Daily Post 161: Still Alive

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Things are going well.

The clinic is six days a week again. We have six patients on the TTS shift so far. They’re all super nice and those days are extremely short in comparison to the MWF days. It won’t stay that way, but at the moment, TTS is super chill.

I found a kickboxing app that I’ve been using on my phone. I’ve made it to the dojo a handful of times as well. Actually, they moved to the second floor of the YMCA in Beatrice. It’s super nice. Way more space than their other location. And… if I got a YMCA membership, it would discount the dojo membership…

So I could spend $70 for the dojo, or spend $70 for the dojo and YMCA membership combined and get access to the sauna and all of the classes and the weight room and locker room and all of the Lincoln locations in addition to Beatrice…

It was a bit of a no brainer. Oh… Did I mention that the YMCA is now 24 hours, too?

With all of that taken into consideration, I’m going to be ending my Anytime Fitness membership. I still have a few months to go with it, but that’s ok.

I’ve been doing well at the dojo. I feel like I’m progressing again. I’m starting to use MyFitnessPal again to log my food, water, and exercise when I do it. I stepped on the scale not that long ago and was at 227. That’s not all that far from where I was. Maybe four pounds higher? I would have to break out the last sheet I had from my trainer, but I hadn’t hit the 220 mark. I was close, but not quite there. So I guess I didn’t gain as much as it felt like I had over winter.

Which, while we’re on the subject… I totally survived winter. Woo. Go me. Nothing else really matters in comparison since winter sucked so bad.

I made it past the three-year mark of mom’s death. The past week has been a bit rougher and I’m sure that plays into it, along with being tired with the change in work schedule. For over a year I’ve been used to working every other day. I had that buffer day inbetween working to regroup, grocery shop, sleep, whatever. I don’t have that as much now. I work tomorrow, have Tuesday off, work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, then get the weekend. We get the kids on Thursday because it’s the Easter holiday or something special like that.

I’m most likely going to be getting a hotel room for Thursday and Friday night, that way I can stay in Beatrice, do the dojo Thursday night and not have to drive crazy far just to wake up to drive back down for a long day. Instead, I’ll have most of the day to stay in my hotel room alone to study. I’ll get to sleep in a bit Friday morning, wake up and do work, then go to the dojo again if I’m feeling up to it. I’ll get to stay in the area and have Saturday morning, again, alone to study before getting lunch and going to the dojo yet again before coming home to spend the rest of the weekend with the family.

I think it’s a good plan. Human Anatomy is no joke. It’s the first class in a while where I’m struggling just because of the sheer volume of information. I’ve gotten better about not breaking down and thinking I’m going to fail the class. I have a 94 so far with the quizzes and assignments that have been graded. The first exam unlocks tomorrow and is due by Friday. I’m planning on Thursday being my test day.

I had my first leadership class for work. It was fun and engaging. I have the new book that I “need” to start working through. They stressed that the book didn’t have to be read for the upcoming class. It’s not homework or anything, but if we could get through it that would be nice. With everything else going on in my life, knowing that if I need to cut something out I can is reassuring.

I guess that’s about it for now. I know I’ve been MIA for a while. I’ve been playing Torchlight II with Ox the past few days as a way to de-stress from studying so much. It’s been nice. I might play a bit more today or I might try to work a bit on the cross stitch that I haven’t touched in weeks. Today has been a really low key day. I know I’m not going to get many of them in the future so I’ve been enjoying it while I can. I even went so far as to take a nap. And yes. It was as amazing as it sounds.

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Letters to Mom 022: Three Years Later

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Hey mom,

It’s year three since you died. I still ache. I still hurt. I still miss you. Today started rough. Jon and I have talked twice already. It started out on the cold side and icky and overcast since it’s been raining so much.

Honestly, today started out kind of shitty. But it didn’t stay that way.

Ox got off work and called me. We talked for a little bit. We agreed to go into town for lunch. He drove home and picked me up so we could go in together. That gave me time to shower since I hadn’t done that yet.

The only things I had accomplished with my day before his phone call was waking up only to go back to sleep and eating breakfast bars. I didn’t have much to show for myself and it didn’t feel like I would for the rest of the day. Breathing, sitting, being made my body ache with effort much less actually doing any of the things I thought about.

I did get up and shower though. I started a load of laundry. I put my clothes away. As Ox and I were driving into town to get Chinese I looked up a recipe since Ox had mentioned he really enjoyed the smoked sausage in the jambalaya I made the other night. That led to making a shopping list and going to the grocery store before coming home.

I have a meal I’m looking forward to making for everyone. I switched the laundry and started another load. I’ve washed the spinach so it’s ready to use tonight. I plan to cross stitch in a bit and relax until making supper. I’m taking today off from school work since I’ve been doing really well in that regard so far.

I’ve started taking my nursing classes. Right now I’m doing Human Anatomy. I had a minor freak out Tuesday, wondering if I was doing the right thing and how I was going to retain all of the information, but I’m doing really well. I’m surprised at how much I already know and how easily the rest of the pieces are sticking in my brain.

I think you would be proud of me. I’ve figured out college all on my own this time. I’m moving forward with my life. I don’t know if it’s the right direction. I don’t know where I’ll end up since I don’t really have an end goal, but I still think that you would be happy that I’m doing something with my self, for myself.

It makes me wish we could have conversations. You took all of these classes already. Jon’s taken them already. I would be able to… I don’t know what… be part of that world with you. We’re all in the medical field now, but you’re not here so we can’t talk about it. It sort of sucks. It’s like I figured it out too late or something. I know that’s not true, but there’s a part of me that feels like I missed out on something I’ll never be able to get back. There was an aspect of your life you couldn’t share with me because I wasn’t there yet.

Being back in school is hard, emotionally. I think I’ll be fine with the classes themselves. I’ve figured out how best to study for the one I’m in. But just like with everything else, steps forward are hard. They’re heavy and this step is no different but I think I’m coping better.

I have another flower for you. Another rose to mark what this day means for us. I’m sorry you’re not here. I’m sorry it still hurts. I’m sorry I’m still sad and that I still miss you. I’m sorry I don’t write or talk to you as often as I feel like I should. I know you’re still with me though. I still see you in my dreams sometimes and I can still feel your arms around me, hugging me when it feels like I’m alone and that giving up would be easier than struggling.

Thank you for being with me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being my friend and my mentor. Thank you for being my mother.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.

Musing Moment 135: LFTIO – Time vs Energy

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DSS Leadership – Assignment 12
Book – “Leadership from the Inside Out”



How can you move from Time Management to Energy Leadership more often?
I don’t think Time Management is necessarily a bad thing. At least not in the way the book makes it sound. As a dialysis technician, managing time effectively is extremely important. It’s also important to understand that some things are outside of my control and to adapt to those changes. I cannot stop time from moving forward, but I can adjust my focus so tasks are still completed in a way to compensate or mitigate those delays which I cannot prevent or alter.

