Tag Archives: Work

my happiness project

3 Sep

If you follow me on twitter, you might have seen a tweet referencing the fact that I’m starting my very own Happiness Project

I started the project on Sept. 1st, and will be blogging about it at least monthly, possibly weekly depending on my work schedule.

I obviously got the idea after buying Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project.

I’m going to try and explain this project, and keep it concise – so bear with me here.

You really need to get this book to fully understand what the project is about. The author was a happy person with a happy life, but felt like she wasn’t fully enjoying what really mattered. In order to turn this around, she launched a one year project in which she took various scientific studies, wisdom, and other lessons about how to be happier. She broke everything down and assigned herself monthly goals, (for example: go to sleep earlier, start a blog, etc.) that made her a happier person.

I feel as though I am a happy person. I took the Authentic Happiness Inventory Questionnaire and score a 3.4 out of 5. However, lately I can’t help but feel as though I’ve kind of had a chip on my shoulder.
I think we all sometimes let the not-so-great things in life sort of take the lead, and I’m no exception. For one, I feel lonely living in Northern Ontario. It’s beautiful, but it just isn’t “home”. There has also been some not-so-great stuff going down at work in terms of labour relations, and that has probably affected me more than almost anything else this year. I work more, and enjoy it less.

I’m feeling less like myself everyday, and I know that I am heading toward a major relapse in terms of my bulimia nervosa.

texts between a friend and I

So this is it. I start this month. (Note, I am still working away at my 101 in 1001 project as well!)

my goals for september were indeed plagiarized from Gretchen Rubin herself. The focus is improving my energy:

– Go to sleep earlier
– Exercise better
– Toss, restore, organize
– tackle a nagging task
– act more energetic

How am I doing so far?? I’m failing. But in my defense, Britton and I are away this week in Waterloo with friends, so we aren’t home to do many of those things. I’m on track for exercising, but going to bed at 2am most days…

Stay tuned!

I’ll (hopefully) do a recap at the end of the week outlining my first week on the project!



New Attitude

27 Feb

Yesterday work went surprisingly well, despite the fact that we are still in transition from the new pharmacy, the pills are still not organized, and we’re still running really late with our AM med pass.

You’ll be happy to know that I did not break down crying yesterday.

So what changed? Well, I woke up yesterday, (exhausted despite having had a full night of sleep) and almost cried. I was so close to calling in. I just did not think I could face another morning med pass with the new pharmacy.  I obviously cannot afford to call in, so I knew I had to go into work. I got ready as usual, and when I was walking to the bus I wondered how I could make this situation better? Was there anything I could do about the meds to make them easier? No. There wasn’t. The only thing I could change was my attitude. So I told myself that I was going to do my best, and I was going to have a good day no matter what. For some reason, just that thought put me in a better mood! Funny how the mind works sometimes, isn’t it?

I got into work, and started the med pass (which went horribly, as expected) but I didn’t let it get me down. Sure, I could have half-assed it and saved myself some time, but that’s how med errors happen ( so no thanks!). I finished my 8am med pass at 11:45 (WITH HELP from my preceptor) YEAH BABY!! The residents were pissed, but I just kept smiling and explained the situation as best I could.

At one point during the morning, when I was running around trying to get a million things done, my supervisor said to me “How are you doin’  Steph?” And I replied with “Great, actually! I’m late for absolutely everything, but I’m still in a great mood!” and she laughed and said “Good for you! Looks like the insanity has finally set in!”

At the end of my shift my preceptor told me what a great job I did! I was ELATED.

Nursing can sometimes be a very thankless job. Especially when you’re working your absolute hardest and it’s still not good enough for the residents (which is fair, they deserve to get their pills on time).  It was so nice to hear that someone noticed how hard I was working.

So I guess I really have learned from the change in pharmacies.
I’m still glad to be done day shifts though. Man, I cannot wait until night shifts start on monday. Night shifts are so much calmer!!

That’s all for now… Better get out and run some errands in the snowy abyss that is Waterloo at the moment. Blegh. Need to step up the boycott. It’s failing!!!

How I stay energized for 12 hour shifts.

26 Feb

I worked a 12er today (to make up for some missed hours when I was sick) and let me tell you, it was HARD. I am officially at 44 hours worked this week and I go back for another 12 tomorrow.

When I know I’m going to be working 12s, I try to avoid sugar as much as possible. Sugar always makes me crash and I end up exhausted by mid-morning. I try to eat lots of fiber and fruits and veggies and a high-protein lunch. I get my energy from whole grains and fruit like banana.

