Saturday, July 20, 2013

Grown-Up Friends

Remember making friends as a child? "Hi, I like your shoes". "Thanks, I have more shoes at home. Want to be my friend?"


Now, childhood friendships typically aren't the most deep and don't tend to last. As they aren't formed out off of bonds of similarity. But, dang it was easy to make friends!

Then we fast-forward to college. So easy! "You're a nursing major? Me too! Want to study together? After our test Thursday, want to celebrate with margaritas?"

I never really had to try to make friends in my younger years. I'm typically outgoing, so tend to meet people with ease.

Then you graduate from school, enter the real world, and suddenly you have to try. How I accumulated such an amazing group of friends in Tucson is very fortunate. For the most part they are family-like-friends I'm made through work. The other half of my social network is my "Desert Tri Girls" -- as you tend to form a bond when you spend 3 hours on a road bike next to someone, or run with them 4 days a week at 0430.

Temporarily living in a new city, I knew that I probably wouldn't make friends. But I was told, "Oh, you'll be living on an Air Force Base, the network there is incredible."

Well, I am here to say that is not true. The military spouses are civil and kind to each other -- but let's be honest, the only thing we have in common is our husbands are going through the same program.

The women at work are hesitant to accept me, as I'm young and I'm a "traveler nurse". When they ask what I do for fun, they roll their eyes when I say like to run, bike, and be outdoors. So I change my strategy and say, "I love cooking and gardening". Eye rolls, again. The resistance is most likely because I'm an "outsider", and not an employee of the hospital....

The other roadblock I've met in my age group is, "Oh, you don't have children?...**cricket**"   No potential play-dates there. I often make jokes with my friends in Tucson that Ryan and I should see if you can "rent a child" to bring to BBQ's, so you can truly fit in. Our friends graciously offer that we can borrow one of theirs. ;)

Finances can be a road block as well. We have friends who's idea of "dinner out" needs to involve fine dining and a $200 bill. We've had a hard time figuring out if they just trying to make an impression on others or it's that truly their lifestyles. Either way, we can only do something social with them semi-annually as we like to budget our entertainment.(If I'm going to spend $200 on an evening out, I prefer to be entertained...not just full)

Although I'm sort of rambling here, my point is that I've found it kind of challenging to make friends as an adult. I'm becoming re-introduced to that reality as we move to a new city. So many new factors come into play -- career, children, husbands, hobbies, finances, etc. Especially in our world -- where you don't talk to your neighbors. Then I wonder -- Is it me? I'd like to think it's not, as I do have a wonderful support network in Tucson.

Have you found it difficult to make friends in your adult years? Has it come easily? Do you find that living in certain climates/cities makes it easier? (For example, I feel like it's easier in Tucson with all the mountains/outdoors because you can say "lets go for a hike", or "You have a bike? Let's go road biking Saturday morning!)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


The "Discovery train" has taken a bit of a halt lately. In other words, Ryan studies seriously all day every day and I've been working. So "fun time" is on break....but it will return. So I have no pictures of new discoveries to share.

So I figured I'd take a break from all the Adventure posts -- and do a "currently" post!

Current Book - "The Wednesday Sisters" by Meg Waite Clayton. It's about a group of young, women, homemakers in the 1960's who become dear sister-friends. It is #1 on my list of "to read books" so graciously put together by my sister Lisa. So far, I am loving her suggestions! Glad to have a book worm of a sister to be my personal librarian.

Current Drink - Pellegrigio or sparkling mineral water! I used to make fun of this stuff, and now I'm addicted! I got hooked on it the 4th of July, because I was drinking it with vodka and lemon (it was my feeble attempt to stay hydrated that night).

Current Excitement - In just a few weeks, Ryan and I will be celebrating our 4th Anniversary! I can't believe we've been married for 4 years. Does this mean we're not newlyweds anymore? I am hoping we will either celebrate it going to the beach?! Maybe? (Not likely, though. He pretty much studies, flies, and studies all day every day. So I doubt a trip is in our future)

Current fashion trend - Being it is hot, sweaty, steamy, and sticky every day -- I'm all about dressing light.I'm digging these little pink lace underlays that I have under my tanktop -- it only goes down to my belly button so the layering doesn't get too hot! It's kind of a similar concept of the dickey! Minus the turtle neck.

Current Love - Running with Ryan! He is starting to get more into running long distance -- and his runs are pretty much the only study break he takes. So I cherish our miles -- it's our time to decompress and take in the outdoors.

Current Food -Currently, I am utilizing my crock pot (which I do several times a week since we live in a hotel currently).

I'm slow cooking chicken breast in apple cider vinegar, will shred it, and let it set with Franks Hot Sauce. And wallah! Buffalo Chicken Wraps! I'm going to serve them with spinach, avocado, and cucumbers!