In that regard, I don’t think it’s so much being clock-focused as clock-aware.

In the same vein, I don’t think being organized is a bad thing either, and it bothers an extremely large part of my brain for “organized” to be listed on the Time Management side of the equation with it’s opposite being “original”. I think being organized is extremely beneficial to any situation or project. The “original” aspect comes into play in regards to changing or altering the game plan as situations and new information presents itself. Being organized makes adaptability easier, at least for me. If I know how something “should” go down or where things are at or what people “should” be doing, then I can adjust as needed, which allows the process to become original or unique for the given circumstance.

Looking at the chart listed for this reflection section, I feel I lead with energy a fair amount of the time. I am effective just as much as I am efficient. I give energy to my teammates and patients by remaining positive and focusing on the “good” in a situation, versus dwelling on everything that went or is going “wrong”. I am contribution focused by being aware of what everyone is doing to progress to our goals at the time and I am purpose driven by keeping in mind my greater goal.

As far as how I can lead this way more often, during times of stress I can be aware of how my focus trends towards the legitimate time management areas. I begin to think about how someone is underperforming as highlighted by one of my previous posts where I ranted about how it took one of my teammates 30 minutes to initiate one treatment. That’s focusing on performance, a time management area, rather than contribution. At least she initiated a treatment. She could have done nothing.

I feel like awareness is the key for me. I need to be aware of my own mental state and stress levels. I need to be aware of when I am trending towards my own coping behaviors. If I focus on how we’re behind or how someone isn’t doing something within the time frame of what I feel it should take I multiply my own stress which adds to the negativity of the situation. I should take the few seconds it requires to refocus and adjust my own thoughts to mitigate my stress levels which would help the team as a whole continue to be effective and purpose driven.

What will you need to do more of, less of, or differently to practice Energy Leadership more often?
I guess I already answered that in my previous response. One of the downsides to being an INFJ and writing through my feelings I guess…

I will need to practice awareness of myself more consciously during stressful times. I will need to ask myself, “Are my thoughts and behaviors helping or hindering this situation,” and adjust accordingly. Taking the few seconds or minutes it may take to refocus myself could help everyone in the long run.

Lack of Resilience vs Resilience Mastery
I feel that for the most part, I tend to operate with the qualities of resilience mastery. I am able to focus deeply with internally driven motivation. I lean towards optimism, I have fulfilling, intimate relationships. I am able to be creative and innovative. There is genuine vitality and enthusiasm in most things I do. When I work I am able to reach levels of optimal productivity and I tend to feel “on top of” situations.

When I am tired from lack of sleep, working too much with not enough down time, or when several projects seem to be stagnating, I begin to sway towards a lack of resilience. I can be unfocused because I don’t know where it would be best to begin something. I can be externally driven by deadlines or outside pressures. I can harbor negativity within myself which bleeds into all areas of my life and causes strain on my relationships. I can become apathetic and have a lack of inspiration along with legitimate depression and fatigue. I perform less efficiently which affects productivity and the feeling of being overwhelmed can become a pervasive thought in my mind.

It would be beneficial to become more conscious of the warning signs my body and mind display in regards to my resilience, aka. balance. It would be easier to prevent a tip in my balance rather than trying to recover from it later.

Daily Post 160: The Week of Vacation and the Week of Being Back

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Written Saturday March 30th


I suppose now is as good a time as any to try to catch up with my life…

I wrote about the week before my trip. The week where we had the kids when we weren’t expecting to. The week of finishing the Wall of Fame. The week of recertifying my BLS.

It was an alright week. I got a lot taken care of and off the to-do list. I found out a lot of information about school. That week turned into the week of March 17th to the 24th. The week of my vacation to Orlando.

It didn’t start well. It started Monday night. I came home from work and figured out the last of my social obligations. I got dates and times squared away. I got my boarding passes on my phone. I packed. I was ready for my trip and now came the part that sucked. The realization that I would be leaving and this was my last night with Ox for a while.

I crawled into bed with him. There was a little bit of petting. Mild sexiness with light hair pulling. I hadn’t been expecting anything like that but it was nice. What wasn’t nice was when he rolled over, said he would miss me, then instantly fell asleep.

My brain was sort of thrown off by that. No “goodnight”. No going further. No connection happened and in my head, the only thing I could think was even though I was leaving in the early evening the next day, I might as well have already been gone.

Ox had been tired. He had worked all day. And for my part, I had pretty much ignored him as I ironed out the last of my plans when I had gotten home. I felt horribly alone though as he slept peacefully next to me.

I spent most of the night coughing due to the cold I was still fighting off. I spent all of it unable to sleep and crying off and on from the frustration of being unable to sleep even though I had taken Nyquil and feeling like I should have left that night. It didn’t matter that I was still there. It felt like Ox had already said goodbye to me and I was gone.

Since I didn’t sleep those feelings bled over into the morning. They bled all over everything that day. When Ox got off work, we met in Lincoln. The original idea had been to get lunch together before I headed to the airport. I wasn’t hungry due to the emotional discord. Ox wasn’t hungry either. We ended up having what I termed “a driveby goodbye” in a parking lot near the edge of town.

It sucked. I didn’t feel like a wife or girlfriend. I felt like a roommate or a really good friend where it just happened to be convenient to meet up for a few minutes before going away.

I cried on the way to the airport. I listened to music. I thought through my emotions. When I called Ox after parking my car and getting to the terminal we had a pretty good conversation about what was bothering me and why.

He hadn’t realized he had fallen asleep without giving me a goodnight kiss. He hadn’t realized the distance of not being close and connective would affect me so much. He’s an INTJ. I’m an INFJ. While we are extremely similar, we are still different in significant ways and miscommunication still happens.

I’m glad we were able to talk about the situation and to share our different perspectives. It helped make the trip more doable. When I got on the plan I didn’t feel as alone as I had for the past 12 hours. It didn’t feel like my whole vacation was ruined before it started. I no longer had anxiety at the thought of coming home and still having this unresolved issue between us.

I stitched for a while listening to music while I waited for my flight to begin boarding. The flight itself was uneventful. Take off still sucked, but I made it to Dallas fine. I listened to my new leadership book for most of the trip. There was a Moe’s at the Dallas airport. I bought nachos and ate them while talking to Jon since I had time to kill before getting on my last flight of the day. I told Jon how it was silly things like that, missing mom and wishing she was with me and suddenly being at one of the places that was “our place”, that made it feel like she was and is still with me.

