Fifteen Year Predictions

Today I was lying out in the sun with Igloo (who has settled in as if he always lived here!). And I was watching him sit next to me in all his cute-ness, silently wishing that he could somehow just never grow up. 

He may still not know how to use them most effectively, but his little legs are getting bigger each day. A part of me wishes he would slow down with the growing thing, because I’m just not done with him being the smallest bundle of fur!

Then I catch him digging a hole, and I know it’ll be okay when he’s big enough that I won’t have to worry about him being an escape artist under the fence…

But I got to thinking about how long he’s going to be in my life. And I was a little sad when I realised that if I’m lucky, we are looking at maybe 15 years. Which for me, is simply not long enough. 

This put me onto another train of thought, as I tried to picture where I would be in 15 years. 

You see, comparatively – it seems like such a short amount of time when I think about Igloo, but when I think about me, 15 years couldn’t be further away!

I simply don’t understand how in my mind, one could seem longer than the other. It’s the same amount of time devoted to two different lives. 

I know Igloo will spend the next 15 years most likely eating grass, getting sand stuck in his ears at the beach and being loved beyond measure.

But what will I be doing? What does my life look like in 15 years? I’m very curious to know. 

I guess only time will tell, and that’s a little frustrating for little impatient me. I mean, a lot could really change in 15 years and I’ll only know when I get there. 

But time is precious, and as curious as I am, I would never wish to rush time. 

So for now, I think I’ll channel my inner “One Tree Hill” tin box in a brick wall, and settle for writing a list of predictions for the year 2031 (which sounds like another lifetime away). 

In 2031, I predict that:

• I will be married, and happily married at that!
• I will have a child, or maybe even two, to keep my hands full and my heart even more so.
• I will have made CN at work, and loved every moment of it.
• I will have finished my Nurse Practitioner degree, maybe i’ll even be lucky enough to be working as one in emergency, or in a clinic!
• I will own a soccer mum car, and happily fill it with orange slices every Saturday morning for the big game.
• Igloo will be by my side, grey hairs and all. Still as adorable as ever.
• I will have a house with enough room for my shoe collection!
• I will have ticked at least 15 more things off my Bucket List.
• I will have travelled more, and seen some of the most beautiful parts of this world.
• And I will take time each week, no matter how busy its been, to sit down by the beach with my Mr., watch the sun set, and cherish every moment.

I think it will be so special to look back at this post in 15 years and simply see how far I’ve come. Life is everchanging, and we really don’t know what’s in store for us. But we can hope for the best version of our lives. 

I am guaranteed to have some of my worst and some of my best days in the next 15 years, and while I may not end up where I thought I would, I’ll know that it was somehow exactly where I am supposed to be. 

Here’s to 2031. And in the ultimate prediction, I’m sure I won’t believe it when you’re here. 

d x 

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#59

Today, I did something good. I rolled up my sleeve and ticked #59 off the bucket list. I donated my blood.

Having been a nurse for the last two and a half years, I’ve come to realise the true importance of blood donations. I mean, you see it constantly advertised on the the tv commercials about how the world needs more blood donors to keep up with the demand. So I always knew it was important, but being the one to first-hand witness the life-saving ability of a blood transfusion really put it all into perspective as to just how much.

A part of my job is to be apart of a portfolio within my unit. This means we all have specific roles and aspects of nursing and patient care that we devote our knowledge and effects towards. Mine is Blood Safety. Every month we have a portfolio meeting and we talk about any updates to blood transfusion policies in the hospital setting, and the dramatic increase in demand for blood products world wide. The numbers alone are astounding.

Unfortunately, we need blood more than what we have. And by more, I mean a lot. There just aren’t enough donors, and we’re using more than we are collecting. So when my multi-traumas come in, and need multiple units of blood, it’s really impacting the system.

My portfolio encourages people to donate, attempting to rally the troops and find some sort of way to make a small difference (even if just locally). But having never donated blood myself, I’ve been a bit of a fraud. So it found itself as an item on my bucket list to donate blood.

