Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 / 2015

            Blogging has been on the back burner of my mind these past few months. This has been a busy and rather stressful autumn. Without going into detail, there has been a lot going on for us. Although I started my new job at the end of July, it's taken a long time to really feel comfortable for me and get my own rhythm in my every day routine. I finally feel like I'm swimming rather than just keeping my head above water, and I still love it. The people I've met and the knowledge I've acquired is so much more valuable to me than I would have ever expected. I feel like I'm a little obsessed with nursing, which probably isn't a bad thing. I'm thirsty for new knowledge, new information and new experiences. I thank the stars that I am able to work in such an environment.

            Every year seems to fly by faster than the previous year, and every year I wish for more peace, more time. I don't know if that's a truly reasonable New Year's wish as I have this other side to my personality that wants to do everything and go on adventures and plan stuff and do stuff all the time; my yin and yang. 2014 was good to me, good to us. We found our little apartment that we've been living in now since April. The summer was mild and beautiful after my worries about our lack of air conditioning in our 98 year old home. I transitioned in my career from home care nursing to acute care cardiovascular step down nursing and as stated above am beyond grateful for it. Tanner and I went on an adventure to the West Coast in May where he saw mountains for the first time in his life, we visited cousins and friends who we've not seen for many years, we sat on a Californian cliff side breathing in the ocean and slept in the mountains of Yosemite National Park. We partook in engagements and weddings of dear friends. Watched our niece celebrate her first lap around the sun and likewise celebrated my Great-Grandma's 99th. Babies were born and friendships were bonded tightly. We said hard goodbyes. We laughed with our families and played many a game of Settlers of Catan- which I win most all of the games and infuriate Tanner in the process. We've driven through the beautiful North which I never seem to tire of. And now we have exciting hopes and dreams for 2015.

            2014 was running. 2015 will be soaring.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

     I often remind myself how important comparison is in our individual lives and how we can control the way we feel. Most of the time, I’m overwhelmed with how beautiful life can be. But then I find myself lurking on social media, Pinterest and Tumblr, viewing beautiful exotic scenes and people whom I don’t even know claiming that they hold the key to happiness. It seems that there is quite a trend right now to break free from the corporate world and run wild through life like a leaf in the wind. But with so much happiness and pleasure, where comes the balance that makes us appreciate those times? Where is the sense of worth for your life in just running around enjoying everything without a care or responsibility to your fellow humans? Perhaps I am in a different mindset with how I was raised but what truly makes my heart beam bright is the feeling of satisfaction I receive after helping people, whether it be at my job as nurse where I often see immediate, physical results of my actions, or smiling at a stranger and helping anonymously. My work is physically and mentally exhausting some nights, but I also can’t imagine doing anything else with my career and my life. To get paid for it all is the sugar on top.

     The knowledge that I have acquired in the last few months floors me sometimes, and it’s delicious to my mind knowing that my entire career in nursing will be full of learning opportunities and the fact that there is so much left to learn. I find joy in every day. Having a warm bed with my husband and kitties waiting for me at night as I come home from the hospital. Drinking coffee in the morning and enhancing my brain with reading and writing. Being around so many knowledgeable people in a positive environment that is full to the brim with new experiences. “Every-day normal people” are IMPORTANT. It’s my true belief that we all have something to give to this world and to the community and we work best as a community that synergizes. No one person is good at everything, but each person is good at something. And when we develop and utilize ourselves we can make beautiful things happen.

