Sunday, March 28, 2010

timely inspiration.

Nursing is an art: 
and if it is to be made an art, 
it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, 
as any painter's or sculptor's work; 
for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, 
compared with having to do with the living body, 
the temple of God's spirit?  
It is one of the Fine Arts:  
I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.  
~Florence Nightingale

Saturday, March 27, 2010

life on life's terms.

Last night, I had a great, tiring shift at the hospital.  It was very slow.  I took care of two 'couplets.'  Mama's and babies...No deliveries happened and it was a super quiet night.

I worked with a different RN, and it was an awesome experience--my hope and faith have been restored in my field and I will continue this journey.  (At least that's how I feel right now.)

I should have been done last night.  Given all the scheduling I've done for my preceptorship, last night should have been my last shift.  My instructor came in this morning as shift was ending and said, excitedly, "You're done, right?"

"No. I'm not done.  I have 30 more hours."

I am almost going to that shoulding on myself space where I wish it were different than it is.

I also know myself well.  I know I needed the time off I took, instead of working my shifts.  I don't feel this preceptorship has been very indicative of 'real world nursing' as my school promises because I'm completely involved in my course work at the same time.  I don't feel I've shown up with the most honorable work ethic because I have a lot on my plate.  I'm aware of all of this.

I came home this morning around 0745, washed my face, took a shower, and climbed into bed.  I prayed as I was falling to sleep that I could sleep straight until 1400.  My first wake up time was 1045.  (Not the elusive 1400.)  Then, I woke up again at 1145, and managed after a little potty break to sleep all the way to 1330!!!  YAY!  I was so thrilled when I rolled over and saw on the clock I made it to afternoon!  Wahooooo!!  I stayed in bed til 1430 and now, have had coffee, "breakfast"  and even laid out in the sunshine of this Brisk Spring Day for some solid Vitamin D synthesis.

I got good rest.  While I was laying in bed deciding if I could sleep more or if getting up was my next action, I meditated on what I was feeling.  My should thoughts kept coming up--how I should be done with my preceptorship, should be done studying all my content, should have my part of our communication project completed by now, should should should should should.  

With all the shoulds I meditated on what it would mean if I truly LET GO of how I was feeling.  I took some deeeeeep breaths.  I put my left hand on my heart and my right hand on my belly and breathed.

I imagined myself on this wind current, traveling through the What Is.

I imagined what it would be like if I didn't attach myself to my feelings.  I imagined that serenity-space that could so delicately embrace me if I weren't trying so forcefully to have things be different than they are.

I prayed.
Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.  When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation--some fact of my life--unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake.  Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober;  unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy.  I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.  (From Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, p. 449)
For today, I am willing to let go of the feelings I have around school, nursing, working hard, relationships.  For this moment, I embrace the action of living life on life's terms, welcome my Higher Power into my soul and seek the moment.

From July 30 in One Day At A Time in Al-Anon
This day belongs to me.  I can do wonderful things with it, creative things, including the creation of order in my surroundings and in my mind.  Nobody else owns my particular segment of time, so it depends only on me how well I will fill every moment to my satisfaction.  Al-Anon tells me to live one day at a time.  This is that day
Just for today I will be unafraid.  Especially I will be unafraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

I'm off to play with darling girls, Sira & Kidney, and one sweet Mineral. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010


I am a bit deficient in attention this morning.  One could say I'm sufferin' with the ADD.

I've been sitting here the past hour and a half popping from blog to pandora to god-awful face book to my journal in front of me back to my email and all over the place.  I'm completely lacking focus.

I just read this from today's One Day At A Time in Al-Anon:
But we do have a power, derived from God, and that is the power to change our own lives.  Acceptance does not mean submission to a degrading situation.  It means accepting the fact of a situation and then deciding what we will do about it.  

Fighting futility is just a waste of energy, Samantha.  Either do something or quit fretting--Celebra Tueli.

Well, thank you.  I accept my deficient attention and focus.  I choose to focus now on what I can change--I'm going to blog about my unrest and then put on a lecture and get my brain to studying.

Sometimes when I read my daily readers, I feel they are just for me, just for the moment I'm in.  It is eerie, coincidental and god-given.

From today's Courage To Change
"Anything worth doing," goes a slightly cock-eyed version of the old saying, "is worth doing badly."  Perfectionism, procrastination, and paralysis are three of the worst effects of alcoholism upon my life.  

If I'm unwilling to perform a task badly, I can't expect to make progress toward learning to do it well.  The only task I can pretend to perform perfectly is the one I have left entirely undone.  

