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Introducing ShesThatRN

This blog allows me to freely express my journey as a nurse, author, speaker, writer, business owner and blogger. The title simply identifies my gift to the world as a nurse. There are so many phenomenal nurses out there who exemplify “ShesThatRN.” I guess you know by now that it specifies females, but know that I understand there are male nurses who “HesThatRN” as well. You are not forgotten and I am grateful to share my platform with you also. Let’s just be ourselves, talk about the issues, come up with solutions, and take this journey together. My blog is my opinion and my truth and I choose to share it with the world. You may agree, disagree or have no comment and that is fine. Please be mindful that when commenting, it is important to be respectful no matter your opinion. I welcome you to come along for this ride as I learn about myself and share that with you. When it’s all said and done, I am my nurse sister and brother’s keeper!

Debilitating Limitations

Flying always does something to me and for me. My favorite part is ascending during taking off. There is something about that feeling of momentum the plane gets by going fast when we hit the runway with that kind of speed. The plane shakes a little, my body shifts back into the seat unintentionally, and I feel the pull of gravity as we start going up. I tell you, that is an incredible feeling. It feels both exhilarating and exciting, and that’s just the beginning.

Flying is a lot like life, really. Many analogies come to mind when I think about it. Like, everything that goes up must come down. I can reference many metaphors to describe life as it relates to going up in an airplane. When I am looking out the window, I also observe the altitude at which we climb and what that looks like. Initially, I see the area below clearly. Still, as I climb, those things become smaller and smaller until they fade in the distance. Then I find myself looking at clouds that I could literally reach out and touch if I could. Eventually, we get so high that even the clouds are beneath me. Imagine that, if you will, soaring above everything.

When I reach that type of altitude, God starts speaking to me and letting me see certain things. As tears stream down my eyes, God shows me how limited my thinking is in comparison to how big He really is. How fabulous his creations are, down to their peaks, valleys, colors, and shapes. It’s pretty amazing, actually. But He then reminds me that I limit myself to what I can do, see, and be and what I can extend to those around me. Limited thinking is like a paralytic if you think about it. It keeps you stagnant, and it’s debilitating to your growth. I’ve found myself in this position many times because of my limited thinking. I can talk myself out of something quicker than into something. Why is that? It is because fear limits many things and causes me to look at situations as though they are impossible when they are not. I make them impossible by not changing my perspective of the situation or circumstance.

It’s nice to quote scriptures; at least it sounds nice. I have several I’ve kept stored away in my heart for when I need them. However, even as I say them, I realize that I’m saying them with doubt and disbelief to some degree. Like, I can do all things through Christ, but do I believe that? Most of the time, no, but I think God can do it, just not me. Even with his help, I still feel less empowered to do what He already said I could do with His help. That’s crazy to me, but it is a reality. I’ve also allowed people to place limitations on what I can and cannot do. For example, I always wanted to be a nurse, but everyone told me to find another career or work because I was not good at math. They always told me I had to be really good in math to be a nurse, and I believed them. So, I carried the burden of being too dumb to be a nurse for a long time. Oh, and by the way, I’m a nurse now and have been for more than 9 years. I’m also 48 years old, which tells you how long it took to get over that limitation.

Life can be hard sometimes, but it presents many opportunities to learn lessons we wouldn’t necessarily get if it were always easy. I remember writing essays for scholarships and listing my reasons for wanting to become a nurse. One big reason was to provide a better life for my sons. Show them that you can bore through them like a tornado and overcome them no matter the limitations. I also wanted the opportunity to show that they/we are not stuck in Baltimore, MD. There is a whole world out there for us to explore. A world that exists outside of our limited perspectives and fears we impose upon ourselves. Flying shows me I can go anywhere, do anything, and I can take my sons along for the ride. And although they are now grown young men, they don’t have to take on my limited thinking. Instead, they can start in their youth exploring the world and stepping outside the box that looks safe but is very limiting. I want them to soar above the clouds so they can see what I see, “no limitations.” My oldest moved to Arizona and is figuring out how to live, grow, and develop his own ideas and desires. My youngest is still trying to figure things out, but he is doing life his way. He cooks and sells dinners, and I encourage him to follow his dreams and passions. I don’t try to impose limitations that will discourage him. Instead, I offer him love and grace to make his own mistakes and learn from them. I advise both my sons when they need it, ask for it, and sometimes when they don’t. I always pray that God’s will be done in their lives and that He and I offer guidance along their paths.