     This is for those of you who feel as I do sometimes. Those of you who see other’s lives (that we can inexplicably edit to our desire on social media) and feel inadequate, you’re not. Comparison is the thief of joy. If you truly are unhappy, than there is nothing wrong with trying something new and finding a different path in life. But I feel like the internet puts so much pressure on everyone to be the most unique, the most individual and the most eccentric person you know. True life: you don’t have to do that. Live your life with purpose and with pleasure. Do something with your time here on earth and enjoy doing it. Be “normal”. Be happy. Be productive. Be satisfied.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


     Balance is a very tricky thing for me right now. I feel like I’m at the cusp of figuring it out but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. August grabbed me by the collar and has been dragging me through these months without too many breaths. Starting a bachelor’s program and a brand new job at the same time has proven to be challenging, along with all the other busyness that comes with Autumn. I’ve slowed down with my photography, which is okay with me. In fact I’m taking a little hiatus after I finish up these couple sessions I already shot. For my own mental health I need to.
     I also decided to cut my hours at work by 1 less shift a week. Working evenings can be difficult in terms of your social life. I feel like if I was always scheduled day shifts I wouldn't have such a hard time working so many hours because I would see Tanner in the evenings and operate on the same schedule that so much of the world operates on. Working 3-11:30pm takes up a lot of your day. When I get home around midnight I’m usually pretty wired from my shift and it takes about 2 hours for me to fall asleep. So then I sleep in until 9 or 10am the next day. I then have a few hours to myself which I usually use to get schoolwork done until I have to get ready for work again, and the cycle repeats. I’m often scheduled 4 days in a row (I know you Monday-Friday people are scoffing now), and on those days I rarely see anyone. Tanner’s at work when I wake up and sleeping when I get home. It’s tiring.
     The trade off is that this is the job I want. I love my job. Some nights are really hard. Some nights I’m totally drained. But I knew what I was getting into. There are times that it’s so hard for me not to complain about working weekends and holidays; I just wish for a normal schedule. I then remember that there are things that I can do that a lot of people 8am-noon. I can spend a beautiful morning outside (studying usually) and soak up the sunshine that many people don’t get to feel. I can go to yoga during the week before work. I have these options, but often I’m too tired or feel guilty for not working on school stuff to do them.
     I know it will come with time, figuring out how to juggle all the aspects. I find myself looking forward to quiet and chilly winter months. This sounds terrible but I won’t feel as guilty for not going outside when it’s -10 degrees. I love being outside but sometimes it’s not a priority in my every day life. I’m reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey right now. It’s a fantastic book full of good advice about handling your life and how you perceive everything and how to successfully prioritize things.
    For those of you that have read it, I feel like every day I’m putting out fires and accomplishing things that need to be accomplished every day that are urgent and in ways are important, but I’m often neglecting the things that are not-urgent and very important- such as going outside, or going to yoga. I’m too busy dealing with Quadrant I that I don’t get to focus on Quadrant II nearly enough. I feel like once I catch up I can start better prioritizing my time and focus on those activities that are important and non-urgent, but when will I catch up? Every week is full of work, new assignments for school, family and social events, housework, photography responsibilities and then the hopeful prospect of “me” time that doesn't really seem to ever occur.
      I know things will slow down, but in the mean time I’m just trying to figure it all out. All of you evening/weekender/holiday workers- how do you deal with it? Any advice?

Friday, September 5, 2014


     Life right now is busy. It's drinking way more coffee everyday than I have drank in a few years. It's the struggle of working the evening shift and having my sleep schedule totally backwards. It's the ever-present opportunity of learning with every interaction at my job. It's the internal smile I feel as I walk out of the hospital at the end of the night and the gratitude I have to have the opportunity to even be there with all the good and the bad. It's the homemade breakfasts that I make myself every morning and the pumpkin pie spice that I add to my coffee every day. It's the new friends we meet and keeping up with our old and our dear. It's the kitty cuddles. It's the nights off when I get to make a meal with Tanner and watch Netflix and pretend I have no responsibilities for a while. It's the three classes I'm now taking for my bachelor's degree and the never ending reading list. It's curling up in my bed at the end of every day with my kindle and reading in the silence of the wee hours of the morning/night. It's happiness, craziness, stress, gratitude and heart feelings that are so full.

