Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Life is Hard

Earlier this month, I wrote about feeling tired and burned out.  And I know I can't be the only one who gets in ruts where it feels like life is making you haul a fifty pound weight around your neck while you're supposed to look composed and happy.

I've had the last four days off and it's given me some time to reflect.  I haven't done any crafting and only a little baking.  But, I've had four good days.  Saturday I went shopping with my mom.  My husband made me brunch Sunday and we spent the day together at home watching football (a favorite pastime of ours).  Yesterday, I had lunch and went shopping with one of my best friends and her little girl, and then today I met my husband for lunch.  It's been great and refreshing.  But tomorrow it's time to rejoin the real world.

And the real world is what is causing the most problems right now.  I found this quote on Jessica Swift's Facebook page and it seems appropriate.

I'd say I like myself most of the time, but I'm not sure if I like what I do anymore.  I'm a unit clerk at  hospital, which basically means you help out the nurses and aides with the paperwork and phone calls, and you just do what you can to make sure everything runs smooth.  I really like what I do.  There's a lot of teamwork that goes into it, and I feel like I'm helping people.  Plus, I get to spend a little time with patients and I like that.  I work the afternoon shift, and I really like having my mornings free.  Trust me, it's nice to not have to set an alarm clock and leisurely drink coffee while I check my email every morning.

But, no job is ever all pros.  There's some cons too.
  • I spend a lot of time alone.  Which is nice some days, but some days it can feel very lonely and isolating.  And I spend a lot of time talking to my two cats.  Which doesn't sound super healthy.
  •  I see my husband very little.  When I started this job, he worked as a sheriff deputy and his schedule was four days of working and four days off.  His hours were 11am to 11pm.  So, we got home around the same time.  We both worked some weekends and holidays.  It was okay.  Earlier this year, he made a job change and now he has weekends and holidays off and he works a traditional 8am to 4:30 schedule.  While I've never felt like we needed to spend every waking moment together, it's kind of depressing to realize that we have maybe 15 hours a week  where we are both home and awake. I literally could live in a city two or three hours away and only come home on weekends and we'd see each other more.  It's so easy to get into a relationship rut where the majority of our communication is to remind the other to get milk or haul the trash and recyclables out.  That's definitely not how I pictured married life. Nor how I want to spend my life.
  • I work at a small hospital, but we're the only hospital for about an hour in any direction, so we still have traumas and codes.  Usually we try to get them stabilized and send them on to one of the bigger hospitals.  I'm a clerk, so I my job in code situations is to record on the forms everything we're doing- what time the patient arrived, vitals, IVs started, drugs administered.  And after a while, you just start feeling calloused.  Everyone does their best to save the patient.  They know their jobs, their prepared, and ready.  But when a patient doesn't make it, you don't cry.  You clean up and go back to work and finish whatever you were doing before the code started.  You let the doctor and clergy deal with the family and you go about the rest of your day.  This is one of the things that bother me the most.  When those sad, Sarah McLachlin sound tracked ASPCA commercials come on, I get teary eyed, but when I watch someone's grandpa pass away after a heart attack, I don't feel anything.  I mean, there's a flicker of sadness, but you just wall yourself off.  Shouldn't I be more upset to see another human being's suffering than an animal in a tv commercial?
So, these are my three biggest hurdles right now.  I don't know how to overcome them, but I feel like something needs to be done.  For now, I'm going to try to be more in the moment.  Make a point to have productive mornings when I'm home alone.  Consciously spend more time with my husband when we are both home, instead of him in his office and me putzing on my computer.  And, be more in the moment.  I don't want to break down in a blubbering mess every time I'm in a code, but after it's done, take a moment to remember that this is someones family or friend.  And try to be more empathetic towards the patients and families I come into contact with.  I just need to keep reminding myself,
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
                                      -John Watson
This small town doesn't have a lot to offer in the way of jobs, so for now, I'll tough it out and see where life takes me.  I'll keep myself open to changes and opportunities and who knows where that will take me. 

So any advice?  What do you do when you feel like life is making your heart hard? 


  1. I hear you. I travel 4 days a week for my job, and I wrestle with guilt about leaving my husband all the time. I'm home weekends, but he works all day Saturday and Sunday. I get so tired of traveling, but we do what we gotta do.

    1. Yikes. I feel your pain! Doesn't it suck to be a grown up sometimes?