The last leg of the journey was, again, uneventful. I made it into Orlando. I figured out the hassle of getting a rental car. I had realized while I was in Dallas I had never received a confirmation email about my rental car… No beuno…

Once I landed I went to the rental car section in the air port. I ended up being able to get a car… minivan actually, and by minivan, I mean a battle tank of death. x.x

It was huge. So much bigger than my tiny little Mazda 2. It was the only thing that Alamo had for rent though, and all of the other places that were open at 1:30 am had crazy long lines. I didn’t want to “shop around” only to find out that their rates were higher, or they had no cars available. I wasn’t going to be charged mileage for the rental with Alamo and they threw in a tank of gas, so I didn’t have to worry about filling up the car before bringing it back. For thinking that I wasn’t going to have a car at all, I bit the bullet, signed the rental agreement, then continued on my way with the ability to actually get to the places I needed and wanted to go.

I made it to the Waffle House I used to go to and had a 2am breakfast with Warren #1. We chatted for a while. He’s still unemployed. He’s still with his girlfriend. He’s looking at going back to school. It was good to see him and to get a hug from him. I still won’t be seeing any money from him any time soon.

From there, I drove to Mother Earth’s house. We curled up in bed and talked for a while before falling asleep. I had a few coughing fits during the night but luckily was able to eventually sleep more than I had the night before.

Mother Earth got up and went to work. Sir came in and let me know he had ordered breakfast for me. I ate it when it arrived before finally getting the motivation to shower and start my day.

I went to my old dojo and hung out with my sensies for a while. It was during the middle of the day, but even still, it was weird having literally no one else in the dojo. Come to find out, it was spring break for Florida.

After the dojo, I drove up to Daytona to spend the evening with Jon. We went to a sushi buffet which was pretty awesome. Very good food and good company. After dinner, we went down to the beach. I got to take pictures of the ocean and a few of us together. I got to feel the cool breeze on my skin and smell the salt in the air. It was soothing to my soul. We saw Captain Marvel at a theater down there. Thankfully I had missed bike week the week before. Small mercies.

It was an extremely good movie and it was fantastic being able to spend time with my brother. We went back to his apartment where he let me sleep in his bed while he took the couch. He stayed in the room playing Starcraft for a bit, but I honestly don’t remember any of it. I don’t remember him leaving the room. I don’t remember anything until I was waking up at 8:30 in the moring; 30 minutes after the time we had agreed to wake up at.

I didn’t mind. It was the first night where I had gotten a full night of sleep and it had been amazing. There’s something to be said for falling alseep surrounded by scents that are familiar and register in your brain as “home” or “safe”. Maybe it’s weird, but being in my brother’s room was like being home; a slightly different home than the one associated with mom, but I spent 20 years growing up with my brother. All of the stress and worry about getting to Orlando and being to places on time… none of that really mattered while I was in his apartment. I could finally start letting things go and relaxing and trying to enjoy my vacation from work. I could feel the tension within my slowly melting away as I laid in his bed thinking back over my life and the most recent year of being in Nebraska.

Eventually, both he and I were awake. We drove down to the Waffle House where we had gotten breakfast for the last time before I left to move to Nebraska. We still missed the turn, just like last time, and had to do a u-turn to get into the parking lot. I guess somethings don’t change. XD

It was a good breakfast and I gave zero fucks about all of the carbs I was consuming or had consumed the night before. I wasn’t going to let food mess with my vacation. I was going to eat what I wanted with who I wanted when I wanted and I would deal with the consequences when I got back home and started working out again.

When we were done eating and had finished our coffee, Jon walked back out to the cars. He told me about an interview he was going to have. We chatted for a bit longer about the clinical he was about to go to. In the end, we hugged and parted ways with the promise to see each other again on Saturday.

It was Thursday already with my itinerary having me leave Saturday evening. I had an appointment at 3pm to see my therapist. It was only 10 or 11. I didn’t have anything planned for this gap of time that I found myself with. Thinking over all of my options, I decided to go to Travel Company to look at a new pair of Vibrams since I didn’t like the ones I had gotten last year. I had run the Warrior Dash in them, but compared to the other styles I had in the past, they didn’t live up to my expectations; the woes of ordering online.

Well, not this time. I got to walk around the store while talking to Ox and testing out a new pair. The sales representative was extremely kind and helpful. I walked out with the new pair along with a new Buff bandana. I found a 24-hour fitness center and went and worked out, testing the shoes and making sure they were a good fit. I even got to shower afterwards. Woo. It was an extremely nice facility and it was a nice workout. I felt good about myself for having done it.

I made it to my appointment on time and it was fantastic to see my therapist again. She’s retiring at the end of March, so I’m sure it’s happened by now. We got to talk about my leadership course and all sorts of things during the hour we had together. It was nice being able to tell her that I feel like things in my life are going well. I’ve been out of crisis mode for a while. I’ve adjusted fairly well to Nebraska. I’ve made it through winter. Even with the hiccups Ox and I still experience, we have open communication and we work through our issues. There were a lot of tears, but they were good tears an I’m glad I had them.

Once therapy was over, I met with Nicole for sushi. We talked for a while then walked over to the bar we frequented and had a drink. I got to see my favorite bartender who also happens to be named Jen. Another friend, a former student, met up with us eventually. It took her longer to get there than anticipated and that led to a bit of discord with Mother Earth, but we recovered from it.

Once social time was done, I headed back to Mother Earth’s home. I spent some time with Sir and her before going to sleep. The next day I had breakfast with Mrs. Gwen. She and I went through the Star Learning program together for DaVita together and we’ve stayed in touch since the completion of our training. We got to catch up on the changes in our lives. After about three hours with her, I came back to spend the rest of the day with Mother Earth and one of her close friends. We got lunch at a Mexican resturant. I had two amazing Long Island Ice Teas. From there we went drunk thrift shopping.

I eventually found a dress that I really liked. I tried it on. It fits well. I look nice in it. Queue emotional breakdown where I feel like it’s pointless to buy it or to look pretty because it doesn’t matter if I dress nice or girly or sexy or any of that. Being attractive doesn’t make me more attractive to my partner so why bother or put in the energy to do it.

Drunk me needed a moment I guess.

Mother Earth and I talked about it. Or rather, I cried about it in the changing room while she sat next to me and listened. I did end up buying the dress. I felt empty after crying. I knew all of it wasn’t out of my system yet and so I was sort of more flatlined than anything, waiting for the rest of it to feel like it was the right time to come to the surface. It didn’t seem to ruin the day, though.

