Out From Work

Last week I tested positive for Covid. Of course I was home from work as a result. The first two days all I wanted to do was sleep so off to the basement I went to stay. Our basement is finished so I didn’t feel banned from society or anything. The following 3 days I felt like I had a really bad cold with a touch of flu. Ibuprofen worked well. So after my days of isolation and no longer being symptomatic I was ready to go back to work. Not quite. I had a tooth that abscessed and it was swollen like on the inside of my mouth. I figured my dentist would just change the antibiotic I was on. Nope. The tooth needed to be pulled. Now. So I called a local oral surgeon and the only time they could fit me in was the next morning. Another day off from work. The tooth pulling was not too bad. I was pretty anxious but there really wasn’t any reason to be.

So the next day (Wednesday) I returned to work. I had never been out so long; a week. I received the warmest welcome back ever from the staff. Teachers and paras told me they missed me, I was hugged and received phone calls saying I was missed; I was also told rather sternly “I hope you got that out of your system, you can’t do that again.” I felt so appreciated it was great. You don’t know how much your presence affects others until you’re not there for a while. I did receive texts while I was out and that was so sweet but the in person welcome back was really amazing. And school/work life goes on. Students who require daily care; g tube feeds, staff bringing in students for meds, students who are “walk-ins” to the nursing office with various complaints about how they feel and parents to call. I have no complaints, the past 3 days went well and as expected even though you really need to be able to expect the unexpected at my school.

Spring Break!

I’ve been off from work since Good Friday, April 15. It’s been glorious I must say. One of the perks of working for the DOE. We celebrated Easter this past Sunday with a family brunch and that was nice. We didn’t make plans to go away, we never do. I don’t want to be away for the whole week and then jump right back into work you know? Besides I like being home for the week plus how many days. It sounds odd but it’s a good feeling to be able to keep up with laundry, vacuum up after Riley my ever shedding dog and get things done around the house that I put off because I’m working. Plus I’m able to spend time with Lelly and Samantha and my husband after he returns home from work. Samantha is home this week as well.

In a weird way being home is a reminder of when I was a stay at home mom except today I have a lot more freedom. Samantha at 15 doesn’t necessarily “need” me and that’s ok. I don’t miss the days of being totally needed. I don’t miss the days of everyone young. At one point I had 4 kids 10 years old and under. Then as Samantha became a little older I had 4 kids in 4 different schools. Fun times I tell you. I wasn’t unhappy when everyone was younger, it’s just that life was harder then than it is now. I don’t have to explain myself those of you with older children understand and those of you with younger children; well you think these years will last forever. They don’t. I really identify with the saying, “the days are long but the years are short”. With my girls I feel like I turned around and here they are married, turning 21 and soon to be 16. Incredible.

Healing

I’ve read somewhere that when you can help someone else through their traumatic experience you have healed from your own trauma. I also believed that if you can tell someone your traumatic story without crying you have healed. I don’t know if any of that is true for sure. There are times I can talk about Thomas being violent with me; which happened 7 years ago; without so many emotions, and there are some times when I speak of that trauma in my life I will become upset at the memories. Its a fine line I would say. However I don’t let that time in my life define me or dictate what direction my life takes.

I’m proud of how I have healed. I’ve proven that I am resilient. Seven years ago I was broken, so broken. But God put me in the hands of a wonderful physician and an equally wonderful therapist. And working with them both set me on an amazing path that helped me to come out of an all encompassing storm.

God has his hands on us all. Even when we don’t feel it. As my wonderful friend Louise once said to me, “I see God’s fingerprints all over you.” That gave me tears of joy because I really needed to hear that and it is such a powerful visual. And God’s hand was really holding me up. He’s still holding me, I’ve surrendered my life to my Savior and I know He’ll never leave or forsake me. And for whatever reason I needed to go through a very tough storm to arrive where I am today. I’m working as an RN, a position I swore up and down that I was finished with. But guess what? God wants me to work as a nurse. I knew this in the past and I realized it fully when those jobs were the only ones that worked out, whether it be the money I was earning or the hours I was slated to work. Both were uncanny in their perfection of how they fit in my life.

No matter what the storm we have to trust in the Lord. He will set you on the right path if you ask him to. Pray for wisdom and direction. He will answer you when you find yourself taking a path you would never have dreamed you would take. God is so good!

Lessons Learned at the Thrift

I’ve been thrift shopping for about the past 10 years or so. I’ve been a yard sale’r all my life thanks to my family on my Mom’s side. Although if my dad were here he would speak up about his frugal mother and that I also take after her because she was a regular at the thrift store. So I guess you can say thrifting and yard sale-ing is in my blood. When my kids were younger I used to love to put them in the car on a Saturday morning and hit the yard sales. Thomas was the best he loved it. He would always ask what are we going to buy? And I would always answer, “I don’t know… you never know what you’ll find at a yard sale”. And Thomas would agree. It’s one of my favorite memories with him.

