Carry On

It’s been literal months since I’ve blogged last. A lot has happened, a lot worth posting about.

I took some time off, I went to England for a month, went to Paris for the day (walked way too much that day), came home, started a new assignment in Salem, had a hiccup or two that first day (I hate hospital orientation), and am now a month in. Each of those things alone could take up a whole post. Never mind the anecdotal things that occur to me when I’m at work.

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Except I haven’t wanted to post. I also haven’t wanted to get on Facebook much either.

I’m not going to go in on safe spaces, but I will say that even prior to the issues with data selling, Facebook wasn’t the best place. Politically and socially, it got nasty. People I believed to be strong believers have posted things that have made me sad. It’s escalated to the point where I’d rather be on other mediums than Facebook. The solution would be to delete it all together, but as a traveler I depend on the resource. Plus not everyone is on Instagram or twitter.

Restricting my visits to once or twice a week means I can see who just had a baby and say happen birthday occasionally. The downside being I don’t have as much to say on my blog as I hoped I would. Words fail where they hadn’t in the past.

I’ve been struggling with my view of certain institutions that were once very important to me. The church is one of those. The last year and a half has almost cemented my aversion to the point that the last time I was home I couldn’t bring myself to attend.

Like Facebook, I’ve had to ask myself, “who are these people I thought I knew?” The people who I thought would protect me when I said things weren’t okay have stopped being that safe place to land. I don’t want to make it all political, but when you’ve gone that way, I have to make sure I’m doing what I can to stay sane. Maybe some of that is on me, and that’s fine, but one has to wonder when people who trusted you don’t any longer things may be a problem.

It’s not all bad, but the bad is pretty stinking bad. My hope is it’ll get better if I hang in.

Anyway, I’m off. Hopefully ideas and thoughts burble up and I can continue to use this blog to babble about traveling. Watch this space!

Travel on, road warrior.

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Script and Narrative

Literally down to days left in Plymouth before my time off starts. I admit to being very excited to just relax. There is a smidgen of anxiety tied to it where I’m hoping I’ve saved enough to cover all my bills and the fun I plan to have, plus insurance and not getting sick while I’m off. But the thing I’m most excited about is rest, and having a full week of no politics.

So, I realize as I’m typing that, the level of difficulty is going to be high.

When I say I plan to have as little political news intake as possible, I’m serious as a mama rolling up on the maternity unit with one cheek on the wheelchair seat. That’s humor only someone from L&D will get so I’ll say serious as a heart attack.

No news on the phone, restricting tv news to local (if that), no reading and fretting over articles I pass on twitter, and the sidebar news articles on Facebook is a no go (if I get on Facebook at all). This is a full scale block, but not for the reasons you’d think.

Frankly, I’m exhausted by the news pouring in. Exhausted by the attacks, the fearmongering, the sadness, and the feeling of being totally beat down. Make no mistake, I don’t subscribe to the “fake news” propaganda because a free media is important to speaking truth to power, but I’m also a little tired of the overwhelming negativity that gets reported, ad nausem. In the past, even when things have been low, there’s been bright spots and positive moments to balance. There’s not been much to make me believe in my fellow human beings lately. Maybe that’s on me, to make the positive or be the positive or find the positive, but I’m so beat right now I just need to unplug it. *burn it to the ground!*

It makes me think of rhetoric, which I wanted to put in the title of this post. Rhetoric can have a negative tone as a person’s attempts at persuasion can come off as insincere and meaningless. I’m not going to argue politics as I don’t have the time or energy to view people I respect in a bad light. I will say that we should all be mindful the rhetoric we’re ingesting and internalizing, and how that’s aiding in rendering us unable to communicate across party/color/socioeconomic lines.

