I miss my old job. I REALLY miss the people. I was a part of a great team. And there are days that I even miss the drama. The job itself was relatively horrible. I never minded being a leader but being "a boss" is a pretty thankless job. You are always failing in somebody's eyes. However, I still miss it. I loved being a manager and honestly, I never thought I would walk away from it. However, what I gained from giving up my job has been more rewarding than I imagined.
I'm in an online book club and we just attempted to read Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. I say "attempted" because I believe I'm the only one that is finishing the book. It's not that the book isn't great, it just requires a bit of time and focus, both of which we all struggled with this past month. A quick note to my book club friends...I forgive you for abandoning me on this book and I can't wait to start the next on Monday. But find time to go back and finish the book...it picks up in Chapter 6. Anyway, the book is an intimate look at aging, how we deal with our own fate and how healthcare providers deal with their patient's mortality. The author described a shift seen with people aging; a focus shift from one of personal achievement and growth to one of fellowship with family and close friends. Often people associate this shift with just growing old and maybe, gaining wisdom. However, a psychologist named Laura Carstensen has studied the influence of perspective on people's priorities in life. She has reasonable evidence to support personal experience allowing one to gain perspective on life driving this shift from achievement to fellowship. For example, a person in their early 30s that has encountered a near death experience shifts their focus to family and friends regardless of not being considered elderly. And I buy into this theory whole-hardheartedly.
The last five years of my life have been the toughest (so far). I've definitely gained perspective on things I never thought I would have a need to understand; this perspective has opened my mind and shifted my priorities. The shift motivated me to quit a job I loved and refocus my energy into family. My decision (and I stress MY) was definitely met with criticism from others. I had one coworker sit me down and tell me she felt I was "ruining my career". I had a handful of friends question why I was "moving for a guy". But my core friends got it. I had a dear friend tell me she was proud of me for having the courage to do it. To take the leap of faith for something bigger and better without having a clear vision of the path.
I had really hoped God was going to make the journey easy with relatively little faith required. I envisioned landing the perfect management job in NC and basically continuing my career. However, God made me work for this one. I moved without secure employment and had to trust God would provide me enough work as an independent nurse consultant. Without fail, God provides. (Please note the present tense on that last sentence.)
And because I leaped and more importantly trusted God, I get to enjoy endless hours with my boys (Chris and our two dogs). I get to make plans for our future. I actually have a better paying, less stressful job with 95% flexible hours. When "my boys" decided to go camping midweek, I got to go with them. I get to make dinner each night. (Okay this is a lie. Chris cooks for me most nights. I'm lucky to be in love with someone who loves to cook and is equally competitive as I am. And since we haven't totally decided which of us is the "better cook", we continue to compete.) The flexibility and freedom I've found by allowing a shift in my priorities from achievement and success to fellowship and family has been overwhelming. And you know what...I'm redefining success in my life. I'm still building a career, I'm just building it according to God's timeline and my family.
Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brother and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me - everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
And although I may go back to the hospital someday...in the meantime I'll just keep camping.
Courage, two dogs and a campsite,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.