I have seen how my perfectionism, procrastination and paralysis has prevented me from growing this past week.  I have shown up for a lot and I have allowed myself to not show up for some things.  I feel vulnerable and delicate.  My health isn't consistent.  Some days I feel like a million bucks and some days I feel weak and frail.  I have been saying for about three months that this coming up is going to be really hard work.  "Soon, I'll be working really hard."

I had the realization yesterday that NOW is the time I'm working really hard.  It's NOW.  It's not coming up.  It's NOW.

With the Nate, I've had lots of talks about Present Moment Awareness.  (I personally like that the acronym for Present Moment Awareness is the same as Positive Mental Attitude.  How synonymous they are!)  For this new relationship, my focus is a lot on being completely in the moment.  It is very difficult.  I want to go to that far away place of planning, future daydreaming, excitement.   In a lot of ways, that's how I've been viewing these last few weeks of the semester---Oh, I have 14 DAYS left to work hard.  Focusing entirely on what the future will bring...

My error in thinking is it's about the NOW.  With Nate, it's about fostering the relationship TODAY.  With school, it's about working hard IN THIS MOMENT.

Yes.  I will be done with my academic requirements for graduation in 14 days.  Yes.  I will see Nate in 7 days.  Really, though, it's the choices I make today that truly matter, that truly define my integrity and humanity.  When I can surrender to this moment, admit my powerlessness, and accept exactly where I am, I get to let go of my attachment to what will be and start being in the What Is.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

one last thought

Part of my daily prayer routine/habit/communion with God is to ask that God direct my thinking, especially that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest, or self-seeking motives.  Also, I ask that God will give me an intuitive thought, action or decision.

The Big Book says regarding Step 11, Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out, that as far as intuition goes
We relax and take it easy.  We don't struggle.  We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.  What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind.  Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times.  We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas.  Nevertheless, we find that our thinking, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration.  We come to rely on it. (The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 86 -87)
Tonight, after the third (fourth?) time crying and being frustrated, a thought occurred to me.  Maybe I can email my instructor about taking my exam on Monday instead of Thursday??  Is that okay, do you think??  I sent the email.

I'm completely underprepared for Thursday's exam.  I have three lectures to watch, reading to do, just the whole shebang.  And, yes.  I can caffeinate NOW and not sleep until 5p Thursday when I would be required to take the exam.

I got an email back saying Monday would be an okay day for me to take the exam.  Yep.  More tears.  (fifth or sixth time today?)

I instantly thought of this passage in the Big Book---how praying for inspiration, an intuitive thought, or decision serves me....I get to ask for for Help.  God is on my side in this thing.....

And, know...even if my instructor had said, 'no,' I absolutely trust I would have been given the strength to do what I need to do by Thursday, too.

I trust.  I absolutely trust.
And, I will continue my prayer practice.....

My heart is so full of gratitude it spills out my eyes and tastes of saline.

self care.

Written on my mirror, a most apt and needed phrase from Sweet Kate. I slathered on the face mask, ran a hot bath, and contemplated the idea of Keeping my sights on my goal, Keeping Up with the task ahead of me, Washing my face, and finishing this out.

I hope to one day look back on this experience and marvel at the Strength of God getting me through.
I hope to look back on this experience with pride at what I'm accomplishing.

I long to feel different than I do right now.

Tears, frustration, darn throwin' in the towel crud. That's how I feel...It all seems like it would be loads easier than it is right now.

Wouldn't that be the more easier, softer way? Didn't I cry out, "Surely there must be a softer way?" Am I balking now?

God, be my strength. I can't do this without your fierce and powerful guidance.

God CAN and WILL when I SEEK.

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bathroom wall reading.


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, 1927
( Read on the wall of the bathroom of where I'm doing my Psych Nursing Clinical Rotations. God is good, I say.)  

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I've Got Dreams

Dreams to Remember.
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I've had a pretty awful past couple weeks.

It's been interesting---I met Nate and that has been going phenomenally.  I enjoy him a great deal.  We communicate beautifully, and he is fast becoming a dear friend, offering a sincere, kind listening ear.  Nate and I became this thing a little over two weeks ago.

I feel once he left to head back to San Diego, I crashed....The week following (last week) I spent fighting a weird stomach bug that came and went. I fought a total disinterest in my studies and finding out my test grade was the worst I've done so far in Nursing School.  Just sorta blah.

