Wednesday, March 25, 2009

such a need for control

How concerned I am with staying on top of things! I blame it on my job a little bit: every nurse takes so much pride in an organized room, a clean patient, a tidy flow sheet, checking every box. I wonder how much 7 months of ICU nursing has begun to effect my personal life? This rigorous work environment: do I bring it home to my lifestyle?

I think I do. I strive for fairly tight-fisted organization in many things these days. An example from this afternoon: the apartment is full of the aromas of chicken curry, which will be my dinner and lunch for the rest of the week. I could have come home from work and collapsed into a nap, curled up with a book, watched Into the Wild instead of waiting for when Elliott comes back next week. But instead I marched right off the T into the grocery store, purchased food for the rest of the week, walked swiftly home, and then cooked the entire meal while multi-tasking and listening to a sermon by Tim Keller.

Organization, simplicity, cleanliness, neatness, a place for everything and everything in its place... all of these are good and wonderful things, but I fear how they may be affecting my personal life. The other night I came home after a long 12-hour shift and tackled the dirty apartment with a fury, unleashing my frustration on dust bunnies and crusty dishes. Later my roommates pulled me aside and asked what was going on. Was dirt they couldn't see simmering deep inside me, festering passive aggressively into bitterness about the apartment's state of cleanliness?

The truth of it all is that I am filthy, disorganized, and all my righteousness are dirty rags, and it is only the purity of Jesus that gives this rocky soul any hope of sanctification. The desperation for tidiness inside me is only a reflection of where I put my hope: in cleaning solutions and color coordinatioon, in the appearance of things instead of the heart. Jesus, please, in this world where all that matters is the outward appearance: please show me my own sin and cleanse me from within.

Monday, March 9, 2009

thoughts on free time

Rain and snow today. I've spent the entire day in the apartment, other than 5 seconds outside when I put "An Inconvenient Truth" on the lip of the mailbox in order to get my next Netflix movie ASAP. From where I'm resting deep in the couch, I can see fine snowflakes driven horizontally down Upton Street, and can hear them melting into rain in the drainpipes outside.

Today is Elliott's birthday, and I miss him. Haiti gets to enjoy him today instead, which I have reconciled myself to being the next step of life for us.

In his absence, I have found a wonderful opening up of time. The truth is that these are probably the days of my life in which I have the most time; no anticipated future for me will offer as many free hours in between working, as many quiet afternoons resting up for night shifts, as many evenings with no desire to go out and a whole apartment and libraries full of books.

My response has been to try to maximize this time, even in the last week. So thus I've been reading (Mountains Beyond Mountains is done, The Omnivore's Dilemma is in progress), watching films (An Inconvenient Truth and Super Size Me just today... blame that one on being home-bound!), knitting (gifts for Sarah, Kate, and Aileen are done; I'm hard at work on another afghan), catching up with family and friends (meals in and out, although I'd love to aim for more meals in and times of fellowship in our home, if I can), journaling, and finally getting started on writing that article with my thesis advisor from UVA. It's encouraging to see good things done with free time.

In the midst of all this there has certainly been more time to think, and I hope that will be the fodder for upcoming blog posts. Perhaps some on the Beatitudes, nursing, the environment, and food are upcoming.

But for just now, I'm going to spend time with my roommate. Peace out, Mac.