33 for 33...

In no particular order:

* Visit Yosemite
* Get a new (faster, better, awesome-r) bike
* Learn Calculus--just kidding
* Make bagels or soft pretzels from scratch
* Get my passport stamped (Spain 2011!)
* Practice my very rusty Spanish in time for trip to Spain
* Make pasta from scratch
* Read some Jane Austen (besides the short stories I read in college)
* Pay down my student loans
* Go to therapy
* Find a cheap yoga class
* See a movie at the indie movie theater in Menlo Park
* Paint the living/dining room
* Try container gardening again
* Prepare a Thanksgiving dinner with brand new recipes
* Re-evaluate my stuff and sell/donate/toss what I no longer *really* need
* Work on my tennis game and improve my forehand
* Make potstickers
* Have family portrait taken with my in-laws
* Print and frame wedding photos
* Try to read one new book per month
* Update resume
* Take at least 2 weekend trips with the Tall Man and the dog (maybe Tahoe?)
* Make a cheesecake of any kind (I bake all the time and yet I never make cheesecake)
* Get a massage
* Make better friends with my body
* Trip to Vegas with my best girlfriends
* Go on a 20 mi. bike ride in Monterey
* Get through another election season without losing my sanity
* Take a cooking/baking class
* Adopt a second dog (Esme needs a playmate)
* See a Broadway show/play/symphony
* Read at least 2 Karen Armstrong books
* Find a new fitness challenge unrelated to tennis, kettlebells, biking or yoga

Well, that seems pretty ambitious. Guess I better get started; only 11 months left to go!


Well, it's October...

Thank goodness. As previously mentioned, September is historically a bad month. I don't know why September out of the other 11 months is usually the bad one but it is. Sigh...

There have been family issues and an untimely death in the family that left us all shocked and devastated. Training at work left me feeling overwhelmed. I was working 6 days a week for a few weeks and I was just dog tired. I recognize that life is filled with good times and bad (although hopefully mostly good times) but there seems to be a critical mass of it in September. And once again it left me unwilling to engage in any birthday celebrations much to my husband's disappointment. Who feels like celebrating when it feels like Life has handed you a shit sandwich in lieu of birthday cake?

But, as I mentioned, it is October and things are better although my family continues to grieve and me with them. Training is officially over and I have dropped to part-time at the blood center (I'm a 50% employee but training was full-time) giving me a little time to catch up on some life maintenance. We have decided not to buy a house in the forseeable future and instead are putting some effort into making the house we rent more home-like and less oh-we're-just-renting-and-not-going-to-settle-here. I've purchased some paint samples and Michael and I are trying to pick which color (or colors) we prefer. I think I'm leaning toward 2 colors right now: Holmes Cream and Toasting Tan. The colors look really pink online but I assure you we have not picked anything even remotely pink. We ordered a beautiful sectional sofa (except a bit smaller than this and it's a left arm chaise not right arm; also not nearly as expensive--think big sale) and Michael has ideas for building a shelving unit to go around our TV on top of the ship case his dad made. With any luck we'll have our new couch by the time my in-laws arrive at the end of December.

So, things are looking up. Coming soon, a 33 for 33 list.


Boycotting the month of September...

I don't know what it is about September but bad stuff ALWAYS happens to me or my family in September. Whether it's putting a beloved dog to sleep, a parent in the hospital, Michael's tenure process bullshit experience, friends who are sick, etc., it's just a bad month. This year's September isn't any better. So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hide under my bed for the month of September and I'll see you again in October.


Plugging away...

That's me, plugging away. I've nearly completed orientation for the technical skill portion of my job and am starting training for charge nurse in September. In October, I'll drop back to part time (I'm a 50% employee) and will begin training for the mobile units. Work is good but still overwhelming at times due to the sheer amount of information I need to take in and process. I've done 80 venipunctures to date and have only had a couple hematomas and/or missed veins. Sometimes even the biggest, juiciest vein can roll on you and then you have to attempt an adjustment. And sometimes the vein knows you're coming with that needle (16 gauge, anyone?) and just rolls away again. They're like dogs and can smell fear and apprehension...I don't know how they do that.

I still feel like life is in a state of flux. My work schedule is starting to change which is reflective of what it will look like in a month's time--no more M-F 7:30-4 weeks. I'm still trying to juggle housework and cooking and the dog and my husband and still make time for me to exercise and relax. I can usually get most of it done in a day's time save for the relaxation part. That's harder to squeeze in. This is why it takes me so long to read a book, respond to email and make phone calls. I feel like I have to do all this other stuff, life maintenance stuff, before I can sit down at the end of the day or else if I sit down on the couch, I might not get off it again until it's time for bed. But for now I'm managing. Next month, tho, I hope to include a bit more R&R with Michael and Esme. Honestly, I don't know how anyone with kids is able to do this day in and day out. I feel like it's all I can do to keep my family of two moving in a forward direction every day.


Feels like Groundhog Day...

Maybe only a little, but basically I wake up and it's the same day over and over again. I've been working my new job for 5 weeks now and it's going really well. I have performed 32 out of 32 attempted venipunctures and have only had one QNS (quantity not sufficient). It wasn't 100% my fault as she had only one vein I could use and it was small and she wanted a small needle and I got it in the vein but the flow was so slow that I had to pull the needle out when it took 10 min. to get only 300 grams of blood. Most people donate the full 565 gm (that includes the wt of the bag and anticoagulant) in approx. 6 minutes or so. Anyway, it sucks when that happens because you feel like you wasted the donor's time and the blood can't be used for anything. Research might do something with it but it's definitely not enough to use for a patient.

