The Longest Relationship I Ever Had

25 09 2009

10 years and 7 months—something like that. Almost everything I know about nursing, I learned there. My job has probably been the only stable thing in my life. I have moved 8 times, lost 2 partners, almost lost my mom, watched my father-in-law die, started and abandoned the MSN program and finished my MFA. That’s the short version.

 Even before the restructuring, I knew the end was drawing near.  I could feel it at 6:30 am as I walked down the long corridor. I wondered how many more times I would ride the elevator to my floor. What was next? I kept having dreams about tornadoes and tsunamis. These dreams are often about change and rebirth. I thought maybe I would die in a fiery plane crash on my way to Nebraska. That obviously didn’t happen.

 Yesterday I worked the last day at my 1st nursing job. I didn’t know it was going to be my last day until the day before. It was anti-climatic. A regular let’s discharge everybody Friday. No bangles. No buzzers. No banners. Just an e-mail on how I’ll leave a void. Assholes leave voids too.

 Packed up my stash of snacks. Emptied the freezer. Shredded my mail file and evaluation portfolio. Picked out the books that were still relevant.

All day I made a list in my head of the things that I won’t miss. All the discharge paper work—not many people are discharged on the night shift. Not having a bright light over the bed. Being on the last floor the doctors come to round. Getting up at 4:30am. The constant ring of the phone. Semi-private rooms. Medications in a million different places. Being Vocera-ed for stupid ass shit—but maybe that will be somebody else’s job.

J.G. asked me if I was a little sad. She asked if I was going to miss them. I said that I was and that I would, but I hesitated a little and laughed at the end. So she didn’t believe me. You’re not really sad, she said. Well, I am, but I don’t want to be. And I most certainly don’t want to be in front of people. It’s hard to be sad when I know I’m only going to be 5 floors down, and in all likelihood will be back as a float staff from my new floor. And it’s hard to be sad when I don’t feel anything yet. Except a sinking, nauseated feeling in my stomach. Besides nobody died. Everybody is still right there where I left them—for now.

I stood in my boss’s office to say good-bye. I think maybe she was holding back tears. Maybe. It was verging on something emotional, and I didn’t like it. I had this compulsion to hug her, but I know she doesn’t like hugs. Instead I said, this feels weird, so I’m out of here.

Truthfully, I’m scared shitless. I’ll be the one orientating, not mentoring someone else.  I’ll be the new person. I’ll be the person who doesn’t know stuff. And I’m really going to miss them.


Fucking Breeders (or Fucking Kids)

3 09 2009

Warning this may be offensive to you if you have children or are planning to have children. I’m not sorry.


The neighborhood is a little quieter. I think the little fuckers are back in school now. I’m all about year-around school and uniforms. They play in the road. Litter. Ride their bikes through our lawn. Pull the branches off our stubby maple. Beat each other up. Fucking kids. Can’t wait until the annoying ice cream truck retires for the season. A little snow and the fuckers will be holed up in front of a TV with a game controller in their hands. Next summer I hope to have a thorn barrier, hedge roses and raspberry bushes. Ride through the lawn now bitches.


I remember this little old lady at the nursing home, M.G. She was a stick of her former self. She had been a missionary. Never married. Never had children. Traveled the world. Met Ghandi. Did all sorts of self-less things, I’m sure. One thing she said has always stuck with me, “Married people don’t do anything.” She said this with such conviction and snobbery.  But I think she was right. We get into relationships, and it becomes all about the honeymoon phase and how we can see more of each other. It’s all about being up each others butt. Then we either get comfortable or continue to do nothing to improve ourselves. Or we become unhappy and try to find things that will make us as happy as we were when we first met. This is why people have children, because they are bored or unhappy. Instead of fixing themselves, they create a younger version of themselves, hoping these younger versions will turn out better. Will do more. Have more. Be more.  And just maybe the parents can live vicariously through their child’s experiences.  Can’t anyone stay happy and childless? Everything is too perfect or drama-free in their lives, so they must procreate it