HOW TO MAKE THE TIME WORTH IT

The COVID-19 has taken its toll on everyone. People have been out of work, self isolation and quarantine measures taken, the lack of home goods, mask being worn on essential errors, a complete uproot to our normal routine. Change is hard. It’s been a little over a month now, what have you all done to pass the time? The first week I worked around the clock, swing shifts. The second week I had a day off (I think) and I started deep cleaning my house. I began finding stuff I had forgotten. Projects, crafts, and if you’ve followed my previous blogs you know that I was starving. I am not a great cook. Social media began taking a toll on me, the conspiracy theories, people publicly shaming others for there lack of isolation and the media blasting case after case threw me into a panic, which had me then sitting in my house scrubbing my walls with bleach.

I began to pray for my patients that I was serving, my children who were out of school and out of care, for my family and then I prayed for myself. I asked God what I needed to do. The first thought that entered my mind was to further my distancing by shutting off social media. I can’t tell you how many times I was watching a movie or just got off the phone and went to pull up Facebook or Instagram. I still check my messages and get a little peek at the first post on the timeline here and there but that break has been the best thing I could have ever done. I’ve stopped listening to what everyone else is telling me to do and started listening to what God wants me to do.

Week 3: I quit drinking caffeine. What better time to kick a nasty habit? You have time to go through withdrawals and no outside influences tempting you to cave! The first few days were horrible, but I have energy that last all day now and no afternoon crash, a total win in my book! I’ve stepped up my game a notch and started working on my personal skills. With my kids back home and school happening right under my roof I’ve made a plan to sharpen their skills as well! After many failed attempts we are in the kitchen making successful meals and desserts from SCRATCH!

My youngest made almost all of this herself with a little help at the stove from mom!

My oldest daughter is learning to sew with a machine we’ve never even touched. She is a quick study and has made several mask with different techniques. She also helped me make my neighbor some banana bread as a thank you for cutting a fallen tree off my car and cleaning up the debris. We don’t know if he likes banana bread and we’ve never attempted to make it before but it came to my mind and so I took that as a sign that he would enjoy it.

We tried some and it’s GOOD!

I’ve started crocheting, reading more, studying gardening, I even learned from a Buddhist online how to remove a wasp from my home without killing it (the secret is a cracked window, blow dryer on cool, and talking to it as you guide it to the outside). I’m also creating new goals for what I want for my kids and I. I’ve taken a short night shift contract at work and flipped my schedule. My days off seem longer now and it feels great to have full days off to spend as I choose. I believe having my girls back home put the biggest worry in my mind at peace.

School at home!

I think the biggest question to ask yourself right now is, in several years from now what will you wish you had done with your time? Do it now. Make these days count toward the future days. Sharpen your personal skills, kick a nasty habit, read a book, study and pray, look out and take care of your neighbor, make your house your home!

Who needs a couch when you have a basketball?

An amazing woman named Marjorie Hinckley said, “The only way to get through this life is to laugh your way through. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.” I’ve cried more than I’d like to through this pandemic and I agree with Marjorie Hinckley, crying gives me a headache.

I have grumpy days

About 8 months ago I felt so overwhelmed with my responsibilities. I felt no matter how hard I swam I couldn’t seem to keep my head above water. Just drowning day after day, working, thinking about work from home, thinking about home from work. An endless cycle of torment. I work out of town, about 45 minutes from my house. When I get in these overwhelming moods I tend to scroll the classified ads and apply for the most ridiculous jobs. I applied to be a chef for nascar… if you’ve seen my kitchen fiascos then you understand what I mean by ridiculous. I also applied for the army, to be an online psychic, and even the coffee queen of another country. Apparently you need a passport for that last one and I didn’t qualify. I always look for the jobs that are impossible to get without an immense amount of experience. It’s like playing the lottery with my career, which is my kind of fun. I scrolled passed an ad one morning for a wound care nurse position closer to home and thought oh wow something realistic that I could actually do to eliminate some of my stress.

I went for an interview and listened to what they were looking for in a wound care nurse. I told them what my current responsibilities were and how I managed things in my current position and watched as their eyes lite up. Hired right on the spot. But something was said that took me back a step, they said I might be bored because it was a smaller facility and they don’t see the kind of wounds I’m used to dealing with. That’s what I was looking for right? A reduction in responsibility so that I could stay afloat. Then why did that seem off to me? I kept those words in my back pocket and talked with my current boss about taking the position closer to home. She told me I could do this if I really wanted to but to take sometime and think about why I started working here in the first place. I don’t know about you but I take all advice seriously.