So lessons learned at the thrift; what’s yours is meant to be yours. You can’t look at other peoples finds and wish you found something first, it wasn’t meant to be yours to begin with. Keep your eye on your cart! One time at the Sal Val this woman emptied my cart and walked away with it! I was so angry and was looking around when this woman quietly pointed at another woman and there she was with my cart; I knew it was mine because she left a handbag I found in the front seat. I went up to her and said, “You took my cart!“ I was pissed. The woman said oh yes, yes in broken English and gave me back the cart and tried to keep the bag! Unreal! So I said hey, and the bag, that’s my bag! She wasn’t happy about that part but she gave up the bag. So from then on I never take my hand off whatever is holding the stuff I find.

Google is your friend!! If you are not sure something is a good deal; google it (after you put the item in your cart). I’m a self admitted bag whore so I am always on the look out for designer bags and I’ve been quite blessed in my finds. But nothing has been found all at once. There are days I’ve left there without a bag, some days I leave with 2. I’m also a designer denim whore. And again sometimes I find a pair or two, other times not so much.

To thrift you have to have a lot of patience to comb through the racks. The best treasures are usually amongst things you wouldn’t look twice at. But I love thrifting and I love going through rack after rack. My girls say I have this facial expression that’s like, “I’m busy here…no talking..”. Haha. I love the thrill of the hunt and that you truly don’t know what you’ll find. I’ve found Lladro statues, Lenox bowls and vases, the list goes on. But not one group of items were found all at once. You have to decide what you really like, does the item need repair? Is it worth repairing, hemming, gluing, etc? Sometimes the answer is no and you have to leave something really cool behind. Same thing if you find a really cool piece of clothing but totally the wrong size. Too big? You could have it altered, but too small? No.

I wish all my fellow thrifters and yard sale-rs the best finds this spring!!

Working at My School

I work at a school that serves special education students and medically fragile special education students. The majority of the time I see mostly the medically fragile students. There are a large number of students I rarely to never see simply because they don’t need a nurse. One of the private duty nurses asked me recently what I liked most about working here. I had to think for a moment. It’s no secret that I love my job, but what makes me like it here so much? My answer is that even though I have a set schedule of nursing tasks for various students that need to be followed, every day is different. Every time I’m in the office someone different walks in with some sort of need. Sometimes it’s a student, sometimes it’s staff who were roughed up by a student and they need guidance to deal with their wounds.

Every day is the same; but different. The students I provide care for are different day to day. Sometimes they are very quiet and sometimes they are quite loud and very expressive. There are also situations that arise that are totally unexpected and emergent. Not that I like emergency occurrences, but it does get your blood pumping and brain chemicals flowing. You realize you can stay calm and you do know what to do and the staff here is wonderful in taking direction. All your nursing training for that situation comes flooding back like a river and you calmly perform nursing interventions specific for that student in that situation. And emergencies don’t have a time table or wait until it’s a “good” time. They happen when they happen. I’ve had to take care of a student in need at the end of the day, during the middle of PM bussing and everyone is waiting and wanting to go home, on a Friday no less. Everything worked out but I wanted to collapse when it was over.

I’ve decided that if I were to continue my nursing education I would like to go to school to be a Nurse Practitioner. I don’t see me returning to school soon but it’s something I’ve recently thought about.

Back To The Salon

Most people who know me personally know I was fiercely loyal to my hair stylist, Natalya. I adored her and she always got me when it came to either changing the cut, color, style or all three at the same time. I believe I went to her for about 6 + years. Our relationship came to a crashing halt when last year Natalya told me she had gotten married (she was a single mom); I was so so happy for her, but…she and her family were moving to Florida. I was very sad for me as selfish as that sounds.

So I began going to a salon around the corner from my house that I had frequented many many years earlier. I really liked the cuts and color my new/old stylist did for me, he listened and would give great input. But my goodness they were so expensive compared to the salon Natalya worked at. I used to color my hair myself but once you get used to the salon doing it, it’s difficult to go backwards. Last month I did bleach it myself and just paid for the haircut around the corner, but when it came time to have a cut and color done I decided to call Natalya’s previous salon and start with someone new from there. All you women readers know how nerve wracking that can be!

So here I sit with blonde dye in my hair patiently waiting for the color to develop and then I’m going for a different short haircut that is similar yo my picture here on my blog. It’s buzzed sides and leaving the top longer. Should be interesting, I’m hoping I leave with what I want.

More Time for Now

So since I’ve withdrawn from the Masters program I’m thrilled with the amount of time I seem to have in my hands. I’ve rediscovered my Kindle, downloaded a book from an author I’ve enjoyed in the past, vacuumed my car, oh the excitement ! Haha! When I made that final decision I felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. On Sunday Tommy and I drove around to an AT &T store to return the portable hot spot I ordered for my use for school work. I was able to cancel the service since I won’t need it anymore. From there we went to an Italian specialty store way on the South shore of where we live (we are on the North Shore). We ended up getting homemade pasta and had it for dinner, it was so good! Point is, I was able to go out with my husband and just “be”. No worries about getting home to read or work on a project.

