I work in surgery and frequently do oncology surgery and trauma surgery. I realize that anytime, and without a moments notice, the cold hand of Thanatos could come steal your soul away. I’ve seen people that were young, with kids, a job, a family, everything going the right way… suddenly they’re snuffed out by a drunk driver or some horrible disease. Nursing has taught me to celebrate life and enjoy what I have in the present. I try to tell everyone to live every day as if it were your last. In my advancing age, I do things to keep my mind fresh. I take college classes. Yes, I read and take extra CEU’s (continuing education) classes for my profession. Call me selfish, but sometimes I just have to do some brain enrichment for my own personal pleasure. I’m signing up today for a new advanced welding class. I have graduated from torch, stick and Tig welding. I plan to graduate as a master welder. I’m taking the advanced class to hone my skills with stainless and aluminum. I would like to qualify to be a stainless steel pipeline welder. If I chose to retire from nursing, I’d probably consider being a welder. On the other hand, I’m pretty OK with nursing.
So that’s what I enjoy in my spare time. It’s getting harder to practice now a days because both the tweekers, and the environmentalists are equally gung-ho to recycle scrap metal for a small profit. It makes it really difficult for me to find stuff to fabricate and practice my welding. Oh well, It’s for fun anyhow.
I was listening to the radio the other day and there was this CNN report about Anchorman Dave Benton Announces he had inoperable brain cancer and had only six months to live. He went on to say that he was going to continue to broadcast to the best of his ability. He would stop only when he became “ too compromised” to work.
Now, I ask… If you discovered that you had cancer and only months to live, what would you do? Would your first thing be to quit your job? If you answer yes, then do you hate your job? If so, what would it take for you to love your job enough to continue doing it even if you knew you were going to die very soon? What job could you do that would make you still want to do it, even if you knew you were going to die very soon?
A few years earlier, I did a paper for a Sociology class. My research led me to believe that your job, no matter what it was, was inherently bad. It was deemed bad simply because it was your “job”. Something that you really loved doing (like a hobby) would become bad if it somehow became a job. To explain, let’s say if you really loved to hike in the woods as a hobby. You loved it so much you became a “Forrest Service” worker so you could do just that, all the time. Now, your passion has suddenly become your job. Your mortgage, your insurance, your car, the food and heat for your children, your very livelihood and your dependents, all rely on your “hiking in the woods” without fail! You start worrying about the weather, the wildlife in your hiking/working area, your health, and anything that could impact your hiking ability. You purchase health insurance. You purchase life insurance and you make preparations. You think about these other issues until, well… it isn’t so much fun anymore. The stress of the obligation would wreck all the fun you once had as a hobby now that your activity is fully transformed into a real job.
Back then when I had a new mortgage and three small kids, it seemed so very true. But now, in my advancing age, I think a little differently. I really do love my job. I don’t have any dependents or an oppressive mortgage. I don’t have any real bills to think of, and I could totally retire if I so desired. And after all these years, I finally do actually love my job.
Last week, I had a doctor who makes regular trips with the “Doctors without borders” crew lamenting about the Ebola outbreak. My mom asked me yesterday if I was worried with all this “hoopla over the Ebola, being at a front line medical facility.” I still say, no worries. If I had cancer, I would still work as a nurse and do my best to help as many people as possible while I could still perform my duties. If we didn’t have a raging epidemic here in America, I’d probably consider helping that doctor and going to the African hot zone.
Yes, I love my job. Now I ask you, what would you do?
The point that I’m eventually getting around to, is life is very short. We have a very limited time on this planet. I say, use it wisely. Life is way too short to spend even a minute working a job that is miserable. To take it a little further, life is way too short to be in a bad mood. Get out. Do something fun. Go see your mother, your kids, or a great aunt that you haven’t seen in a long time. Enjoy your life to your best ability while you still can.
My grandmother loved to fish more than anything. On the return of a successful fishing trip, she was hit by a truck and killed. She was in good health and was doing what she liked most. I think, in the end, she had few regrets except maybe she could have gone fishing a little more often. So, if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, or next week, or in six months… what would you do. I say go ahead and make the plans and do it… just in case.