Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Flexing My "No" Muscle

This nursing thing is hard. I think I'm getting "the knack" with dealing with the kids (I even think that I'm starting to develop a little bit of intuition), but the rest of the job is mentally exhausting - the paperwork, the co-workers, the parents, the administrators - are all running me down.

I've been trying to keep the work-life balance in check (through getting into the wedding planning, trying to sleep really well, and starting a few volunteering gigs), but I still spent much of the weekend fretting over a request that my co-ordinator gave to me. I told her "no." Actually, I told her voicemail no because I was procrastinating telling her no in person and eventually I realized that she was off work for the day. I just didn't feel like I had a reason strong enough for her for me to say no. But I really wanted to. On Sunday, I spent a chunk of the day dealing with staffing issues (sick calls, empty hours for the day that needed filling) that could have been nullified if I'd just said "yes." But I didn't. So I was feeling a whole lot of guilt because I thought I was putting my peers and coworkers through more stress for my own needs....wants.

And to make it worse for myself, I'm working a night shift tonight- but I was "unassigned" meaning that there wasn't any staffing need for me and that I would just float around the three units. So where I could have been more useful by saying "yes," I played into my own desires because I knew I'd have a much easier workday if I said no.

In the end, there was a sick call for tonight, and a 1:1 child that needed attention, so I'm being made use of just fine. I really didn't need the weekend of freaking out over how my coordinator was going to guilt me.

But I was entitled to say no. I wanted to say no. I did (albeit indirectly). I dealt with trying to fix my No on Sunday when I was on the line with the staffing office. And they needed me anyway on the night shift.

I've also been doing plenty of self-reflection lately about where I fit in here, and I don't regret saying "no" because I need to have things to look forward to at work. I like working nights sometimes- easier pace, it's quiet, and sometimes you get in some really great 1:1 chat time with a co-worker you don't know very well. I can sometimes craft, or knit, or write letters. I wanted the night shifts this week to catch up on some things that I like. If I didn't have that sometimes, I don't think I would have lasted as long as I have at this job.

So I know what I need to balance life with work. I need to stick to those things in order to keep sane. I think I just need to start flexing my "Fuck, no!" muscle. That's the muscle that lies below your regular "no" muscle that allows you to deny something with utmost conviction, without shame, and without regret. I've got one....it's just little.

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