In the not too distant past, I would have started this section with “I’m an Operating Room Nurse.” A few year’s and a Master’s degree after that, I could say “I’m an OR Nurse Manager.” I defined myself by what I did, before anything else. Three year’s after getting my “dream job” I realized I hated it. Part of this stems from just working in operating rooms. It’s a hard job, and ORs are usually populated with hard people, most of whom didn’t start out that way. I’ve never been in an OR that didn’t have a seriously dysfunctional culture, and after a while you buy in even if you didn’t ever intend to.
I didn’t like what I was doing, and I didn’t much care for the person I was, either. So, in spite of a 15% cut in pay, I left. Money is not worth your sanity, your relationships, or your soul. It’s not worth your self-esteem, your self-confidence, or all of your time. It’s just not. I’m still in nursing, it’s my only real expertise, but now I am in Education. Everyone is just so nice, it’s mind-boggling.
So this career crisis, among other things, precipitated some hard thinkin’ on my part. I climbed the career ladder because that was what I thought I needed to do. That’s what we are taught, right? Work hard, get promoted, buy a big house, two cars, and a timeshare. Live the American Dream. Sometimes I wish I could have a do-over. I feel like I have not lived much of my life in a positive way; in a way that focuses on people, relationships, and personal happiness.
My daughter, sweet Millenial that she is, caused an “aha” moment a while back when she informed me that Tuesdays are her “self-care” days. Half of my Baby Boomer brain was thinking, “WTH, go to work!” while the other half was going, “Why don’t I have a “self-care” day?