Thursday, September 5, 2013

I'm All Over Blogtember!

I came across this awesome idea from Sew Fantastic and found the original blog source and wanted in! I was one of those kids in school that beamed at the thought of an essay assignment, which continued through college. Even in grad school our scholarly papers were never a bother; except that I was frequently told to keep my page limits within the guidelines. That is how much I love writing. I could just write, and write, and write. Life seems to get in the way of it, though, so this daily blog challenge is going to truly be a challenge. But a fun one.

The topic for today is: Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.

Of course, this one is actually hard.

The first thing that comes to mind is actually something from my former career. When I first entered maternity care nursing, labor and delivery gave me palpitations. It seemed so scary. Life or death scary. So much so that my first L&D job was a total clusterfuck (on everyone's part). My anxiety was awful, and working in one of the roughest places was probably not the best choice. So I had given up on L&D nursing for quite some time until I moved to NH and took a job that required that I learn labor and birth.

I was several years older, and had told my NH employer that I was scared. My previous experiences were not pleasant, to say the least, and they actually cared to make sure I was successful. They gave me to an experienced nurse for precepting, and it was she that wiped away any anxiety left in my brain.

We were reviewing fetal monitoring strips, discussing the fine points of our interpretation, when she said to me, "Jamie, always look for the positive. Don't go searching for the negative right away."
This advice was the best given to me, as almost always, there were positive findings to be had. She certainly hadn't meant to ignore troublesome tracings, or question something, but to change my viewpoint to always go for positive first was a game changer.

So I think that this came to my mind because it is actually something I remind myself to do everyday. It's not easy to follow. I think my brain is hard wired to immediately go to the negative. I am typically a glass half empty person, or at the very least a person waiting for someone to empty the glass!
Several years back a friend and I began to test the theory of The Secret. I am embarrassed to say that I watched the movie and bought the book, but it actually was an interesting experiment. My brother had been using The Law of Attraction for years, and it did appear to work for him. He started a very successful business, began dating his wife, and is comfortable financially. So, what the friend and I began using positive language during conversation, and I even tried the tricks they talk about in The Secret. And they worked. Mind you, this was a very heavy time in my life: I was looking for a midwifery job, trying to pay off debt, attempting to lose a significant amount of weight, and dealing with the day to day with my mother's extremely rare cancer diagnosis- a diagnosis in which even the world renowned specialists at Dana Farber didn't quite know how to treat.
I even started training my brain to think and look for the positive. I read affirmations to myself every day. As I fell asleep at night, I would also say them to myself. I never let myself get too deep into negative thoughts.

What happened with surrounding myself in positive thoughts?
Well, I lost 75 pounds. My mom was "cured". (She is almost 5 years cancer free!). I ended up being contacted for a midwifery job that was the perfect fit. I was able to pay off all of the debt, except for my student loan.
And then life went I mentioned before my brain is hard wired for negativity. I wasn't keeping up with the positive. I wasn't looking for it the way I was. And things changed. Not necessarily for the better at the time, although, having brought myself back to the positive mindset things are better. But it's work.
I guess this was easier than I thought for my first Blogtember post. Bottom line: Always look for the positive.

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