We went to my sports bar for dinner even though I had plans to go there for lunch the next day. We were in the area and no one else had objections to going. We eventually ended up back home. More tears. More figuring things out. More letting go and admitting how I still feel alone a lot of the time because mom isn’t here.

I guess my brain thought crying about everything in my life seemed like a pretty good way to spend my vacation…

I felt extremely better after that cry though. Cleaner. Like everything I had been ignoring and bottling up and limping through my days with had finally gotten the time and attention that it needed. I slept well that night.

The next day was the day I left to go back to Nebraska. I spent the morning having breakfast with the house. Sir and I didn’t get much time together, but I enjoyed the little bit we did have. Mother Earth and I said goodbye, though, for me, it was “I’ll see you later”. It’s how I cope with goodbyes. It’s not the end. I can see these people again at some point even if it’s not physically in this world. That’s what I need to believe in order to be ok, so that’s what I believe.

I drove down to Kissimmee to pick up my dad. We had a really good conversation as we drove back to Orlando to meet up with Jon. Once we were all together we had a fantastic lunch after which we proceeded to stand outside and chat for about another hour. We said our fairwells and I headed down to the airport to return the rental car and to make my way through TSA.

The plane ride back home was long, but most of that might have been due to tiredness and wanting to be home. I survived TSA and the PTSD associated with the take-off experience. I made it off the plane and back to the long term parking lot where I found my car without issue. It even started up when I turned the key. Wooo!

The trip home sucked. It was dark outside. It was sort of rainy. There was a ton of traffic even though it was 11pm at night. It got better for a while once I made it out of the Omaha area, but then it started heavily raining.

Right Brain: Fuck my life… can I just please make it home…

I did, in fact, make it home. Ox was awake and let me cry in his arms as he hugged me on the front porch; reassuring me that I was safe and that I was home and that it was ok. I didn’t even bother bringing my bags in from the car.

I was supposed to have Monday off, but that changed. I only had Sunday to regroup and get ready for the coming week. Sunday, while the kids were here… While I’m burnt out from all of my traveling and socializing.

I brought my bags in. I unpacked. I got all of my clothes washed from the trip. I took care of my meal prep. I even finished the cross stitch I have been working on for a while now.

It was a good trip, but I was glad to be home and though Sunday was busy, it was a quiet busy and I got a decent amount of downtime in. At least enough to make Monday not feel like a disaster of an obligation. I think Sunday was the first day where I found a kickboxing app for my phone. I got to try that out. It was a decent workout. I’m also still really liking my new Vibrams.

Monday was busy. The nephrologist rounded, so my FA was with him most of the time. The workday finished up and I came home and did kickboxing again. I’m working through the “beginner” program. They’re only 10-minute workouts, so I do whatever day I’m on twice; once for each side. I also don’t rest very much during the rest intervals, so instead of 30-second rounds, I’m doing closer to 45 to 50-second rounds. It’s been working for me. I wish the app was better about tracking metrics, but for what it is, it’s nice.

I fought with the scanner for a while after working out, trying to get a picture scanned since I wanted to color one of the pages in a coloring book Ox got me a while ago. I didn’t have fabric to cross stitch so coloring seemed like the thing to do. That took WAAAAAYYY longer than it should have, but we got it figured out, largely in part thanks to Ox realizing that there are three networks in the house and my computer was on a different network form the printer/scanner. I think it would have been easier / less frustrating if Mama Ox hadn’t been standing behind me the whole time trying to tell me what to do to get things working.

Right Brain: Since you hardly know how to run your laptop, I’m pretty sure I’m more qualified to figure this out without your help than with it. >.<;

Sadly, getting the page scanned was only one issue of many I had to figure out. Once I had the page on my computer, I “found” software for Photoshop. That wasn’t all that hard actually but when you grew up in the era of Kazza and torrent downloading it’s not all that hard to find what you’re looking for.

Once I had software I then had to spend 30 minutes trying to find the cord for my tablet so I could use it for coloring. After finding a cord I to fight with my tablet to get the right drivers installed so it would function properly.

Once all of that was said and done I only got to color for about 30 minutes or so. It was fun though. I enjoyed the feeling of using my tablet again and filling in the lines with color. It was relaxing and a nice way to decompress from the day.

Tuesday was a productive day. I did a lot of mental work. I updated my calendar. I was able to worm my way out of the one day I was scheduled to work at the clinic I don’t like by conveniently having one of my leadership classes scheduled for the same day.

Right Brain: Oh darn. I can’t cover the shift…

I got through the “in” pile on my desk that has been building up. Ox and I met up in Lincoln. I tried going to a Target since I’ve wanted new panties for a while and they’re the only place that I can find that sells the ones I want. The store I went to didn’t have them in stock though. Lame.

From there I went to Micheal’s in the hopes of getting more cross stitch fabric. That was a no go… I wasn’t on a very good streak at that point for scratching stuff off the to-do list.

Ox and I went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. He’s been wanting to take me there for a while. It was a good lunch. I would go back. After eating we went across the lot to a Hobby Lobby. I bought a rose for mom while we were there. I also picked up some fabric even though it wasn’t the type I wanted. I also found supplies to make the needle kit I’ve been thinking about, so overall it was a good stop. I got a lot more accomplished there then I was expecting to.

We stopped at Walmart before heading home so I could get the items I needed to make the cheesy taco skillet everyone likes. That meant it was a fairly short trip. They happened to have a display of Bang in the center aisle, so we got that taken take of as well while we were out. When we got home we put the groceries away and I began assembling the items we had gotten at Hobby Lobby to make my new cross stitch needle kit.

I love it so far. I’ve been stitching a fair amount this week and have gotten used to the new, larger kit. I can keep my markers and scissors in it comfortably without feeling like I’m cramming things into it. The larger magnate I placed on the top lid has more than enough space for all of the needles I have. There are even leftover compartments to keep the tails of threads I cut off, so I don’t have to worry about keeping a separate baggie somewhere. It’s sturdy and stable and I’m really liking it. I think I can label that project as successful. : 3

So Tuesday ended with me starting a new cross stitch project. It’s another fairy. I’m using pinks this time. No real reason for it I don’t think. I’m liking the colors so far though. They make my brain happy.

Wednesday was an alright day at work. The nurse practitioner rounded along with the dietitian so it was another day of people being on the floor. We made it through it. Nothing super crazy happened. I found out from a patient that New Tech has been accepted to the LPN program. I mentioned that to my FA since that’s something she needs to know. If both of us techs are in school and unable to cover shifts on a specific day due to being at school… that’s sort of an issue with us opening back to six days a week again.

My FA reached out to Net Tech. I’m not sure what the result of that was or is. My FA said she wasn’t going to tell me to not go to school and that if need be they would have someone float in for whatever day couldn’t be covered. She said we would figure it out. I’m appreciative of her support.