I went with narrative because I feel like it sounds better, even though it’s oft overused (and goes the way of privilege for the feeling it can induce). Narrative makes people consider a story they are telling or being told. What narrative are we working within lately? We need to talk about what we’re hearing. Take the changing language surrounding the DACA program. What started out as kids who were vetted, in school with jobs, longing to find an honest pathway in a situation they had no control over, turned into criminals/vandals/thieves overnight. How does that changing narrative make you feel? Do you find yourself ingesting and internalizing something that you know isn’t necessarily accurate? Furthermore, are you aware how your agreement (or disagreement) makes you come across?

Lets float away from politics, because the Lord knows I’ve cursed way too much over politics lately anyway, back into an area I’m more versed in. Medicine and nursing.

How does the things we think we know shape how we treat patient groups? Take the burgeoning drug epidemic. What narrative do we know about those embroiled in drugs? We have attitudes we develop and sometimes our willingness to treat them with care diminishes. Many studies show we don’t care for women or blacks at the level they deserve. What narrative have we ingested and internalized that makes this so? Think about those things. Do you catch yourself treating these groups differently? Watch your behavior the next time you’re at work. What do you say about them at the desk? Sometimes we don’t realize how our attitudes differ when the person we are dealing with isn’t the norm.

What we consume, we conform to. I’m not different. Things I watch and read shape me and my attitudes. It’s a struggle to be kind when my interactions are tainted by this narrative or rhetoric of badness. Bias creeps in and makes seeing eye to eye harder. I have a choice in what I consume and how I let it shape me, and so do you frankly. If you find your mood sour and your anger quick, unplug. Even if it’s only for a day, what kind of difference will that make in your attitude? I’m not here to change anyone’s mind except my own, but it’s worth asking those questions.

Anyway, countdown to time off! I’m hoping it’s full of relaxing, sightseeing, some visiting, and lots of getting back on track. If you see me out, give a wave. And a shout to my coworkers (both providers and staff) for a lovely 9 months. I hope I make it back to Plymouth to work with you ladies again very soon. You’re definitely cream of the crop.

See you on the other side of unplugged!

Travel on, road warrior

New Year, Old You

I haven’t posted in a month. That means I’ve gone on my cruise, worked, celebrated Christmas, worked, hustled through New Years, and (you guessed it) worked.

Last year I had a couple resolutions. I wanted to be in better shape so I made a go at working out with a trainer in 2016.  I simply continued that into 2017, making it more of a solidification of what I was already doing. Another was a photo a day to remember the good things in life. I also resolved to watch my tongue because I admit to letting a bad word or two fly. I managed the working out because it was less a resolution and more a priority I made for myself. The photo a day lasted 2 months, maybe. I bombed the minding my tongue thing. Like, things got worse and not better.

I’ve come to the conclusion, smartly, that resolutions. Don’t. Work.

Change is something that a new year can’t facilitate. Change takes an internal motivation with external support. Turmoil facilities change. I know the thing that motivated me to start traveling was the fear that I’d never ever leave my hometown. That small town USA would be all I’d know. The idea of that frightened me, and when it started to depress me, I had to move.

We’re a few weeks into 2018 and frankly things haven’t changed much from 2017. The same drama and strife has followed us into this year. We understand each other less and are confused about how to close the divide that’s cleaved us in two. The question there is whether we truly want to come together? Ask yourself that as outrage and anger and confusion continue to reign. Is this year going to be different in a good way or a bad way?

My desires run more towards hopes. I hope I’m kind to myself and others. I hope I’m honest where it’s necessry. I hope I’ll mind my outrage and keep it for things that are important. I hope I’m wise where it’s required. I hope I keep my mouth shut when I need to. I hope I offer support to those who need it. I hope I remind someone to stand on their two feet because they’re capable. I hope I work and go somewhere new. I hope I continue to give my delivering moms the best birth experience I can. I hope I can do a better job of connecting with my friends

Advocate, care for, build up, encourage, and try to honor my values. If it’s the right thing, do it. Mobs become mobs for a reason. If being right means going against the tide, do it, but make sure you understand what right truly is. Truth will always be truth no matter who’s in charge, so remain focused on that.

