by Neva Bodin
There’s been a lot written about young people “finding themselves.” Sometimes I think that may be an excuse for experimenting with different life styles, situations, or maybe careers. Well, recently I identify. And I ain’t no young person!
From my earliest memories, I knew I was going to be a nurse. In my imaginary life as a child, I alternated between cowboying, (sheriff by myself, rustler with boy cousin), metamorphosing into a horse or deer, being a housewife with eight kids, school teacher, minister, and waitress, as well as a nurse. But I always knew my true “grown-up” professions would be wife, mother and nurse. However, a writer was in the mix and I find mention of stories I wrote in my high-school diary. Plus a high school friend and I spent weekends together drawing pictures.
Eight years ago I retired the first time from nursing. Apparently I didn’t find my “new” self as I went back to work, part time, a year later. And worked six years, even putting together and teaching a certified nurse assistant program. I loved it.
I tried to find myself during my year off by practicing and selling more art, increasing my writing skills, joining the prayer committee at church, taking more college courses, and volunteering for more causes. I didn’t feel fulfilled.
I went back to work and was happy. I love being a nurse. I love the socialization with co-workers, patients, treating illness, teaching wellness, being immersed in health care. Nurse R me.
This year I retired from nursing again. A month later my sister became gravely ill and passed away. So there was a whirlwind of legal issues, and dealing with grief and loss progressing to the loss of my career sinking in. I am home more, not scheduled. Now I am “trying to find myself again!”
Not burning all bridges, I renewed my nursing license. One of my biggest obstacles is needing imposed deadlines to inspire me to accomplish my goals. And I am too easy on myself! Plus, I like to flit from one thing to another, yet don’t multitask as easily anymore.
But have found I can spent 20 minutes to an hour on something, go do something else, then go back. I am determined to learn to play the violin I’ve had for years that belonged to my dad, who used to play for barn dances and pleasure at home. So I play for 10-20 minutes a couple times a day, and find I’m improving! (Still sound like someone is dying, just not with as much agony.) I play it by “ear” so far. I take a piano break of 15 minutes, a writing break of an hour. And I need my friends more for the social aspect of my life. Besides leaving time for my husband and his interests.
Anyway, I am working on “finding myself” for the first time. I was a nurse. I am still a nurse, but like a carpenter without a house to build, I need to find a way to channel this identity into something I can live with. Anyone else experience this?
Postscript: Right now I am finding myself with my hubby in warmer weather in western Nevada for a couple weeks! Brought computer and watercolors with me. Taking lots of pictures, reading about women miners.