The other day, I posted something on my social media stories (a quote from someone else) about how social media has caused us all to think we have an obligation to share an opinion on every world event, even when we aren’t remotely qualified to say something knowledgeable.
I am qualified to comment on some topics (like frugality! furniture painting! nursing school!).
Conflicts in the Middle East, though? Decidedly outside my range of knowledge.
But here is what I will say:
Yesterday, I read an email from the New York Times with pictures of the hostages and stories of what is going on, and tears immediately sprang to my eyes. I will never understand how human beings can be so cruel to each other, and it breaks my heart.
I think the cruelty must be a result of seeing people as disposable; of not valuing each life as precious.
When natural disasters take human lives, those stories are hard to see. But when lives are being lost because of human violence, that is even harder to see.
I feel an overwhelming sense of helplessness; there is so much suffering in the world, and there is so little I can do to alleviate it. I am only one person.
If I ponder that for too long, the discouragement will paralyze me.
And an immobilized me is going to do precious little good in the world. So after I read that NYT email, I reminded myself that I can only do the things that are in my locus of control.
I can’t stop the violence on the other side of the world.
I can love and help the people around me, both at home and at school.
And I can focus on getting my RN, which is going to allow me to go be a helper in the world.
My lifetime impact will be relatively small, but my efforts, in my circle of influence, are all I have control over.
“As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.” (Paul Shane Spear)
And if many, many people focus their energy on being a helpful force for good in their circles of influence, the cumulative impact of that will be far from small.
So, deep breath. We can pray for peace, we can donate to (reputable, responsible) organizations that can help the suffering people, AND we can focus on doing good right where we are.
Part of that for me is facilitating a thankfulness practice here.
Sooo, this week, I am thankful:
for my comfy bed
It’s been chilly here at night lately, and my goodness, I love snuggling under my warm covers at night.
Chiquita usually sleeps down by my feet, which is very sweet.
for the fall weather
I know some of you hate cool weather, but personally, I am so very happy to be wearing jeans and hoodies. By this time every year, I am well and truly tired of being sticky and sweaty!
for public parks. Always.
The other day, I took some homework to a little nearby park on the water, and I was reminded again how nice it is that public parks make beautiful spaces available to everyone (even those of us who can’t afford to live on the water!)
for doctor appointments with my schedule
I am currently due for things like an eye appointment, a dermatology annual exam, and so on…four appointments total!
I made a bunch of calls yesterday to get them all scheduled, and miraculously, the first appointments they all offered me happened to fall on days/times when I am not scheduled at school.
that I had a productive Saturday
I had nothing scheduled last Saturday and I got SO MUCH STUFF done.
- went for a walk
- did my PT exercises
- cleaned my bathroom
- washed my shower curtain and liner
- scooped Chiquita’s litter
- changed my sheets
- did four loads of laundry
- did my tax paperwork for Q3 and sent it to my CPA
- read three chapters for school
- watched some lab videos while I folded laundry
- made a med sheet for the drug digoxin (med sheets are papers we fill out with numerous details about a particular drug)
- did a practice math exam
- did two U assignments (practice quizzes for chapters that we read)
- reviewed several lecture PowerPoints to prep for the exam
- organized my pantry
- made dinner
I would like to tell you that this productive day made my current week relaxing, but nope; I’m still barely getting everything done!
I have concluded that nursing school life just requires a lot of efficiency and hard work. Efficiency doesn’t really get you ahead; mainly it keeps you from falling too far behind.
But that’s fine! I can maintain this life for four semesters.
for portable learning
I am forever listening to textbook chapters while I do other tasks (cleaning, walking, cooking) and sometimes I watch lab videos on my laptop while I’m doing other things as well, like folding laundry.
Combining a head task (video or audio) with a body task (walking, cooking, cleaning) has really, really helped me to stay sort of on top of my personal life while also maintaining a busy school life.
for crunchy granola
Guys, if you haven’t made this granola, you should.
(Unless you can’t eat oats, in which case, my condolences.)
You just mix it up, press it in a pan, and bake. NO STIRRING WHILE BAKING.
Which means you will not be cleaning spilled oatmeal bits afterward (I always spilled some in the oven or on my counters with the stir-while-it-bakes recipes!)
Your turn! What are you thankful for?
P.S. I am not qualified to comment on the situation in the Middle East, and I am also not up for moderating a discussion about it in the comments. So, I’m not gonna publish comments that will lead us there. But do feel free to share your thoughts on what I brought up; I am sure we can find common ground there.