Monday, October 25, 2010

Follow your bliss...

I’ve been able to catch up on my outside blog reading today. I found a great post by my friend, and fellow writer Sabrina Steyling, on her blog, Runnin’ Down a Dream.

Sabrina cites Ellen from Love That Max, as the inspiration for her post, What makes you happy - really, REALLY happy?

In it, she talks about making a “bliss list,” which is simply a list of things that make you smile. I think this is an ingenious idea, and can prove to be a useful reference during stressful times at work, 
when everything seems to be going wrong.

Is your boss yelling at you? Conflict with a co-worker or client? Just having one of those ineffective days? Refer to your “bliss list.”

What exactly IS a bliss list? I’ll share a couple from mine to get you started.

• The quiet stillness of a fresh new morning.

• The first stream of consciousness I get from a delicious cup of Komodo Dragon coffee.

• Laughing my head off in the midst of stress.

• Knowing I’ll be able to come home from a tough day to write, and mock whatever bad may have happened.

• Being able to wake up refreshed from an afternoon nap. [when I can].

What’s your bliss?

c. 2010
image credit

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Interview with Patient Care Leader/ RN, Joellen Inman-Puckett

Joellen Inman-Puckett is by far, the cheeriest person I have ever met. She is always a breath of fresh air to our morning at the Cafe. I asked her how she keeps your wonderful disposition amidst working 2 very stressful jobs, along with being a wife/mother.

LEXAPRO! Hahahahhahahaha. Listen, in my line of work as a Patient Care Leader and ER nurse, I work with people who have REAL problems. I realized years ago that, if I'm not grateful for my abundant blessings, God may look down and give me a REAL reason to complain!  It can always get worse.  And it's two jobs, for which I am eternally grateful for in this economy when so many people can't find ONE job!  Wife/mother?  Well, the Lexapro DOES help...but I'm a nurturer, not a leader.  I don't think there's anything more pittibul than a patient in the hospital with no friends or family to care or visit.  I'm so grateful to have my family....again, it can all vanish in the blink of an eye!

I can't imagine you stressed. what would really flip your lid?

Well, I AM a natural redhead....and you know those Scotch-Irish genes run really strong in my family!  I have actually become hysterical when seeing an animal abused. I'm a mother hen by nature, so any type of neglect or abuse of those who can't fend for themselves, animals, children, elderly, really gets my hackles up.  I don't care WHO you are.  I can be a real mean-y....

And don't talk down or look down your nose at me. I grew up with a bit of a chip on my shoulder ("I'd rather be dead than red on the head") and it can rear it's ugly head from time to time...usually when I've been off the Lexapro for a couple of days.  Usually I consider the source and laugh it off, but sometimes.....  I once had a patient who was irritable due to the amount of post-procedure pain he was having. I was explaining the need for him to take deep breaths and cough, which was, of course, uncomfortable for him.  He asked "and WHY should I be listening to you?"  Before I could think I answered " Twenty seven years as a Registered Nurse and Two graduate you REALLY want to continue down  this road?"  with the sweetest smile I could muster.  I told you the temper can flare at times!  Hehehehehe.

Could you describe your jobs, along with the things that really stress you out about them. 

I am a Patient Care Leader on a post-surgical unit during the week, and work in the ER about three Saturdays a month.  Unfortunately I'm seeing more and more patients who are seeking narcotics as an escape from their unhappy life (I can't do anything about that, Honey). And of course there are always more patient needs than nurses to cover them, so we are never as good as we would like to be.  But I figure, hey, you do the best you can, then let God take over. I believe God is in charge anyway, and all I can do is all I can do. 

Divas irritate me.  Diva patients, Diva doctors, Diva visitors.  Someone get out the preamble of the Constitution, because I do believe it states that ALL MEN (AND WOMEN) were created equal.  I am SOOOOO unimpressed with a person who feels the need to impress me.  Ungrateful people are a  pain in the arse.  Character comes from triumph over struggles. Divas avoid struggles.  

