To Whom It May Concern At My Place of Employment:
I do not care if the building is burning down, if the patients riot in the hallways or the new residents form their own union. I will not be at work for two weeks. Please do not call, asking if I would enjoy coming in to perhaps gain a few additional hours. The answer is no. Do not call, wondering if perhaps I might be interested in coming in for any other shift. Again, the answer is no. Do not call with any work-related query, from requesting a copy of my BLS card (I’m certain Human Resources has a copy) to ascertaining when I’ll be attending Skills Day (I have already signed up and confirmed my attendance). Really. Trust me on this.
I’m on vacation.
Vacation. Wow. I like the sound of that in my ears and the way the word rolls off my tongue. Feels delicious. Decadent. Almost naughty.
Two weeks away from work and all that comes along with it. Ahh….
I could easily turn this post into a diatribe on the importance of work/life balance, but honestly? I work three night shifts per week. I am hardly in a place to complain. That said, I can definitely see how nurses burn out, regardless of how often or how little they work. Nursing can be a thankless, sweaty, frustrating, exhausting and mentally taxing job. Sometimes we nurses feel like that Stretch Armstrong doll of yesterday. We are pulled in several different directions, stretched to our breaking point and then asked to do it all over again. Still, could I preach the importance of work/life balance?
But I won’t.
Now, before you go nicknaming me Pollyanna, I am starting this vacation on a bit of a downturn.
I have a helluva cold.
Not just that nagging sniffle here and there, but a full-blown, I’m-gonna-bend-you-over-and-make-you-say-my-name kind of cold. Watery eyes, head that seems to weigh no less than 50 pounds, teeny tickle with accompanying not-so-cute cough, followed by the mother of all cold symptoms: the stuffy, runny nose. Oxymoronic how we can describe something as stuffy AND runny at the same time, but that is the enigma we lovingly refer to as the “common cold”.
I should be more upset at being sick, but I’m not. I haven’t had a serious illness (not that I’m counting this as such), in six years. Six years with NO health issues whatsoever. The biggest health issues I can honestly claim in the past six years are hangovers. Self-induced (sometimes with the help of others), and completely preventable “illnesses”. So, I take this cold, I own it. I wear it somewhat proudly. I find myself fascinated (medically, weirdly) by the person who harbored such a virile virus and was able to singlehandedly bring my immune system to its knees. Well played, anon, well played indeed. If there were a possibility of meeting you face-to-face, I might shake your hand.
Or kiss you full on the mouth.
And share with you again what you shared with me.
Sharing is caring, right?
Eh, who cares.
I’M ON A BOAT. No. Wait. That’s not it. Oh, yeah….
I’M ON VACATION.