Then, this week hit.  I worked 36 hours at the hospital.  And, holy moly it was hard.  My shifts were every other day, to boot, so I didn't really acclimate to the night shift schedule.  I have been so tired. So very tired.  I cut loose a little bit Thursday night and went dancing---only to completely not get enough sleep and wake up with what I feared was Strep Throat.  (I have since rediagnosed myself as having a mild chest cold.)  I'm feeling sicky.

I've had a few break downs the past week.  Tears.  I don't want to finish school.  I want to give up.  I'm tired.  I'm so freaking tired.  If this is how nursing is going to be, I don't want any part of it.  I want to be a Professional Nanny and just play with kiddos all day long.  I will be a very capable and very well educated nanny.

And, here's the good part of all this tough stuff this week.
I am so loved.  I am so well cared for.
I got a card from my sweet friend Beth saying how proud she is of me, what a great friend I am to her, and how I can do this.  She also said these words in email.

Noriko, my roommate, continually supports my crying spells.  She takes time out to make rice for me, offers miso soup for me, pours my tea.  She does these quiet, kind acts that fill my heart with gratitude and love.  God knew what God was doing when combining us as roommates.

My friends have listened to me complain, be discouraged, and want to give up.  I am met with listening ears not trying to fix the way I feel.  I am met with friends that support where I am at and offer me words of encouragement.  I need words of encouragement now more than ever!  And, God is providing these words to me through the voices of the people I love.

I may be sick today, but God is providing me with the strength to study.

I have two exams next week, two days of Psych Clinical and two more shifts of interning.

I'm grateful for these words I've read in my studying for my Psych exam:
Anxiety is part of the human condition.  We treat anxiety with positive self-talk and reframing difficult situations
Mild anxiety can be motivating, produce growth and creativity, and increase learning.  
Comforting!  I'm studying and yet learning how to promote growth in my own crazy self right now.  What a gift!!

At 0945 there was a knock at my door.

Nate sent me flowers.  Gorgeous huge enormous beautiful Spring Flowers.  What a gift!! It's the first day of Spring, and Nate sent me get well flowers.  GRATEFUL.

It's been hard to see the silver lining of what feels like a huge black steaming shitcloud.

I am grateful, though.  It helps to remember I have a power greater than myself that will provide me strength to persevere and be diligent.  I must remember to ask for help as well.

I will get through all this.
I will graduate from nursing school.
I will be successful in my endeavors to finish the work load ahead of me.
I will take care of myself in this process.
I will 'Keep Up' as my Yogi Tea quoted to me today.
I will find time for exercise, meetings, quiet solace with my higher power, and studying.
I will enjoy the sunshine, the glorious Arizona Sunshine greeting me with its love and warmth this afternoon.
I will laugh and play.
I will remember my feelings are not facts; they're not permanent.  This too shall pass.
I will be grateful.  Even for the shitclouds.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Yay Mama!!!

Today is my sweet Ma's 52nd Birthday.  
I love you, Mom. 
Blasts from the past to honor your special day....

I believe this was taken sometime in 1982?  At the Grand Canyon

Mom in Hawai'i.  I think this was 1985?? Not sure, tho'.  I love the different backgrounds but similar poses of these two photos....

Me and My Mama, July 2006.  

We're Captains of our Own Boat.  
March 2009

And, a Hawaiian rainbow to finish it off.

I  love you Mom.  
You have inspired me so much this past year with your dedication, faith and trust. 
Thank you for our evolving and powerfully divine relationship. 
I appreciate you in my life so much, and I'm so very very grateful. 

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wild Geese

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Monday, March 15, 2010


In my exasperated exhaustion I talked with Nate yesterday.  He was quietly listening while I was crying and griping.  He said, You know what you need to do.  I sniveled, Yeah.  He said, Okay, I'll talk to you later.  

I knew I needed to get quiet and prayerful with God last night.  He reminded me of this and supported me in this.

A guy.
I'm dating.
Propelled me toward my higher power in support of me getting quiet.  He encouraged and supported me to seek solace and comfort in a force that wasn't him; in so doing, he supported me in taking care of myself the best way I know how.


Later, I got a text from Nate.  This was it:
Guide my hand, God, when I am too weary to lift it.  Raise my head when I tire from working and sleep wants to take me.  You are my heart beat when I am in need and so I am now.  Take these burdens and bring your joy into my body and my mind.  Love me, God, when I suffer from self-doubt.  And, take me, if even for a moment, into you; let me gain strength to go into this night.  So I may heal others with clarity and power.  Let it Be.  
I am so blessed by this man.   I'm blessed God found it fit to combine us together in this geographically undesirable situation with communication so guided and fun.  I'm blessed in this moment.  And so certain.

fatigue makes cowards of us all.