People, there is a whole world out there waiting for us to do what we want and need to do to fulfill our destinies. Go out there and explore, live, laugh, and love. Life is too short to simply exist. It’s too short to limit yourself by thinking you can’t when in fact, you can. Take your own shackles off your feet and run! Run with zeal, with speed, and with an acceleration that takes you higher than you can imagine. See things you thought you’d never see, do something you thought you’d never do, and be the best version of yourself without limiting your thinking and actions. I hope that you decide to do some introspection in all that I’ve shared and do what needs to be done to live more without setting limitations. The world is yours and mine for the taking, but only if we take action. Let’s go see what else is out there waiting for us!

Until Next Time,

Vacation After The Vacation

I’m back after a beautiful, much-needed rest in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I had a blast and really enjoyed not doing anything. I didn’t have a timeline or schedule. I just winged it every day. Whenever I talked to anyone on the phone, they asked the questions, “what did you do today? and what are you doing tomorrow?” My response was always “I don’t know” because I really didn’t know from day today. I did whatever I wanted to do.

Now y’all, I am relaxing from my vacation, LOL! It may sound crazy, but that’s what I’m choosing to do. Pssst, and I’ll be leaving for another vacation next Sunday. Listen, I’ve worked through the pandemic all last year and this year. I am so happy to have some time to take a break. I will be back on my grind at the beginning of October, and I’m kind of looking forward to venturing off. Right now, it seems like it’s between Texas and Arizona, but most likely, AZ will be first. As a travel nurse, I can explore other areas within the U.S. that I may not go to otherwise. I’m also looking forward to applying for my Hawaii license to do an assignment on one of the islands.

Although rough and exhausting, this pandemic has allowed me to pay off some debt and be able to do a few things I wanted to do, like a vacation. So, moving forward, I get to build my emergency fund and continue paying off debt while preparing for school. I also had a setback with losing my preceptor at the last minute. So, I have to start over finding someone to take on working with me to accomplish my end goal of getting my doctorate degree. I was so upset initially, but I am working on not worrying and stressing over things I cannot change. Instead, I am searching for someone else who can precept me. I have the project all worked out, and it’s all about Nursing resilience through the use of a health benefits package. It focuses on mindful meditation to improve nurse retention and decrease work-related stress of nurses. If you know any medical professionals with a practice of their own or who work within the medical field that wouldn’t mind partnering, please refer them to me. I need a nurse with a graduate degree (M.S., Ph.D., or DNP) willing to work with me to complete my program project. Of course, I do all the work, but they play an essential role in my success. I felt discouraged at first, but I’ve pulled myself together and refocused my attention on finding another organization/preceptor.

Don’t get stuck y’all. Cry it out, think it out, scream it out, but remember you can only change what you can. I believe that everything will fall into place as it should. Just put in the work. All in all, I’m doing well and have many things on my plate to accomplish. I want to encourage you to take the necessary time for yourself. Do what it is you can do, and don’t stress about anything you can’t change. Live life for today because if you haven’t learned yet, tomorrow isn’t a promise. Don’t forget to make time for yourself and treat yourself right. Peace and blessings, everyone.

Until Next Time,

Do More of Nothing

I have had the privilege of doing absolutely nothing during my vacation. That is what that word means to me. I get to choose to do what I want when I want, how I want. It’s really the reason I go by myself. When you take others with you, and their definition of vacation differs from yours, it tends to make you feel obligated to do what everyone else wants to do. I don’t mind going on vacation with my sisters, but honey, sometimes I like, no I love the alone time with myself. It feels good to sleep in until the afternoon and stay up late. I eat whenever I want, and most of my friends are morning people. Not all, but most are, and honey, I’m not.