I went home, pulled out a notebook, and started jotting down what I loved about my job. I began to reminisce about when I was first hired. It was one of those ridiculous jobs I had applied for. I had no experience. I remember bringing up bandaids in my interview like that gave me some sort of wound care expertise. I also remember praying that I would get this job, and bartering with God that if I did then I would stick with it and do the best I could. I thought about how far I have came, the experience I’ve gained, the knowledge that I’ve obtained in my few short years. The only reason I was able to get that light up eye effect from the new job interviewers is because my current job has prepared me for it. They provided training and education, everything I had asked for, a wound care tech, paid conferences, readily available supplies, if I need it then I have no problem getting it. My brother works as a nurse for another facility and he has told me countless times how lucky I am to have the supplies readily available. I didn’t realize that was a privilege. They have to order the cheapest thing available and if they want something expensive it has to be approved and fought for… now isn’t that something. I didn’t know any different, I don’t have to ask my superiors to order supplies. If it’s the best treatment for my patient then that’s what I get. If we can reduce healing time then doesn’t that save money in the long run?

With all these thoughts rolling around in my head I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel and move on to the quiet life. I enjoy the fast pace environment, I enjoy learning new things, and having a facility that will provide me with the things I need to try new treatments. I’m not done growing as a nurse. Something I’ve gained from this experience 8 months ago is to slow down during my grumpy days and change my prayers. Instead of asking God to reduce my responsibilities to meet my abilities, I have started asking God to increase my abilities to meet my responsibilities. I’ve learned that grumpy days are okay, but don’t let those days turn into weeks, or months. Change it. Have fun at work. We spend a big majority of our lives in our careers, make it something you enjoy! As for me I enjoy learning and when I feel I can no longer do that then I’ll pack my bags and move along. By the way if you aren’t familiar with the discovery of penicillin, look it up. By far the coolest thing I’ve learned this week! I want Alexander Fleming’s lab coat. The falls nurse and I have been inspired to create a similar experiment for our skills fair coming up and it is going to be fantastic!

A little something I made fun at work! It’s a scavenger hunt I set up for my wound techs Christmas present!

My Therapist Would Be Proud

This past month I feel like I’ve been taken to the cleaners. It has me wanting to loop the Dairy Queen Drive thru until I slip into a diabetic coma. I don’t know what God is trying to teach me here lately but I can tell you I don’t want to learn it. I mean I asked for it, I asked for growth and direction in my life. And then I prepared for learning only the lesson feels more like discipline. Maybe those are the same thing, consequences are lessons that grow us into better people right? I don’t know. All I know is I don’t like it. I work hard as an employee, my time at work doesn’t stop when I clock out, I investigate cases outside of work, take phone calls off the clock and come in on a moments notice when help is need. I work hard as a mother, it’s an unappreciated job at times that is 24/7 regardless of whether they are at school, a friends house, or with their dad. I work hard in my relationships with people, I find time that’s not mine to give to you. I carefully word responses and refrain from saying what’s on my mind to spare feelings and save conflict. Maybe that’s not the best approach, I work hard but still need growth.

This past month I have asked for growth. I’ve set goals and made plans to meet them. Every positive has been counteracted with 2 negatives. So as I sit here with my large moolatte and reflect on this past month trying my best not to add my salty tears to this sweetly crafted goodness I see some critical errors I’ve made along the way. I think it’s time I had a crucial conversation with myself.

#1 You don’t give yourself credit for the passion you put into you’re job, and you’re not going to receive that anywhere else. So take a deep breath, hang that lumber jack calendar up, touch you’re salt lamp, and remind yourself why you are doing this. It’s not for praise, it’s not for appreciation, it’s for the patients and you can lay your head down tonight knowing you did everything within your skill and knowledge level to meet their needs. *side note to self, turn to march on the calendar to add some cheer on a gloomy day*

I’ll add quotes from counsel I turned to for each trial that’s came my way this month.

#2. You have been through worse before with the kids. You have been close to rock bottom. You’ve been through the motions. You know you are a good mother, more importantly your children know it. Do not let an outsider have their 60 seconds of condemnation with you. Brush off that ignorance and pay the fine, do the time, and move forward. And your 7 year old is sleeping now so it’s alright if you want to go ahead and shovel what’s left of her fries into your sad tummy. You deserve it mom.

Oh yes it should!

