Monday, April 6, 2015

I Promise To Be Better

Work is tiring, my friends. I love my job so much, but it can be exhausting. As I rounded on my unit the other morning, enjoying the quiet of six AM before the madness began, I thought about the people behind the closed doors. This was my fifth shift this week and I was trying to mentally prepare myself for another day of being a nurse.

There is a lot of pleasure in my job. I get to meet some amazing patients. I get to work with some fantastic people. I get to be involved with families and friends and cheer on my patients as they go home, no longer needing my care.

There is a lot of hard in my job, too. Death. That is never easy. Unexpected roadblocks and challenging personalities. Everything must be handled with understanding on my face and a calm in my voice.

The shift before this particular one, I spent so much time answering call lights. It seemed that every single time I sat down to chart, one or two or five call lights would go off. When there is only myself and an aide to answer them, it often resulted in a couple people feeling neglected. I didn't want to make them wait, but there was no way to tell them that I was trapped helping in another room and would be there as soon as I could.

But, I digress...

So, I'm walking down my hall and readying myself for another day of caring for each of these individuals. I know that these people have no idea what I do all day. They have no concern for anything going on, other than what is happening between their own four walls. If I am not there to provide care for them immediately, they feel I have failed them. It doesn't matter that another person is deteriorating and I don't know why or that some other person needs my help going to the bathroom. They can only see as far as the end of their own bed, their own predicament and their own needs.

I realized...sometimes we go through life like that. Stuck in our own little self-made room, unable to see what the people around us are going through. Unable to acknowledge that they may have their own pains and struggles. We become so focused on our own needs and our own story, that we forget that everyone else is writing their story, too.

I promise to be better.

To be aware of the challenges that others are facing and to not become so overwhelmed with my own that I forget that it is not all about me. I do not want to go through life blind to the plights of those I love, because I cannot see past my own obstacles. While my load may be heavy, I do not serve the world by carrying it. I only serve myself. Unless I open my eyes to the load that others have, acknowledge it and ease it in some way, I have failed. A smile. Encouragement. Gratitude. Patience. They are all free, yet priceless.

I promise to be better.