Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Rare chances

Today as I woke up at 11 am and realized that my wife had went to visit her parents and left me home alone on my day off.  I was inspired by the old cliches about opportunity and seizing moments. I got out of bed and relieved my bladder of its golden burden and looked at my phone. It was 11:18. I remembered suddenly that I had a (non-mandatory) meeting with a Dr at work. It was an informal teaching moment for him to discuss with some of the senior nurses those things that had been on his mind lately. It takes me about 30 min to drive to work. I decided to skip the meeting.

Having just had my day opened up I began grappling with multiple ideas of things I could do today. The first to come to mind was breakfast.  As a believer in Maslow's hierarchy of needs I sought nourishment.  Two bowls of Cap'n Crunch later I was ready to move on to my next task. I turned on netflix and began watching a documentary I started months ago.  Then having guilt about non-productive time, I started some laundry and swept the wood floors and then pledged them. Now my wife will be happy. Next on my list is the reorganization of my dresser and the donation of clothes I no longer need. Then lunch (Taco Bell) and the special features of Generation Kill.

I began to reflect on my days in the military and my current days as a nurse. I thought about opportunities to come and about opportunities squandered. Then I started spiraling towards an existential crisis. I decided to take a break and blog about opportunities and rare chances.

In 2004, having served in various military operations including Operations Southern Watch, Foal Eagle, Roving Sands, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, I was honorably discharged and sent out to rejoin my civilian brothers and sisters. The first opportunity I missed in my adult life was not allowing the Army to pay my way through Nursing or Medical school in exchange for a few more years of service.  I decided that the GI Bill would be good enough to get me through on my own. It took a long time to realize this mistake. By the time I did, it was too late to go back and I was closer to the end than the beginning. The only logical course was to see it through. Although, now, @JustSomeMurse and I talk about joining up as officers and getting our student loans paid back or getting our educations furthered. Alas, we are both old and out of shape.

Moving forward I found a job after graduation and I attacked it with ferocity. I went from PRN nights to FT days in two months. I earned my place and the respect of the Physicians.   That second one took a little longer. I'm now known as the "Go-to" guy for the physicians and other staff.  The problem in all of this is the management starts to see you as very good in that position and will block any of your movements.  I was being courted by the ER and was set to cross train with them when the situation allowed. Well, the situation only allowed one damn time. Then the story was that it was never approved by management and I wasn't allowed to cross train any more. I was disheartened that by doing a job so well, I had caused myself to miss another opportunity.

I continued to grind away in my position, surviving layoffs and watching others be promoted or transferred to other positions and this all came to a crescendo yesterday when my weekend crew (we alternate weekends and the same team is on the same scheduled weekends) was slowly but completely dismantled and I was the only one to remain. The last one transferred to another unit yesterday and is effective in the middle of this month.

I've been ignoring these changes and thinking that my opportunity was coming any day now. I see now that I've been quietly waiting for my chance to present itself.

I'm done waiting. I'm going to go on the offensive starting now.

I'm rambling and I've got laundry to fold. Moral of the story is STOP FUCKING AROUND AND GET TO WORK! Careers don't just appear. They are made.

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