#3. Girl. Even I don’t have anything good to say about this one. What were you thinking?! Being with that guy is like stepping into a revolving door with no exit. You end up in the exact same spot you started every single time. You are a smart woman. You know exactly what you deserve. You know there is no connection and no evolution so what the heck are you doing lady. If I had a ruler right now I’d smack your hand harder than a nun in a catholic school. Save your time for things you want to be doing until the right person who meets your standards in what you’re looking for in a man comes along. Smh. Girl stop acting a fool.

This quote is referring to Jesus Christ and it’s one of my favorites to reflect on

You know… that was a good talk with myself and a nice emotional binge on this Dairy Queen haul. I feel better already. My therapist would be proud.

The Veils of Morality

I’ve heard that death is as easy as walking into another room. That there is a veil between this mortality and immortality. There is a sacred symbolic meaning behind the veil, it can mean obedience, modesty, concealing, humility or all of the above. I want to share the oddest dream I had the other night that changed the way I viewed the veils of our mortality.

I dreamt I was walking into work. It was quiet which is unusual for a nursing facility, there were no other employees, no call lights ringing off, and every patients room had a white veil hanging on the entrance to the doorway. In most of my dreams I can not talk, rather I feel what’s happening. I felt at peace in this one and continued to prepare myself to treat my patients. I approached a doorway and felt a voice ask me who I was. I’d describe it as a telepathic conversation as my mouth never opened but I answered with, “I am Annabelle”. The voice responded with the same question, “Who are you?” After a revolving Q&A with the same results I finally took a step back and thought there is a patient in there who needs my help and I am a nurse. The mystery voice said, “You May enter”. I stepped through the veil and only found the patient inside, no security guard at the door… it was odd but I didn’t question it. The patient was angry at me, he was asking why I took so long and why I hadn’t come to see him sooner. I wanted to respond with, “my child was sick and I’ve had a stomach ulcer so I’ve been out of work” but the voice in my head said again, even louder this time, “WHO ARE YOU?!”. I answered silently, “I am a nurse”. I felt a change internally, the stressors that control my time outside of that room quickly dissipated. I was no longer a woman who had only 4 hours of sleep, a sick child, a crippling stomach ulcer, or a single mom with bills racking up. That woman was not permitted into this room, only the nurse in me was extended an invitation. My response to the patient changed to, “I apologize for my absence but I am here now, how can I help?” The angry mood shifted as the patient allowed me to treat his wounds. I finished up and stepped back through the veil. As I entered the hallway I was Annabelle again, I was a mom, a painter, an adventurer, and a nurse all in one. But each time I approached the door to another room the same question was asked before entry was granted, “Who are you?”.

As I woke up I started pondering the dream with the veils. I thought about all the doors I walk through each day and the person in me who was permitted on the other side. When I come home am I bringing the stressors of work with me? Or am I stopping at the door and asking myself who am I with the response, “I am a mom”? Am I doing the same at work? It’s an interesting concept when I sit back and think about all the mortal doorways we each have in our own lives, with that invisible veil that only allows a part of us to enter. What have you come to that doorway to do? If it’s to give excuses when you get to the other side then take a step back and remind yourself who you are before you cross.

When I walked into work yesterday I couldn’t get the image of the veils out of my head. I believe the dream came about to remind me of who I needed to be in that room, and who I needed to be at home because I couldn’t be both. The hard days I have at work do not belong in my home with my children and the hard days I have with my family at home do not belong in the room with my patients. I thought to myself yesterday before I entered each room, “Who are you?” and that changed my entire day.

The world’s worst ninja

I wanted to be a ninja when I was growing up. My inspiration came from The power rangers, Mortal Combat and anything Jackie Chan related. For some reason I swore up and down I could kick Chuck Norris butt if we ever went to battle. It probably didn’t help that my dad was also a karate guru. He used to tell me that if I ever saw anything ordinary out of the ordinary that it was a bad sign. Like a perfect coke can sitting in the middle of the road or a match box sitting centered in a chair. If you’ve followed my blog post until now you know that I don’t carry a purse because it makes it harder to run if I have to, and I don’t wear jewelry in case I have to fight someone. Thanks dad. I’m a paranoid weirdo who is always prepared for a sneak attack.