Spring Break has officially started.  I am a fan of the Spring Break.  A week holiday in the middle of Spring Semester??? Yes, Please.  Spring Break 1999 I spent gallivanting Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts. Spring Break 2008 was spent in Cambria and San Francisco, California.  2009?  Oahu, Hawai'i.
Prescott, Arizona.

I chose this.  Or, rather, I was willing for this experience.  December 7, 2009 I turned in a form to my instructor letting her know I'd be willing do my preceptorship concurrently with my course load my last semester of school---this is usually not the case.  Usually we do our courses, then have four weeks in April-May to finish our preceptorship without the mess of having to study for exams, do papers and projects during this last stretch of semester.  So, things are busier for me.  I was willing and this is God's plan for me.

This does not mean I will be happy or able or accepting of my current situation.

Yesterday I was so tired.  I was so so so so tired.  I did NOT want to go into the hospital.  Friday night's shift was super busy with a little growth curve lesson thrown my way and I had some pride to swallow.  I had a thought during Friday's shift when I was so frustrated by all the paperwork we have to do that 'Frig This! I don't want to be a nurse!  There's too much paper work!!'  (That's right, Layla.  Good reason to quit now.  It did remind me of the my thoughts back in September when I was too nervous to hang blood for a transfusion because there were too many steps involved and I really did think:  I'll have to always get someone to do this for me.  The same thought applies here, I think.  I have to break down before I can start accepting the way things are.)

I did a good thing yesterday, amidst my fatigue.  I reached out.

Thank you, Nate.  You reminded me my strength lies in a beautiful space that is bigger and more quiet than I am.  When I got still, the tears came.  With the tears, the gratitude came, and I didn't feel so helpless or in need of giving up.

Charlsie.  Oh Thank You.  Your seven minute conversation supporting my education efforts was huge!  You reminded me how rewarding this profession is and that dedication and hard work mean I DON'T GIVE UP.  It's like everything I want to succeed at---I don't give up.  Tenacity does not imply ease.

And, to my instructor, Sally.  Thank you.  I left a most frantic tear-filled message for you about how I want to quit school (agasp! with three weeks left!) and I needed to talk about this stress and these feelings.  You called me back and left me a dear message in return, reminding me that I am not a Lost Cause, this is NORMAL, and I'm okay!  You said that 'Fatigue makes cowards of us all.'  When weary, we become afraid.  I've become weary.  And, I was afraid.

All this amazing support and help!!  I went to the hospital for my shift last night and it was phenomenal.  I assisted with a pretty serious delivery.  It was a huge learning experience and I was also able to express myself to the nurse I work with---I told her how I wanted to give up this school thing because it's hard, and really, I haven't finished a whole lot educationally.  She understood and was so very supportive.

Fatigue does make me a coward.  I am more fearful when I'm tired.  I'm more aware of my shortcomings and my vulnerability.  I am more aware of my humanity when I'm vulnerable.  The good news to this, though, is through my cowardice, I'm afforded courage.  Isn't Courage Fear that has said its Prayers?  Can I be fearful and prayerful at the same time?  Can I trust this process, be willing and participatory?

I am being made, here.  A friend posted on her facebook status a year or more ago while she was going through a pretty physical training: This is what dedication feels like.

I may be tired, but this is what dedication feels like.

thank you, npr music.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

16 and Pregnant. A Rant.

I am disgusted.  And, I can't look away.  I am housesitting for sweet Rosie this weekend and the hugely giant high definition flat screen is playing 16 and Pregnant on MTV.  Why am I watching this show???  Well, of the seven thousand channels, this was the only show that looked remotely entertaining while I prep dinner and get ready for tonight's shift.

OHMYGOD.  Why is MTV playing this show?  Why are they glorifying teen pregnancy?  It's on a marathon today. Episode after episode.  Are they hoping to show that pregnancy is difficult?  Are they wanting viewers to see what 'it's really like?'  Because what I'm seeing is a young girl more worried about 'pooping during delivery' than the life changing experience of bringing a life into this world.

Let me tell you something.  I've seen seven births so far. Not a lot in my blossoming career----but what I've seen there's a 80% 'poop' rate.  You're gonna poo when you push a baby out of your vagina.  That is GOOOOOD PUSHING!  We teach our patients that in order to get through that burning, crushing, horrible pain (I assume, as a nulligravida) they MUST push like they're having a bowel movement.  And you know what?  Sometimes poo comes out.  I'm just letting you all know this because MTV feels this type of 'reality' show is essential programing.  I am angry about it.