Don’t lose yourself trying to be something you aren’t, friend. I’ll make sure I’m aiming for the right kind of change in my life and you do the same. As always, I’m pulling for you.

So what’s up next for me?

Two more weeks and then I’m off for 2 months! I’m home for a bit and then off to England again. I’m very excited to explore many places in the UK and then come back here fresh. I hope I can blog a bit more while I’m off too

Who knows where I end up for the spring/summer? We’ll see I guess.

Here’s to holding the line.

Travel on, road warrior

I’ll Do You A Favor

On my way to cruise out for the next 7 days. I, for one, am happy to not have to work for a week and for being in total sunshine while the temperature continues to drop at home. It snowed on my way out of the northeast and I was appalled.

Full disclosure, I’m a militant traveler. What I mean by that is I’m very much a stickler for time and organization when it comes to getting to, being at, and leaving the airport. If you ever travel with me I have rules. 1) we get to the airport two (2) hours early for domestic and three (3) for international. 2) pack your bags and take your stuff out at TSA in a timely manner. I will get grouchy if you’re with me and shoes/coats/stuff isn’t out of your pockets and/or your bag isn’t packed correctly, leading to the inevitable search of your belongings. 3) always go to the gate first before exploring. I can’t explain this rule. It’s just something I have to do. I travel alone so much my routine through the airport is pretty much set. I can get cranky when I’m with others who mess the travel scheme up.

Listen, I know my limitations and admit to them. No one’s perfect, certainly not me when it comes to cruising through the airport.

Enough about my travel behavior. Let’s talk about some things we should avoid as travelers (or new employees) when we get to a new place. Let’s call it Nurse C’s ways to not get lumps of coal when you’re a traveler. I’ll just do my top 3 today.

1. There’s a fine line between offering advice and “Well, this is how we did it where I worked before”.

I’ve made this mistake in the past so let me save you. Unless they’re asking for advice on how things are somewhere else (or practice isn’t safe), don’t make a comment about how you’ve done things else where. It makes people irritable because it comes off as a critique and not advice. Unsolicited, your criticism makes people uninterested in what could potentially be a good change. Tone and timing are everything, also.

2. People need to know about your experience, but be careful it doesn’t come across as bragging.

This one trips me up occasionally. Not because I’m bragging about how long I’ve done this, but because I do want to let people know I’m not a novice. Sometimes, too much of a good thing can come across as bad. Let actions speak for themselves. People will understand when you conduct yourself with best practice. Show your experience even as you tell it.

3. Getting all the information on your patient is important, but don’t ask about things you can look up yourself.

This is for anyone. You don’t need to know how long she was in labor if she’s 4 days post op. I have no idea, nor do I care frankly. It’s not important to the care she’s getting on discharge day. It also doesn’t matter what her antibody screen is as long her blood type isn’t one we have to watch for interventions. If you care, look it up. There are the big important things and there is the not so important things. Don’t make report the trial it already is after I’ve been awake far too long and my words no longer make sense. I’d like to add that there’s no need to scrutinize someone’s charting unless it’s a blatant absence of information from their shift (I want to write a whole post about this but I won’t. You’re welcome). Otherwise, worry bout yoself.

That’s it. Simple. I’m sure there’s more others could add but those are just a couple of things that are avoidable.

So cruise time for me. More updates to come after I’ve relaxed to the max. Until then

Travel on, road warrior.

The Art of Charge

Breaker breaker. Radioing in from Rhode Island Comic Convention on this ridiculously chilly November day.

My second foray into nerdom. I rarely venture here as I’m not a nerd, but nerd adjacent/by proxy. I know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to follow things closely. It’s as important as my dose of cultural enlightening frankly

To the topic at hand: the importance of a good charge nurse.

Do not make the mistake of underestimating the role a good charge or team leader plays on the health and safety of a shift. You have a manager, but you need a leader to help the shift run smoothly. That person who takes the lead has to have important characteristics.

