Going through the motions

 

 

 

 

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So wander away…;-)

So, I have a bad habit…

When life switches things up and I’m forced into a new routine, a new experience, a new anything, I tend to iron out the kinks that it caused and then I go on a sort of autopilot mode as I tackle the newness. Unfortunately, that leaves me two months in to a new work schedule (night shift!) and a new school schedule (grad school..eek!) and I feel like I’m just going through the motions. I get my assignments done, I show up to work on time, I get the laundry and cleaning done, I take the dogs out and feed them and so on, but I don’t feel like I’m actually living.

Does anyone else have this problem? Do you find yourself going through the motions as if you’re stuck in the movie Groundhog Day? If so, how did you get out of it?

I am a planner. If I am running into a store for 5 minutes or for an hour, I have a list. When I decide to take a vacation there are numerous lists: things to do before, after and during, packing lists, shopping lists, activity lists, etc. So, my approach to getting out of this rut is to write it out, create a few lists and go from there because a life on autopilot is not a real life at all. I see patients fighting for their lives every day on my hospital floor and here I am, zombie-like, unaware of what I’m missing.

My plan…ish is to take each day and do something meaningful. It could be as simple as spending more time adding the personal touches to my nursing care while at work or playing with the dogs more, or it could be something bigger, like taking my mother out for a girls’ day. I want to enjoy life, explore my city and the world and strengthen old (and hopefully new!!) relationships with those around me.

I have seen some amazing monthly blog challenges floating around and I am on the search for one for March that has something to do with appreciating life, gaining experiences, etc. Any one have a suggestion?

Enjoy today and tell the ones you love that you care.

Life in the fast lane

2013 has already started to run away from me. It seems like just yesterday I was watching the ball drop and cracking open a bottle of champagne as hopes and dreams for the new year danced in my head, and now it’s suddenly February 2nd! January is always a month filled with hope as we start fresh but February is when things finally start happening. The holidays are over, the Christmas decorations are finally put away (well, almost) and we start to figure out a steady pace for the rest of the new year

I want to embrace this year more and stop simply living as time passes. I keep telling myself “one more day and then I’ll…” but then the next day comes and go. This time, I vow to stop planning for tomorrow and instead do what needs to be done today. We decide our own fate and how we react to life, I’m tired of letting it pass me by.

What keeps you motivated and what is something you are going to do this year that you put off last year?

Trickling in Resolutions

Maybe it’s the fact that I have been in school for most of my life, but for me, New Year’s Day never feels as “new” as the month of August does. Realistically, it actually is the beginning of an entirely new year with a new date, new and uncelebrated holidays and a feeling of freshness that permeates the world but I can’t help but feel a little less shiny and new than most people do. Also, I feel like 2012 ran away so quickly that I’ve yet to properly say goodbye to it.

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January 1st came and went, but the resolutions I used to write have still yet to find their way to the paper. I’ll get there eventually, but for some reason I am starting the new year slowly…very slowly. Maybe this can be a metaphor for the year to come. Perhaps I should aim to do things more slowly, allow time to breathe and time to enjoy each moment. Since high school, I feel like I’ve been in a constant rush. A rush to move out, grow up, start college, figure out life, decide on a career, finish college, find a job, find another job, create a home, etc etc. In this past year alone I’ve: graduated from college, started my “career” (give or take two stumbles down the wrong path) and I’ve moved cities (again). Meanwhile, my relationship is on the fast track to growing up and getting married, I have occasional dreams about children and I applied for (and got accepted) into grad school with very little time in between to simple take in what I’ve done. However, I am absolutely in love with each accomplishment and I wouldn’t take them back for the sake of savoring each one a little longer. Life moves fast, whether we like it or not.

But do we have to run to the finish line quite so fast? Is there an amazing reward for running full speed through life? Having a chronic illness (or two in my case) makes slow a regular requirement even though I tend to move at a hurried pace until I drop. And even when I’m having rough days and dragging along, I rarely try to appreciate the calm pace, instead opting to freak out about what I haven’t accomplished. I want to work on that.Here’s my challenge for everyone: slow.down. Life is chaotic and messy and complicated and there are some things we must do but we can all enjoy life a little more by taking a few slower steps, a few less rushed mornings or hurried lunches and remember the simple things in life.  For me, that means taking a cue from my lazy pugs who are rarely in a hurry for anything other than food.

