Damn. Time Flies.

Well, there goes two weeks off. Just like that. In a blink of an eye, I have managed to piss away nearly two weeks. Now, granted, we had big plans. We intended on traveling to Boston for a long weekend in order for Julia to meet her paternal grandfather for the very first time. A vague and unknown viral infection put a stop to that, and, in turn, sickened daddy.

Ah, well. Reschedule, we must. Thankfully, Southwest Airlines will allow us to use the dollar amount on future travel until March 31, 2017. So, we’ve got that going for us…

I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. I did manage to complete a paper and a handful of discussion posts for grad school, so that put me a couple of weeks ahead. I am feeling pretty fucking fantastic about having completed nearly a year of my first year in the MSN program. I should preface this by saying that I NEVER envisioned returning to school, so this alone is a major feat. I am also somehow managing to be 3/4 finished with this latest 10-week quarter, and scoring a perfect 100%.

Shit.

How does that happen? Whatever. I’ll take it. Bragging? Hell yes.

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Tomorrow begins a newER journey for me. I have once again put on my leadership cap. A cap I thought for certain I would NEVER wear again. A cap I threw out over a year ago after vowing I would NEVER do management again.

Never is indeed a strong word, and one I should really learn to NEVER use.

In any event, I have accepted an assistant nurse manager position in my current unit, and while I was, and continue to be, excited about the possibility, I did harbor some feelings of uncertainty, doubt, and unease. Just as before, I will move into a management position in my current unit, and, well hell, I don’t know. I guess I just wasn’t sure how it would be received. It’s nerve-wracking to think your peers would give you the side eye when just months ago you may have said, “I’ll NEVER do that job again.”

There’s that damn word again.

But, I’m happy to report that the news has been greeted with congratulations, messages of support, and words of encouragement. I can’t really ask for more, now can I?

I think what surprises me most is that I’m actually excited to give leadership another go. I have those familiar feelings of anticipation to learning new things, meeting new people, and easing into a new role. For that feeling alone, I’m grateful. I think the biggest difference this time around is that I find myself in a unit that truly speaks to me. I am home there. Med/Surg just wasn’t my cup-o-tea, and I knew it.

Anyway, tomorrow it begins. Again.

So, those two weeks literally FLEW by, and while I vowed to read more for pleasure, I didn’t. While I vowed to get out with Julia and do more, we didn’t. While I vowed to get more accomplished around the house, I didn’t.

Oh well.

I can tell you one thing, though. When you find yourself playing with Snapchat filters to kill some time, it’s time to get back to work.

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Never Again

I find myself writing this after our darling daughter has retired for the night, and I felt compelled to share this one thought: 

Never again will I take my husband for granted. 

This isn’t one of those smarmy, sweet, sugar-coated diatribes that serves to pay homage to my other half.

This shit is sincere. 

I have been solo parenting for a grand total of perhaps 36 hours give or take, and it’s long enough to know one thing:

I am not the better parent. Hell, I’m barely the average parent. I lack patience. I lack creativity. I lack any real motivation to do all those ridiculously fun things that sound so great when we are together as a nuclear family.

I don’t even like to cook. Case in point: tonight’s toddler feast consisted of sharp cheddar string cheese, avocado, and a mandarin orange. Thankfully, Julia isn’t a food critic. 

When your husband leaves to enjoy a solo weekend back at his alma mater, and you wake up to a room reeking of the smell of the prior night’s ill-advised chili dinner and the sight of diaper contents randomly placed all over the crib sheet while your darling daughter wails, you know it’s starting out rough. And my diaper-changing partner is gone. 

I love my husband. I love the mere presence of him. He grounds me. He makes me a better mom. He makes me laugh. He gives me so many reasons to smile. He makes me realize how big the void is when he’s not here. But, most of all…

…he cooks. And he does it well. Even Julia would agree. 

But, in all seriousness, I find myself feeling so grateful and somewhat spoiled that my husband is such a presence in my life, that even when he leaves for 48 hours, I feel disconnected, sad, lonely, and longing for his return. 

It also reminds me of those who don’t have a partner whether by choice or by circumstance. My hat’s off to you peeps. I truly cannot imagine this life without my silly, crazy, handsome, handy, funny, and at times, aggravating husband. He’s the glue. My heart aches for you parents who are doing the job of two without the other’s presence. Consider this shout-out a big virtual hug. 

So, tonight, I sit quietly while our daughter sleeps upstairs, knowing that tomorrow we will welcome daddy home. And I will tell him to his handsome face just how appreciated he is. 

That is, if I can get to him first. 

It Sucks Getting Old

Well, shit. As someone at work pointed out last night, I’m beginning to give away my age by peering over my glasses while trying to read something. 

The time has come, and it can be summed up in one word:

Bifocals. 

Until then, I’ll just rock these sassy readers. 

  
I’m still doing my best to grow old gracefully, though. 

Sigh…

MAM Fam No More

Another milestone here. This one is a big one. As any parent can attest, this one is a huge fucking deal. 

We bid the binky a fond farewell. Good riddance. See ya. Later gator. Buh bye. 

  
Five days ago after a visit to the dentist, the decision was made. While I admit, I felt as if I might cave in certain situations, daddy was adamant and firm. I knew how much comfort Julia had always gotten from her nipple-shaped silicone fix. I was nervous, but daddy was resolute. 

Those fuckers were bound for the trash.  

I went off to work for two nights and left the brunt of the work of binky detox to hubby. 

He rocked it. 

Cold turkey. 

Our daughter couldn’t care less that her once-beloved binks are now gone. She didn’t even bat an eye over this new normal. 

I honestly have no idea how we got so damn lucky, but I’ll take it. Now, I’m looking forward to seeing more of our daughter’s beautiful smile instead of a mouth full of plastic. 

