Thursday, November 27, 2008

Getting Into the Thanksgiving Spirit

I try my best to live a life of gratitude every day, but I do appreciate having at least one day that is set aside to really ponder what I am grateful for.  I've been thinking about this for a couple weeks and planning what to write in my head, but a killer cold of lung-coughing-outness and sleepless nights of babyal awakeness have left me a wide-eyed zombie, so I have kept putting off this post until now.  But hey, what a way to start out a gratitude post with things that I'm not thankful for...  let's get onto the big show:

I love my wife.  She is rocking cool of friggin coolness and I love her coolness of awesomation.  She is a trooper when it comes to taking care of the baby, especially on the nights before I have to work.  She is a great Mom to both of our daughters, and she stands by me even when I sometimes let my winter blues keep me from actually doing anything helpful.  K, I love you forever and even if you look like a 16 year old, you carry your teenage presence with grace.  Or something.

I love my kids.  My older daughter is the light of my life and it is so satisfying to see her growing and learning every day.  She is the smartest kid I've ever seen for her age and I know that she is going to do great things.  My younger daughter can be trying at times, what with the grunting all day and night, but she is growing more and more beautiful, and I can already see that she is going to be just as smart.  She is amazingly alert for a one month old and has a neck made of steel, and now she is gaining weight like a champ!

My parents and siblings are awesome.  Even though we don't see each other as often as I'd like, I still enjoy living within reasonable driving distance to all of them, and it is one of the biggest reservations I have about the idea of moving somewhere else.  My parents will drop everything to help others and give literaly dozens of hours every week in volunteer service, and my brothers are all great people and happy husbands and fathers with wonderful, supportive wives and smart children.  I am really grateful to have a brother that works in the ER just down the road.  It's nice to be able to comiserate over a lively game of ping pong.

I love my job.  I really like going to work knowing that I'm going to make a difference in some lives.  Sometimes it gets stressful and a little overwhelming, but it is so worth it for those moments when the patient tells me "thank you, you have been so kind."  That is why I got into nursing in the first place, and it means a lot to me to have a job where I can bring some kindness and joy into the lives of others while at the same time being challenged every day.

I am grateful for those who work with me.  My fellow nurses in the ER are always willing to stop and help me when I have a question (which is all too often), my ER Techs, for the most part, are very helpful and will anticipate what needs to be done and get it taken care of without me even having to ask, and the group of Docs and PAs that work at my ER are all great.  With just one or two exceptions, they all carry themselves as coworkers and friends rather than holier-than-thou bosses, and I feel that I can come up to them with questions or concerns and they are receptive and act as part of the team trying to help each patient feel better.  The medics that come to our ER are incredibly smart and capable, and the two that I rode along with for a day 8 months ago still greet me by name when they see me.  I feel confident with the information that I get from them (except for the medication lists, but that is a story for another day), and I generally find that what information they are able to gather in the back of a speeding ambulance is acurate and largely complete.  It takes a huge load off of my shoulders when I can put such confidence in what I get from the EMTs.

I love my patients.  Yeah, there are the bad apples, and those are often the ones who make it onto this and other blogs, but for the most part, I deal with patients who are coming to get help because they really feel that they need it, and I find them to be kind and gracious on the whole.  I try to show respect for them, and I usually get back a good experience as well as we work together to try to ease concerns and heal wounds.  It is very satisfying.

I am grateful for this blog.  It has given me the chance to vent frustrations, share interests, rant about politics, and gain great insight.  I've never met epijunky, but I feel like I have a friend, and that's pretty cool.  when I started the blog, I wondered if I would be able to get more than the couple hundred visitors a month that our old family blog got.  Now I get several hundred visitors a day, not to mention the hundresds that subscribe through various feed readers.  It is humbling and satisfying, and the majority of comments I have heard back from readers have been positive and supportive.  Thank you so much for coming out to my corner of the web!

Oh goodness, I always get to this point and realize that I have listed tons of stuff but still have tons more to say, so I'll just go into zippidy doo dah mode and list off some other things that keep me sane and happy:

Church - yeah, I'm religious and I love it.
Football - I've always liked a game here and there, but this year I've been following it closely and have enjoyed it tremendously.  Here's to hoping that USC can get into the BCS championship and that Detroit can maybe win a game somewhere.
The mall - wandering aimlessly around the mall is the best date for me and my daughter, and she loves loves loves the slide in the play area.
Wendy's Chili - yummy.
Mario Kart - words cannot describe...
Thanksgiving Dinner - the best meal of the year.
Provigil - miracle drug.
Classical Music - I love me some James Taylor and Garth Brooks, but nothing is quite like a Rachmaninov Piano Concerto or a Beethoven Symphony.
My Pocket PC - Telephone, calculator, drug guide, game repository, calendar, mp3 player, camera... it is rarely not right at my side.
Good Authors - Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, Orson Scott Card, Brad Meltzer, Piers Anthony, Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Vince Flynn, Timothy Zahn, Dave Barry.  Others.
DVR - Now that I can pause and rewind TV and fast-forward through the comercials, I never watch live television anymore.  If I really want to watch it live, I just record it and start 20 minutes late so that by the time the show is done I've caught up to it and I still don't have to watch the commercials.  Oh blessed day!
Webcams - We just spent 30 minutes talking to family members from all over the country thanks to Skype and my webcam.  My parents got to see my youngest daughter and I didn't even have to take her out of the swing or even wake her up.
Wii - Wheeeeeee!
Humor in all it's forms - I cannot live my life without humor.  It is always present around me.  No, seriously.  I've tried sprays and creams and pills and nothing seems to be able to get rid of it... maybe that's not humor after all...
Great Examples - The other day I went down to visit my parents on a Sunday and when I took my daughter to the nursery, one of the nursery workers was a man who just months before was the leader of a whole region and 2500 church members (in our church we have no paid clergy, so members serve in varying capacities for a short time and then move on to different jobs).  Most people would scoff at going from top dog to a lowly nursery worker, but he delighted in the chance to serve his fellow man however he could.  Truly one of the best examples I have ever known.  And while I'm getting sappy, his daughter was a huge example for me many years ago when I was a teenager and she was the epitome of what a friend should be.  Hi M!
Other stuff - I'm forgetting a lot of stuff, but you've probably stopped reading by now anyway.  I love all y'all and keep it real, yo.  Peace out!


Ker said...

I may look 16 now, but I'll look 30 when I'm 50... :)

Love you, too. Thanks for thinking I'm rockin' cool.

Epijunky said...

You *do* have a friend in me Braden :)Even if we've never met or spoken.

I loved this post. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who isn't too uppity to admit that they play video games and actually watch TV. *gasp*

We have it good, my Brother. We know what's truly important, and we put them first and foremost. But we're also grateful for those little things that keep us sane.

And for the record, I love Mario Kart, Guitar Hero, and the Wii.

Okay, I'm babbling. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Braden said...

Ker, that is true, but when you are 80 you'll look 80, just like everyone else.

Epi: Do you have MarioKart on the Wii? What is your WiFi Connect ID number? Mine is 1075-1687-5212 although I'm not really on very often these days.