I worked out when I got home, though I didn’t do it on Tuesday. Wednesday was the day of 100 modified push-ups… I was and still am proud of myself. Even if they were modified, I did 100 of them. After work even. Go me.

Thursday I started the day by talking to Jon. It was a good conversation. I showered. I battle planned out the day. I continued the quest to find panties. The first Target didn’t have the size I wanted. I drove over the location Ox and I agreed to meet up at. That Target didn’t have them either. Arg…

We drove up to my new sports bar here in Nebraska and had lunch. I enjoyed the wings. They made them more saucey for me. : 3

We went to the mall so I could find a bra to go with the dress I had bought in Orlando. It was the first time Ox had seen the dress. I had to go strapless for the bra style. Not my favorite or preferred style, but even with just a little bit of strap showing, it throws off the whole look of the dress.

That stop took the longest and I had figured it would. It’s one of the reasons I hate “shopping”; clothes shopping specifically. You have to try things on and compare and does it look right and blah blah blah. I really just want to be home curled up with the cats. >.<;

I’m glad I found something that works with the dress, though. Maybe one day soon I’ll actually wear it. XD

With the most nebulous part of the trip taken care of, we went down to a cookie store that was near where we had parked the car. My reward for doing something I didn’t want to do and Ox’s reward for being amazing and sitting on the bench waiting for me while I tried things one. We hopped across the street to send off a package for Papa Ox while we were in town. Ox drove me over to campus so I could pick up my textbooks for the class that starts on Monday. That was pretty expensive.

I had been talking to Finacial Aid a lot that morning. The end result; I found out that I’m most likely paying for this current class out of pocket since I’m technically not accepted into a program of study and therefore not eligible for aid. It’s too late for me to apply as an academic transfer student like they suggested I do. I was prepared to pay for this class on my own, so it’s not a huge huge deal. Just would have been nice to have gotten some sort of help with it.

The campus was the last stop on the list of chores. Ox and I headed home. I cooked the taco skillet for dinner. We tried going to sleep early. At 9:30 I gave up and took a Benadryl.

Work Friday was alright. There were four of us on the floor. Float RN had a two hour PDR after change over. I eventually got to have lunch at 12:30. The end of the day went fine so I don’t know why I felt so overwhelmed and frazzled once the day was done. I had planned to stop by the Beatrice campus to turn in the last bit of paperwork for my program; copies of my certifications and TB test results. I had planned to go to the dojo. None of that happened, though. I came home. Ox and I ate in the kitchen, away from his parents. I didn’t even cross stitch that night.

I took a Benadryl again to make sure I slept and even with that I kept waking up every few hours. I didn’t work out Friday night. I didn’t shower. I tried shutting out the world and was only mildly successful with it and I don’t even think it did much good.

Saturday morning started mildly rough. Maybe frustrating… I’m not sure. It’s been cloudy the past two days and I haven’t been taking my vitamin D like I was before my trip. I think I’m also more “peopled” out that I consciously realized. Add to that, the morning starting with Mama Ox changing how the day was supposed to go down in my head…

Right Brain: I give up. The day is a lost cause… I am defeated before I begin.

Ox was and is still being extremely supportive of me. He let me write this morning. He didn’t pressure me to have breakfast with the family. We took the cats to the vet and he touched me the whole time; softly, gently petting my ankles as I held one of the cats in my lap, my feet resting on top of the container we can carted all three of them to the vet in.

Ox is letting me continue to write and has already said the rest of the day can legitimately be a “rest” day. We don’t have to do anything. We both can stay in the room. I can stitch and watch my new show, cuddled up next to him while he games. We can finish everything tomorrow and just relax today.

I’m totally ok with that thought right now. I’m going to go heat up leftovers for lunch and then sit in my corner with my new fairy cross stitch and my new needle kit. I’m going to chill for today. I might workout. I might do other things, but for the rest of the day there are no obligations and that feels nice.

MUSING MOMENTS 134: LFTIO – Dealing With Change

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Side note: I find it amusing that in the time line of my posting, this is the post which happens right after writing about the unexpected change of keeping the kids for a week longer than expected.

DSS Leadership – Assignment 11
Book – “Leadership from the Inside Out”



Think about the times you faced major crises or challenges. What qualities or potentialities arose?
I feel like a broken record constantly going back to the situation of mom’s death. It has been one of the most recent events in my life and by far the most self-changing.

I think back to the beginning, the phone call and how I immediately began problem solving. How would I get out there? What did I NEED to pack? Who needed to know I would be leaving for an unknown period of time? Who didn’t know about the situation within our family/friend circle and how was I going to contact them so they knew? I wrote things down so I wouldn’t forget later. I continued to try to write as a way to manage my emotions. I didn’t give myself shit for not having answers. I didn’t berate myself for not going to the gym. I praised myself for showering and cooking breakfast and actually eating it. I reminded myself that I HAD to leave the hospital during the day, when I changed shifts with my brother’s because I needed sleep. I needed to keep taking care of myself so I could be there rather than getting sick myself.

Even in the events that followed her death, I ensured I had the papers to fly with the urn in my backpack. I made sure people knew about the service. I made sure to attend the service and be there as the representative of our family.

When I got back to Orlando I dealt with the break up with Zane. I found a new place to live. I removed my belongings from the apartment. I made sure Scarlet had a safe place so she wouldn’t be alone any longer than she already had been.

In relation to my career, I worked the last months to see my class through its transition. In regards to beginning this new career, I researched the different schools I could obtain my CNA from. I studied. I passed my tests. I applied for jobs. I kept pushing through the endless stream of “no”. I cried and acknowledged that it sucked but it wouldn’t get better if I didn’t keep trying.

I bitched about how tired I was and how it felt unfair and how I wanted to give up and yet I kept taking steps to try to change things because I didn’t know how not to and eventually things DID change.

I saught help in the form of counsling because I knew I did not have the skills to handle all of the change going on in my life without help; without guidance and support and resources both emotional and spirital.

I guess the quality that I think of is strength. I think back to the conversation I had with my mom on the couch in what had been my childhood home in South Carolina. The conversation where Law and Order reruns played in the back ground while she told me one day she wouldn’t be here and that she knew it would be hard for me. She knew it would suck but that she had raised me to be strong and to get through it. She had believed in me. She had faith that I could do it and I couldn’t let her be wrong. I had to prove to her that I could in fact be strong and get through it so I did.

Whenever I faltered I reached out. I called people I normally wouldn’t have and told them that I was struggling, that it sucked to live without her. I had text message coversations while the other person watched the same show as me on Netflix so I could feel less alone while I stayed in an extended stay, sneaking Scarlet in with me because animals weren’t allowed.