Did you know women who are pregnant under the age of 20 are more likely to experience complications in their pregnancy and mortality?  These young moms are more likely to experience maternal death, low birth weight, premature delivery, and infant death. (click here for reference information)  This is scary stuff!  We don't think of these young mom's being subject to such adverse reactions in pregnancy and labor, but it's on a par of the risks associated with Advanced Maternal Age.  Even worse in some cases!  To show these labors, deliveries and pregnancies on a show I feel is subjecting the MTV viewer population to misleading information about teen pregnancy!

This young girl is SIXTEEN FREAKING YEARS OLD. She doesn't like her boyfriend.  She doesn't like the way he treats her.  She says, "I'm glad my boyfriend is making me feel alone at this party."  Does she know no one can make her feel 'alone' without her consent?  Is she prepared for what it's going to be like to be so alone in the early stages of motherhood?  The isolating, scary aloneness that is being the only person responsible for an infant.  An infant seeking trust in this young adult person.

Gosh.  I treated a patient last night that was this same age.  She came in experiencing anxiety.  She's never experienced anxiety before and she was concerned.  It was sad.  At the same time, I'm so grateful for my own anxiety experience to sit with this young girl and let her know she's going to be okay.  (An amazing god-gift to see my own experience is of service to others. Oh glory god.)

So, I'm frustrated.  I know I'm also very tired.  The coffee is setting in, glory to god again!, and my dinner is delicious.  I played with sweet Rosie at the dog park today; we ran and played in the cool air and the sun came out to warm my face on a few occasions.

(Oh, and one more thing:  this young mom on MTV is complaining of pain during breastfeeding. "It hurts; it hurts."  It hurts because her latch isn't right.  We need some intervention here!! I do not want young women seeing this show and thinking breast feeding is painful!  (I feel I'm putting the biggest foot in my mouth around this topic as I've never breastfed, but I trust in the experience of the women I love and care for that have.  If pain is experienced, these women readjust!  They know latch is crucial to not feeling pain while breastfeeding.  I also trust in the knowledge I've been given from educated lactation consultants that nursing should not be painful, and it if is, the latch of baby MUST be adjusted.  Mom's comfort is paramount for healthy nursing of baby.))

I am off my soap box, my coffee mug is filled and I'm going to sit and be still for a bit before my shift tonight.
I want to change the world.  Goodness...God, help me be the most effective avenue for affective change.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Thanks to Sheryl at The World According to Bitch Cakes for this amazing laugh tonight.  These new Old Spice commercials are a riot! 


looking forward.

in this tired moment i'm looking forward to some things:

  1. at least until i find a job in my field, i will really enjoy not being this tired. nursing is tiring.  it's demanding on my body and on my heart.  after apr 1, i will enjoy the six weeks of not working in the hospital so i can sleep during the night and feel well-rested. 
  2. not always answering or wanting to answer 'tired' to the question 'how are you?' 
  3. when it's a gorgeous saturday outside, i will be so excited when i don't need to sleep through the sun, warmth and beauty that is Prescott in the spring.  (right now, i am so tired, i need to sleep more; it's amazing outside.  i have pangs of guilt sleep is more important than my being outside in Arizona sun.)
  4. not having to do myriad nurse's notes, flow sheets, med recon sheets, assessment data sheets, labor flow sheets, baby papers, ohmygosh we double and triple chart on that freaking floor; it's so exhausting, frustrating and i do not like it!  i was near tears last night realizing i'm writing in two places the same information.  when this internship is over, i will be very thrilled for the six weeks i have between internship and graduation not having to chart on a patient's status.  
  5. i am excited to be a nurse.  (huh? all this negative talk!)  i really am excited.  last night was so busy, yet i was efficient, capable and competent.  i'm a new nurse.  i'm not going to get it all in 75 hours of precepting.  it's going to take work. and this experience is prepping me for the work involved in a new grad program, and orientation on a new floor.  this is all good preparation for my career, for my life ahead. 
i have so much to look forward to.  even if i'm so tired when i look forward my eyes blur.  
happy napping, 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Good Orderly Direction.

