What is it with me and big life changes? Yeesh. It’s likely that everyone’s lives are just as full of change as mine, but because I can be a bit self-involved, my life changes seem larger than life to me; while others seem to handle change with grace and ease, my changes sometimes feel all-consuming, like giant monsters waiting to be wrestled.
In October, Andrew and I made a big decision together.
We spent an hour or so making lists. What frustrates us about our current way of life? What do we want for our family? What do we want our lives to look like? What do we want for our selves? What do we want in a church? What isn’t working? It was an eye-opening experience that revealed some trends in areas that needed to change.
One of the biggest realizations that came from that discussion was that I needed to stop working outside the home for now. Our family had been pulled in too many directions for too long, and we were weary.
The next week, I returned to the pediatric office where I was the nurse manager, and let the doctors know they needed to find my replacement. Fast forward to March 1st when I finally handed over the title of nurse manager to a dear friend of mine who is well suited for the job. And now, as I stay-on at the office for a few more weeks to tie up loose ends and make sure the new manager is fully trained, I find myself in a storm of thoughts and emotions. And of course, when that happens for me, the best way for me to get a clear head is to write it all down. So here I am.
This time next month I will no longer be working as a nurse.
SO. Many. Thoughts.
- Healthcare/nursing is not what I thought it would be. Like, at all. Our healthcare system in the States is badly broken, with priorities that are horribly off-course. And it impacts nurses in a terrible way.
- I am so tired. My husband is so tired.
- We are missing parts of ourselves that we were forced to give up in order to survive these last four years. And we want to get ourselves back – or find the new, better, us.
- I miss people. I can’t wait to be a friend again.
- Am I really giving up this career? For now, yep. Although I am keeping my nursing license renewed for now. Who knows.
- I am excited. For making dinner for my family. For grocery shopping and cleaning and budgeting, and cutting my husband’s hair again. For making so many phone calls to so many loved ones that I am so behind on. For pulling weeds, and planting gardens. For driving my daughter to school and picking her up again. For being involved in the community again. For having anything leftover in my heart to give to anyone else. I am excited to have energy.
- I think it may take me a month to debrief (def: carefully review upon completion) and decompress and regroup. It may take me a year to create new habits.
- Please don’t expect miracles right away. I feel depleted, battered and bruised, and a little messed up in my head. This is going to take time and baby steps. I don’t want to overload myself or burn out as soon as I start this new life.
- I am grieving. Grieving a career I thought I wanted but ended up hating. Grieving for friendships lost. Grieving for the years I will never get back with my kids. Grieving for the pain I have caused others. Grieving that I feel inadequate because I somehow was not able to be a Super-Woman and balance it all better somehow, like all my other nurse/mom friends seem to do….. Lies we tell ourselves….
- At the end of it all, I have a quiet, small, spot of peace in my heart – peace that we have made the right decision.
- I am afraid of what others will think of me, and yet I get tired of always trying to make sure people aren’t disappointed in me. In the end, I can’t change how you view me and my decisions, but I am the one that has to live with them, not you. I hope people are gentle with me, because I feel quite fragile.
- I wrestle with confusion, guilt, hurt, doubt about why I started this journey into nursing in the first place.
- God can redeem anything. Even missing years. I trust Him.
- As much as it has been nice not having any money worries these past couple years, I am over it. It’s not worth the price. I can buy second hand. I know how to make do. And I can’t wait for that again. A simpler life is calling me.
- I am thankful for the lessons I have learned. I do not want to be ungrateful for these past years and how they have blessed us. My children saw what it takes to succeed in college – I am grateful. My family saved and bought our own wonderful house in a good neighborhood – I am grateful. I met many wonderful women through nursing – I am grateful. Andrew had more time/responsibility with the kids and so developed better relationships with them and was able to grow in his fathering skills – we are grateful.
Are you shocked? Disappointed? Happy for me? I hope you choose to be happy for me. I sure could use it.
Here’s to creating new futures. Here’s to being intentional with our lives. Here’s to facing our fears and being honest. Courage isn’t easy my friends, but it is worth it.