For example, today I had 1/2 cup of All-Bran, 1/2 banana, 1tbsp chia seeds, and unsweetened soymilk (for breakfast), I snacked on an orange and a handful of cinnamon hearts a client offered me (I loooooooove cinnamon hearts!). I had leftover quinoa stuffed peppers and some steamed kale for lunch, snacked on a pear, and had a huge garden salad with balsamic dressing and a black bean burrito for dinner. for “dessert” I had my leftover 1/2 banana with peanut butter. Mmmmm mmmmm… And of course, Caffeine. The wonder drug. I drank two big mugs of maple green tea (OMG SO GOOD!).

So there it is! How I stay energized for 12 hour shifts!

I still get home and feel exhausted, and my knees hurt from being on my feet all day.I also had a huge craving for some hot cocoa but I’m too lazy to make it, so I ate a few squares of dark chocolate instead! And now, here I am enjoying some chips. Whatevs. The 12-hour shift is over. Don’t judge.

I was also tres happy today when I looked outside at 7pm and realized it wasn’t fully dark!! The days are noticeably longer, my friends! Soon it will be spring!! Clearly, my winter boycott is working. Tonight, I’m going to pretend my bedroom is sweltering hot and bust out the fan.

You know, just to get into the spirit of summer. I also won’t let Britton cuddle with me because I’m “too sweaty” then I’m going to spend my weekend sitting on the couch and sucking back cold brewskis and burping the alphabet.
Aaaahhhhh summer…. so close I can taste it.

Well, my WiFi (or as my mom says “Wee Fee”) keeps cutting out and I’m about to throw this fahking thing out the window! TIME FOR BED!!!

Stay tuned for a post on how I’m going to try to stay “fit for free”

Lesson Learned.

24 Feb

yesterday was the day from hell.

I am currently completing consolidation at an amazing not for profit organization. They are pretty huge and own quite a few group homes and run many disability services around the city where I live.  At the location I am working at, we deal primarily in geriatrics.

On any given day, a nurse at my facility is responsible for over 60 patients.Since there are so many, we work with a pre-dispensed medication system (all the meds to be given at a specific time are all together in one pouch)

We are currently in the process of switching pharmacies, which means new med cart, new system, new MAR (the record which we check the med pouches against), new everything.

Yesterday was our first day with the new pharmacy and it was a nightmare. There were medications missing from pouches, there were people who didn’t receive any medications at all, there was even one pouch that had a blood pressure medication that was never prescribed to that person!!! Not only was it in the pouch, they put it on the new MAR too!!  So, needless to say, the medication was given to this person and we didn’t realize the error until the second MAR check (all MARS are usually checked twice, but we were unable to do that with these since we were not given enough time). The patient, who did not need BP meds had to be monitored closely for the rest of the day. If your BP drops too low, you’re at a high risk of going into cardiac arrest.

The pharmacist even pre-dispensed narcotics in the pouches (HUGE legality issue, so we were unable to give those pills!) We also did not receive any PRN (as needed) narcotics!!! We have palliative patients who are in extreme pain without them.

It was a zoo. An absolute zoo. I finished my 7am med pass at 10am.I broke down in tears in the bathroom from stress, residents were mad at me for not getting their pills on time, or not getting them at all (they hadn’t arrived!)

And that’s not all!!! My facility has been in outbreak since January (a full month!). All activities have been cancelled until the outbreak was declared over. (not to mention all the extra work we nurses have to do during an outbreak!) In order for the outbreak to be declared over, it must be five days since the last person was put into isolation.

….With less than 24 hours left to go before the outbreak was officially over, one more resident got sick and was put into isolation. FML!
I swear, I could hear the staff groaning in unison.  Another 5 days (at least).

So…lesson learned…. Make sure you take a vacation the week your facility switches pharmacies.

I was so exhausted… my 8 hour shift turned into a 9 hour shift. By the time I got home, I was so exhausted. I told Britton about my day, had some dinner, and then at about 7pm I layed down to have a nap. I didn’t wake up until 6am this morning!!!

Thank goodness today is my day off!!

Plans for today include:

– addressing more envelopes
– sewing more clips into hair extensions
– Getting my wedding ring ordered
– groceries
– picking up the RSVP cards
– finalizing honeymoon plans (stay tuned to find out the when and where!)

Phew. Busy day. Off to get started!!!