I spent my entire day with Economics. Hours and hours to complete an assignment most undergrads would likely whiz through in minutes. I didn’t leave my house until around 2, and then only just to stand on the front step in a scarf, chomp on a carrot and watch the rain in the park across the street. A neighbor I love caught me on her way out, her red-lipsticked chat grabbing me from my mental cloud.
I’ve moved to practically part time at work these days, which means five days without patients. There’s plenty of “other” work to fill that space, but I’ve found as late, the longer I go without a bedside day, the stranger I feel. My mind is drawn to the work, the routine, the skill and love I have for this job that seems to have chosen me. Without it, there is an aimless space, a wandering peace.
On the ride home just now, the sky looked cloudy and dark, and the music in my ears matched my contemplation. A tiny mist fell on my face, and as I rounded the corner to home, I caught the smell of lilacs over the din of garbage and cherry blossoms and New York spring. Of course, I came to the park first, to my seat under the dancing trees, to think and listen before going inside. No rats tonight, no breeze in the leaves, just the common, quiet sounds of bar-goers and traffic.
I have no policy analysis or whitty Nurses Day news to offer today. I finished my homework horribly, went to class and wished for the end, then sat with friends at a bar, fighting the urge to cheat at trivia. I read the paper, most of it, listened to a bit of NPR about these poor girls in Nigeria, and missed the bedside.
Is this part of an answer to my question for myself – Why do I nurse? Perhaps it is enough, on this day of this week I am supposed to be celebrated, to catch a glimpse of my nursing soul. Without this work, no matter its hardships, I come disconnected from the solace that it offers me; acknowledging its place within me seems gift enough for this rainy night.