I just move to the beat of my own drum. Honestly, I haven’t had time to do too much thinking either, which is a relief. I haven’t worried about anything or anyone or been stressed out. I have just been chilling, drinking, eating, and sleeping. I only packed swimsuits because I knew what I came to Punta Cana to do, and it wasn’t to do excursions or go to fancy dinners. I came to just chill out, which I don’t really have the luxury of doing at home. I sure do hope that you all will take some time to stop and smell the roses. It’s an old saying but very true nevertheless. Treat yourself with some selfless TLC (tender loving care). You deserve it, and I give you permission to more of nothing! I bet your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical will thank you::)

Until Next Time,

When It Is Necessary

I am away on vacation right now in lovely Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I have been looking forward to this for a long time now. I have felt drained and just exhausted, so I knew I’ve required a little restoration vacation. Here I am, sitting on my balcony, writing my thoughts and hopefully inspiration for someone. I got here Sunday and spent most of Labor Day asleep. I did get up and make it to the pool and ate some excellent food and alcohol. Because I travel alone most of the time, I make sure I’m in when it gets dark. I’m a pretty simple gal, though. I like sitting, feeling the breeze from the ocean, hearing the gentle sounds of the waves, and the low volume of music in the background. This gives me peace and tranquility. I can get lost in these kinds of moments.

I spend so much time constantly doing that sitting still, and being is sometimes complex for me. However, this vacation is for just that. Time to reflect, relax, rejuvenate, and do some soul searching. It’s to leave the noise of jobs, contracts, people, family, friends, and all the things that occupy my space and time behind. Sometimes we just have to step away from it all. I came to Punta Cana, but it doesn’t have to be far away. You can take what the world calls a “staycation” to give yourself the same much-needed love. I guess I’ll enjoy my alone time because one day I’ll have someone to share my life, time, and space with, and so this is my time for sure. Y’all, if I could describe the serenity, I feel right now, but I don’t think any amount of words would do it justice. All I can say is get you some of this right here, honey. We all need it and definitely want it. I am in love, I am love, and that is all I can say right now. I hope you all are having a fantastic time today and for the rest of the week. Start planning your stay, day, away-cation so you can hit the reset button. As always, peace and blessings.

Wrapping Up

Now that I’m on my last days of vacation, I realize it’s time to wrap things up. I have to start preparing to return to the workforce, and that’s no easy task. I was sitting in the chair staring out the window this morning and thought to myself, what if I could just quit? Just walk away and do something else; oh boy, would that be nice. Yes, it would, but I am in no position to do that yet. I have had some mentoring about starting a new leg of my business while vacationing. So, I’ll definitely be putting that knowledge to use. I’m sad today at the thought of returning to work for someone else, making big corporations money from the sweat off my back. But as my french teacher, Madame Howard, would say, c’est la vie (that’s life/such is life).

I might as well stop complaining, whining, and crying because the truth of the matter is I shouldn’t place my energy where I can’t make changes right now. Instead, I take that energy and redirect it to effect changes that’ll produce the outcome I’m seeking to have. Besides that, I know I’m truly blessed to have a career, an income, and the ability to take care of myself. So, simply put, thank you, Lord. I don’t have much more than that today. Just be encouraged no matter what. Know that trouble doesn’t always last, and the next second is another one to make changes. I hope you have a fantastic day; turn your frown upside down and smile because you’re beautiful.

Until Next Time,

Leaving the Bedside

I don’t know about anyone else, but being a bedside nurse isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Yes, I will admit that most of us make it look flawless or, at minimum like we’re true superheroes wearing a cape all the time. If only, right? I get it because I prepare for my exit every day. Nursing is indeed my ministry and passion. But I’m well aware that there are many areas I can utilize my knowledge other than direct patient care. The daily demands on a nurse’s mental and physical self can leave you contemplating what in the world I have gotten myself into. However, because you haven’t actually sat down, written out your vision and plan, things aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like. That is where I am right now.