From today's Daily Reflections

It is when we try to make our will conform with God’s that we begin to use it rightly. To all of us, this was a most wonderful revelation. Our whole trouble had been the misuse of willpower. We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God’s intention for us. To make this increasingly possible is the purpose of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, and Step Three opens the door.TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 40
All I have to do is look back at my past to see where self-will has led me. I just don’t know what’s best for me and I believe my Higher Power does. G.O.D., which I define as “Good Orderly Direction,” has never let me down, but I have let myself down quite often. Using my self-will in a situation usually has the same result as forcing the wrong piece into a jigsaw puzzle–exhaustion and frustration. Step Three opens the door to the rest of the program. When I ask God for guidance I know that whatever happens is the best possible situation, things are exactly as they are supposed to be, even if they aren’t what I want or expect. God does for me what I cannot do for myself, if I let Him.

God is soooooo good it wells me up with tears.  I am beyond grateful for my relationship with my Higher Power.  So grateful.  

the Mad Hatter fed me cheesecake.

Oh yesterday! What a terrific day!!

I started my psych clinical rotations at a women's treatment/rehabilitation facility and it rocked my world.  I have such reverence for recovery and to be on the other side of women in recovery---ohmygoodness! It is such an honor!  I feel grateful and excited about the 36 hours I get to have with the women at this house.  I also know I will be ridiculously challenged with what I'm learning and the candid opening these women are asked to exhibit.  It is yet another example of something I get to do during nursing school that completely changes me--I am so lucky to have this educational experience.  So lucky.  

Last night I worked with sweet Juliana and Dante.  They were tired....There were some tears and a little 4-year-old body not wanting to listen to my direction.  Comes with the territory.  Juliana and I have this little bond where we sing a lot, just sing the things we're saying to each other, and it cracks me up.  She is a special girl, and I enjoy working for this family.  (We also were talking in 'robot' but then I started thinking in 'robot' so I had to ask her to please stop.  "Why. Do. We. Have. To. Stop. Talk-Ing. In. Ro-Bot?")  Mom of these kids is so considerate.  She prepares dinner for the kiddos before I get there, she's a phenomenal cook, and always makes sure it's vegan.  So thoughtful.  

I worked until about 2015, and was chatting with Mom about life changes, Nate, Nate, Nate, and having a giggle...She walked me to the door, and we opened it to three inches of snow!  It was so still!  Pouring snow---So much snow was coming out of the sky, and holy cow! It was so silent and beautiful.  I have a little Honda Civic in need of new tires, and I was nervous driving home.  Mom was so sweet---do you want to take my car? Do you want to stay the night??  No, No. I'll head home.  I can make it.  

I pushed all the snow off my car and climbed in.  The house I was working in is north of town, without street lights, and I will say:  My drive home was the scariest drive I've ever done!  Ohmygoodness!!  I couldn't see but three feet in front of me, the snow was coming down so hard, I could only stay in first gear, and I swear, I don't know how I got anywhere; my speedometer did not go over zero.  I was crouched over my steering wheel, praying over and over again.  "God, be my eyes. God, keep me safe.  God, I praise you for this experience and ask for you guidance and strength.  Oh God, I can't see. Oh, God, Please help. Keep me safe.  You're in charge, God; I trust you."  It was intense, and lovely.  

Each time I couldn't see a car would crest over the hill ahead and its lights would shine my way.  

When the street lights started, another car was ahead of me and I am so grateful; I was able to drive in its wake.  I ran two stop signs, knowing with the hills in my darling town I wouldn't be able to get going if I were to stop.  

My home is on a hill, and I knew I'd need the momentum of the incline to keep accelerating toward my garage.  Wouldn't you know it?  There was a pedestrian, strolling along in this blizzard snow.  He was covered in snow! And he was STROLLING!  This dark mass slowly walking on my sidewalk, in front of my home!  REALLY????  The craziest weather, I'm not sure I can get traction enough to keep driving, and I have to pause for a pedestrian.  I totally was laughing.  God is so funny.  And, an amazing protector.  

I made it to my garage.  And, when I climbed out laughed again;  my car was covered in four inches of snow. I shrugged.  Oh well.  It'll just melt off into the garage.  That's what snow's supposed to do, right??

Such an adventure!

I woke this morning at 0615, to realize I didn't need to get up so early, and fell back asleep.  I dreamed Ryan Gosling was the mad hatter, I was blonde, with Shirley Temple ringlets and a red headband, and he was feeding me cheesecake.  I don't like cheesecake. (chocolate > any other dessert, ever.  It's a proven mathematic equation.)  I remember thinking, "I have to pretend to like this so the Mad Hatter doesn't get Mad."  Awwww, Sweet Layla as Alice, people pleasing even in her dreams.  