How do you handle your various stressors? Because you give off a very relaxed, ‘together” vibe. Tell us your secret of success.

Hahahahaha.  If you could see me at 0500 or before I fall in bed!!!!!!!  Hahahaha. I joke that, when coming out of the stairwell at work, people are inclined to ask for a CODE/CRASH cart because I look like I'm on my last breath!

Getting older is THE BEST!  I KNOW what I KNOW at 50, and plan on becoming more outrageous as I age!!! The great thing about this stage in my life, is that life is not about the appearances or shallow factors.  One KNOWS what matters.  I have realized, at the ripe age of 50, that no one CARES if I'm wearing mascara or not.  I'm no longer competing with the skinny girl to see who can be the prettiest, the thinnest, or the richest.  My goal is to be the one having the most fun...laughing the most...making a difference in the most lives I can. 

One of your nicknames is "pitbull RN," how can you be a pitbull and not be stressed? 

 I know what I NOT mess with my family, my friends, or my patients.  You mess with them, you mess with me.  And if your mother didn't teach you right from wrong, I will.  Before you leave this world, you WILL know.   And if I die in the process, well, that's OK because I go to a better place and can haunt you the rest of your days!
Voila!  Ce'st PitbullRN!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let your smile be your umbrella

I have been LOVING Aaron Wong’s blog, Looking for my Life. A recent post is on the importance of smiling and ways to keep a smile on your face.

Smiles are important not only for interactions with others, but they are also beneficial to us as well. How many times has “comic relief” softened a situation, or has an unexpected genuine smile lifted our moods?

I don’t want to say something cliché like, “let your smile be your umbrella,” or “smile through the pain,” or something like that [even though that is the title of my post]. But it is true that a genuine smile that lights up your face will also brighten your mood.

Taking it a bit further from a smile to laughter, Saranne Rothberg,
Founder/CEO of The ComedyCures Foundation. The organization is committed to bringing healing through laughter. Saranne is a cancer survivor, who truly knows her topic, as she has experienced it. She and her daughter discovered that therapeutic comedy served as a great family coping strategy as they dealt with Saranne’s early stage IV cancer diagnosis.

“We bring joy, laughter, and therapeutic humor programs to kids and grown-ups living with illness depression, trauma and disabilities.”

Similarly, Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret, tells of Norman Cousins, who was diagnosed with an incurable disease. His response to this was not to stress, but to laugh. All he did was watch funny movies & laugh. As he laughed he released all negativity, and basically cured himself.

But you don’t have to have a terminal illness to benefit from laughter. Laughter is a proven way to eliminate reptilian thinking.

Fortunately we are provided with a wealth of material just from watching the people around us.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reptiles in Literature Series : Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell

That's Stupid!

Ever notice, the more threatened someone is by something, the more apt they are to put it down; call it stupid, ignorant, etc.? Laughter or mockery is a classic defense mechanism. I’m not even sure most of the time we consciously know that we do it.

I was reading Suanna Clarke's fictional masterpiece, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell, when I came across an all too familiar example of this primal defense.

Some years ago, there was in the city of York a society of magicians. They met upon the third Wednesday of every month to read each other long, dull papers on the history of English magic.

They were gentlemen-magicians, which is to say that they never harmed anyone by their magic -- nor ever done anyone the slightest good. In fact, to own the truth, none of these magicians had ever cast the smallest spell, nor by magic, caused one leaf to tremble upon a tree, made one mote of dust to alter it's course or changed a single hair upon anyone's head. But with this one minor reservation, they enjoyed a reputation as some of the wisest and most magical gentlemen in Yorkshire.

These men were the most esteemed men in Yorkshire. They studied magic, yet did not practice. When they were asked the legitimate question, "Can you do magic," or "Can I see a trick," the questioner was mocked, as if it were a preposterous notion.

They were threatened by the thought of actually having to perform magic. None of them knew how to do that. It is easier to laugh at the questioner, than risk a situation where they look foolish, and might be laughed at.

c. 2010