I know that I have a business already that I have neglected quite a bit during this pandemic. Every day, I work and subject myself to a selfish, unforgiving, and overworked environment within healthcare. In return, every day, I prepare for my exit. I’m spending some time during this vacation preparing for my next steps. The most important being able to walk away from nursing full-time. I’ll still do it on my terms to maintain my nursing license, but nothing more than that. I have several things in the works, and of course, I’ll share them with you as they launch. But, for the nurse who feels underappreciated, underpaid, and stretched beyond realistic expectations, I’ll say this. Start preparing for your exit. Figure out your niche, determine what you want to do, address a problem within that arena and solve it for the people. It’s about supply and demand, and honestly, it may or may not have anything at all to do with nursing. For me, life is centered around nursing.

I can take anything and make it applicable. For example, nurses usually lack regular clothing because they’re always in scrubs. That means I can provide a business that sells scrubs or that sells clothing. There are so many things we can do that directly impact nurses and healthcare without standing at the bedside. I’m determined to write my vision, intentions, and plans. Then begin manifesting what I want through prayer, daily affirmations, and putting in the work to see it come to fruition.

So nurses, what is it you want to do? How do you plan to do it? And when will you leave the bedside to pursue your dreams within the dream of becoming a nurse. See, we’ve accomplished that much, so what’s next for you and me? As I stated before, I already have things in the works, but I want you to figure it out and go after what you want. If we learned anything from working during this pandemic, it is that life is short. Tomorrow isn’t promised to any one of us, and we need to live for today. So, what do you want to do today to get you closer to the tomorrow you see for yourself? Of course, this can apply to anyone within any profession, not just nurses.

Drop your comments below so we can encourage and uplift one another. Forget nurses eat their young. How about we nurture and take care of each other because we all know what it feels like to not have that. God’s blessings to you as you plan and prepare for the next chapter in your life. Feel free to reach out to me if you need to talk, vent, or work through any part of your process. My email address is sharon@shesthatrn.com. Let’s go get it…

Until Next Time,

You Can’t Please Everyone

I am happy to say that I’ve chosen myself for the last couple of days. I’ve been away to Charlotte, NC, and now I’m in Las Vegas on much-needed vacation time. The Charlotte trip was with family and Vegas. I’m alone. I’m always telling others to take care of themselves and not doing it myself. I decided to take some time away to just be me and step away from the usual hustle and bustle of life. In doing so, I realize that you just can’t please everyone, nor should you have to or try to. People will be who they are and feel how they feel and can’t control them, but you can manage your decisions about yourself.

I had some pictures in a cute bikini that I’ve had for a few years now. I went back and forth about posting photos in it. I wasn’t sure if it was because I felt that I don’t have the perfect body or that I’d be body shamed for showing off the body I have. Either way, I decided that I’m beautiful just as I am. I said I’m not going to wait to celebrate me right now simply because I do not meet the world’s beauty standards. Instead, I’m going to be every bit as beautiful, whether I’m bigger or smaller, because I can’t please everyone, and I’m just sick of trying. When you’ve lived just about your entire life trying to please everyone, it’s hard to break the habit. It can be done in conscious steps, though.

I consciously said I’m posting these pictures because I’m proud of how far I’ve come in my weight loss journey. I can remember getting on an airplane, and I struggled to get my seatbelt fastened. I didn’t have that problem on this trip, and I was tickled pink about it. Or the time I tried to get on a rollercoaster with my son and was asked to get off because the seatbelt wouldn’t secure, and I was too fat to ride the coaster. I have suffered in silence and tormented myself into deep depressions about my weight. Not feeling good enough, or too much, or too big, or not small enough. Like I’m done with that, seriously. Say this with me now, “I am not here to please anyone or lessen myself because it makes others feel better. Instead, I am here to fully embrace and love myself at all cost.”

We have one life to live, and we need to live it to our fullest. There will always be someone unhappy about what you do or how you do it, but that is their opinion. And most of the time, people are truly unhappy with themselves and deflect that onto you. Don’t you go through enough with trying to be everything to everyone all the time? I know I do, and I grow tired of it because I’m human. People forget that they shouldn’t throw stones when they live in glass houses. And we forget to live for ourselves instead of living for other people.