   

Is There An App For That?

I watched with great interest, the documentary San Francisco 2.0 by the Alexandra Pelosi, the daughter of Nancy Pelosi, regarding the ever-widening wealth gap in the city of San Francisco. As a former resident of the metropolitan San Francisco area, I can attest to the truths this documentary highlighted. San Francisco has undergone a major transformation. Tech companies have flooded the downtown area, and while that brings much-needed revenue, it also has the affect of potentially displacing a great number of lifelong residents. Housing prices have skyrocketed.

No. Really. Skyrocketed. The median home price in San Francisco now lies at $1.225 MILLION DOLLARS. Yes. You read that right. That’s the AVERAGE price. Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds fucking ridiculous. Granted, I grew up in the Midwest in the state of Michigan where $1.225 million dollars got you a virtual compound with major acreage and a home the size of a small Costco. That might be why I can’t stomach this price tag.

But, I’m not alone in this disbelief. San Franciscans are being displaced in greater and greater numbers. Lifelong residents are being squeezed out by new tech startups and while their revenue brings cash to the city, it also brings higher and higher home prices as people play this bidding war to attain their ‘dream home’. Many once-vibrant cultural areas of the city, like the Mission District are suffering a major blow.

Why?

Well, in this tech boom, one class of people has become virtually extinct. The middle class. It would seem in San Francisco, there are two classes of people: the ultra wealthy and the working poor. Gone are the vibrant middle classes of the city. If you want to be able to afford a home in San Francisco, you need to earn UPWARDS of $200,000 per year.

Got that?

I don’t. I didn’t. We didn’t.

We left. And I couldn’t be happier.

I love San Francisco. I lived there for almost five years, and our daughter was born there. It hurts to see this city once known for its forward thinking and historical counter-culture turn into a homogenous, boring, bland, city with no diversity that caters to those who have no interest in retaining San Francisco’s wonderful history. The sharing economy has residents desperate to stay in their homes, therefore, people literally share rooms in their homes to earn income. Enter AirBnB. Need a car for a few hours? You can rent YOURS to earn a few extra bucks. Need someone to run an errand for you? No problem. TaskRabbit has someone available RIGHT NOW to pick up your Kombucha from Whole Foods.

The Ellis Act has virtually evicted thousands upon thousands of people with an eviction rate in one year of 115%. The Ellis Act allows landlords to abruptly sever lease agreements to take their property ‘out of business’, to then turn around and make it available to places like AirBnB for a large profit. Lifelong residents of San Francisco are finding themselves homeless for the first time. And gone are the days of long-term residency, as many renters find themselves stuck with exorbitant rent increases.

Before you ask, let me just tell you. The AVERAGE rent in the city of San Francisco just reached an all-time high this year of $4,225 per month. Yes. That’s right. That’s not a typo.

Sad. Really fucking sad.

So, as you walk by the homeless person on Market Street, remember this: he just might have been displaced by the very wealth that tech start-ups brought to San Francisco.

Oh, and be sure to throw him a twenty. That organic, fair-trade, small batch, hand-picked, cold-brewed cup of coffee from the corner barista will cost at least $10, which leaves him enough for an organic donut.

Some days I miss San Francisco, but in light of what’s going on there now, I’m perfectly content to blog about it from the comfort of my home on the outskirts of Saint Louis, Missouri in my four-bedroom, two and a half bathroom 2,100 square foot home for which we pay a fraction of what some renters in San Francisco pay for a studio apartment.

My fingers are crossed that San Francisco can find its way and retain its individuality. Maybe a start-up company can make an app for that.

You Never Forget Your First Time

I just participated in my first podcast last night. I’ll admit, I was more than a little nervous. I mean, what if I had technical difficulties or broccoli in my teeth or simply froze up and said nothing?

Well, luckily, that didn’t happen. My hosts, Sean and Emily were nothing short of fantastic. They walked me through the whole process during the pre-show and left no question unanswered. The podcast flowed smoothly, and before I knew it, poof! An hour had gone by, and we enjoyed meaningful dialogue about a variety of topics. As a result of the podcast, I have so many ideas about other topics I would love to see explored in the future.

I’m sold.

And, I can’t wait to do it again.

The Change of Shift Podcast, Episode 7 Recap

A Bitter Pill To Swallow

It’s payday tomorrow.

While I used to get very excited about payday, I have to admit, these days it’s just nothing to write home about.

Leaving California not only meant leaving behind the exorbitant cost of living, but leaving some of the highest nurse wages in the country. I am now earning less than I did when I first graduated nursing school back in December of 2008.

I’m earning 67% less than I was back in California. Ouch.

And I’m still having a hard time getting accustomed to that.

I keep telling myself that when I earn my Master’s Degree in Nursing, things will turn around. I SHOULD be able to command a higher salary, right? I certainly hope I’m not incurring thousands and thousands of dollars of new debt for nothing. That scares me. I’m just feeling a bit sad, knowing that my pay really isn’t reflective of my work right now, but hey, what can I do? Quit? Not likely. I have it MADE. I only work TWO NIGHTS PER WEEK. Where else can I go and have a fantastic schedule like that? Okay, okay….

My wonderful husband keeps a positive spin on things, reminding me that ANY income coming in is more than was coming in before I went back to work, so there’s that. He also reminds me that I even shared with him that going back to work in my dream niche of Women’s Health and Postpartum wasn’t initially about money at all, but going back to the bedside and being truly happy about my work.

He’s right.

Damn it. He’s right.

So, I will just keep plugging away, taking care of those new mamas and babies and putting a smile on my face every night I go in to work. I get to practice my profession in a corner of nursing that I truly do enjoy. That has to be worth more than the numbers on my check. Right?