I was supposed to meet my Grandpa today for breakfast but due to the weather we decided to cancel.  I'm a little bummed; I haven't seen my Granddad for years.  Gosh, since Nov 2006?? Whoa.  I told him about my upcoming graduation, though, and he 'has it on the calendar' so hopefully I'll get a Grandpa Love on May 15.  

School's on a two-hour delay.  My class tonight doesn't start until 1700 so I don't think this will affect me.  I have some appointments on campus at 1400 and the sky is blue, blue, blue--gorgeous Prescott, Arizona blue.  The roads haven't been plowed yet, and I'm not going to head out in the weather until later this afternoon.  I've started the laundry and my latte is delicious.  Soon, I'm going to have a shower, and watch some lectures online until my afternoon begins.  

Life is so good.  I am so safe.  I feel love in my tummy, in my heart, in my toes.  
This is my life. 
And, I adore it.  

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

my 100th post!

this is sort of a big deal....
Danielle over at Sometimes Sweet has been a big inspiration to me entering the blog world with a lot of dedication and drive.  Since mid-December I've been blogging near daily.  I have a huge sense of accomplishment at this feat!  For a long time, I'd read Danielle's blog, and admire her dedication at putting her life so out there for the world to see...I decided I wanted to have another avenue to express myself that wasn't facebook. (That's a whole other story--the light clicked for me regarding facebook in December; I had become somewhat addicted to internet socializing and blech....I wanted an avenue that focused on me.  Not on everyone else.)  Hence my new found love of blogging!

Today's a busy day ahead.  I start my Psych Clinical at Pia's Place, a women's treatment facility in Prescott.  I am thrilled to be at this site, and excited for what I'm going to learn the next few weeks.  I work tonight with some kiddos that greet me at their door with loud screams and laughs.

The Reminder From God today hit it:
Experience My Loving Presence in every fiber of your being. Joy, Joy, Joy
I'm excited to experience God in every fiber of my being today.

Thanks for reading.  This blog thing has been so huge; I realized a few weeks ago I wasn't writing to a certain audience but just writing to get these thoughts out.  So, thanks for staying and reading.  One hundred! Pretty cool!

Happy Day.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

'she doesn't know she's okay.'

Today during Playgroup, sweet baby Alder was having a hard time getting her body down for a rest.  (She turned one today, by the way.  That brown-eyed babe that is funny and smiley and so charming my heart grows a bit bigger is one year old today.)

Alder's big sister, Ella, said, "Wow, Alder's really crying."
We were sitting on the couch reading books.
I told Ella, "Yeah, Baby Alder doesn't know she's okay. She doesn't know she can just calm her body down and go to sleep."

I paused after I said this.

How often I don't know I'm okay.  And I can't calm my body down and breathe in the moments of my life, realizing I'm so divinely okay.

(Sweet Alder ended up sleeping, about thirty seconds after I said this.)
God is good.

oh, and a post script: thank you to Joyous JJ for calling to check in about the 'official change in status.'  thank you to Deborah in class for letting me cry on your shoulder about six times today. Thank you to Sweet Beth.  Your friendship is such a refreshing light in my life! (Georgia Byrd!) And, Darling Becky--thank you for tea and honesty (i almost wrote 'honest-tea' but i'm not that cheesy, am I?)  I am blessed with fabulous girlfriends.
God is soooo good.

Monday, March 08, 2010

The spirituality of imperfection is such a place.

Time before time, when the world was young, two brothers shared a field and a mill.  Each night they divided evenly the grain they had ground together during the day.  Now as it happened, one of the brothers lived alone; the other had a wife and a large family.  One day, the single brother thought to himself: "It isn't really fair that we divide the grain evenly.  I have only myself to care for, but my brother has children to feed."  So each night he secretly took some of his grain to his brother's granary to see that he was never without.

But the married brother said to himself one day, "It isn't really fair that we divide the grain evenly, because I have children to provide for me in my old age, but my brother has no one.  What will he do when he is old?"  So every night he secretly took some of his grain to his brother's granary.  As a result, both of them always found their supply of grain mysteriously replenished each morning.

Then one night the brothers met each other halfway between their two houses, suddenly realized what has been happening, and embraced each other in love.  The story is that God witnessed their meeting and proclaimed, "This is a holy place--a place of love--and here it is that my temple shall be built."  And so it was. The holy place, where God is made known, is the place where human beings discover each other in love.

Need I say how great the book I'm reading right now is?
This story published within.

To quote Bill Wilson, "We must find some spiritual basis for living, else we die."

