Cutting Back

We are given one life that we can live anyway that we see fit.  We balance responsibility with desire, obligation with what makes us happy.  At the end of the day, we ask for fulfillment so we may fall asleep satisfied with all that we are and all that we’ve done.  It’s a tricky balancing act and I feel lucky to achieve it even a few times a week.  I’m sure I’m not alone.  Late nights with a glass of wine staring into the stars dampens the sting of a bad day, but it doesn’t erase it. The goal is to have more good days than bad, to surround myself with people I genuinely believe in, who can bring out a great belly laugh, and to love whole-heartily, all of it – my past, my present and the people who have touched either one of them.  Those are my simple priorities.  That’s how I believe in living my life. Open, honest, true and with purpose while doing the best I can to do “the right” thing.  Lofty goals in today’s dog eat dog world.

I don’t need an obnoxious amount of money, I only need enough to maintain a simple life. I don’t need applause or recognition or even to stand out in a crowd.  What I do need is to feel proud, confident and like part of a team of people or group of friends that command respect by the examples they set.  Listening to “me,me,me and I,I,I” people tell me how great they are, is more painful than taking two handfuls of sand and rubbing my own eyes out.  Having these same people demand that I respect them for telling me how great they are, is tortuous.  To give up the life I want to live; time with friends, family, dogs or any other beautiful creature and be held hostage in such an atmosphere is simply a deal breaker.  I feel like parts of my life have hit the “deal breaking” level and it’s time to make some adjustments.
I’m an ER nurse.  Talk is cheap, most people lie, actions and behaviors speak louder than words.  I can gauge most situations quickly with a fair amount of accuracy.  It’s part of my job.  I need to be able to read between the lines to give the patient the best care.  It’s a quality that flows over into real life for me.  I’m surrounded by amazing people and they are out there proving it everyday.  These people don’t make a list of accomplishments and publish it in newsletters because: #1 they believe they will figure out an even better way to do it the next time, #2 they are too busy performing amazing feats to sit down and put that much thought into themselves, #3 they don’t think it was really that big of a deal in the first place and, #4 they redirect all that attention back into positive energy to support the team or project.  They are humble, genuine, open, honest, hardworking, generous and I’m proud to call them my friends and coworkers.
I’m cutting my hours way back in the ER right now to go in search of that ever elusive balance between work, home, family, friends and the almighty belly-laugh.  My goals are to get a tan, teach the dogs to sit and finish a scrapbook.  For the past 2 years, Jeff and my work schedules have averaged 2 days off a month together – which shouldn’t imply we’ve had the chance to spend them together because there are other things that sometimes have to take priority – like grocery shopping or (something I have less understanding of) the weekly poker game.  I’m not joking when I say that I know more about the lives of my coworker’s pets and kids than I know about my own husband’s. He’s asleep, I’m awake.  He’s home, I’m at work.  I’m home, he’s at work.  It’s a never ending juggling act.  I’m afraid that the majority of our conversations have taken place sitting in separate rigs, going opposite directions, in the middle of the road or driveway, through an open window and within sixty second increments for the past 2-3 years. It’s time to fix that.
I will still be picking up some shifts to satisfy that insane need I have for ER nursing but I am also going to take some time to enjoy this crazy thing we call life.  I’m going to see more of my niece and nephews.  I am going to drive to an orchard to pick fruit and then can it.  I’m going to catch up on wall painting and clutter purging.  I’m going to get a fishing line wet.  (Don’t steelhead run one more time this fall? I’m going to find out.) I’m going to get some old bulbs in the ground and the scrapbook room cleaned up.  And I’m thinking, hmmm…  Maybe we need a few more pheasants around this farm and *giant smile* a little pig named Snort.

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