Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tea and Scones

Today I had a good friend over for tea. I haven't seen her in nearly a year and a half, so I'd gotten quite excited and baked fresh scones, whipped cream, took out a couple of the mini pies I'd baked, set out some chocolate truffles, and my fancy tea cups too.

As it turns out, her second life (she's a nurse too) is in raising her dog. She called him her "soulmate in dog form," which apparently her husband isn't too thrilled about. She loves her dog, but what I realized was that when she wasn't working, she didn't do much else. She loves her job!

Needless to say, it was difficult to get her to talk about anything but work. Even when I tried to steer the conversation away from work, it quickly made its way back. Sure, sharing stories about nursing was great since we both have very different experiences, but sometimes I worry that work gets the better of us. We forget that work is supposed to be the means to get what we want out of life - not the thing that becomes ourl lives. We need breaks. Of course we sometimes run into people who love their jobs so much that they can't think of doing anything else, but even then, it's that person loving their job. Their job isn't who they are - they just compliment each other. Our job shouldn't overtake us and who we are, otherwise we'd go nuts and become overexhausted. That's the point at which we've become "burnt out." It's a well documented phenomenon in nursing, anyway. Nurses who appear to love their job but who become so involved in it that it overtakes their lives end up leaving the profession because of the emotional strain.

I suppose that's the theme of the week. Learning to figure out who you are when you're not on the clock. Learning to let work stop when you leave. Allowing your friends and loved ones into your life without distancing them with constant talk of the thing you do when you're not with them already. Learning who you are without that professional label attached. This week, I'm a baker extraordinare! yess!

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