They say for every donation, your blood saves three lives. And they’re not wrong. Your blood matters more than you realise. I’ve only come to know this by being a nurse, and the countless times I’ve run down to pathology to get a bag of blood to save someone’s life. Your blood really is worth bottling, if you’ve never been exposed to Mad Cow Disease that is!

So, in the attempt to make a difference, I booked in to donate my own liquid gold.

In the days leading up to the donation, the staff from the blood donation clinic rung me almost daily to make sure I didn’t have any questions about my first time donation. In fact, they had contacted me so much that for a moment there I was a little concerned at what I had agreed to give. I had agreed to donate just my blood right? Not a kidney? I was becoming so suspicious, I started double reading through the emails!

When I arrived to the clinic, the girls at the receptionist desk gave me a form to fill out. Despite it’s lengthy composition of five pages worth of questions, I managed to tick and flick all the right answers and made it through the interview to the blood donor circle in less than 10 minutes.

I never realised how in depth the screening was for blood donation, but I guess that makes a lot of sense considering how careful you have to be with blood. Apparently, my blood really was liquid gold. I was good to go!

They asked me whether I had had enough water enough times to make me question whether the two litres was, in fact, enough. So when they offered me another bottle of water, I thought I better. And later regretted my decision.

The lady called my name and I followed her through to the chair. She gave me a soft red blanket to keep my cosy and a sparkly red sticker proudly displaying a happy-faced blood drop who seemed to be congratulating me on my first donation. So far, so good.

Before long, another lady arrived at my side to warn me that she was about to cannulate my arm and if this was going to make me squeamish that I should look away now. Me, thinking to myself , “Hell no, I’m a nurse, this is what I do, go for it”. Also me, thinking to myself two seconds later, “Hell no. That thing is the size of my actual vein, probably not as okay with this as I thought”.

Despite the metal rod hanging out of my arm and a regrettably full bladder, I managed to avoid any queasiness and focussed on spinning the red squeezy brick around in the palm of my hand. This was a harder task than it initially seemed as my blood flow stubbornly slowed to the speed of a Sunday afternoon driver, and I was quite quickly losing any sort of blood flow to my left hand. If I were to describe the scene, it looked a lot like me staring intently at my left hand as if trying to telepathically make it move like I know my brain was instructing it too, slightly panicking as the pins and needles sensation was replaced with an overall iciness.

The girls would smile at me and say, “Just keep turning the red brick around in your hand”. And I would smile back politely, despite the very real and irrational fear that my hand might just drop off altogether.

It took twenty minutes instead of the usual ten to squeeze enough blood out of me to fill four bags, but that was thanks to my snail-like blood delivery system. And in the grand scheme of things, it actually felt over and done with more quickly than I thought, leaving me with a “Is that all it is?” feeling. I also managed to leave with all limbs and organs – so that was a bonus in itself.

When I walked out of the donation room, I was met by a little old lady who told me to help myself to the wall of food that stood behind her. From cookies to chips, meat pies and chocolate – the choice was mine. Replenish, is what she said with a giggle in response to my widening eyes. So much delicious free food, I didn’t even know where to start. I could get used to this blood donating thing, that was for sure.

Fed and watered, I finally was ready to leave feeling rather impressed at myself for not having passed out in the whole process. I waved goodbye to the little old lady who much like a grandmother insisted I have something else, and walked out into the sunshine feeling pleased to have done what I could to help someone else.

 

The most wonderful part is that I have never felt so appreciated in my whole life. The girls there make you feel like you have done something really spectacular, for doing something I originally thought was pretty average. Not one person neglected to congratulate me, or thank me for donating my blood at any stage of the day. They honestly made me feel like a superhero, and I became embarrassed because I really didn’t think I deserved it!

So heres the part where I encourage you to donate too if you can. It takes less than 10 minutes (if your veins are more cooperative than mine, that is), and you can acquire the honour of calling yourself a super hero for the rest of the day – because that’s what you are. In ten minutes you can save the lives of three people alone, and in my books, that it definitely something worth doing.

And if the ‘saving someones life’ plug hasn’t got you convinced, then at least do it for the giant chocolate chip cookie.

#59 – Donate Blood: Check!

d x

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#24

As you will have read by now, on Thursday last week I ticked #24 off of my bucket list…I bought a puppy!

