-What was the best thing that happened to me this year? My dog made it through chemo by the end of February and remained cancer free all year. None of my other 3 animals got sick so hands down, having healthy pets for one more year was a blessing. Sadly I do not anticipate that happening this year (3/4 pets ARE seniors) but I'm trying to stay positive.
-What did I do this year that I’m really proud of? I ran a 10k. Granted it's not a half or full marathon, but for someone who is not fond of running, and who has commitment issues, it was a huge accomplishment. I also started cooking more this year, and while I haven't become a chef I can at least pump out a few genuinely tasty meals and desserts.
-Who did I really help? I'd like to think I helped some of my patients, but the longer I'm a nurse the more I question that thought. There is a very clear sense of entitlement and lack of gratitude in America and sadly it extends to even the uber-sick lying in their hospital beds. I'm sure a random patient has appreciated my help but for the most part nursing is very much a thankless profession. I'd like to think that I helped my pup live another healthy year, but he's always grateful and loving no matter what. (Note to self: help some people this year who aren't patients or their families)
-Who do I need to thank and acknowledge for having been there for me? My parents, AB (he has his moments), my sisters, my in-laws, my AM and PM preceptors in ICU, my manager, and as always my animals.
-What are the top three lessons I learned?
1. I am capable of doing something if I really set my mind to it
2. Weight Watchers doesn't work for me so I need to quit signing up for it every year
3. I hate having short hair and I REALLY need to remember that when I get the urge to whack it all off again
-What increased my happiness and joy this year? My sister and nephew moving to NC. Granted this didn't happen until October but I went from being able to see them once every 3-6 months to once every week (or more). The bonus is that they were able to be with family for Thanksgiving and Christmas; I'm guessing it will be a very long time before that happens again! Also, AB and I's winter trip to Whistler was absolutely awesome (plus my mom, sister, and nephew got to go along) and I totally fell in love with that area. If you haven't been to BC (Canada) make an attempt to go sometime during your lifetime. Vancouver is definitely just an overly busy city, but the areas around it are beautiful.
-What’s something I got through that was really tough? Becoming an ICU nurse (which is an ongoing process). I always thought that PACU was difficult, fast-paced, and complicated, but it was nothing compared to caring for ICU patients 12 hours/day. I'm still learning, and I still ask a lot of questions, but I'm nowhere near as lost and confused as I was back in April. And for the most part, I keep my patients alive until 7:05.
-What did I avoid that I must pay more attention to in 2012? My debt. Did I say this last year? If so I admit that my attention span sucks and as always, getting out of debt needs to be first and foremost. I'm hoping to go back to school soon and carrying a load of debt on my shoulders is always a very bad idea (see: nursing school debt).
-What character trait did I develop most this year? Perseverance. Otherwise I can list quite a few things I would have thrown in the towel on.
-What new people did I meet that are now in my life? All of my coworkers on my unit. Some of them I could do without (I mean, let's just be honest) but most of them are wonderful and supportive and have helped me to not totally suck as an ICU nurse.