Hope your Monday was full of that space where love is found, where you are wholly safe and cared for.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

i've been hit on the head.

Well, Blogland.
I've been attacked by the cosmic force that is Whirlwind Romance.
I've met a man.
I haven't really just met him; I've known him since May 2001.
He was one of the first people I met here in Prescott.  For blog purposes I'm going to call him Nate.
Because that's his name.

My Nate light turned on Friday morning at 1215.  He strolled into the grossest bar in town while the entourage was dancing the dance for Leta's 40th birthday.
wahooo! Leta's 40 and it's time to get DOWN. 
Leta, Tina & Layla. Fabulous Dancing Buds. 

I think this is where I become excited like a four-year-old and jump up and down with glee. 

Ohmygoodness, this picture says it all!

Leta, Layla, Kate & Claire in the background.  We bring it to the Sundance's. 

The Dancefloor Tina Sammy

How much do I love my Dancing Dolphin Birthday Friend?
It's hard to describe so picture me standing so tall, arms so high, mouth open soooo big! That's how much!

And, this. is. Nate. Getting his booty on with Sweet Leta. He & I proceeded to dance together for the next two hours.  
There are some things I need to preface in this post....The internal 'list' I've been compiling of the things I'd very much like in my next partner.

  1. I'd like a man that has a spiritual life, and seeks knowledge, force, and power outside himself, preferably to a force that is bigger than he is. 
  2. I'd like him not to smoke cigarettes or abuse substances. 
  3. I would love a man that enjoys dancing. 
  4. I think a man that values being healthy and moving his physical body would be awesome.  
  5. It would be really super if this man, this potential partner, would be intelligent, focused and determined. I want a man I respect.  
  6. I want a man that wants a family: I'd love it if he wants to get married, have kiddos, and value a vested partnership.  It would be awesome, if this partner, would do those things with me. ;) 
  7. (There's some other stuff I'd really like in a man that I think might be too candid for this public forum).  
  8. I want a man with confidence.  I want a man with assurance that I won't be the source for his happiness, I will only add to his happiness (naturally) and he is in charge of his own joy.  
  9. You know, I'd really like it if he is tall, with a great laugh, soft skin, kissable lips, a great head of hair.  The vanity stuff.  I like a man's hands.  
So, that's my list.  I ponder that list sometimes; add things to it sometimes, and really think, good grief, Layla; you're a picky girl.  All this stuff?  Really??? Yes. Really.  These are my heart's desires.  

Well, you know. The God force is funny, I've always said.  I didn't anticipate my list to be satisfied now. And, I've heard often that 'it happens when we least expect it,' and 'most often when we're not looking for it.'  

The next four weeks are the busiest of my school career.  I have still 79 more hours of interning to do, 36 hours of clinical to do for my Psych Nursing class, a huge Care Plan paper for those 36 hours, a teaching project for my internship, a presentation on Nursing Communication & Interpersonal Relationships for my Management class, three more exams (50 questions each), two finals (100 questions each), a Pre NCLEX Exam on Management (55 questions), and the HESI, which is an acronym for what? I cannot remember at this time but it's 190 questions of nursing amazingness that is a barometer for how well I will do on NCLEX.  It's a big deal.  The next four weeks are a big deal.  

The best time for a romance? 
God thinks so. 

Layla, Leta & Nate. Rockin Leta's 40th. 

Nate & Leta showing off the moves. 

I keep up with the moves of the Nate. Kate's intense.  

Nate & Joey. More Dance Fantasticness. 

I think this is where we discuss what happens between Nate & Layla since there is 450 miles between them.  I like a man who talks with his hands. There is something quite charming about expressiveness.  

This is where we cheese it out. 

This is where the romance really happened. 

And, this is the kiss Mark D was looking for with all those other shots.  
So, Nate. Welcome to my world. It's going to busy these next few weeks, and I cannot express my excitement well enough other than to say you're right, "This is only the beginning."  I wasn't looking for you.  I didn't anticipate this weekend to take me out of my routine so completely.  You've taken me fully into the adventure that is a new romance.  You're a man that, so far, has surprised me with all the 'internal list' check-off's I've been able to make.  Nate, you've added things to my list of what I wanted without my knowing; you've completely upped the ante, so to speak, and made me a pickier woman.  It's been a whirlwind, I've been hit over the head, and I'm beyond thrilled at what's in store for us. 

Safe drive, Darling Man.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

a Music day.

Happy Birthday, Leta Lynn!!!
What a great day to be 40!!

Here's March's celebrate your awesome birthday!

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