He is a beautiful little Golden Retriever who turned 9 weeks old today, has the sharpest teeth you can imagine and boasts an entire weighting of 3.3 kilograms. He is very much a bundle of fur with the biggest brown eyes I have ever known.

His name is Igloo in reference to looking not at all dissimilar to a baby polar bear, only a little more caramel coloured. And he is the definition of adorable and naughty all rolled into one, but owns my heart as if he had always had the key.

I’ve spent almost every hour over the last four days with Igloo. We have perfected a sleep-play routine and usually circle back through it at least eight times a day. We wake up, we play, we bite everything in sight, we get told ‘No’ a lot, we eat some grass, we do a wee and if we’re feeling particularly good, we do a poo too. Then we enjoy tummy rubs before dozing back off to sleep for the next hour or two before we wake up and start it all over again.

Igloo has become quite fond of the taste of the BBQ brake tabs, and strangely enough, his own poo. Which is equal parts amusing as it is disgusting. He is very curious about the bricks down the side of the house, more-so than the neighbours dogs who consistently bark at him. And he has taken quite a liking to the drains down the back of the yard which supersede any interest in the actual puppy toys I’ve bought for him.

Nevertheless, I am never bored when I hang out with the little man. He never ceases to entertain me with his “gumby-ness” and endless affection for suckling on my fingertips. He is the best thing that has ever been mine, even if he hasn’t quite figured out how to best use the limbs attached to him without falling over head-first-bum-up.

I will admit, however, that it has been a lot more hard work than I thought it would be. Not that I ever thought a puppy would be easy to look after, I always knew it was going to keep my hands full. I just didn’t realise exactly how much.

I’ve come to realise that having puppy is a lot like bringing home a new born baby. Except a puppy doesn’t wear a nappy, has teeth and is more mobile than any new mum would prefer. It’s a constant visual stake-out trying to distinguish ‘exploration‘ sniffing and ‘I need to poo right here on the carpet‘ sniffing – which unfortunately for me, look all too similar.

I have totalled about 10 hours sleep over the past four nights, and I feel more exhausted looking after Igloo than I do looking after all my patients combined on a night shift. I’ve even found myself to be quite the worry wart when it come’s to looking after him. He brings out the ‘Mum’ in me, and rightly so.

In all honesty, he’s actually being quite good through the night in that he barks to let me know when he’s done a wee. So I’m thinking that this is better than barking for no reason at all. But in conjunction with a puppy-sized bladder and the copious amounts of water he drinks, this happens to be every hour, almost on the hour. Meaning I barely fall asleep before he calls out for me again and I find him there, standing in his own little puddle smiling at me.

I guess we are both learning about each other. We are very busy trying to figure out what makes each other happy and how to live in harmony. And I know that’s going to take some time, so we’ll just take it one day at a time.

He’s the first puppy that’s been mine. So I am figuring out the ropes just as much as he is. I know the basics from having a hand in raising the family dog, but I was also seven at the time he was a puppy…so there’s not much to go on.

It’s a whole new experience that is going to keep me busy for quite a while I think. I’ve been busy reading forums and books, trying to be the best mum I can to this little fluff ball, but I think it simply comes down to this…

I have plenty of love in my heart for him and so long as I do, I know we are going to be just fine. We make a good team already, so I’m ready.

Although, I do think I’m going to need another holiday to recover from this holiday. And oh how I hope he feels like sleeping the whole night through tonight!

I’ll keep you posted.

d x

After the storm.

This year, the first day of spring did not start well.

I love spring, its pulls in closely on a tie with summer as my favourite season. Summer is glorious, spring is pretty. I like them both for different reasons.

I woke up feeling invigorated, the sun was shining and it was warm outside. I could hear all the little birds singing and the orchid plant we keep down in the study surprised us with two very beautiful blooming flowers as if to welcome spring itself.

I had plans to spend the day with my best friend bike-riding down to the beach to sun-bake and harboured an “it’s going to be a good day” attitude. So by all means, it really should have been a good day. Except that this spring day had ulterior motive, and try as I may, there was simply no avoiding it.