Experience: for a speciality like L&D, being in the field longer than a year or two makes you a better charge. Not because with less you can’t function as charge, but because you come to a point when you’ve done this long enough that you know instinctively what to plan for with a patient. I say this for travelers also, by the third year you feel less like you’re drowning and you know your speciality. The longer you’re at this the easier it is to navigate pitfalls.

Advising: you can direct the staff on how to handle trouble. You know how to plan and you can guide your staff members in planning or dealing with the patients.

Floor knowledge: the reason I won’t do charge as a traveler is because, while I know my specialty and can trust my gut with a patient, I don’t always know the floor as well. You have to know where everything is on the floor. Stuff for nursery, numbers to call, equipment placement.

Readiness: you have to be comfortable stepping in when you’re called upon. A combative patient, a confrontation with a staff member, a bad baby in the nursery, doing all the paperwork for a transfer. Backing a delivery or helping clean up if you can. You’ve got to be ready to do or know what’s happening.

Flexibility: I don’t expect you to take a labor or 4 couplets, but I want you to do it without complaint if you have to. Especially if I’m busting tail. Get your stuff done so if I need you or you’re called away, I’m not having to do your stuff too. Nothing bothers me more than saying you’ve got things to do and not actually doing them, getting busy, and then turfing your work to someone else (within reason!).

One important thing that makes or breaks charge for me is an awareness of your workers’ assignments. You give out assignments with the full awareness that if someone gets busy, you can reassign with ease. Don’t let your people drown because you’re not aware of what a bad assignment looks like. Is your person running around while everyone else sits? Either they’re one of those people who likes to look busy or they truly are busy. The former is best ignored after asking once if they’re okay and the latter requires reshuffling. A finger on the pulse of the floor is necessary for a good charge.

It sounds like I’m expecting a lot. I’m not sure it’s that so much as I’m looking for someone I can go to.  Even if we have the same level of experience, I want to be able to turn and look at you and know you’ve got my back. All those things listed fall under that banner for having my back as charge. It’s important to my level of comfort on a shift.

Having worked with charges in the past that have left me feeling like I have to make sure I have my own back, this is something I’ve been wanting to speak on.

Respect to all the good charge nurses and team leads out there. You’re the real MVPs.

Back to nerdom.

Travel on, Road Warriors

Team Player

Come one, come all. Settle in for your weekly bit of traveling nursing fluff to carry you into the next week. Frankly, and I’m surprised no one else realizes this, everything I post here are my general musings and things I think on or need to remember. I’m always trying to learn all I can to make navigating this travel life, life in general really, better. As you can tell, I manage it better some days and others I’m falling woefully short on the being a decent person bit.

In that same vein (and before I jump into my post), I try not to remark on the world at large because I’m all about sunshine and light here. Okay, I’m really about vacations and good food, same difference. It’s worth noting that being good to each other is an edict not taken very seriously. I find people are more interested in proving a point or being right as opposed to helping each other and building each other up. How far does being right get you in the end? Oh, you’ve succeeded in getting your point across, but have you lost the overall goal of drawing someone to your way of thinking? The writerly advice of showing and not telling (or beating someone to death with it) may offer a better approach.

But on to what you came here for…

My post itself is on the idea of being a team player, but maybe not quite in the way you’re imagining.

Recently, I was asked if I was free to come in to work. I said no at the time because I wasn’t. As many of you may realize, days off are a commodity to be hoarded with everything you have. Nurses are notorious for working their hours a week and then coming in because the floor has exploded and every pregnant woman in the area has decided to have their baby (or whatever your specialty equivalent is).

I was mentioning it to me mother, the saying no portion, and this is what she said.

“I guess you’re not a team player today.”

*record screech*

And then her head spun around on her shoulders and she exploded in a rage

Here’s why I don’t think the fair to use this phrase in conjunction with any nurse ever.

Nurses are carers and givers by nature. You can’t do this for any length of time unless your desire is to help people. Money won’t keep you because we don’t make enough for what we do.