I rebuilt everything; every aspect of my life. I relentlessly worked on understanding my grief and my emotions and insecurities. I found purpose in life again. I lived until I began living again. I didn’t give up even though there were so many times I wished I had had it within me to do so and from where I’m sitting, today, nearly three years later, I’m glad I didn’t even though I still have hard days sometimes.


What qualities would you like to develop further during those times of crisis?
I would like to develop a kinder inner voice. I would like to be as considerate of my own emotions and complexities of life as I am with others. I feel I have come a long way in this regard and would like to continue to develop it.

I deserve the same unbiased, calm, level-headed reflection and perspective as I give others. I feel a lot of that comes after; after the emotions have their time, after I acknowledge and accept that yes, I do have these emotions and it’s ok, but what am I going to DO? What actions are avalible to me? Stepping back, what would logically be the best move for me to make, not the most emotionally fulled one. Not the knee-jerk insticually driven on.


What were the key things you learned during those times?
The key thing I learned from mom’s death is to value the time I have and to trust myself. I learned that I will make mistakes and that’s ok. I learned that I CAN learn and that I can do better for myself. I learned to be my own cheerleader. I learned to be my own protector. I learned to value my self. I learned to take risks and to try new things and that doing my best is all I can do. I learned that as long as you make it to the end of the day then that is success enough. The greatest success is survival. If you survive that means you have a tomorrow to try again.


When presented with a new experience, what is your first reaction?
I feel like this is pretty open-ended and I honestly don’t know how to answer. I suppose I freeze for a bit. I have to analyze. What are the pros of this situation? What are the cons? Do I gain anything? Do I lose anything? Is there a balance or am I the only one put out? Does it positively affect someone? Is there kindness involved? Is the experience in line with my values and priorities?

I need to figure out what the experience is to me and so I suppose there’s hesitation because I need more information before being ok with it. That also brings into question was the new experience something of my own doing or in the case of going to the pumpkin patch with the kids, an event wholly unexpected and created without my voice being involved? I remember the initial situation being “not ok” in my mind because it took away time from myself without my consent, but the trip itself was pleasant and I’m glad I went. I could have handled the initial change better than what I did because the change itself, with hindsight, was a good thing.

How do you react when you have invested significant work and effort into something and it doesn’t work out? What do you fear most?
Most of my projects with work have been successful. I remember how my first project when I was in finals had the issue with the facial deformation, causing me to receive a 70 as my grade rather than the 100 it would have been. I remember how I spent nearly two weeks contemplating dropping out because I was obviously a failure. Here I was about to graduate and I was making a barely passing grade. How was I going to get a job with barely passing work to show for myself.

With relationships, there’s usually a sense of “I have nothing left to give”. I try and try to make it work and it doesn’t. There can be frustration and anger. Injustice. Fury. Betrayal.

Closure in the form of the “INFJ door slam”. That moment where something snaps within myself. I’m done. Not just done, but DONE. There is no recovery. There is no talking or working it out. It’s over. It’s dead because I am killing it, here and now, without remorse. It deserves to die. Quickly. Cleanly. No suffering. It doesn’t deserve to suffer. It doesn’t deserve my time to suffer and when it is over I burning everything within my inner landscape to the ground and I stand within the flames letting them consume me so I can emerge clean from a situation I know I let myself stay in for much too long.

What I feared the most was my mom dying. I no longer fear that. It happened and yet, here I am, still alive. Still breathing. I fear losing Ox. I fear losing my brothers. I fear losing the people I care about, but I know it’s going to happen and so that fear, that anxiety, while it makes my chest tight and causes me to irrationally cry sometimes, is not something that I feel paralyzes me as often as it used to.

I don’t know what I fear most. I still fear disapproval. I still worry about hurting people’s feelings. But I don’t worry about finding a job. I don’t worry about finding a place to live. I don’t worry about money or making ends meet. And even with the disapproval of others, there’s a quiet calm within myself where I know I honestly don’t care. If they don’t approve, fuck them. I’ve lived through so much, fought through so much, survived so much. I’m not here to meet their approval. I’m here to live my life the way I feel I should be living it.

So I don’t know what I fear. Maybe I fear not living up to the expectations of mom now. Not making her proud. Doing something that would dishonor her memory or make her hang her head in shame.


The next time you face a potential loss, how will you address it?
I suppose the same as I have in the past. Analyzing my situation and figuring out where to go from wherever it is that I’m at. Potential loss is too broad of a term to really be able to say how I will react. There will be emotion involved, but after the emotion there will be reflection, and then action.

Reflect on how well you manage the following:

Focus on Opportunities vs. Problems
I think I do well with this one. I may focus on the problem for a bit, but generally, I’m able to shift my focus from one of dwelling to one of action. What can I do to change the situation? What options are there? Out of those options which is the best one for the moment with the information I have? What other obstacles could potentially arise? Should other people be involved or informed? Are there trusted mentors who could give me a clearer perspective or other avenues to pursue? I myself, being in involved or in the middle of the situation, may not be able to see the whole of the picture as someone uninvolved might be.

Focus on Long Term vs. Short Term
I feel I am, for the most part, balanced here. I am fairly good at identifying sort term goals as well as long term ones. What short term actions fit into my bigger overarching project? What can I do in the now to progress to where I want to be? What in the short term benefits the longer term?

Focus on Purpose vs. Circumstance
I feel I struggle here. I do tend to get caught up on circumstance. This situation, this issue is wreaking havoc on my life. This moment of struggle and challenge and despair and grief is the only moment in all of existence. I can lose sight of what I’m working towards or trying to achieve. Emotions become overwhelming and I falter. I lose sight. I cannot see past the enormity of what is before me, this mountain in the time of my life that has no end. It will go on for forever and I don’t know how I will move past it.

I forget the purpose of what I am trying to do. The why behind my struggle. My reason becomes the struggle, not the goal at the end, the summit I wish to reach. The view which the thought of had captivated me so strongly. The rain and mud and rocks and scraped knees and bloodied hands are all I can focus on and see. My eyes are down rather than ahead.

Eventually, I come out of this state. Either I remind myself to look up, to focus on where I’m going, or something, someone sparks the perspective shift for me. If you look down while you’re crossing the thin line of wire of a tight rope you will only fill yourself with doubt and fear and worry. You won’t see where you’re going, your destination, your light at the end of the tunnel, the view of the summit you so convictedly wanted to climb in the beginning. We all get caught in “the long middle”. I don’t think it’s weakness or a fault to need help and support and reminders that there is, in fact, a bigger picture, a bigger purpose. I think it’s human. I think it’s something we all go through in varying degrees. The bigger the project the easier it is to get caught up in the “things”, the circumstance.

