I recieved Postcard Number 34 today. it demands a special repsonse. For context: nurses stand with each other, or they stand against each other. We each must live with our choices. Why choose surrender?
Between paid work and (For now? One can dream) unpaid work, I’ve been working some pretty severe hours lately: more than full-time as a nurse and teacher, and easily full-time with this blog and all the related stuff. Extreme! Thomas Edison worked this kind of pace until he was 80 years old or so, and I’m no Thomas Edison! People think blogging amounts to writing, taking photos, etc: producing content. Silly people: blogging involves content creation AND lots of other stuff. Otherwise it’s basically a diary, and I’m not looking for a diary. Fortunately, this extreme pace won’t last much longer. I have fun with it much of the time, which of course makes it far more sustainable, but I’m also reduced at times to somewhat extreme self-preservation. I call it emergency willpower conservation. If you want to talk at me to no useful end, forget about it: out of the pool. Want to waste my time with nonsense? Want to avoid work, argue with my delegation? Do it now or refuse and you get to meet the nice folks from HR: no debate or other options granted. Out of the pool. Badger me and you learn to stop, soon, because I’ll teach you: out of the pool. Patients mostly get free passes from all these limits. Everybody else: follow the rules, or out of the pool! No nonsense allowed in the conservation zone! I’ve also been reduced on occasion to warning people not to pile on any unnecessary any demands, or they’ll need to clean up one awful mess on the walls and ceiling. You know, after my head explodes: POP! Vivid image, don’t you think? Passion and joy are both truly miraculous fuels, but they only go so far. Conservation helps.
Fear not! My extra-busy work schedule will calm down to something sustainable soon, even without all the conservation: I’ll give it no other choice! Plus, this crisis of sorts has already forced me to find some few new efficiencies: new ways to avoid wasted effort and time. Such innovations offer permanent benefits: once learned, never unlearned. In this way, these trials offer lasting benefits, and I’m having plenty of fun as I go in any case. I won’t take no for an answer, life! Give up some fun! Something like that. It takes practice to learn how to milk extra energy, fun, and solutions from tough times, but such crucial survival skills are invaluable. Once learned, your life permanently improves. Whatever comes – good, bad, or ugly – you’re better prepared. Sound preparation always helps.
I’d have gotten to my main point for this post sooner, but see above: tired! I wasn’t even planning to write tonight, but I got another postcard from another downtrodden Arizona nurse. I had to respond. I apologize if I erred with this post, Writer of this postcard. I agreed to burn them all for privacy, but this one’s a keeper.
Card Writer, your words are powerful and direct: “Please help nurses in Arizona. We need it. Sincerely, an RN.” It doesn’t seem a message in need of the kind of extreme privacy protection I’ve given all the others so far. I don’t want to burn this one, frankly: I want to keep it for inspiration. With this project I set up expectations that scare me, risks that scare me. My wife looked at this postcard and asked, “What do they expect you to do about it?” What do I expect? What can I deliver? I’m just Greg!
I must try, though. Surrender is the soul killer, and my soul will not get killed that way. To you, anonymous Card Writer: if you want it destroyed, feel free and ask. I apologize if I’ve chosen poorly to even make such a request, but Sunlight involves a lot of living with risks, living with decisions, living with discomfort. I need this card: it gives me strength, and I need all the strength I can get. I promise to do my best for nurses everywhere, Arizona included, and I’ve only just begun to fight.
Activists started a trend once. They started throwing cream pies in the faces of public figures, a form of spectacle/protest. They treated people whose careers depend on dignity and respect just like characters in an old Three Stooges episode. Brilliant! I don’t have pies in mind for our needs, but I do see potential there. Combine comedy and protest, humiliation and justice: I like it. Don’t offer abusers the respect of our anger if they don’t deserve it: laugh at them instead, laugh at their misdeeds, cut them down to size. Create vivid spectacles our lazy news media can’t resist. Trigger media feeding frenzies: we see them happen all the time, why not start some of our own? Help make the powers of the world reluctant to be seen with our abusers or do business with them. Even the playing field between abusers and victims. I picture a new beast to fight for nurses! It’s growing as we speak, in the Big Red Carpet laboratory.
Soon, it will live!