It was seven-thirty when I jumped out of bed and headed to the shower. I quickly yelled out to J (the best friend), that I would be ready to go within the hour and she said she’d be waiting. I washed my hair and shaved my legs. Moisturised from head-to-toe and straightened my hair. I was so close to being ready, but I never quite made the promise of an hour.

From the view of the bathroom window, I watched rain clouds seemingly appear from nowhere. The beautiful warm first of spring all of a sudden became a little dark and gloomy. And somehow, so did my mood.

No longer did I have the “it’s going to be a good day” feeling, it had been replaced with a sinking feeling and a sudden overpowering dislike for my own appearance. Its a feeling that’s difficult to describe, unless you’re a girl – then you’ll know exactly the feeling I’m talking about…

The one like a lyric straight out of Nine Day’s Story of a Girl (the perfect title, really) where clothes look ridiculous and the make-up doesn’t work. And don’t even get me started on the hair (you’d think straightening would sort it, but it was very apparent it did not). I ended up just standing in front of the mirror utterly confused as to what to do with myself to make myself look remotely presentable to the world. And yes, on this morning, I will admit I spent a ridiculous amount of time being this vain.

In the end, I pulled a face in the mirror as if to confirm the ugliness was here to stay and quickly thought to stop the double-chin-special-smile-one-eye-half-closed look before, in my mothers words, the wind would change and I would be stuck with it.

Collecting my all-too-embaressing vain personality and shoving it back in her box, I chucked on a baggy-T and a pair of denim shorts, and braved the day.

The skies threatened to pour down on us as J and I rode our cruisers towards the beach. We defiantly pushed on. We marvelled at the fact that the breeze was in fact a bonus in ensuring that we never broke a sweat the entire trip. We blasted J’s favourite playlist from her bike-basket and sung along to the happy tunes. For a moment, I was convinced the day was turning around.

We were about half-an-hour in and almost at the shore’s edge when we had to dismount our bikes and walk across a busy crossing. Usually, this is no task for anyone. But on this day, I was much safer aboard the bike itself it appeared.

In a freak-slightly-uncoordinated event, my bike caught on the edge of an island on the road and bounced the bike up to the curb. As I corrected the handle bars and brought the bike back down towards me, I made no account for the plastic pedal whose vengeance was immediate. The sharp teeth of the pedal devoured the skin on my shin, carving three long gashes in perfect parallel.

The blood made the wound look much worse than it was, but the swelling made harmony with the pain felt. It was easily the fastest developing case of the “Kankles” I’ve ever known. If I didn’t feel pretty before, well I certainly wasn’t feeling it now.

Luckily for me and my kankle, there wasn’t too far to travel before we reached the beachside and set up our towels to sunbake. There was still clouds overhung in the air, but every now and then the sun would poke through the clouds and bring enough warmth to make us doze. I remember thinking I could deal with the clouds, the messy hair and the kankle for those glorious sunshine moments.

That was until my phone received an angry message from the President of a local rugby union club, stating that I owed her $60. How? Well, it’s a long story better suited for another time, but essentially…. a ladies day function, too much champagne, an entire rugby team’s jerseys up for grabs in a charity bid, a sharpie texta, too many drunk friends and a set of leopard print cat ears. Cut the story short, I unwittingly won the bid for number 21’s sweaty jersey at a whopping $60, and having not paid the money nor collected the jersey, Robyn the rugby president had tracked me down.

Despite the fact that I definitely did not want the jersey, paying the $60 would have been fine… if i hadn’t had just bought a puppy four days prior and subsequently placed myself on the precarious border of needing to sell body parts for money. So I wasn’t impressed. In fact, a little frustrated that they would let champagne-indulged patrons bid in the first place! I mean, I was wearing a feather boa and leopard ears for goodness sake – seriously, lock me up. I’m a danger to myself when I’m sober, let alone a few too many glasses under with friends who think writing your name on the bidding board is a good idea and you agree.

But it was for charity. And a bid is a bid. So I semi-begrudgingly transferred through the money to the nominated account. Then spent a good fifteen minutes typing out a nicely-worded email back to Robyn so that maybe she wouldn’t think me to be an alcoholic hot mess.