There is a driving factor behind everything. Sometimes we just need a reminder to look up and remember what that factor, that purpose is.

Focus on Adaptability vs. Control
I think I’m getting better about this. I think I do a fair job at flowing and blending with others. I can take control when I need to, I can also delegate and divert when needed. I am not concerned about having the main role or the credit or the control. I’m more concerned about achieving what we are striving for. If that means stepping back or doing what I’m told, ok. Things are going to change. New information will come into play. The battle plan that was created with such care will become obsolete and a new one will need to be constructed.

Mom’s death taught me that very little is actually within our control. It is better to alter your course to match life because life will not, cannot alter its course for you.

Focus on Service vs. Self
When I become overwhelmed I struggle in this area. The more burnt out, the more hurt, the more tired and battle weary I am, the more concerned about me I become. What do I get out of it? How does it affect me? Why should I care?

I feel that much of my life is service oriented. I should be mindful and more aware of when the “self” thoughts begin to creep in. Why are they there? Could I be handling things better or in a more constructive way? Am I truly living by my values or am I regressing back to coping rather than character?

Focus on Listening vs. Expertise
I am not sure what is meant here. I suppose it might mean listening as in being open to learning or other perspectives rather than falling back on what is known or understood to begin with. Preconceived notions or patterns from the past which may cloud our judgment of the present situation.

I feel I do a decent job at listening. There are still times where I find myself listening to respond rather than listening to understand, however. Such a case can be illustrated by a conversation with my younger brother where he was expressing his frustration over his living situation. I realized halfway through his explanation that I was waiting for him to finish talking so I could launch straight into what I wanted to say. That’s not listening. That’s not hearing or understanding. That’s not being open.

Being aware that this is still a habit within myself allows me the opportunity to catch myself, call myself out on it, and to do something to correct it. It is a behavior I do not agree with. It is not how I want to behave.

What are your biggest challenges when it comes to learning from first-time situations?
Firstly, most likely allowing myself to have them. Secondly, being open enough to see the positive in them if they happen to be a negative situation. Accepting that I am still human and will make mistakes. Accepting negative emotions and allowing them to have their time so I can move past them is another challenge. I try so hard to pass that initial stage, the emotion stage. I glaze over it and rush past only for the emotions to come back later.

Emotions: Um, hi. I know we had a little bit of time together a few days ago, but I just wanted to let you know that it really wasn’t enough time and now we’re going to stick around for longer and be even more annoying and unruly to deal with and take even more time and energy from you. You really should have dealt with us in full in the beginning rather than brushing us off or pushing us down or to the side or into a box you knew we wouldn’t fit in.

I feel like if I could have a conversation with them, the emotions, that that’s how it would play out. Emotions are natural. You can’t hide from them. You can’t deny them their time and space. If something makes me feel bad, or wrong, or like a failure, I need to own that emotion. I need to embrace it, accepted as real, and then ask it why it’s there.

Me: Hello, my friend. It has been a while since I felt your presence. Anger, wrath, fury, despair, depression, apathy, insecurity, abandonment. Please sit and tell me what brings you back to me?

Maybe if I said that to my emotions rather than, “Not now, guys. I’m far to busy at the moment and tomorrow doesn’t look good either,” more constructive progress would be made in that beginning stage and prevent unnecessary hardship for myself later.

Daily Post 159: The Week Of Everything Changing

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Written Sunday, March 10th
Edited Saturday, March 30th


Alright. Here we go.

I’ve known for about 10 minutes now that everything for my entire next week has changed and this is me trying to figure out how to get all of the millions of things I still need to get accomplished accomplished.

The change: The kids are not going back to their mom’s tomorrow. It’s spring break. She told both Lil’ Ox and Ornery Ox that they would not be staying with us this coming week. They would be going home to her. Not so anymore. She contacted Mama Ox and said the kids could stay until Friday evening.

I guess for most people that wouldn’t be a big deal. As an introvert that throws a massive giant wrench into everything in my life. Not just everything. EVERYTHING. Yes. A capital everything.

Right Brain: There’s going to be two additional people in the house to think about, plan around, and interact with. I need more than 24-hour notice for this shit. I need like a month’s worth of advanced notice. At least two-week notice. Two weeks is at least professional. How the hell am I supposed to just magically function when all of the solitude and quiet time I had been looking forward to has just been snatched from me? Blindsided. Yeah. I’m pretty sure that’s what this is because you told the kids it wasn’t going to happen, but oh look. Now it’s happening. This thing, this situation had a snowball’s chance in hell… I didn’t plan for this because it wasn’t an option. What the fuck? Fuck you, Universe.

Ok… Now that that’s out of my system…

This is where I get to practice Change Mastery from my first leadership book, I suppose. I know my initial internal tension to this situation is purely spurred by a sense of self-preservation and the threat that this change is going to interfere with all of the things I had planned to get done this week. To prove to myself that I can still get everything accomplished I’m going to write out my upcoming days. With a clearer view of my obligations, I’ll be better able to see how to handle my time.

Theoretical Monday: Wake up early for work. Survive work. Make sure to take pictures of patients for Wall of Fame. Potentially stay a bit late to start piecing things together, or work on piecing things together during my breaks. Come home. Put images of patients into .psd files so the pictures can be printed. Create .jpg files of images and put them on a flash drive so I can take them into town with me for printing. Make grocery list. Find a tailor shop that would be willing to do the stitching for the curtains needed for the Wall of Fame. Cook taco skillet for dinner. Go to sleep.

Actual Monday: Mostly successful. Woo.

Theoretical Tuesday: Potentially get curtains created. Go to campus to talk to Financial Aid about my award statement. Get pictures printed. Meet with Ox for lunch. Go to Wells Fargo for Dart account number. Do grocery shopping. Make sure to pick up a black poster board for the Wall of Fame (maybe two to be safe). Come home. Put groceries away. Make sure pictures are in the car so I can take them to work with me. Print out template of film cell of picture borders. Potentially cut borders for pictures from black poster board (might save for Thursday depending on time). Watch CPR class video. Print out certificate of completion to take to class on Thursday. Cook spaghetti for dinner. Go to bed early for work. I think that’s it for this day…

Actual Tuesday: Forgot patient information at work. Drove to Beatrice to retrieve information. Went to Beatrice campus to talk to Financial Aid. Did shopping in Beatrice instead of in Lincoln with Ox. Completed CPR video. No progress on curtain making. Files completed for pictures. Plans to print them at work Wednesday with FA’s printer and picture paper.

