Until now, all the blog posts have been written by yours truly, Natavi.
“Other voices from the tribe” is the beginning of another unfolding of the tribe of dreams website, inviting other tribespeople to share their reflections and learnings and truths from their perspective of the path of wellness and interconnectedness.
We begin with some beautiful words from Jessica Fink, a nurse/writer/wife/healer/friend/polyfinkwig/profressional laugher/hype girl/and so much more.
Enjoy, and may we all keep nurturing our minds, bodies, spirits, and communities.
The Toddler I Never Wanted
Being a nurse, I hear a lot of talk about self care in the holistic healthcare ads I get in the mail. It was always a cast off notion to me. “Of course, make yourself a cup of tea, breathe deeply, meditate, yadda yadda yadda,” I would think. It’s all so simple that I already do that stuff. Then I went on about my life, all the while thinking that I took such good care of myself.
After some time, I began to notice that the job that I used to gain so much fulfillment from was sapping me. I watched myself care less and less about my patients and more and more about only fulfilling the basic requirements of the job. I felt helpless to my own decline. “Is this really happening to me? Am I burning out just like all of the rest of those nurses who weren’t even meant for the job?”
Yes. Yes I was.
Not only was this seeping into my career, but it was also seeping into every corner of my life. Malaise. But how? How could this happen? I subscribe to the holistic journal of nursing, I’m highly intelligent, I take care of myself, I care… in general.
Then, one night, at work I met my toddler.
Let me preface this with the fact that I dislike children. I never have wanted any children of my own and only find them cute and fun for 6 hours max.
I was at work, surfing the internet… yet again. There was nothing to do. I had completed all of my tasks, failed to make a connection with my patients, and was basically saying “Pass” in the go fish game of effort. All of the sudden I caught myself and said,
“Hey, instead of mindlessly trolling the internet for shit to buy that you don’t need, how about you read that book you carry around with you everywhere?”
A resounding “NO!” came from the depths of my psyche. It was hard to tell, but I think sounded kind of like a brat.
“Uuuummm, okay, how about some tea? You brought some of that great tea you just bought.”
“NO! That’s BORING!” Yep, definitely a bratty twerp.
Surprised and slightly amused, I realized that all of these years I’ve been housing a toddler in my subconscious. Then I realized the more sobering fact: that toddler has been calling nearly all of the shots.
I kept wondering why it was that I didn’t feel great on a daily basis. I had all of the prerequisites, but I was signing out and, unknowingly, letting my toddler run the show. My toddler had a great time spending hours on Facebook, shopping on Amazon, eating whatever food was available, watching pointless game shows, etc. Meanwhile everything I wanted to do was put on the backburner. This was somehow done by convincing myself that I was already taking care of myself. How could I not be? It’s so easy to take care of yourself.
Apparently, that’s not true.
Upon realizing that a damn toddler was running my life, I began to get upset. What do I have to do? Bring a friggin diaper bag of activities everywhere with me so that this idiot will enrich my life? Then I realized that I’ve had this frustration with myself before and dealt with it by being annoyed with myself and then throwing the whole matter away out of frustration (which is usually how I deal with children). The only way this toddler is going to grow up is if I pay special attention to its development and approach the whole thing with understanding and care.
No matter how obvious something may seem, I must be intentional about it. I cannot think of self care as something that is so obvious that I already do it. I have to bring my attention to life and slow it down so that I can take care of myself. That’s what good parents do, they slow life down and explain it to their children. They are the buffers for the onslaught of life that their children face. They nurture.
This may be the toddler I never wanted, but the only way I’ll ever be present for my patients and really take part in my own life is if I pack up that diaper bag with self-care and take that kid on an adventure.