This past week I went on a mini vacation. I stayed at an Airbnb and on our last night we returned late at night to find a package on the front porch of the cottage we were staying in. It looked perfect. Too perfect. We all sat in the mini van staring at it and discussing how this package looked suspicious. Against the protest from the other passengers I got out of the van to inspect the box… I had trained my entire life for this, if Chuck Norris was in that box, we were going to throw down and get this internal childhood fantasy over with. There were several steps up to the porch and while slowly making my ascend I noticed a hole in the side of the box. I thought to myself, this must be where they’ve put the laser. I needed to jump over it, trust me I’ve seen this in movies. I jumped as high as my chicken legs would take me and landed right where the laser hole was crafted. In my defense only people who do parkour daily could’ve made that jump successfully, it was an upward incline so there’s that. Luckily, no explosions set off. I took out my flashlight and peaked through the hole to find a box filled with q tips… that’s even more suspicious if you ask me.

Who orders a box of q tips this big? I nudged the package with my foot. Nothing. My kids were giggling from inside the van. They laugh now but I guarantee as they get older and discover the wicked ways of the world they too will be ready to fight an inanimate object. I wonder if the Lord was watching me the same way people watch cats play with boxes. I’m crossing my fingers hoping the Airbnb host didn’t have cameras set up. We had already discussed the conspiracy of the google home box hiding behind the couch and with this box interrogation, I couldn’t imagine what the host would think replaying the events that went on in that house. Just know Chuck wouldn’t have stood a chance.

Laughing through the Horror

I am no good at hiding how I feel, I wear it on my face in every situation. I haven’t even been successful at training my face to match a pleasant affect when I’m upset in a professional setting. I can’t seem to find the power cord that connects my brain and facial nerves to disconnect during times when I’d like to fake a smile. As a matter of fact, on my yearly review at work I was told the thing I needed to work on was smiling more… I could do that, if someone says something funny. I actually smile and laugh a lot but there is a stimulant behind that, someone has made me feel happy or I’m laughing at myself. I told my boss I could work on smiling more but that I felt she was robbing me of my feelings. Then this morning I was reading something one of my favorite women had said, “The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.” -Marjorie Pay Hinckley

I seriously love this woman!

That is great advice! Finding the joy in every situation could be the key to a happy life. I want to share one of my most embarrassing moments in life where I was able to find humor in an incredibly uncomfortable situation. I was shopping with my best friend when I was a teenager. I was wearing underpants that were 2 sizes to big. Don’t ask questions… just follow along. I started trying on jeans and when I zipped the zipper up it embedded the oversized underpants into it. I tried everything to undo the tragic mistake but no amount of butter would’ve loosened the grip of the teeth on that zipper. I told my friend I’d just take the tag off and buy the jeans. So here I stand at the counter, with my new all in one jeans telling the clerk I want to buy these jeans I’m wearing. She giggles and says there’s an anti theft magnet on the pants that can only be removed on the cash counter. To my horror this magnet was not on the waist lining like they typically are now a days. It was up one of the pant legs. So I had to climb the counter and lay sideways as this clerk stuck her hand up my pants to remove the magnet. I don’t believe I have ever laughed so hard in my life. I could have chose to cry and be upset in that situation but Marjorie Hinckley was right, I prefer to laugh too.

It may be hard to find the joy in every situation but it is there. I don’t mean for you go to a funeral and laugh at your deceased loved ones, but in most situations when things seem to be going terribly wrong, look for something positive to cling to and smile about it. Don’t fake it, find the joy in it. Laugh through the horror.

This photo of my 7 year olds feet has nothing to do with this blog post at all. I just went to wake her for school and found her wearing my socks that I laid out for work and thought it was so cute. Apparently she got cold through the night hahaha!

Beggars are fine by me

I listened to Jeffrey R. Holland’s “Are we not all beggars?” a dozen times this morning. If this message doesn’t strike true with you in the nursing field, you’re doing it wrong. His talk isn’t about nursing, it’s about poverty and caring for those in need. I still see it in the nursing aspect. Of course. Homeless, HIV, immigrant, poor, kind, bitter… it doesn’t matter. I will care for you regardless. I want to share a paragraph from this talk to put into perspective my feelings on the topic: “For one thing, we can, as King Benjamin taught, cease withholding our means because we see the poor as having brought their misery upon themselves. Perhaps some have created their own difficulties, but don’t the rest of us do exactly the same thing? Isn’t that why this compassionate ruler asks, “Are we not all beggars?” Don’t we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we have made and troubles we have caused? Don’t we all implore that grace will compensate for our weaknesses, that mercy will triumph over justice at least in our case? Little wonder that King Benjamin says we obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God, who compassionately responds, but we retain remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us.” -Jeffrey R. Holland

This is such a powerful paragraph. How many times do we look at someone in need and say, “I’m not helping them, they brought this upon themselves”. If that is the answer The Lord gives to you when you go to him with your own personal troubles the tables would be turned wouldn’t they be? But it’s not. It’s not the answer we give to our own children when they come to us with a mistake or misfortune either. We seek out ways to help them recover, to make changes. In nursing it’s the same way. Maybe you have eaten yourself into a diabetic coma, you’ve been shooting up and have an infection in your heart, you could’ve damaged your vital organs with an unhealthy lifestyle, whatever the case we do not turn you away at the door because you’ve brought these problems on yourself. We take you in with open arms and care for you regardless of whether you continue with your current habits or have a remorseful heart. We educate and let the choice of change lie in your hands, this is your chance to make that change, we cannot do it for you but we will care for you in your time of need!