We come in time and time again, at the expense of our wellbeing. If you work a night shift, you know that first day off isn’t really a day off. You’re a zombie. For instance yesterday, I had 2-3 hours of sleep post-work and woke up with zero desire to do anything. I don’t know how you people with kids manage. I literally laid in bed for hours after I opened my eyes debating what to have for dinner because cooking wasn’t an option. It’s hard to then think about coming in on your first full day off when you know it’s the only day you’re fully functioning before you have to go back to work again.

So we always come in when we’re asked, but it’s typically short on the floor. The nursing shortage is a known fact, and yet the expectation is that you’ve always worked short so if you’re a good unit you’ll pull together and find a way to make it work. It means working odd shifts, coming in on your day off for overtime, working unheard of hours of overtime to cover, and begging your coworkers to come in.

Why? Because you’re a team player. Be a team player

*rage*

When I’m at work, I give 100% of myself to my job. I’m here to help my coworkers, the providers, and care for my patients. Every travel assignment gets my all because I’m a nurse no matter where I am, and good care matters to me. But this be a team player bit has real consequences. People get burnt out, retire, or leave the bedside because they’re tired of always giving everything to the hospital without anything much to show for it. You’re not getting time off or away to revive yourself so you start to hate it.

Days off, distance, and balance matter. Don’t let anyone use the ‘be a team player’ gambit to shame you into giving up your days off. Its wrong and we need to stop it before we lose more good people. I will never be upset if you tell me you can’t come in extra. It’s your day off so enjoy it.

Self-preservation. Mental maintenance. Self-care. Call it what you’d like here, but honor it just the same.

So… there’s my rant for the week.

In other news, it’s NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. I’m trying to write a bit as I haven’t participated in a long while. I may even post a story here next week to give you something other than travel nursing anecdotes. Also on the docket is another comic con, this time in Rhode Island. I’m only going one day, but because I’m me, I’ve added a Rhode Island food tour in the mix. Exciting times here, folks.

Stay safe, stay warm, stay dry, and stay kind.

Travel on, road warrior.

Happy employee, happy business?

So it looks like you’ll get two posts this week! Lucky you, right?

Conference offically starts in a couple of hours so I thought, with the start of a conference for people who travel for a living, why not discuss a topic I’ve beat to death  talked about on this blog many times.

Why people leave.

(On a side note: I’ve been trying to ease back into Facebook of late. I’d stepped away for a host of reasons, the least of which was the feeling of a non reality. Facebook tends to cultivate hard feelings and an unrealness. People say what they want on there with little regard to how that makes others feel. Political and social issues that are important to me become things those I have respected in the past feel they can say whatever they want, reposting ugly memes a person would otherwise think twice about posting. No one wants to be in that environment.)

Getting to it, LinkedIn emailed a post out this morning that I felt was incredibly timely. The Real Cost of Poor Leadership talked about many of the things I go on about fairly regularly, which is people leaving jobs they aren’t satisfied doing.  A few highlights that caught my eye:

 

I recently had a conversation at work… okay let’s just call it a rant… on why nurses job hop or leave the profession all together. It’s the old attrition and retention talk that plagues every field. We make decent money no matter where we live compared to the average American, we offer a service of caring that can be uplifting, we go into our profession with the aim of helping. So why do nurses keep leaving?

I reject the idea that this is generational or the result of the attitude that “if this doesn’t work, I’ll do something else.” Why? Because most nurses start with a desire to be all they can be.

The article mentions bad bosses or management. It’s no back up when you need it. It’s infighting when we should support each other (nurses eating their young/new). It’s that feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, and that general feeling that no one cares if you make it.

No praise for slaving away on a night when things are crazy and you barely made it. No considerations when decisions that directly effect productivity are made. More about money and bottom lines.

When the CEO making more than every person working on the floor combined, gets a bonus every year and the nurses risking their lives have gone two years plus without a raise, we’ve got a problem.

