Learning how to say "no" to extra shifts when you're already overworked is a skill that I'm still developing. Currently, my limit seems to be 13 days in a row. It's difficult when the job is perceived to be my activity of choice, favored above most other activities. The joy of working masks the insidious creep of fatigue into nursing practice.
Today is my second day off in a row, the first two days I've had off since I returned from Paris. Oh, by the way, I went to Paris, here's a pic of me at the Eiffel Tower:
Public pics Here, Here, Here, and the Louvre Here and Here.
I also took some videos:
The day I got off the plane, I spent the next 14 days in a row at the nursing home. From now on, I'm going to try to stop at 13.
I never know what to do with myself on my days off, hopefully I'll eventually have a regular work schedule (after two years of practicing) which should help that somewhat.
So, here are some of the things I've been doing on my down-time:
Music is usually Number One, even though I rarely listen to or keep up with music nowadays (same with movies, a spiritual sacrifice to mirror a greater loss). One of the bands I'm involved with, Above/Below, just finished recording an EP, and a music video is in the works, due to be finished by the end of this month. You can check out our album on Bandcamp, where we briefly -TOPPED- the hip-hop charts. Obligatory Facebook Link.
Shooting the music video was lots of fun, since the band members are scattered across the country until summertime, we shot footage from our respective locations (including some video of me in Paris). I'm excited to see how it'll turn out.
Video games are still a major passtime for me, after shunning them almost completely during nursing school. Starcraft 2 is still currently my major time-sink.
Riveting, I know.
The only thing I haven't caught up with yet that I'm planning on is Aikido. Working unpredictable shifts and staying late at work make a regular 3 days/week training cycle difficult to work out, especially when you're expected to "call out" of a training session as you would a work shift. I put a good 1.5-2 years into it and plan to continue, but not until I can devote regular time to it.
So how to make the best use of my time off? Sometimes I feel as though I should just do nothing at all. Inactivity is the best salve for a busy week, maybe.
On the other hand, the clock is ticking, and I want to get started on my Master of Nursing Science degree. Picking through the different specialties is tricky, though. Nursing Informatics is an obvious fit, and more attractive because of the low number of people holding that degree in the states, but this would take me farther away from patient care. APRN sounds like fun, but now that they've bumped up the entry-to-practice to the DNP degree, that sounds more like something to pursue -after- getting my Masters. Going to school online has some obvious advantages, but the online programs don't always have the specialties I want. I'd much rather -generalize-, but you know how that is.
My recent 1.5 week stint in Paris has made me resolve to travel more often, maybe twice a year. It was the first time I'd been out of the country in about 3 years, I could do with another vacation like that twice a year. Where to next? Arizona? The Netherlands? New Zealand? I dunno. Doesn't really matter.