I’ve battled with depression for years now, and most of it comes from trying to please other people. Break that cycle today so you can be free to live for yourself (ME)! Set your own standards and expectations for yourself and live according to that. I just had this overwhelming need to share this while lying here in my big bed on vacation. I was thinking about happiness and my sadness. What made them and what breaks them. I’m still processing but wanted to share what God had given me with you in hopes that it can help you in some way. I don’t proclaim to know it all; in fact, I struggle with life every day. I may make it all look easy to some, but wheww, let me tell you, it’s not. My mind contemplates many aspects of the “old” me, the “now” me, and the me I’m trying to become.

Whatever that is because I’m figuring that out each day that I wake up. I don’t have much more right now, but I hope this gives you the permission or validation you’re waiting for from someone in the universe to “live your life and make ‘YOU’ happy. We can do this together, one day at a time. Just start today…

Until Next Time,

ShesThatRN

Go With The Flow

Hey guys, so I have been pondering many thoughts about when we feel stressed, emotional, bewildered, and/or overwhelmed. Taking care of our physical, mental, and spiritual selves requires us to accept what we feel and not try to always be strong and indestructible. I had a conversation today about how I’ve been beside myself with things that have altered my mental wellness for the past few months. What I’ve come to realize is that everyone handles life’s twists and turns very differently. But the one thing that seems to be drilled into us is being strong.

Words such as “suck it up, God didn’t say it would be easy, pull it together, don’t let them see you sweat, and wipe your eyes” leave us believing that any signs of vulnerability or expression of our emotions are unacceptable. We’ve been conditioned to think that feeling any emotions other than positive ones is a sign of weakness. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not. That living up to whomever standards they are should not be your standard or perspective. Please don’t kill yourselves because you’re living up to other people’s individualized plans for your life. Please do what is absolutely best for you because you are important and your feelings are valid.

We cannot continue to define ourselves and our lives according to other people’s preset notions. Whatever you’re feeling, remember “You’re” feeling it, and only you know the reasons for those feelings. So, allow those feelings, think through them, pray through them, or whatever it takes and for however long it takes. Once you’ve done that, usually you can bounce back, but if you can’t, there’s always help.

So, as you know, I am a nurse, and it’s always been my calling and passion for helping people heal and live their best lives. Lately, meaning the last year or so probably since Covid, I have been really disliking the healthcare system. Since becoming a nurse and actually working within the system, I’ve seen so much I don’t like and have had this deep sense of not being able to make the changes within the healthcare system that would benefit nurses and patients. You may wonder why I put nurses before patients. It’s because if we’re not at our best mentally and physically, then we can’t give back to our communities in the way we should. We have to change the narrative and start taking better care of our nurses and healthcare workers. We are on the frontlines whether it’s a pandemic or not. Most often than not, we are “NOT” okay.

I’ve been going through considering leaving nursing altogether. I just feel pieces of my love for nursing, not people, slowly dissipate. I had a patient the other night who’d been in an accident, and I couldn’t do much in terms of moving them because of traction, pins, and rods. But, I offered to bathe them the best I could with a rag, soap, and water. Can I tell you that the patient and family members were so grateful for that “small” gesture of caring? They went on to tell me how they’d been asking, and it hadn’t been done. They only offered wipes, but the fact that I got a basin and hot water and cleaned the patient up from her face to the bottom of her feet meant so much to them.

God spoke to me at that moment and said, this is “WHY” you’re here, Sharon. I know sometimes it’s rough, and you want to throw it all away. And I know that it seems your love for the ministry I placed in you doesn’t always seem worth it. I also know that you are tired and often feel deprived of being loved and cared for in return. However, don’t be discouraged. These little moments that may not seem like much are more than enough. Know that you’re needed and necessary and that there are people who need what only you can give. I stopped and thanked God for giving me hope in the midst of what sometimes feels like hopeless situations. Although I remind myself that other people are worse than me, I also remind myself that whatever I’m feeling is equally important, even if only to me. Needless to say, I am still showing up and giving my all to a system that has no love for me because of those small moments that remind me why I’m here.