Honestly, what could go wrong next? I did ask it aloud at the time. And I wish I hadn’t.

Then my phone vibrated again, this time displaying an incoming message from the lady who had originally arranged to drop the new puppy, Igloo, off on Sunday. Since we had already made the two and a half hour trip to meet him last Sunday, she offered to do the trip down in order to bring him to us. Unfortunately, her message went along the lines of her children being sick and not being able to leave them in order to deliver Igloo. She had requested that we collect him instead.

The problem was trying to organise mine and my Mr.’s life schedule (which already doesn’t match often) to find a time for us both to go up so that one of us could hold Igloo on the gruelling trip home. And Sunday just wasn’t going to work, neither were the following days of the week. In fact, the only time I had to possibly drive to pick Igloo up was there and then that Thursday afternoon.

So I sent off a message requesting whether this was okay, assuming that since her kids were sick that she would be home and available for us to come up. She didn’t reply straight away, but my Mr. and I had already banked on her saying yes and organised to leave as soon as I got home.

I was on my way riding home with my funky looking kankle and a whole lot of dried blood which made it look like a shark attack, when her reply came through. She was starting work at 4pm, so if we could get to her by 3.30pm – that would be okay, but otherwise it would have to wait. Looking at the clock which boasted 12.40pm, I suddenly was well aware of the 11km bike ride I needed to complete in 20 minutes. I’ve never peddled so hard in my life, and my legs knew about it.

Despite the odds, I managed to get home two minutes after 1pm. My Mr. and I pulled out of the estate by 8 minutes past. Finally, something good was about to happen! I was going to get my puppy!

We quickly stopped off at the petrol station before getting onto the highway when my phone starting ringing. By now, I really should have just turned the thing off.

It was my boss, she had rung to let me know about the CN position I interviewed for a week ago. I sat there in the car biting my lip as she told me I was a little too junior for the position and despite a good interview, didn’t quite have enough experience. And just like that, I lost my shiny CN shoes that I had hoped would be mine.

In all honesty, I knew this would most probably be the case. I mean, how would they ever be able to justify giving me the job over someone who has been a nurse for so much longer than me. But they had given me an interview so I had just hoped I was in with the chance.

I didn’t cry. I’m only 23. I’ve got plenty more opportunity ahead. But it did sting, and for a moment there I really let my heart sink so low I didn’t know whether even a puppy could bring me back from it.

For my Mr.’s sake more-so than mine, I kept my head up and hung all my hopes on the puppy. This day had been a nightmare so far, but I’d conquered worse, so I soldiered on.

We had been driving for 2 hours when we hit road works. Time was getting away from us rapidly, and the big red stop sign wasn’t helping us reach our destination any more quickly.

By the GPS’s calculations, we still had an hour and a half left to drive – which gave us a ETA of 4pm. Way too late to pick up Igloo. We were in a conundrum, trying to decide whether to turn back now, or just attempt to make it on time and hope there would be no more road works.

We chose to just keep going and hope for the best. It was all I had left to do.

By this point, I was just trying to simply comprehend how so much bad could wriggle it’s way into one day alone. Could nothing go just a little bit right?

Finally, my phone vibrated with good news. The lady had organised for someone else to be there when we would eventually make it to pick up the puppy so that the journey, fuel and time would not be wasted. It was the best news of the day, and I started breathing a little easier knowing something was going to my way.

We picked up Igloo at 3.58pm on the dot. And he was everything I needed and more.

A little 3kg bundle of fur, with bigger brown eyes than mine – and he was perfect. Yapped for the first twenty minutes of the drive home relentlessly before passing out in a deep sleep, but was pure bliss in every way.

He was the rainbow after the storm. My little golden lining to the worst first day of Spring I’ve ever had.

He’s my proof that there is always something good in what is percievably bad, and my fluff-ball reminder to keep following the light at the end of the tunnel through some of my darkest moments.

Igloo is a handful, but I love him more than words can say. And as for all the rest of the events that happened on Thursday? Well none of that really matters anymore.

Keep going, always.

d x

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