Anyway, work is going well. I'm still in training for the actual day-to-day job responsibilities and in September I'll start charge nurse training. I'll still be full time (more or less) but will plan to spend 1 day a week at my other job. Hopefully there will be one shift/week for me but if not I'll be at the blood center instead. I won't go down to part time until sometime in October or November. That'll be kind of nice since it's good to earn the extra money but, good lord, could I use a weekday for some life maintenance.

The thing is that I get up between 5 and 5:30 in the morning and leave the house between 6:30 and 6:50 depending on what time I have to be at work. By the time I get home, work out, make dinner, walk the dog, clean up the kitchen and/or do other chores then shower, it's close to 9 pm and that's bedtime anyway. It's hard to find time to sit down and send an email and when I do get on my computer these days it's been spent communicating with my financial planner and trying to set up online pymts for my student loans. I have stuff I want to do and friends with whom I want to check in and I'm so tired and feel like I have so little time that not enough gets done. Saturdays are spent going to the market and taking the dog on long walks and then taking a big family nap in the afternoon. I feel like I could just sleep the day away. By Sunday, I have my tennis clinic and then we do chores around the house or visit with friends and before you know it it's Sunday night and time to get ready for the work week ahead. Which is what I'm doing right now. Which means I need to be finished with this and go make lunches for Michael and me for tomorrow. And so it begins again...


My brain is full and I'm exhausted...

I'm too tired to write a real post so I'm just going to jot down a few things. This week is my second week on the job at the blood center and while I am just thrilled to be there, it has its challenges and one of them is that I come home brain dead and exhausted at the end of every day. I know, woe is me. Tell that to my 5 month ago self who was unemployed. That self would probably slap me upside the head right now if she could. I'm grateful. Truly. But tired.

* There is *more* to blood banking than I ever imagined was possible.
* There is way more HIPAA crap to cover than should be allowed. I am HIPAA'd out now.
* There are a lot of opportunities to screw up someone's blood donation and thereby have it be chucked into biohazard by the lab and I do NOT want to make one of those mistakes. The reality is that it happens sometimes and to just be careful but I really, really do not want to be responsible for that.
* My Hgb levels are low (of course). 11.8 today. Terrible.
* I don't want to take supplements but the very well-balanced mostly veg diet that I eat is not enough for me to keep my iron levels up. Could be part of the reason I'm so tired.
* Looks like I need to consider supplements. Might not be a bad idea--not for the vitamins so much although I can tell you that we all need a higher intake of vit. D.
* The news makes me sad. I don't even want to read the Sunday NYT anymore. The effing Dems can't get their shit together to pass decent legislation without spending eons on it and the GOP fights everything the Dems try to pass just to be contrary. Fck you, Congress.
* I can't get the dog to take a poo for a stool sample when it's convenient for me to then drive the sample to the vet and get it there within 24 hrs of when their lab comes to pick up specimens. One of the challenges of being a one car household. Blarg.
* I am learning loads of good stuff at my new job and am really excited to go to work every morning. Also, the benefits are stellar. Free public transportation as long as I have my employee ID on me, tuition stipends, free access to any of the 3 gyms on campus, up to $300 tax-deductible cash back for participating in the employee BeWell program and includes free cholesterol, BMI, skin caliper, etc. testing.
* Everyone is really nice and there's a very friendly atmosphere around the workplace. I like that.
* I'm tired. I have to get up at 5 am tomorrow so it's time for bed. More soon.


Whew! They liked me...

I had a good first day at one of my new jobs--the private practice. As it turn out, I'll be working 3 part time jobs for the foreseeable future. I'll keep working part time at my friend's office, I'll be working part time at the private practice and then 50% time at the blood center. I start work at the blood center next week. I'm kind of freaked out by it all, to be honest.

It's a huge responsibility to be a nurse and to not only remember what you learned about pathophysiology and treatment but also meds, side effects and then staying current on treatments and therapies. Frankly, it's intimidating. And I realize that I'm going to have to start putting in time with my med-surg books and reading up on patho. Now, I don't really need this for the blood center--not necessarily. That should be pretty straight-forward: healthy people who aren't IV drug users or who have sex for money, etc. Of course, there is that whole issue of not allowing gay men to donate blood. It's very unfortunate but blood centers nation-wide are currently not willing to budge on this issue. But, not a lot of patho there and meds are pretty much limited to blood thinners and cancer treatments. And on top of it, I need to do venipuncture which I have not done since December. Oy.

So...3 part time jobs. That seems like it's going to be a lot. My schedule will vary from week to week but I'm grateful to be working and getting different work experiences is a good thing. Plus earning extra money is helpful--the loan repayment starts now and the dog needs to have her teeth cleaned at the end of summer. And my crock pot crapped out on us last night and needs to be thrown away and replaced with a new one. If it's not one thing, it's another, right? Anyway, it's going to be a very busy summer as I get started with my new jobs and get settled into a new routine. Don't be surprised if you don't hear from me very much over the next month.