 

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Handling the Holidays

My version of the Holiday season has definitely been varied over the years. The only consistency has been the inconsistency that the holidays have often brought throughout my life. That being said, I wouldn’t change a single year. Some years were spent with family, others with friends and even a few were spent with just my sister and I, with the memories spanning across several states and many, many houses. Even with the chaos that surrounds this time of year, the holiday season has always felt magical to me, even when I’ve been crazy broke or crazy busy or very ill (thank you month-long pneumonia, three years ago). Perhaps it’s the changing of seasons and sense of a fresh start that the impending new year brings or maybe it’s the hours of Lifetime Christmas movies that start playing on Thanksgiving Day, but there is something about this time of year that makes almost anything seem possible.

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As we gather for dinners, shop for presents and attempt to stay sane while surrounded by nosey family members, remember the magic. Beautiful music, random acts of kindness, peaceful nights and catching up with old friends make up for the craziness that can ensue. And when the stress gets too much, remember the simple things. For me, that’s playing with my little pugs who never hold grudges or get grumpy and are always happy to see me.

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The election

I’ve held my tongue online about my political beliefs all election but I will say this: I am proud of the Americans that got out, voted and sought to maintain our values of equality, tolerance and acceptance for all. We are a country built on strength and resilience and times are hard. The voters, including myself, have spoken. You may not agree, which is your absolute right in the best country in

 the world, but what will be the downfall of this country is not the ELECTED leader. It is the hatred and distasteful comments that circulate. We’re like children on the playground who bicker over who goes down the slide first. If you want to change America, do it. Complaining on facebook, vowing to “move to Canada” or posting ridiculously inaccurate depictions of current events is not the way to do it. Be an American, “be the change you want to see” and remember that we are all in this together.

Go big or home.

….but sometimes I rather just go back to bed.

 

Making myself go to my Physics class today was rough. The internal conversation went somewhat like this: “Just go back to bed” – “uh, no…he takes attendance AND it’s a hard class” -“But it’s cold and rainy outside”. And so on, and so on. Eventually I dragged myself out of bed and even made it to class on time. Sometimes you just have to push yourself regardless.

I think that’s what I’m learning most while I go back to school again (I JUST graduated…geez) and deal with numerous health problems and appts (my September calender looks ridiculous) but regardless, I push on. I read blogs that inspire me, I take in the environment around me, I remind myself of the goals I’ve set for myself. I hope that somewhere, someone is reading this post and becoming inspired too. Life is about taking chances but it requires taking the initiative and working your ass off. Deciding to do something is only the start.

I saw this picture and it totally describes me, although I working on it. I’m definitely a planner, an organizer, a crazy and detailed orientated 23 year old. My mother says I’ve “been 40 since I was 13” and I believe that’s partially true.

 

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But sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and just TRY something. Take a art class, cook something new, try a new restaurant. Or, if you’re really feeling adventurous…just DRIVE. Let the road be your map and go for it. That’s definitely on my bucket list. What’s on your list?

Until later,

Ash

The “What If?” Game

There’s this game that most people love to play, whether they realize it or not. It’s called the “what if?” game. It’s a close relative of nostalgia and loves to hang out in the deep corners of your mind, especially when life is chaotic or things aren’t going as planned. For me, the “what if ?” game started a month before graduation, and it has been a continuous marathon of thoughts since then.

While I was in nursing school, I would get little moments of inspiration that helped remind me that I had chosen the right field. However, as the end of school approached, I began to realize that while healthcare is where I belong, maybe nursing wasn’t the entirely the perfect career fit, perhaps I should have stuck with my first choice: med school. Enter the “what if?” game. What if I had continued on as a psychology major and pre-med emphasis instead of freaking out at the amount of school I would have had left? What if I had taken a few more science courses in my undergrad? What if, what if, what if.

The way I see it, the only way to win the game is to replace your “what if?” with “what now?”. Which is where I am currently. I’ve made my to-do lists, weighed my pros and cons and enrolled in classes to start the journey to med school. I have a thirst for knowledge and craving to learn more, do more, help more. We are only limited by what we think we can or cannot do. Meanwhile, I struggle with health issues that have created more bad days than good lately but that only makes me more determined to keep going.

Thinking about conquering a “what if” of your own? Here’s my tips:

1) Determine what goal you want to obtain

2) Make a list of why this is important to you and why you didn’t do it in the past

3) Research what must be done to accomplish said goal, talk to friends and family about it, get a second opinion from someone you trust (but always value your own as a top opinion)

4) Make a pro/con list (be brutally HONEST)

5) If the pros outweigh the cons, create a timeline and get started!

6) Re-evaluate the time line  and to-do list occasionally and make sure you’re on track.

7) Achieve your dreams.

So tell me guys, what is something you wish you had done and what’s stopping you from doing it?