Current Indulgence - Hot Fudge Sundae's at Sonic. Oh. My. Goodness. I pretty much cut out things like "going out for ice cream" for the last....8 years?! Since we've moved to Texas, I have made it a weekly tradition of going to Sonic with Ryan for their "happy hour" (after 8 pm). We both get a sundae for $4!! It's worth every calorie, I've decided.

Currently Pondering - What I want to do with my career. I have so many nurse friends/colleagues who are going back to school to get their NP, which is always what I assumed I want to do. But, is it really what I want to do? Or is that me just going through the motions?

I am having a mini-crisis trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. But I'm already a "grown up". So is it too late? Some day I will laugh at this...

Current Mood - Grateful. Is that a mood? I'm feeling very grateful for health and security. The combination of some sad news about a loved one, and the tragedies I've seen at work this past week has me really remembering just how precious life is.

Current New Find -  I've had a lot of "new finds" lately, since we just moved to a new city. That question is rather overwhelming, as everything from running trails to grocery stores to car repair shops are all new!

Current Outfit -  Skinny jeans, black tank top. (I'm wearing jeans because it's cloudy out. I do that now that I live in a hot climate. It's still 85 degrees out...but I pretend it's cold since the sun isn't out)
Current Peeve - The Zimmerman Trial -- I am so sick of hearing about it. Period. I know that it's important to many people, and the news stations will show it because that's how they make their money, and it affects the law system.....but I am sick of hearing about it.

Current Song - Lucky - Daft Punk. Yep, I just listed a techno song. I have had a long-standing love affair with Daft Punk. Good music to exercise to!
Current Triumph - I'm feeling triumphant that I have survived my 1st week at this new job. It's been a huge learning curve for me -- and I've been able to keep up!


Current TV Show - Property Wars -- where they go and buy auctioned off foreclosed homes, and resell them for profit. It intrigues me -- especially since many of those homes are in Phoenix (which is close to home for me) 
Current Wish-List - 1) Trip to see my family. 2) The people living the hotel room above us to stop stomping their feet on the floor at 2 am. (Oh the joys of living in an extended stay....) 3) An entire day with just Ryan and I -- no time spent studying or quizzing him on the Regulations/maneuvers of the T6 aircraft. Just fun (this will happen after October 4)
Currently Delaying -Applying for my California Nursing License. I know Ryan's next school will be in LA in November, but I'm feeling nervous and weary about another adjustment for 4 months. So I'm procrastinating.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

New Experiences

I have offically started my new experience in travel nursing. And, boy is it an experience. Walking into this, I knew it wasn't going to be easy -- let me define what a travel/agency nurse is (in my own words). (Apologies in advance, as this is a heavy career-related post that may bore many...)

Agency Nurse
  • Contracted into a hospital that is short staffed to fill in the gaps.
  • They are not an employee of the hospital, but an outside agency.
  • Therefore, they are an outsider.
  • There are a few nurses who welcome you, and say, "Let me show you where things are..." T
  • he rest of the staff says "You're not permanently here, and I'll never see you again, you're on your own."
  • The Agency nurse get's 8 hours of orientation, and is then expected to be completely on his/her own. My badge gets me no where in the hospital, I've had to learn a completely new charting system, and figure out the policies/procedures/doctors/protocols in 8 hours.
Let me just say, the first 3 days left my head spinning. This ER is about twice the size of where I came from. The people that come in are much sicker -- they have a long list of comorbidities, which are almost never managed because they don't care or cannot afford it. The other 20% of the population I see are psych or victims of violence/abuse and are escorted in by police. It's rather eye opening.

I come from a hospital that is located in an area of high socioeconomic class. I hate to say that, but it's the truth. It's placed 2 miles from a high-end retirement community. It's 45 minutes from downtown, so gang members/shot victims/homeless people don't tend to make it that far. My average patient is 75 years old, usually retired from a well-paying job, and is highly educated (especially on any health condition they may have). They have extremely high expectations for the care they receive -- and demand you to be at their service.

There is nothing wrong with that. But it's a truth.

This hospital is different.......

But I must say, I like the change.

It is rewarding to take care of people who are grateful for the blanket you give them. Who say, "Thank you ma'am, do what you need to do." Many of the people I see don't have a pillow to lay their head on at night. A lot of my patients I saw this week do not have the luxury to bathe regularly. It is incredibly humbling -- and reminds me why I became a nurse in the first place!

Now I will say I dearly miss my coworkers at the hospital in AZ -- as we truly are like a family. That tends to happen in a small hospital. Everyone knows everyone, and at times that got annoying. It's like living in a small town -- anonymity is kind of nice some times. But it was nice to know we all had each other's backs.

But I love this change of pace. There are moments where I feel like I'm treading water, but I know by the end of this week I will have adjusted! I'm feeling incredibly blessed that I have a career that allows me to live in a different state for 3 months, and then go back to my old place.

It's nice to recharge your mindset -- and be reminded why you do what you do every once in a while. I am a lover of change, so I am feeling very energized and balanced right now!