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Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I hate the rain. Not sure why..maybe it’s because I hate getting wet beyond swimming and showering. I avoid water rides at amusement parks (wet jeans and shoes are the kiss of death!), will avoid going out if it’s raining if at all humanly possible, and generally feel a bit melancholy when the clouds roll in.
For me, the worst situation of all is to get caught in the rain without an umbrella! It doesn’t make sense. As a nurse, I deal with life and death situations all the time, yet I can’t handle getting a little bit of water on me. 

I’m in Dallas as I write this. My husband and I are dog sitting for my brother  so him and his wife can take a vacation (he has 6 dogs – most of them are huge!!). I was speaking at a convention in Dallas, so it worked out that we could watch the dogs and then I could attend the conference. There is a wonderful walking trail within their neighborhood, so my husband and I planned to walk every morning before it got too hot.  When I travel, I always check the weather report. At first it was supposed to be 100 – 104 every day. Yay! Love the heat. Then I noticed as the days went by, Dallas was supposed to get some rain. Ugh..I thought it didn’t rain in Dallas!

One morning, my husband and I started our 4-mile walk. And although it had rained the entire day before, the rain had stopped. Of course, as soon as we reached the furthest point of the trail, it started to rain again. As I got more and more wet, I found myself getting more and more angry – thinking, “I can’t believe it’s raining in Dallas….this is awful. I was looking forward to the sun and heat..and now it’s raining!” The angrier I got, the faster I walked. I needed to get out of the rain! My hair was getting wet, glasses were wet – had to take them off..then I couldn’t see….grrrr.
All of a sudden, I had an epiphany that stopped me in my tracks. I realized that I was angry at the rain. Angry at the RAIN…really? How ridiculous was that? I had no control over the rain yet there I was – angry at the rain.  As I stood there reflecting on my anger, I started to laugh. My husband, who realized I stopped walking, asked me if I was okay. After all, I was standing in the rain - laughing.  I told him I had been angry at the rain but that I wasn’t angry any more. At first he thought I was crazy but then I explained.
Many of us get angry about things we can’t control – traffic, the weather, other people, etc. This anger takes on a life of it’s own and can completely suck the energy out of us. We allow one event or situation to have a negative impact on the rest of our day. It doesn’t make sense -  especially when the event or situation is out of our control.
Nurses can fall victim to this anger too. How many times have you or your co-workers been angry because you were getting another admission or the fact that you have to learn how to use an electronic healthcare record, or maintain contact hours for your license renewal? Why waste your energy on things you can’t control? It’s ridiculous if you really think about it.
Turning a negative into a positive:
When getting another admission, think – Yay! Another patient – another opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.
When implementing a new process or system, think – Good! Learning a new skill might make my work easier AND it stimulates my neurons to grow! Brainpower!!
When carving out time to attend inservices/workshops, etc. to get your contact hours, think – It’s a privilege to care for patients. I have an ethical responsibility to the public to make sure I’m competent. Nurses rock!
It’s all a matter of taking something that YOU think is negative and turning it into to something positive - like the rain in Dallas. To people who live in Dallas, the rain was a blessing. I remembered thinking about how brown and dry everything looked when I first arrived. When I allowed myself to see the rain in a positive way, I saw how everything started turning green again.
Oh, and as my husband and I continued our walk in the rain, I told him my “anger at the rain” experience would make a great blog post! To that, he laughed and replied, “Is everything a blog post to you?” To which I replied,“Of course! And we're walking again tomorrow - rain or shine.”

What makes you angry that you now see as ridiculous?
Thanks for reading, take care and stay connected!

For more great tips, make sure you "like" me on Facebook,"follow" me on Twitter and YouTube and subscribe to my blog. Also, check out my new book on nurse-to-nurse bullying and my new eBook titled, Survive and Thrive: A guide helping new nurses succeed!  

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