I feel like this space has been quiet, and I start to get antsy when the place where I explore my spiritual life is too quiet. It makes me itchy and grumpy when I start to feel like I haven’t been able to devote as much time to my faith life as I would like.
I’m especially feeling that these days. Shortly after the Easter vigil I dove headfirst into a brand new job, the first “real” job of my nursing career. I’m working on a labor and delivery unit in a major urban hospital and having the time of my life. This has pretty much been my dream job since I started nursing school (and the process of reorienting my life and career) several years back. And now I have it.
But with it comes 12 full days of classroom work, mixed in among 205 hours of preceptored clinical training. It brought hours and hours of studying at home at night and a return to mornings where my alarm clock rings at 4:30 so that I can take city transit across the city in time for a 7:00 am shift. Bedtime has been accordingly adjusted to 9:30 at the latest, and preferably more like 8:30 (a weird anomalous adjustment for this life long night owl!) I’ve lived and breathed moms and babies and everything necessary to the care required to safely welcome a baby into the world.
For the first several weeks this worked for me, but now, as I’m nearing the midway point of the training, it’s starting to take a toll. I’m tired from the new schedule, tired from day after day of trying to absorb very important new information, and tired of work being kind of my whole life.
Basically I’m getting that itchy, grumpy, trying to juggle and failing miserably feeling that I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
I’ve been thinking about that feeling a lot this week, and reminding myself that this is a season, and that it will shift as I finish training and slowly become more comfortable with this job. And yet, even though I know that, it rankles.
I feel less like myself when I don’t have the mental energy to pursue other interests. Less like myself when I can’t be feeding my brain with topics I’m interested in, at a healthy pace, rather than force-feeding information at a sprint.
And yet, this is a season.
As I took the bus home today, and used a bit of transit commute time to feed my soul with an excellent audio book by Fr. James Martin, it occurred to me that for the first time in years, I’m in a place where an ideal rhythm and schedule of life is slowly becoming attainable. I felt such freedom as I sat there listening and praying, as it occurred to me that instead of seeing this as juggling and frustrating, I can see it as an opportunity – an invitation to move towards something that feels healthy to me. That I can sit down with a journal and jot down what ideal would look and feel like, and then I can slowly begin making steps towards that – whether that means incorporating my spiritual life in new ways into my daily rhythms, or whether it means a yoga class or walking to the main bus, instead of taking a different bus, and carving out a wee bit of exercise.
There is something hopeful in realizing that I can see this season in this new way – a whisper of the voice of Jesus encouraging my heart as I move into this new place in life. And that hopeful whisper has left me grateful (and motivated to find time to sit with my journal this weekend and dream!)