Work Stuff

Just Breathe

Today is the reason I’ve gone ahead and planned our next vacation in April.

The nurse that I work with now is on maternity leave, which leaves me, myself and I pulling up the slack. That’s okay, I can handle it, she’s only going to be gone for 10 weeks.

Seven weeks and 1 day left.

But who’s counting.

I’m doing two jobs now, hers and mine. Oh sure, I have other nurses helping out, I have a covering nurse every day, but let’s be honest, their doctors come before mine; I would be the same way. So, my doctor is counting on me to take up the slack. I braced myself for this, I’ve been down this road before.

Only the last time I was by myself I was RELIEVED to be rid of my nurse. My past nurse was a nightmare, my current nurse is a dream come true.

I prayed so hard for a good nurse to replace the one I had and God answered my prayers.

Yesterday was crazy. Our doctors are usually out of the office the last two weeks of the year and this year was no exception. My doctor returned to the office on Wednesday and of course, I spent all day Thursday playing catch up, calling patients back, working patients in for next week (did I mention my doctor was on call Wednesday, too? Well, he was).

I got a lot done today but I still have a lot to do. Who am I kidding, it’s a never-ending cycle. I had a patient just show up today, she expected to get her sutures removed, she was too early. My doctor sees his post-op patients at two weeks as opposed to his partners who see their patients at four weeks. Our patients get their staples/sutures removed at their post-op appointments. This patient was not very happy with me since she drove an hour and a half and her husband took off work. She wasn’t mad at me, she was mad at the person who told her it was okay to come in.

This is what happens when you don’t care enough to help patients, it trickles down to the next unsuspecting, and dare I say, undeserving person.

I smoothed the waters but after an already hectic morning, it set my teeth on edge. I tend to have very little patience for ineptitude anyway, let alone I don’t give a shit attitudes.

True story, I don’t like talking on the phone. I don’t really like people all that much though if you were ever to meet me you would not believe that statement. I have a “persona” when I’m at work, I’m switched ON. I become a different person. I don’t necessarily dislike this person I become at work, it’s just EXHAUSTING to be this person at work. I hear so many stories, I field so many questions, I smooth so many waters that by the time I get home from work, I’M DONE. I can’t stand the thought of seeing another person or speaking to another person.

Poor Kevin.

Hence the reason I’ve been MIA on this blog for the past several years.

But at the same time, my job is rewarding; I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Yes, it’s stressful, yes, you’re never, ever caught up, but it’s deeply satisfying and it’s never boring. I’m constantly being challenged and I feel bored if I’m juggling at least four balls at once.

Speaking of stressful, I feel I’ve aged ten years this past year. The two years I was stuck with the worst nurse in the history of nurses really broke me. I feel like my face sags more and I definitely have more wrinkles. Even Kevin has commented on it. Stress really does age you.

But even though I look stressed, I don’t really feel that stressed anymore. I’m comfortable with what I’m doing, I’m confident that I know my doctor and his preferences, I’m comfortable around my team members and I love my doctor’s new nurse – she is truly a spectacular nurse.

I’m confident things will settle down and we’ll have more of  a routine once my nurse comes back from maternity leave.

But right now? I need to remind myself to stop, relax and breathe. Life is too short to stress about the small stuff.

Just breathe.

Parenting

Teaching Your Children to be Money Smart

I feel like we’ve done something right in the parenting department when it comes to money matters. I feel like our boys are frugal with their money and Blake is downright cheap. In fact, he’s so cheap, he won’t even buy himself food or water; he lives on Ramen noodles, not exactly the most nutritious dinners for a mid-twenties something man.

And Brandon is careful with his money, but is more willing to freely spend it on things he feels will benefit him. For example, he just bought a yearly subscription to some 3D software package/classes that he’s super interested in and hopes to make a career out of someday. He laid down quite the pretty penny but he’s excited about it and it warms my heart that he’s thinking about his future.

I do wish we had made the boys “work” more when they were in school, though. In essence, their “job” was to do well in school. I wish I had made them do more chores around the house and/or work for the things they wanted as opposed to just holding off until getting what they wanted for their birthdays and Christmas.

“Don’t give them an allowance for essentially breathing. ” I laughed out loud when she said that part in the video. I have ALWAYS thought giving an allowance was not a good idea and I ALWAYS told the boys that if they wanted something they would have to get jobs, earn the money and then buy it. (Hence the reason they waited around for their birthdays and holidays to get what they wanted).

Though I feel like we taught them about the importance of money, I feel like we could have done a better job at guiding them on HOW to make money and HOW to save it. Yes, the boys have money saved up, yes, they are careful on what they spend it on, but we still need to do a better job of guiding them on  investing it and/or putting their funds into something that will grow and benefit them when they get to be our age.

I hope this video gave you food for thought about the lessons you’re teaching your children about money. Being smart money stewards is another responsibility we have as parents to help our children succeed in life.

Life

Wrapping up the Holidays

I received nothing for Christmas. Not one gift.

Kevin and I haven’t exchanged Christmas gifts in quite some time.  I’m perfectly fine with this, it’s just … odd, I guess. I mean, when you have to sit and think really hard for something you want, it’s sort of a buzzkill for me. It takes the enjoyment out of it. And I would much rather give a person a gift he/she really wants than just come up with something so I have something to wrap and give him/her on Christmas day.

