I worry. I’m a worrier by nature. By design. I come from a very long line of worriers. I have learned that I must spend time every day focused on gratitude to help plant my feet in the present and keep me from anxiously looking too far into the future.
Worry isn’t always a bad thing. As a travel planner it helps me anticipate potential issues before they ever become problems. I map out not only Plan A but B and C. My worry channeled appropriately and effectively becomes a powerful toll of intuitiveness. Worry keeps me sharp and prepared.
Worry sometimes gets the upper hand though and begins to spill into my every thought, filling the corners of my mind and wreaking havoc in my dreams. Writing helps to control and contain. I once read, “If you want to change the world, pick up a pen and write.” I’m happy to just change the climate of my thinking with my words. So here I sit.
I worry about Ebola. Just like everyone else in recent days. Although around for decades, it has made a dramatic debut here and we are now painfully aware of how truly under prepared we are.
I worry about travel. I selfishly worry that my plans for Italy next fall will be effected; that my business will suffer. I worry that this will change us, isolate us. Make us more distant and less trusting.
And I worry for nurses. I am a nurse. I’ve been in the ER and ICU for over 17 years. I’ve worked from the barrios of Phoenix and the best trauma center in Seattle to small town Montana.
I can promise you that I’ve seen it all.
I have stories that ban me from dinner tables and ones that still leave me in tears. I have worked under pressure so intense to this day I have no idea how I fought through. I’ve held hands and whispered in ears that it’s OK to let go more times than I can count. I’ve carried a tiny baby to the morgue. I’ve been spit at, peed on, kicked and nearly choked during my pregnancies. I’ve been called every name in the book. And then some. I actually know what brain matter looks like and I’ve watched two students pass out because of it. I’ve fought for my patient’s rights and dignity, sometimes defending them from doctors. Sometimes their own families. I shared a hug with a man no one ever thought would survive. I even borrowed a smoke from a bum on ER curbside.
I worry most because I am a nurse. I know exactly what a critically ill dying patient looks like. Nurses maintaining the ventilators for breathing while titrating a myriad of IV medications along with watching labs, giving blood, pushing fluids and keeping things clean. Constantly cleaning. Blood, vomit, sputum, drainage, pee and stool. Endless amounts of stool. Care of this kind of patient is tremendous, let alone if improperly supplied. Are we expected to roll up our sleeves and do the best we can with what we have available? Make due like we all have done so many times before. Like those nurses in Texas?
I worry about fear. Fear can be as great a danger as the danger itself. Tweets, posts, rants and blogs all with more undertones of fear than fact. How can one safely tip toe around the edges without falling in.
I worry about balance. Finding a way to prepare for anything without letting my efforts become a obsession that destroys the one true thing I do have at this moment. Now. This day. The present to be with what is mine. They sometimes wake me up at all hours in the night and hand me boogers but they are beautiful and full and my treasures.
I breathe now. In and out. Often. I hold on to faith and hope while always keeping one eye on my Plan A. And B. And C.
Copyright 2014, Once in a Lifetime Travel
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