Whatever the capacity of love and giving you have, heal you first and keep showing up to provide what you can. Take intermittent breaks to administer yourself some self-love when you need it; however, that looks to you. I just want to end by saying you are necessary, needed, and loved.

Until Next Time,

ShesThatRN

Just Sharing…

You know what? When I’m writing, I try to leave my readers with something relatively positive. Today, I hope to do the same, but I’m not feeling myself. I want to cry, scream, and holler because I am experiencing all these emotions inside. I can’t, and if I did, I don’t want to disclose where it’s coming from. I really don’t know today, though, quite honestly. I just feel really heavy, uncertain of the future, and like I want to do something else with my life. So far, I’ve written a few sentences, and when I read them back to myself, it sounds like a lot.

Can I tell you something in case you haven’t realized it? It’s okay! It’s okay to feel this way today. I’m speaking to you and me. Every day doesn’t have to be perfect, and it’s okay to have a not-so-good day. I wrestle with many things, and some I speak about, but others I don’t. God knows, though, and He’s the only one that counts to me in my book. Some things aren’t meant to be shared with the world. They’re too personal for our judgemental society, albeit family or friends. If we’re honest, no one tells “EVERYTHING” about themselves to anyone. I’m no different.

The need to cry, scream and holler escapes me and has for several hours since I woke. I’ve been doing and giving myself every reason in the book why I shouldn’t or can’t release in these ways. Sharon, you’re strong, Sharon, you have too much to be grateful for, Sharon, don’t be vulnerable, Sharon there are others worse off than you, and so on and so on and so on. All of which is true in my eyes, but when do I give myself permission to be human? I don’t! Not really because I’ve conditioned myself to react a certain way to life. I have mastered my facade and always “okay” face. I can literally make you believe all is well without missing a beat.

Is that good? Not so much, but getting out of that way of living comes with some work and healing. I am actively working on my life’s healing, and I accept that. There’s no perfect being here on earth, and I think we should allow people to take the necessary space and time to heal themselves. Let me ask you this? How are you feeling today? How has life been treating you? Are you fairing well or so-so in this whole life-altering “pandemic and its aftermath?” What are the ways you cope with maintaining a positive outlook on life and a healthy mental state?

Please feel free to comment below. I am looking forward to reading what you share with other readers and me. Until then, find your safe place/space, ask for help when you need it, and be gentle with yourselves. This is a time of both lack and abundance. So, we need to find a way of dealing with life that results in our being at peace. I wish you peace, blessings, and God’s eternal love.

Moving Beyond It

I’m sitting here trying to work on a project, and I just don’t feel like it. To be quite honest, I’m trying to figure out my “why” for what I’m doing right now. I get so excited when I talk about it, but doing the work is less enthusiastic. So, now I find myself daydreaming and my mind wandering in a thousand places other than where it should be. I keep asking myself questions, feeding myself doubt, and then I said to write about it. So, here I am, figuring out how to move beyond it (the self-imposed emotional torment).

Moving beyond it isn’t always as simple as saying it. Things have to line up internally. Meaning, you have to get your mind to a place of acceptance and the desire to move beyond it. You have to allow for the alignment of the mind, body, and spirit. I can tell you that I have gotten my mind to this place, but everything else is trying to catch up. My body is tired from several nights of lack of sleep and waking up after only sleeping 2-3 hours. I mean Monday, I was up for 22 hours straight, and I was exhausted but couldn’t go to sleep. I think I’m stressing subconsciously about things taking place in my life at this moment. I’m dealing with my health issues, a move, school, and the need to get back to work. These aren’t things that I sit and contemplate about by any means, but I think my psyche just knows that they are concerns or worries.

“Suck it up buttercup as my recruiter would say sometimes.” So, I decided to take a minute and express and release my thoughts, hoping that it will help me move beyond them. I took the time to write and remove whatever is causing this little snafu. I can’t tell you that what works for me will work for you, but I can tell you to give it some thought and take action. Even if it’s a small action, remember something is better than nothing. Let’s do it together…Let’s move beyond whatever “IT” is and keep pushing forward.

Until Next Time,

ShesThatRN