I told one of my friends from grad school that I am ready for mediocre. Growing up I always felt like I wanted to do something important, something that made a difference. It’s probably why I chose nursing, although it wasn’t my first choice of careers. But I was good at science and wanted to make a difference. I also had a problem with wanting to be a people pleaser which meant I never did work without thinking most about how it would be received. That is, graded by teachers, received by patients, viewed by coworkers. Everyone else’s judgement of my work was always more important than my own. Because of that, I regularly felt crushed by feed back. I constantly thought I wasn’t good enough. A lot of ideas I had early in my adult life I would never attempt or quit because of fear of failure or criticism.
But as I got older, I started trying more doing more and trying to work past my work not being received well. I started believing I was good at some things and I worked very hard at them. But I still struggled with anxiety about failing or doing things poorly. But mostly I kept looking for ways to work hard to make a difference.
The pandemic has changed the way I think about work. Lately I’ve been thinking, I am tired of work. What’s the point of work? What’s the point of 40 hours? Who is my work for? And can my work be for me?
I think this is really an exploration of the idea that I, personally, can let go of working for others in a way that leaves very little for me. I have known this for a while. But practicing it regularly has been a challenge, because I constantly find myself jumping back into old ways of thinking. I think I should be working harder, proving my worth as an employee, looking for advancement, helping the organization be better, etc. But at the same time I feel compelled to do that, I think to myself why? Why should I? Why should I be a model employee? Why can’t I be mediocre and let things go instead.
So the other day, I told my friend I want to be mediocre. I want work to shrink in it’s importance and to let all of the other things grow. More books, more art, more hiking, more time with people I love. I am ok with not being significant and just being average.
The trash service is a little more customizable than we are used to. At home, we signed up for trash service and on the trash day, they came and picked up our green can, our regular trash and our recycling. Here you can set up your account for every other week, every week or monthly. You can also choose different size containers. The previous tenant had ever other week
We made the service every week and the first 2 weeks, we had a lot of trash. The first week, they didn’t pick it up because they thought it was still every other week. We had just moved and we had so much trash. On trash day of the second week, it was super windy in the morning. The recycling containers are 3 small plastic bins with no lids, not a big bin with a lid like we are used to. Paper, cardboard, bottles and cans are divided up in them.
Shortly after he put the trash out, Will looked out the kitchen window and saw paper, cans, and cardboard blowing across the ground. It was our trash blowing down the street and into the neighbor’s yard. He ran after it all trying to find all of the pieces.
This town is 82% white. Every where you look, it’s white people. The city we came from was 63% white. It doesn’t seem like a big difference but going from 8 to 1.5% Black people and 35% of people being Hispanic/Latino to 9% is very noticeable. It’s weird to have so much less diversity. There are Black Lives Matter signs on like 50% of the businesses, which you don’t see in LA. When I say signs, I mean lettered onto the windows, not a hanging poster. I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s marketing or genuine.
We went to the farmer’s market yesterday and there was a guy making a few different filipino lunch combos. We ordered some lumpia and pancit. While we waited, ever other person who came asked what each item was and asked if it was spicy. What’s chicken adobo? What’s pancit? It was brand new to them. He told us he is trying to get a food truck.
I’m not a fan of mushrooms 🍄. I don’t eat them much. Mainly in salad, preferably not cooked, and usually the basic white ones. Will has been buying different ones and trying them out. I’ve been fascinated by what we see out on the trails. On the sides of trees and under ferns. But I am still not going to eat them.
Well after 5 days of appointments, our place had FIVE offers. I guess everyone was right about selling fast. So no we are in escrow and we have a lot to do! I made a long list of to do things on my phone, but of course every day I get new items to add. But basically, we are out of here in 28 days.
Which is weird. We’ve lived here for 20 years. At some point after moving, we became Southern Californians. I don’t when the exact moment is that your new home becomes where you are from. It could be when you can’t remember the last time you said I-5 instead of the five. It could be when you can’t remember street names from where you spent the first 20 years. Or maybe when your friends from there start saying you are so Southern California.
And now in 28 days it changes. We’ve started planning good bye socially distant coffees. But it’s hard to say good bye to everyone.
We found a place to move. Which felt like a feat on its own, with a bully breed dog and trying to negotiate a six month lease. But we did it ✔️ and now it’s one less thing on the list. Next up: 20 more things to do. And eventually we will be strangers in a new place trying learn how to live in totally different weather.
My oldest was recently accepted into an art school in Canada. They (My oldest users they/them pronouns) are starting in September. They also have applied for their study permit, which is no small feat. Most countries require money as an important part of a move. So my oldest had to show that school was covered and that they had like $10k in the bank. This was accomplished with a lot of savings and some parental donations. My oldest lives at home, pays rent and doesn’t have a car. So their living expenses aren’t too high.
My youngest is moving in a week to NorCal for grad school. They also have saved up. They saved and got a car. They also put down their deposit and rent for an apartment they are sharing with a classmate. They have been working remotely all summer for the school and will continue to work and do school remotely.
I began my application for a license in Canada. We decided that was the best entry route because nursing is a high demand job. It’s a lengthy process to get the license so I am starting with that. $650 for the application, plus fees with all of the documents. Official copies of my identity documents, official transcripts, copies of the school curriculum, etc. This process isn’t fast, but it’s even slower in the pandemic. Everything is by mail (and have you heard about the mail lately?).
Eventually, once they have everything, it will be evaluated to meet Canadian requirements. Then I can apply for my license (more $$). Then I can apply for a work permit/job.
In the meantime, we are looking at selling our house. I applied for a job that is work from home through 2020. Its more money because it’s full time, but at least it’s at home.
Will is going back to school. He needs a BSN in Canada for a license, but has been working for the last 20 years as an ADN nurse. So online school it is. And then he will need to do the same this that I have done.
A big kind of process like this is a lot of moving parts and a lot of changes. All along the way I find new challenges and issues to address, but overall I am hopeful. Hopefully next year we will be living up north!
We waited forever to get results for my kid’s test. 20 days to be precise. We waited so long, I let my kid out of quarantine and got tested myself to go back to work. Drive thru CVS fail.
If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that I am super over certain things about this country. Healthcare is one of them. I’ve complained about it FOR YEARS. It’s expensive, inefficient, and needs so much improvement. Over the years I’ve read a lot about about it, worked in it, and argued with lots of coworkers and friends about it. I am tired of the idea that a diagnosis could devastate us into poverty.
I am also really over grind culture. Let’s be honest, I’ve been over it for quite some time. I’ve worked very hard as a nurse and to get advanced degrees. I’ve worked very hard to give my kids a different life than I had in poverty. It’s taken a lot to get them opportunities and a college education.
Another thing I am tired of is state sanctioned violence. AKA police brutality. How many protests? How many videos? How long do we have to wait for change? Most people I know are frustrated about this.
The fourth thing I am tired of we have actually had a reprieve from. Mass shootings. I am tired of that being a normal state of existence. Staying home has at least decreased the incidence of that, especially in schools. One day I got a text from my youngest in college. I was working and she said she was sheltering in place for a possible shooter. I am so frustrated that America has decided guns are worth that risk.
So after complaining about all of the things I’ve always complained about, what are we doing? We are looking to sell our house and move. How will we move in a pandemic? We are not 100% sure, but we are doing it. ✌️