Reading: (aside from my school texts)

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- Stephen R. Covey 
    • ^Highly recommend this book to everyone. There's some really fantastic advice about    life and perception. This was assigned on a reading list for school and I'm quite glad about it.
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down- Anne Fadiman
    • I'm not terribly far into this book but so far it's really good. A true story about a Hmong family and their interactions with the American health care system in taking care of their child with a very serious epilepsy case. Another that was on my reading list for school.
  • Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems
    • I found this one for my Kindle for $0.99. I love me some classic literature and sometimes I just need a break from my nursing reading. I've read a few of the short stories which are a perfect non-commitment read for the nights that I simply want to be entertained and not expected to retain anything. 

  • Just finished Mad Men Season 7 (the first half) and I'm so sad we have to wait until next year    to see the finale! If you haven't ever watched Mad Men, please do. Google it. It's great. 
  • Also just finished Game of Thrones Season 4. I read the books over the last 6 months and I'm also quite sad that I have to wait until next year for the next season/wait for who knows how long for the next book to come out... George R.R. Martin loves to break hearts.
  • Now watching Portlandia Season 3, which gives us many a great laugh. Fred Armisen is a genuis and there are way too many scenarios that are oddly familiar to Tanner and I... in other words we know we're hipsters.

Hope you are all good and happy! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August Ramblings

    As this summer comes to an end, there are a lot of things on my summer wishlist that have yet to be done. And I complain about that. About the lack of personal time and the running from one thing to the next. That's how every summer has ever been and how every summer will be. I remind myself that there have been some really wonderful and beautiful moments in these last few months that I cannot take for granted. I also remind myself that summer isn't over and even when it is, autumn will be there to welcome us with open and cozy arms.

Things left undone on my list:
  • Camping trip with Tanner
  • A day at Lake Calhoun
  • Ride my bike (thanks to my husband for breaking my bike this spring..)

There are indeed other things that I had wanted to do, but typing out my undone list makes me realize that I actually have done quite a bit of good things as well. It's funny how easy it is to complain that we want more. More time. More things. More memories. In reality I have it pretty good. Life is a balancing act and I feel that I'm finally gaining that balance as this season comes to an end. Beginning next week my balance will be off yet again as school will be thrown into the game. I'll be working on my Bachelor's of Nursing through a part-time online program. I didn't necessarily want to go back to school but due to societal pressure and the hopes of new opportunities I am continuing my education. Secretly, a little part of me is excited for school. A large part of me is not looking forward to papers and projects and the like, but I really love learning. 

Things done this summer:
  • Celebrated my Great-Grandmother's 99th birthday
  • Was a part of one of my best friend's proposal/engagement
  • Planted a garden
  • Harvested scarce but alive produce from said garden
  • Solitary walks around the St. Paul U of M campus gardens
  • Non-solitary walks around the St. Paul U of M campus gardens
  • Cabin day with our bests
  • Como zoo with my mom and sisters and niece
  • Painted our bedroom
  • Celebrated my niece's first birthday
  • Celebrated our two year wedding anniversary
  • Grilled with my parents and grandparents
  • Sat on many a porch with delicious food/drink 
  • Settler's (of Catan) nights on our own porch
  • Breakfast and lazy mornings with Tanner 
  • Got a new cat, Eli
  • Played foot golf (The game of golf but with a soccer ball)
  • Attended many family dinners and get-togethers between our families
  • Lunch date down-town Minneapolis with my mother in law
  • Went on our annual cousin camping trip
  • Started a new job on a cardiovascular floor at a hospital
  • Attended a bachelorette party at a cabin
  • Loudly sang along to the Beach Boys, Lana Del Rey and First Aid Kit with my husband
  • Shopped a few farmer's markets
  • Laid in the grass with sun on my face
  • Swayed in a hammock on my sister's farm
  • Swam in a few lakes
  • Shot photos in a field of flowers at sunset
  • Ran through warm summer rain

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...