I have decided to be certified in school nursing. It’s nothing prestigious but I want to do it. So in my spare time I’m reading the book and taking practice tests. I’m enjoying the reading since this is what I do. But there is very little about school nursing for the medically fragile students I care for, it mostly conditions that affect typical students, not that my students couldn’t have the same issues combined with what they are already diagnosed with; actually they do but the majority of my time here is taking care of the medically fragile students. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And I’m Done, For Now

I’ve decided to withdraw from the Masters program I began a month ago. I just don’t have it in me. I read the assignments and the first thing that comes to mind is WTF…I don’t want to do this, I really don’t. I can’t say I enjoyed the bachelor degree program but I wanted that degree; like I really wanted it. I don’t feel that way about the masters program, not today anyway.

At first when I was thinking about withdrawing I felt like a failure, like why don’t I have it in me? Is there something wrong with me? But I’m over that now and I realize I’m not a failure. I’ve raised 3.5 children; one special needs, landed a full time job that I love and earned my BSN in under 2 years. Now I just want to hang out with my husband and kids when I have time off. Or sit on a beach when we go on vacation, or do nothing. Not worry about completing the next assignment or worry when it’s due. So that’s it for now

Exercise at o’dark thirty AM

Since the middle of this past September I’ve been getting up at the early hour of stupid o’clock in the morning to work out before work. Honestly it’s the only way to fit it in my schedule, plus as an added bonus I do it in the morning and I’m good for the day. I attend classes at The Maxx Challenge Gym about 10 minutes from my house; well it’s 10min at 5am. That’s how this all works, I’m able to get to the gym and back in recorded time due to the lack of traffic.

It’s interesting working out that early in the morning. Most (mainly me) are quiet and we say good morning to each other. Then at 5am sharp class begins. Our instructor, Amanda is amazing. She’s beautiful inside and out and her workouts really get you going. Amanda takes the workouts seriously and it’s shows after you’re done. Love her!

After the workout I rush home to make a protein smoothie and get ready for work. If I know what clothes I’m wearing that day all is well and I’m out the door by 6:50am smoothie in hand. If I’m in a mood and can’t find a thing to wear just get out of my way. Thankfully I’m still the only one up at that hour, so no one is in my way.

And Here We Are

So I’ve begun my Masters program. The first class is like an intro to becoming a graduate student. A lot about mindfulness and being present. I kind of like it. It reminds you to stop and take in what is really going on. I’ve been noticing I do that especially at work when one of my students needs extra care and it is a serious situation. I project a sense of calmness but inside I’m urgently trying to stay in the moment and appreciate what is going on and what is my next step?

I need to be more mindful at home. Especially as my children just keep getting older. I’ve said in the past that grammar school seems to take forever (my gosh it really does…). Then there’s junior high in which 6 and 7 grade are pretty slow until grade 8 hits and the next thing you know you’re paying “senior dues” for a yearbook and cap and gown. Then; high school which IMO passes at the speed of light. Samantha is a sophomore. Her freshman year was spent virtually and I was so happy for her when it was announced that the schools here would be in person. These kids need each other! To meet one another and learn about themselves through their new friends and sports or extracurricular groups. I’m so glad Samantha had taken to joining sports teams. She’s met a lot of people and has made friends, it was truly a relief to me. When she was attending school virtually there wasn’t any interaction with the other students. Not good.

So here we are with Samantha having only 2 more years left of high school. Told you it goes fast. I want to be present in the lives of all my kids. Thomas’ childhood, adolescence and teen years were broken up by violent behavior, hospitalizations, residential school period of time living home with us and now he resides in a group home. Not what I wanted for my son. When he was about 14 years old and things were going smooth I pictured him living with us while attending a day program and awaiting placement in a group home. I never imagined we would be living this life with him the way we are. It’s not a bad part of my life, him being in a group home, it just is what it is. God always had his own plan for Thomas’ life. While I prayed for guidance the Lord led the way.

With my girls I enjoy being a part of their life and the closeness we have. Yesterday while Samatha was at a wrestling tournament in the Bronx she texted me, “Mom” twice. I answered yes what’s up? She texted back, nothing I just miss you. I was so so happy to read that and texted back that I missed her too. You see Samantha’s a tough one. I swear God knew I fervently wanted a fourth child 17 years ago; and he certainly did give me a fourth, but on His terms. And that’s ok. Samantha is nothing like our older 2 girls. She is sometimes like an only child and sometimes a young person that I’m still discovering what makes her tick. That’s cool though. It keeps things interesting that I know. I will now stop procrastinating doing my school work and get back to it.