After a long weekend in the hospital, I’m back to reality. Reality in this case is the paper my group is STILL writing for my stats class. Remember the ill-fated (literally) trip to Virginia when I was lost for a week? Yup, the work continues.
This is the first paper I’ve ever worked on for publication, and the process is daunting and, quite frankly, scary. There are set sections that have to be written, like the Literature Review, Methods, and Results sections. We each picked individual topics to contribute for the literature review, so that is pretty well wrapped up. Now we just have Methods and Results to do.
On paper, it looks doable. And I have lots of paper. I have the APA Manual. I have a paper my professor wrote and published to use as guidance. I have my notes for class. Plenty of paper.
In reality, this is way beyond my skill level. I’m just not there. For perhaps the first time in my life, an assignment has me scared stiff. I have nothing to say. Nothing to write. Nothing to contribute.
As I procrastinate by switching between Facebook and a multitude of Pandora stations, it occurred to me that I’ve been so consumed by Coronavirus and my work at the hospital that I don’t feel like I can engage in anything else. I just left a place where life and death hang in a delicate balance. Patients are lying in hospital beds fighting to recover from what ails them. Doctors and nurses are drawing from all of their education and training to make the best decisions to help the patients get better.
It makes my education and what I’m working on now seem insignificant.
I have to keep reminding myself that reality is multidimensional. Our lives have many aspects to them, and we have to attend to them all. My life happens at the hospital for 32 waking hours each week. That leaves lots of open hours for the other aspects of my life: my family, my well-being, and yes, even my seemingly-insignificant education. If I allow myself to focus on one to the detriment of the others, then my life falls out of balance.
So as I try to set goals for myself for this week, my top goal is to find a better balance. In the hours and days I have before I go back to the hospital for my next set of shifts, I need to balance my time between the rest of my reality. For my classmates. For my family. For myself.