heigh-ho, heigh-ho…

image After a two year hiatus in my paid working life, I started back at the hospital last Friday. It’s my second return to work after a long break, and a lot of thought went into the decision to return. The past 18 months for me has been a time of slowing down, of healing, of purposefully looking after myself and creating a space within our home which prioritised not becoming overwhelmed with crazy schedules and life. A space which focused on drawing together our little family in a positive, happy and peaceful way. It’s definitely not always peaceful, but that has always been my goal. There were lots of reasons which led me back to work. The first being the uncertainty within the mining sector at the moment. As a single income family relying entirely on the mining industry, things have felt unsettled for some time. We needed a plan B. The second reason was that as a nurse, if you don’t practice for a while, you lose your registration. ‘A while’ is actually 5 years, but as time has slipped by, I realised that 5 years could pass in a blink, and there we are. The third, and most surprising reason for me, was that I was beginning to miss it. This was the interesting thing on Friday, because although I felt like a fish out of water for most of the day, it was beyond lovely to be completely appreciated for what I did. Nothing against partners and children, but when you can solve a problem like getting on top of the worst pain someone has ever had, and they grab your hand, stare into your eyes and thank you for being there, it kind of feels pretty special. I don’t really believe in conventional medicine in my personal life. It has a place, but it’s rarely my first port of call when someone in my circle is sick. It doesn’t really align with my view of how to look after your health…at all. It’s a system of disease management, of symptom relief, not really health care. It’s always been that way for me, but it’s only something I’ve consciously acknowledged quite recently. I thought I would have a real problem internally rationalising my work and my beliefs now. But nursing is about people, and about caring, and I don’t actively associate my personal beliefs with my work when I’m nursing…and it’s OK. As I walked back to the train station after my first shift, I was buzzing with excitement. Partly because I’d done it, I’d finished a shift, but also because deep inside of me I acknowledged this lifelong connection to myself as a nurse. My legs were aching, my house was a mess, and I only just made it back to school in time to pick up the boys, but I felt good. I am a nurse. It’s been a part of who I am for a really long time, and surprisingly to me, it still is. Linked with Essentially Jess for IBOT


22 thoughts on “heigh-ho, heigh-ho…

  1. Wow Michelle! Today I wrote about finding your purpose in life and how a true purpose is almost always something bigger than yourself. Your words, ‘But nursing is about people, and about caring’ blew me away because that’s exactly it. Nursing per se might not be your purpose but from everything you’ve written in this post about care and nurture and healing and creating a peaceful space in your home for your family says to me that care and nurture of other people is your purpose. It’s bigger than you and bigger than just a job. Does that sound right to you? Congratulations on your first day back at work and on a gorgeous, thoughtful post. x

    • Probably very true Ellen. Last week before I started back at work I felt like I was in such a tussle with myself. Was this the right thing? I was feeling a bit disappointed in myself because I hadn’t discovered another more creative work outlet during my time away from the hospital. But the nursing thing does seem to be imprinted deep into my core, and that’s a good thing. Many people spend their entire working lives not happy, not satisfied with their work and not feeling as though they have a worthwhile purpose, and that all seems to be quite intrinsic to caring professions. You always know you are making a difference to someone’s life.

  2. I was a Nurse for over 10 yrs and I miss it. I can’t go back because I left it too long. Good on you ! Nurses are legends. I think I’d be a bit more judgemental now – people who make poor choices often are the sickest.

    • That’s interesting Trish. You wrote a response to a comment I wrote once about your treatment, and I remember thinking at the time that you were either highly informed or part of the medical world in some way. You are obviously both! Yes there is that element of judgement for peoples poor lifestyle choices, but that doesn’t really cross my mind at work much either. I am probably worse with that towards people I know and love.

  3. So much true about this lovely piece Mish. The feeling of being greatly appreciated, the aching legs and the messy house to return to I can attest to today..but I too am on a happy high..and will sleep very well tonight..late/earlys are a killer! 🙂

  4. It’s great that you found you still enjoyed it. I thin nurses are pretty amazing people, and the more of them, like you, who care about people, the better.
    Plus being appreciated is always nice isn’t it? 🙂

  5. What a beautiful post, it is so lovely to hear of people who not only enjoy what they do but feel appreciated for their efforts. Good on you for making this step back to the workforce.

    Leaving some fairy wishes and butterfly kisses from #teamIBOT

  6. It’s fabulous when your job is something you are truly passionate about. It’s also great to have the flexibility to leave the industry for awhile and still know you can return when you are ready. Well done for taking that step. Wishing you all the very best.

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