I LOVE love LOVE you all so much for the overwhelmingly thoughtful comments you flooded me with yesterday.
I wanted to hug each and every person who took the time to comment for their kind words. It feels so impersonal to write this here given the nature of the sentiments but I couldn’t be more appreciative of all who offered their thoughts, prayers, advice, email addresses, cell phone numbers, and time. Such outreach from virtual strangers is immensely heartwarming. It made the day light-years better from the previous ones, too.
Taking all your comments to heart, I did a lot of thinking yesterday. Usually my subway rides home from work are spent zoning out (or brainstorming what to eat for dinner), but yesterday I did some real soul searching. Thank you local train for the extra 5 stops (read: extra 10 minutes of enlightenment).
While I don’t want to oversimplify a more complex issue, what it comes down to is how the East Coast weather has affected me.
I consider myself a positive person. Despite my (rather thick) sense of sarcasm, I’m a glass-half-full girl, and I believe in living a life filled with joy and the pursuit of happiness. This isn’t something superficial that I have to put on a front about, I’m just a genuinely happy person. Knowing that, I bring my upbeat attitude with me to work on a daily basis because it’s important for patients to see. Smiling is infectious, and it’s a far better thing to spread in the hospital than, oh say, C. diff. Lately, however, the weather has gotten to me, and I feel like I have been using up all my cheery disposition on my patients…and by the 13th hour of the day my positivity has run out. I know it’s important to be a shining beacon of hope for my patients, and it’s one of the things that I get praised for the most by them and/or their family members, but at the same time, a girl’s gotta look out for herself too. In the past few days, my high stress job has seemingly sucked all the life out of me, and as a result, I’m left feeling cranky and irritated without the proper mechanism for coping. Usually running (outside) is my release, but the 20 degree weather has put a bit of a damper on that approach. I know their are other healthy ways to handle stress, it’s just hard when my favorite option is not readily available.
Another aspect of my personality that seems to have been muted while living on the East Coast is my flexibility. Stereotypes aside, the fact of the matter is that the West Coast lifestyle is more laid back and New York is much more go go go. As a (type-A) person who thrives in such high stress environments (hello, I’m an ICU nurse), this isn’t exactly a bad thing. However, once my shift ends, I’d like to be able to return to my former easy-going, relaxed, hippie self. I don’t want to turn into a hard New Yorker, and yet, I’ve found myself sprinting to the subway, irrationally annoyed when I miss a train because of the crowds. Again, I hate to generalize, but it seems like people in New York need things done
now 10 minutes ago. If a patient’s life is on the line, sure, that makes sense, but if it’s a dinner reservation or a Starbucks order, I’m not sure it’s really necessary…I don’t like the feeling of living for my paycheck – working through my 20’s just to be able to afford my pint-sized Manhattan apartment.
This got me thinking about PREPARING (to live) vs. (actually) LIVING. Since being in New York, I feel like I spend my days off preparing for work, and when I work, I’m just preparing for my future. Work. Work. Work. Make $$, save $$, make more $$. But what about enjoying the fruits of my labor? When I go home, I seem to have no problem with this, but in New York I’m all too aware of how I spend my money. I can talk myself out of doing anything if it involves my hard earned cash…
Well, this is where I’m going to be making some changes. Thanks to your comments, I’ve realized I need to cut myself a little slack. The stress of my job, the weather, and much much more has overflowed into areas of my life (where I don’t want it) – and I refuse to let this control my emotional state!
That said, I will be taking a bit of “me” time away from blogging for a bit. Massages, mani/pedis, Vitamin D(?), etc. are in my future. Thank you all for your support and kind words of wisdom.
I leave you with yesterday’s work eats:
I finally realized what these chocolate coffee Jocalat bars remind me of…the chocolate Amazing Grass bars!
The Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal was tasty. The bites look like mini-puffins, but taste like honey bunches of oats in a easy-to-pop-in-your-mouth form.
The Lemon Zest mini-Luna bar should be called lemon zing because it’s SO friggin’ tart; not my fave flavor. Good thing I had my trusty Odwalla nearby to rescue my taste buds.
The above salad was far bigger than it looks in the photo. Underneath the shrooms and raisins were steamed veggies galore (carrots, butternut squash) plus spinach, and cherry tomatoes.
After I took the initial lunch photo, I realized it wasn’t enough food and made the above corn/edamame salad. The only dressing on it was Bragg’s liquid aminos and it was way YUM. I also continued my Starbucks via habit, this time with the Colombia flavor. I liked the Italian Roast (red packet) better.
And with that, I bid you all adieu for a little bit.