I travel because I can seek out better. Yes, every hospital has its problems, but there’s nothing that says I have to stay and endure crap. And some places are definitely crappier than others. I can move around and explore and save myself headache. Maybe I’ll find that perfect place, maybe I won’t, but I only have to suffer 3-6 months at a time instead of my entire career.

Been there. Done that. Life is too short to suffer a terrible manager (middle or upper), or a terrible doctor(s).

We deserve better as a profession and until we get there the travel industry will get bigger while the nursing shortage also increases.

The number of nurses here is insane and seems to be reveled only by the number of companies here trying to gather business. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that this is a business and we are a commodity. It’s difficult to navigate it well so a conference that discusses all the information you need to know is important.

Now if I could just do away with the necessary, but annoying schmoozing, I’d do even better.

Anyway, it’s time to get this conference underway. Maybe I’ll surprise us all by doing a post tomorrow!

Confernce on, road warrior? ☺️😊

Have I Disappointed You?

It’s break time! I’ve completed a contract and as a reward to myself, I’m on vacation.

The first one starts this weekend. The travel nurse conference officially starts on Monday in Vegas, but why wait until Monday to go to Vegas when I can head there early and take in the sights. I’ll be reporting on the conference itself next Wednesday once it’s completed, but I’ll do two things now: tell you to come if you’re travel nurse because of the things you’ll learn, and tell you to watch my instagram for photos.

As many people already know, and after I nearly had a nervous breakdown over it, I’ve settled on where I’ll be for my next assignment. I’m staying in Plymouth. I had a couple other options, including returning to Charleston, WV, a place I’d worked at around this time last year. It was a very difficult choice for me and it came down to being at a place where I liked the nurses AND the providers I was around.

(Quick aside: I will be in Plymouth until middle of January, which is danger zone of winter for me. Someone is going to have to hold my hand if it snows)

The hard part of picking between two places I’ve been/am currently at, is someone is disappointed by my pick. I had to be reminded of a few facts that I hope I can share with you.

Frankly, disappointment has been on my mind for a few weeks. Not only in conjunction to this, but in other things. I’d considered doing a vlog on it just to talk through some of my own personal struggle with the subject.

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You see, much of my problem is people pleasing. I want to make sure everyone around me is happy with me in every way. I seek others opinions and try to make decisions so others are pleased with me. You can see how that gets dangerous for me, don’t you ? Am I doing things to better myself because it’s what I need or because it’s what someone seems to think I should do? Am I running the risk of resenting someone because I made a decision for them instead of myself? It can get out of hand and lead to a lot of confusion.

I have to step back many times and examine what is best for me. What was my first response to the situation? Where is my mind at? It’s good to ask opinions, but I cannot let others possible let down affect what I do.

Lets talk about it in the context of a travel assignment.

I was reminded, by a very good friend, that I as the nurse am the commodity or good. I am there to offer service to a hospital. If I choose not to go there, they have the option to seek someone else’s service because there are others available to fill that spot. I have to pick what’s best for me in this search and I can’t pick a place simply because someone may get upset if I don’t come to their hospital. I won’t be happy. They can find someone else and I can go where I’ll have the best possible assignment.

So what can we all learn from this? People pleasing only leads to distress not satisfaction, go where you’ll be happy, consult others while trusting your mind a little more, and not letting everything unsettle you. Keep what’s important to you in mind

We all know the things I say here are for me to remember. I’m over here trying to be a life longer learner in all things.

Travel on road warrior

Mitigating and Managing

Hello and welcome to the circus!

Seems wrong to call life a circus, but at times it feels like I have no idea what’s happening next (in my immediate sphere or outside of it) and how I’ll react to it. Maybe gasps. Maybe cheers of excitement. Or crying hysterically. Apt, don’t you think?

Well, in assignment news, a decision has finally been handed down. I won’t say too much until I’ve signed my contract because in this circus, the act can change in an instant. Just know I’m glad to finally have something done with 4 shifts left in this current assignment. It took a lot of reminding that things weren’t out of control just because I didn’t know what was happening next.

