Deciding Factors

There is good news today!  Isn’t that a nice change of pace?

First, the children came home!  I mean to say, today was the first day with our new nanny whose only job is to pick up the younger three children in the morning, take them to school, pick them up in the afternoon, and bring them home again.  That’s all.

But it’s kind of terrifying to send your children in someone else’s car, right?  I mean to say, even besides my dead mom and all, I grew up in the Adam Walsh generation.  You just don’t let your children talk to strangers.  Ever.

Excepting if they pass a gazabillion background and fingerprint checks, and you have their license and car tag information, and they seem really legit nice and not creepy-fake, right?

That doesn’t make it any less scary.  She was very kind, and very patient with us, as we asked her to text us when she got to the school and when she was on her way back to us, so we would know, and we talked to the school to confirm when they got there and when they left.  Not that we want to stalk her so much as make sure we aren’t more foolish parents than we already are.  It’s a pretty real threat most days, you know.

The other good news maybe only matters to me.  But I can carry my clipboard again!  At my evening shift job, where I do psych assessments in the ER, I have a clipboard that I carry because I never know when I might need to put a legal psych hold on someone to hold them for treatment, or do a safety plan, or share resources, or help set up an ambulance transfer to another facility.  My office is in a different part of the building, so there are some things I have to just keep with me in case I need them right away.

But I haven’t been able to carry it for six weeks because that’s how bad I hurt.  This is the part where you roll your eyes because once again I was doing too much, or not asking for help, or enduring pain when I should have been resting.  But it was a brand new job, and I really needed to keep it!  So instead of giving up, I made my coworkers crazy (we share desks) by changing the settings on the chairs all the time to support my ribs and back as much as possible, and gave up on the clipboard and just did my best.  I don’t know how I got through the last few months, but I have come through on the other side again, and am starting to feel better.

In fact, I am starting to be able to do some stretching and some light yoga again, even though I am not yet cleared for the gym.  My legs are enjoying walking, and even after a day with the children my back is just tired but not hurting.

Except for that time Kyrie tried to use me as a trampoline.  That hurt.

So yeah, it turns out hospital work is pretty rough on your body.   Working at two hospitals is just ridiculous, really, and I will be glad when my chaplaincy residency is completed and I only have one job.

Well, I will be sad, too, because we have a really tight group and I adore my colleagues.  But it will be a relief to just focus on one job.  Hopefully, I will be applying things I have learned about myself and about the world, and be a way better therapist.  I am grateful for the healing process CPE training (Clinical Pastoral Education training) brought me after the hard things we have been through; specifically, the Wednesday class days that are eight hours of group therapy every week have been so intense and painful, all while the hospital shifts bring a more complete healing as we continue to serve others.  I have loved that service was part of my healing, and I know it’s part of what pulled me out of what could have drowned me if I had stayed focused on myself and how hard life was.  It really helped me snap out of it, and I feel way more myself than ever before.  That’s a pretty good feeling, even if 8 hours of therapy every week is exhausting.

I see evidence of it in other areas in my life, too.  Like this week four different people have contacted me about a new hot shot job opening up soon.  I’m a great fit for it in many ways, and the pay is decent but the hours long.  The job would look really good on paper, and make my name extra fancy cool.

Except that’s not who I am, or what I want.  Not at all.

I just want a job that I enjoy, where I work with people I love, and get fair pay for hard work, and then I want to go home.

Because really, all I want is to be home.

Practically, that’s not possible right now, but working this evening shift is pretty close to that (after residency is finished), where most of my work hours is after the children have gone to bed.

Plus I love the ER work.  It’s really my favorite.

And right now I have a really kind boss, and good people I work with, and that is as hard to find as anything.

And not only is my pay okay, but my insurance is free because of some kind of social justice program that qualified my family for free insurance.  How amazing is that?

So, hot shot job or not, I’m not sure they could beat the experience of this job, even if no one will ever know my name or understand what exactly my team does here.

We save lives.  That’s what we do.

So I have thought about it a lot, and talked with Nathan a lot, and prayed about it a lot, and while it’s a brilliant opportunity, I just don’t think it would make me any happier than this job.  Nathan doesn’t think I would actually enjoy it once I was in the position and doing that work, and he thinks I would be gone more time than they say, and so maybe even resent it because of so badly wanting to be home with the children.   When I pray about it, I do not feel disapproval for asking, but I get a very clear no, and I’m okay with just taking that without needing to find out why.

I really like and believe in who I work for, and I really enjoy the work I do.  I love my coworkers, appreciate my schedule, and think that it fits me in many ways.   I know that may not last forever, but for today, today, it is good and right and as it should be.  I have decided not to even apply for the other job.

And I hope, crossing my fingers praying hard hope, that the bizarre nanny sponsorship situation buys Nathan enough time he is able to work more, too, after these months of being so supportive of my calling.

We are excited to go home, and to settle back into our yellow house.

We are even excited to not have any baby stuff in our bedroom for the first time in four years!

We are excited to be home, together, all of us, and to rest, and to play, and to just be.

That’s what is worth it to me.


Posted in Faith, Family, Life, Work permalink

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Deciding Factors — 1 Comment

  1. So happy for you Emily! Sounds like things are moving exactly the way they should.

    What hospital is your ER job?