True caregiving: myself
I’m exhausted today. Mentally, physically, and especially emotionally. It has been a tough two weeks as I integrate the demands of my new job into my life. The problem is, I’m not willing to do that. In fact, I wonder what is wrong with nursing as a profession; I have encountered the “hazing” attitude many times in many venues. Once again, here it is. The twin to this hazing of new employees is the corporate expectation that as an employee, and as a nurse within that company, that I am to provide for the needs of others at the cost of my own personal life and needs.
I have walked this walk with too many employers. And the core of the problem is the nature of those in helping professions. We feel responsible. We start out caring yet allow caring for others to supercede caring for ourselves. Nurses notoriously have poor boundaries and become angry rather than learning to say no. But I do say no. I do say I cannot. And my voice is not respected, rather it is heard as uncooperative. As not a team member. I disagree.
I define team member as someone who helps and gives freely, knowing that we need one another. Aware that my time is mine to manage, not owned by others. Given freely, it comes across as support. It is received with the kindness that is extended. Not a ledger of owing my coworker for what I did. I believe nursing as a profession continues to need sanctions for that behavior from the CEO down to the staff. There is a disconnect and it plays out into customer service, which of course what we say we want to provide.
The problem is I love caring for those at the end-of-life. I find myself feeling expansive and filled with light. But I also love my life, I love to spend time doing those things that fill me with that light; those sacred activities of family and home that renew me and fill me with joy. I have no answer today as to how to meld these into one right now. For today, I am writing this and feeling connected within deeply. But soon I must get back to work, look forward to another day of endless demands, without any stop time; and the expectation that I will donate the sacred gift of my day and evening to my job. And so it goes…………..