Now that I know I can move on to more exciting things. I’ve got a couple big trips lined up on my 3 weeks off. Both trips I’m very excited about for vastly different reasons, but excited nonetheless. One I’ll tell you about next week (travel nurse conference) and the other I’ll spring on you last minute as I’m trying to keep other parties calm on that front.

Thinking about my second upcoming trip makes me think on ways I mitigate and manage things in my life. We all have people, jobs, forces in our lives that we try keeping calm and juggling around.

I have a tendency to be majorly influenced by those who rotate in my orbit. It’s something I hate and appreciate. Appreciate because I have people whose opinions I value a lot. Hate because if they disagree with something I’m planning on doing, I can’t always shake off their strong opinion. Is it my decision not to do this or am I being influenced too heavily by someone? And how do I manage when said strong opinion becomes upset that I didn’t heed their advice? It’s been a life long struggle of mine to find the balance.

Mitigation and management come in handy not just in those moments in my life (it’s better to ask for forgivensss than permission by the way), but in work.

Negotiating pay packages. Advocating for patients. Dealing with bonehead doctors. Trying to figure out changes in insurance. Or why my HelloFresh box was randomly canceled. All things that require the ability to explain what you need, see the best solution to the problem, smooth ruffled feathers, and get the best for both parties if possible. While not screaming like a crazy lady

It’s not always possible to come to a solution that pleases everyone. Someone is going to walk away unhappy no matter how you try appease or conjole. But… I hope to have left the situation having handled it to the best of my ability

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing 

from Proverbs 12:18 NIV

Frankly, my mouth gets the best of me. I’m trying to be levelheaded and calm because that’s what the situation requires, but the moment I’m affronted, cooler heads don’t always prevail. 🙈 Hey! Im trying to do better, be better, act better, but the tongue is a sword for a reason.

I need to heed the lessons I speak into this space. That means actually watching my mouth and trying to grant dignity to others. I just need to remember to not do those things at my personal expense. Sacrifice is important, but I tend to give more than I should to others. Balance.

Life is a circus. I’m trying to tight rope walk/juggle/clown car my way through it. Aren’t we all though?

As always, let’s all try to do better, shall we? I’ll lift you up a little and you extend the same arm to me until we manage to get there.

Until next time.

Travel on, road warrior.

Dust in the wind?

I typed out that title because my mind was focused a bit on some of the things going on in my life. I’m still not 100% sure where I’m going to end up, and with just 2 weeks left in my current assignment, it’s getting to be a little disconcerting.

My thoughts turned outward though. Not in a, “these people have it so much harder than you right now” kind of way, but in a reminder that sometimes my crisis isn’t all that critical. My uncertainty will resolve soon enough where others have a long list of things that may never see resolution. Never minimize your own struggles, but refocus on what’s fixable and what is ultimately just going to take time to get better.

We are in a state of constantly shifting current affairs. So much heartache, violence, and strife. That’s the world right now, but that’s been the world since The Fall (for those who believe in biblical teachings) and many times history repeats itself in the most horrifying ways.

There are moments of hope. News stories of people extending their hands to others in need. Saving animals and people alike. Being moral, being kind, being godly. Those glimmers are life rafts in an otherwise sad state of affairs.

Does that mean the terrible things plaguing us will disappear overnight? No. There are going to continue to be things that outrage, grieve, hurt, and scare us. That’s just the facts of life and our existence on this planet. I believe there are things we can do to make it bearable. Seeing the sick, praying for and meeting the needs of the poor, marching for the big issues, speaking up against things that are obviously wrong, and being the very example God called us to be. Don’t just speak Christian behavior, be Christ-like. Or if that’s not something that jives with your world view, be a better person than the person you dislike, up to and including treating them with dignity even when you’d rather not.

Have a good meal with a friend, help a person in need, examine your biases, and stay connected. We are finite, but our lives are worth so much and are worth living to the fullest with purpose.

I’m rooting for you so promise you’ll be rooting for me too.

Travel on, road warrior