.  My plans are defined, I know what’s going to happen, but I didn’t want to force my hand or back my manager into a corner. So she asked me how definite I was and I picked 80%. I’ll clarify that it’s 100% in a week or so once she’s back from holidays, but I wanted to let her know I would take the opportunity to think now that we’ve spoken. I also let her know that if I had to decide right away it was 100% and that my gut says to go forward.  The question becomes whether I’ll be working there part time or whether I’ll be looking for a part time job on campus.

My plans in the fall, the uncertainty of employment is why I’ve been focusing on my to do list, my finances, life and home organization: I want to be ready to do as well as possible in my plans.

So this brings me to my title. What the heck have I been alluding to in all my posts?!?

I know many friends read my blog and they already know what my plans are (how anti-climactic!), but many people read this blog who are unknown to me.  So for those who have been patiently reading and wondering and waiting: I will be going back to school, changing my career path and going into Nursing. I’m attending one of the major schools in town.  I start in September.

I’m pretty excited — it now seems real to me. Eventually I hope to connect the biotechnology/biology/science background and career that I’ve had, but for now I am pursuing nursing. Once I’m done school my plans will be to perhaps travel with nursing for a while, live as conservatively as possible, pay of debt and move forward with this new stage of my life. This is a huge bend in the road, and my gut is telling me it’s the right one. One I think I’ve resisted for a long time.

It’s created challenges too. My family doesn’t understand my career path, that people have many careers in a lifetime now, and that I’m doing what will make me happy. I’m stressed because I had hoped to be out of debt before I started school, but the reality is that I was paid more conservatively than I should have been (good stable company, but low paying compared with the market and industry. sigh).   I’m wrestling with what to do about this. There’s nothing I can really do to get out of debt completely in the next few weeks.  Especially since I’m not making ends meet as it is.  I need to be more proactive about managing my finances — as conscientiously as I did when I wasn’t working. That was helpful. Right now, I’m so stressed about money that I’m hiding it. I do the basics, pay bills, try not to use my credit card, try not to eat out too much. But I’ve been avoiding looking at numbers exactly.  But I need to sit down and face them.  It will make it better overall.

I need to organize my place. I want to go through things, as I described in this post as well as this post. Well, there have been a lot of posts lately about the upcoming changes.  Home, finances, personal life. It’s all integrated. And I want to have it in order before I go forward.

A few other things I’ll do:

1. Cancel my cable. I don’t need the distraction while I’m in school. I can watch movies or download shows and the news from the internet.

2. Get rid of my landline once It’s no longer needed (long story, I don’t pay for it right now).

3. Be more conservative when I eat out, or don’t eat out. I try not to buy my lunch very much. It’s been ramping up a bit lately, and ironically tomorrow I’ll buy my lunch.

I’m also thinking of trying the ‘No Spend Month Challenge‘.   Is anyone into trying this with me? Perhaps it would go well happening in September?

Anyhow, that is what the heck I’ve been talking about. I’ll be updating my profile now that I can be more public about what’s going on and I can now be more clear in posts. YAY.

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