Theoretical Wednesday: Go to work. Survive. Potentially mix acid if the tank is low enough. Work on Wall of Fame during breaks. Stay late as needed to finish loose ends. Begin typing up essay for entry submission. Go home. Brisket for dinner (make sure Ox knows cooking instructions). Eat. Go to bed.

Actual Wednesday: Pictures printed. CVC packs made. Worked on pictures at home. No brisket for dinner. Can’t remember what it was changed to.

Theoretical Thursday: If unable to finish CPR video on Tuesday, finish Thursday morning. Go to work if needed to finish Wall of Fame. Come home. Eat early-ish dinner (Mama Ox will be cooking for the family). Go to CPR class. Get recertified like a bawce. Come home. Go to bed.

Actual Thursday: Worked on Wall of Fame stuff for a majority of the day at home. Figured out the curtains myself. Passed CPR class that night.

Theoretical Friday: Go to work. Survive. Potentially mix acid if unable to do so Wednesday. Complete Wall of Fame if needed. Submit entry for Wall of Fame if not already submitted. Go home (blessed silence). Burgers for dinner. Hot chocolate with peppermint Smirnoff as a reward for being a badass.

Actual Friday: Mixed acid. Completed Wall of Fame. Submitted entry.

With how back and forth I’m going to be between Beatrice and Lincoln it doesn’t really make sense to get a hotel room on any of the days the kids are here. Both Ox and Mama Ox have offered to help with the cost of getting rooms since they know I have a hard time sleeping while the kids are here and I have a lot on my plate at the moment. Nothing on my week’s overview accounts for wanting to make progress on my second leadership book. There’s no time allotted for personal time or decompression. No cross-stitching. Just wake up, go, sleep, wake up, go, sleep…

Ox has already explained to the kids that kick out time for the bedroom game systems is 7 pm, so I’ll be able to have a little bit of time “alone”. It might not be a true alone but I’m grateful that the family is pulling together to make sure that everyone is cared for and thought of, including me.

We’ve already sat down as a family, kids included and figured out the meals, which means my next step after this writing is making the shopping list. That was the biggest hurdle this past week; not knowing what to cook for dinners because no one gave me input on what they wanted so grocery shopping didn’t really happen. It was haphazard and sort of sucked for that part of my brain that thrives on structure and plans.

I need to print out or write down the information for my Finacial Aid meeting. I can save that for another day, though. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what needs to happen and when. There’s more acceptance to the change now that a bit of time has passed. It’s not the awful change my poor little introverted brain thought it would be. Most of the days I’m going to be out of the house, and there’s the evening where I’ll have quiet time to look forward to. I can count on that time. My light at the end of my days.

We’ll see how it goes, but for now, at least I have a battle plan figured out so I can flex and change as life does. Go me. Let’s do this.


I survived the week of the 11th – 16th. I didn’t have a very strong sense of accomplishment when the Wall of Fame was completed. Most likely because my FA ended up helping me because she didn’t think it would get done on time, so things weren’t completed the way I wanted them to be. Quality is in the details, and some of the details were different than what I wanted as the designer. It’s over though. I don’t have to stress over it anymore and the patients love it. I’ve seen a few other entries for our region so I doubt we will win, but I like our wall and I guess in the end that’s all that matters.

I got the clinic to a good place since I had my vacation to Orlando the following week. I didn’t want to leave with things needing to be done and I got all of that accomplished along with the Wall of Fame project. I think I handled the week decently for what I was given.

MUSING MOMENTS 133: LFTIO – Building Relationships

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DSS Leadership – Assignment 10
Book – “Leadership from the Inside Out”



Take some time to reflect on the following questions to help develop and build relationships:

Under what conditions do you shut down communication?
I tend to shut down with confronted with negativity. I like getting feedback, but if it’s not constructive I tend to become defensive or closed off. “You did a shitty job,” doesn’t tell me how to do something better. It just leaves me feeling bad. I do my best. I’m sorry if my best wasn’t good enough, but if you’re not going to tell me how to become better, just how I didn’t meet your expectations then fuck you. I didn’t see you doing anything other than standing on the sidelines. Maybe if you helped next time or you gave me an idea of what to do differently I would care about your opinion.

I also shut down when I feel a lack of empathy. If you’re going to act like my emotions, my perspective, and my situations don’t matter then I’m not going to care about your opinion or what you have to say. It’s a two-way street. If you’re not going to care, then neither am I.

Lack of honesty, or authenticity as this book calls it, is probably the number one trigger for me torching bridges without a second thought. If I can’t trust you to be real with me, if I have even the smallest hint of “snake in the grass” in regards to your character then I can guarantee you, while I may hear your words and log your comments away, they’re always going to remain at the bottom of my “care” list.

What beliefs are causing you to shut down under those conditions?
There’s usually the belief that there are ulterior motives to their comments or actions, which tend to be proven true given time.

There’s my belief that criticism is different from critique. Negative comments without avenues for change or recognizing any of the positive or “right” things in a situation leaves people feeling demotivated and that the effort they did put in didn’t matter.

How can you be more open in future situations?
I don’t think I have a problem being open. I feel I could be better about expressing my feelings during the situation. “I know you’re trying to help me be better, but right now I’m only receiving negative feedback and that doesn’t feel very good. How could I have handled this better or what things, if any, did I do right?”

In regards to the ulterior motives, I could try to find time to be self-reflective and to identify why I feel the way I do. Once I understand where my emotions are stemming from I could return to the person for a more in-depth conversation. “I know we were talking about this before, but I was left feeling a bit uncomfortable after we talked and this is why…”

Do you need to strengthen your “I” or your “We” to build even more authentic relationships?
I need to strengthen my “I” without a doubt. There have been several times where I have not spoken up purely because “I’m not a nurse”. I could have helped situations go smoother. I could have helped my teams avoid problems. If I had been more direct on how to handle change over, if I had stepped up and made leadership decisions, regardless of what my title is or was, I could have helped everyone involved.

My voice matters. I shouldn’t be afraid to voice strategies or suggestions. I have experience and perspective which are of value only if I allow myself to share them with others. Speaking up isn’t disrespectful or overstepping boundaries and that’s something I know I need to work on. It might be scary to have everyone looking at you and listening to what you say, but overcoming that moment of fear can lead to the whole team growing or to the clinic running smoother and more efficiently.

How can you more effectively build your relationship bridges?
I can continue to build strong, lasting relationships by not being afraid to speak up; to share my stories and experiences and at times being direct especially as I move into a preceptor role.

How can you bring your team trust and team effectiveness to a new level?
By continuing to be honest and conducting myself with integrity. If I am a person my teammates can trust, then as stressful and trying situations arise they will not distrust or resent my judgments and input.