I realize that gift giving on Christmas changes when you get older. I used to feel so sorry for my mom growing up because though my dad gave her gifts, there weren’t very many of them and I just couldn’t understand how she could be okay with that.

But now that I’m older, I get it. Christmas is about so much more than getting gifts, it’s about giving and spending time with family.

I know that sounds so cliche, but it’s so true. I TRULY love giving gifts. I love the challenge of finding the perfect gift and knowing that what I gave them they will enjoy and appreciate.

At least that’s what I tell myself

I know this time of year is hard on our boys. We used to GO ALL OUT for Christmas. We gave them some really awesome memories. And we used to SPOIL THE CRAP OUT OF THEM. And by that, I mean, there would be twenty gifts for them to open.

Yes. We were THOSE parents. But we only did that a few years before waking up and realizing that was probably sending them the wrong message – it’s about quality, not quantity.

But because we had those awesome Christmases, they came to expect it. Blake seems mature about the holidays now, but I sense that Brandon continues to be disappointed in our gifts. For now all we buy them are things I know they won’t buy on their own – like clothes, underwear, socks, etc. And their stockings consist of health and beauty aides – shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. Not exactly earth shattering and not exactly fun to open but I’m confident that when they get their loot home and have stocked shelves and realize how much money they just saved that month by NOT having to buy that stuff, I know they appreciate it.

Since the boys live on their own and make their own money, they can buy whatever they want when it comes to entertainment. Not to mention, their tastes have matured and I have no idea what their even in to nowadays so I wouldn’t have the first clue on what to buy them even if we did go down that road.

We did buy them a “fun” gift this year – a water cooler. WHOA. EARTH SHATTERING I KNOW. But we knew they missed our water cooler and it was my sneaky attempt to tempt them to drink more water. Blake went to Urgent Care this year because he was having trouble peeing. And when he peed, he couldn’t pee very much. My first thought was urinary tract infection. He doesn’t have a PCP, (in fact, none of us do and that’s on my list of things to accomplish in 2018, get a PCP), so he went to Urgent Care.

After waiting around for three hours, they scanned his bladder, empty, and took a urine sample. They sent him home and told him they would call if there was a problem and oh yeah, drink more water.

The same advice I’ve been telling him for years – stop drinking so much soda and drink more water.

They never called so we’re assuming he didn’t have a UTI and he has finally started eating better and drinking more so he hasn’t had an issue since that incident.

And even though the whole episode was worrisome and stressful for him, I’m sort of glad that it happened. Because when his final bill came back from that three hour visit to the Urgent Care where basically nothing was done for him, he realized that taking care of his body is not only important to feel good, but it’s ultimately better on his wallet, too.

His bill was a little over $1,000. Thankfully, he’s on my insurance and it only ended up costing him $84 dollars, but it was a good learning experience that 1. take care of your body so you don’t HAVE to make trips to the doctor/hospital and 2. health care is outrageously EXPENSIVE.

He will, however, need to find new insurance this year. He will turn 26 and it will be time to spread those wings and fly away. It will be interesting to see what his options are. His birthday is in November, so who knows what health insurance will look like in the fall.

Let’s hope his choices are better than OBummer care were.

But as far as gift giving between me and Kevin, it didn’t happen. We have mutually agreed no gifts. Our gift to each other was to book a cruise in April to the Southern Caribbean. I would rather spend nearly two weeks together than open a gift on Christmas day.

(This will make my tenth cruise and Kevin’s 11th cruise. Can you tell we love to cruise? Get yourself a credit card where you build frequent flyer miles to cash in for flights and it’s not nearly as expensive as you might think it is. Just pay your credit card off each month – if you carry a balance, then it’s not really a good deal, now is it).

It really bothers me whenever I see people on Facebook brag that they “got everything they asked for.” I’m sure they are grateful for everything they received but it just hits me wrong when they word it like that. I’m a big YouTuber watcher (yes, that’s a word in my dictionary) and it bothers me to watch “my Christmas haul” types of videos too, but I have to admit, it is interesting to see the types of things that people get for Christmas.

I just feel like, or I guess it validates what everyone thinks, that Christmas is all about the “stuff” and the true meaning is just buried somewhere.

We didn’t do much for New Year’s Eve, we never do, we’re rather chill people. The boys, my nephew, Roy and my parents came over. We played games, ate tacos and stuffed our faces with too much sugar and a tiny bit of alcohol. I tried Pinot Grigio for the first, and last time. It was nasty. I’m not a drinker, but it would be nice to find a wine that doesn’t make me want to throw up in my mouth, just a bit. I’m glad we just bought the small bottles and didn’t waste a ton of money on a big bottle.

I’ve made five resolutions that I’m going to work hard on trying to keep this year: 1. read more and watch less YouTube, 2. get everyone set up with PCP’s, 3. write more ( or in my case – SOMETHING), 4. spend more time with my parents and 5. take long weekends away from work. I feel like this past year has really taken a toll on my body and life is too short to allow work to kill me.

I hope you enjoyed the holidays! I know a small part of me is relieved it’s over and we can all move on to the next chapter/year of our lives.