How different would our lives be if we lived by these words? How different would the lives of others be? I sometimes look at the dilemma of poverty in the world and think, “I can’t fix all of this, I don’t have enough to fix all of this?!” But then something happens, when I am in a position to help another and I think, “I can’t save them all but I can save THIS ONE”. Remember my post from yesterday about how conquering multiple small things will cross off the big things? This is it. That small act of kindness will cross off a big thing in someone else’s life. I encourage whoever is reading this to be charitable in the lives around you, even if they have brought their difficulties on themselves, haven’t we all? Thanks for coming to my ted talk 😉

Starting Today

If you can stand in front of a mirror at 10 years old in the dark and summon the ghost of Bloody Mary you can stand in front of the mirror today, in the light and repeat this:

Today you are worthy. Today you will smile. Today you will remember you are a daughter of God. Today you will be strong. Today you will be humble. Today you will be kind. Today you will embrace life. Today you will create a new journey. Today you will look forward. Today you will be positive. Today you will be accountable. Today you will be honest. Today you will give charity. Today you will see the good in this world. Today you are a warrior. Today you will be brave. Today you will be healthy. Today you will love. Today you will be passionate. Today you will be happy. Today you will be supportive. Starting today you will be new.

I don’t know Spanish

I’ve been the secret owner of a page online for a while now. I didn’t know when I created it that it was public. I created it as somewhere to keep inspirational quotes for myself and then when I logged onto Facebook one day I noticed people were liking and sharing my post that I thought at the time were private. How did you even find me?

I invited my sister and best friend to help manage it because the followers exceeded what I felt I could manage. Several thousand people in what seems like a blink of an eye. Woot woot, people like these quotes as much as I do! As the number continues on an upward trend my friend who speaks Spanish as a second language and sister as well, decided to create the same page in Spanish to support the Spanish speaking people who are interested in gospel quotes as well. Let me be clear, I do not speak Spanish. I’m pretty sure I failed that class in high school. However, I’m still doing it. I decided to try and use google translate to convert some of our quotes to the Spanish page… what I did not know is that there is not an exact way to translate word for word. You must say it in a different way… so I was trying to say, ‘Help is a prayer away’ short and simply, I thought good start. Small baby steps!

My friend texted me and said, ‘That quote translates to ‘Help is the distance of a prayer’… crikey 😱. What. The. Heck. Google, you have let me down.

I compete with myself a lot, any little failure pushes me 10x harder to succeed. So now I’m on a mission to learn Spanish, on top of everything else I’m trying to accomplish in my life. I may need to bust out the dear friend I keep in the closet, Mrs. Rosetta Stone. I’m going to try practicing my Spanish on the dementia patients at work who are Spanish speaking, that way if I mess up they’ll forget in a few minutes and I can try again! Thomas S. Monson said, “one of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again”. That seems to happen frequently with me, means God keeps giving me the greatest gift… I must be his favorite.

A few years ago I was at a YSA get together, we were watching general conference and I was typing up quotes and posting them as fast as I could hear them so I wouldn’t forget. A guy there was scrolling Facebook at the time and made a comment about how fast the lds page was posting quotes. I didn’t tell him it was me hahaha, I just awkwardly sat there continuing my work.

Now that this new expansion is happening with the page we will be able to reach more people to inspire them throughout their daily lives! I’m so excited to have this opportunity and be able to learn new phrases in Spanish, apart from the one that I already know ‘wash your hands’… that’s all I’ve got. I say it in a demanding way too… because I like the way it sounds!

If any of my blogging followers like scriptural quotes or inspirational quotes go to Facebook or instagram and like our page! The title is in the picture above! We post almost every day! And if you are Spanish speaking like our sister page, especially now at the beginning for a good laugh when I post things because I won’t know it’s wrong until you tell me or the other owners of the page hunt me down and say ‘that says something totally different in Spanish than in English!’