Live a little.

I’ve been binge watching Shameless on Netflix for the past few weeks. Talk about a show that makes me feel way better about my own life.

About two weeks ago, I watched the season where Frank meets the doctor who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the age of thirty-two (two years younger than me at my current age). The character was upset about dying because she felt that she hadn’t really lived. She worked her ass off to get into medical school, worked her ass off in medical school, followed that up with an internship, then a residency, and had finally made it into the field, but was still working insane hours.

And then she got cancer.

So, she lived it up. She had the money to do so and went wild. She did all that she had not done because she was so busy working, staying the course, being responsible.

Soon after, she passed.

I found out earlier this week that someone I know is currently going through a cancer scare. It is not definitive, a biopsy is scheduled for next week, but that is what her doctors are thinking. As expected, she is distraught. Who can blame her?


I have been working my ass off, too, you know. Maybe not in medical school or as a doctor, but still. I rarely take vacations, and when I do take time off from work, I take it in small doses. Throughout the entirety of my time in the workforce, I have never taken a week-long break from work. Ever. People who take a week off, they include the weekends for a total of nine days off. I have never had that. I think my max has been five days.

I vow to change that next year.

For now, I have taken a couple days off next month to go to a veterinary conference in San Antonio. This may not sound like fun, but it will be because I am going with my best friend, Cristina. She will be working, representing her company, while I am attending lectures, but there will be plenty of downtime for us to hang during the four days that we will be there. Also, my other best friend Cynthia lives in San Antonio. As luck would have it, it just so happens that her birthday falls on one of the days that I am in town! I haven’t celebrated her birthday with her since high school… Long overdue. Finally, Yo La Tengo will be playing at a venue not too far from our hotel, and how fun will it be to catch a show in a town other than Dallas?!

Needless to say, I’m excited.

In even more exciting news, I have asked for a couple days off in October as well. I originally asked for the time off to go on a camping trip to Palo Duro with a group of friends. However, coordinating such an endeavor with the amount of people wanting to go, including some who are students and others who work weekends, well – it is difficult. We never actually agreed on dates, who will be driving, what kinds of activities we want to do, what site we want to reserve, etc. etc. So… my friend Jess and I are saying fuck it, let’s just go to Austin City Limits that weekend instead. Three-day pass, baby.

Okay. A few things. When I call her “my friend”, I have only hung out with her twice, both times in the last two weeks. I will be making this trip with a stranger, pretty much. We have no idea where we would be staying. My Dad no longer lives in Austin. Bummer. Hotels are likely either already booked or will be expensive AF (not good when we are already paying over $200 on our passes alone!). We are throwing ideas around like camping or CouchSurfing, which are both kinda risky. Transportation? I can’t really help there, but she knows that already.

I don’t know, y’all. It’s super last minute and haphazard, but… what the hell. Why not? I have always wanted to go to ACL and now, here is someone who will adventure there with me, someone with a spirit as spontaneous as mine! I may not know her too well yet, but we totally clicked right away. She’s an extrovert, and social, just like me. Why not do it? Live a little!

In times like these, when my mind is flooded with seemingly wild ideas, I am reminded that there is no afterlife. I have one life and one life only. I gotta live it up while I can.

Live lively, my friends.

The dream work.

Around this time last year, I interviewed for my current position at work – Intensive Care Unit/Emergency & Critical Care Supervisor. I wanted something new, I missed being a leader, I needed go to a department where I could experience growth. Siobhain knew I was unhappy in my previous position and gave me the idea to apply. I would otherwise not have considered trying to lead a department I never even worked in. Sarah pushed me when I told her about my intentions. Add the encouragement from Cristina, Nicole, Jennee, and Spencer… I went for it.

It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I got the job. In just a little over two years at the company, I received a promotion. That’s pretty damn awesome. When it was announced, I received so many congratulatory messages, not only from friends, but from everyone at work. The employees in my new department were excited that I was joining them. The department doctors joked and bragged about “stealing” me. The doctors I left behind told me they knew I “would get it”. The medical director told me he was excited for our hospital.

Ugh. So awesome.

Here I am now, and guys – I really love my team.

The doctors are so damn dedicated, down-to-earth, compassionate, and intelligent. They are also freaking hilarious, fun, and generous. I actually enjoy hanging out with them outside of work – we have the best times! The team is hard working, they own up to mistakes, they communicate with me well, they get the job done when shit hits the fan [which happens often in Emergency!], and they know how to let loose and relax when appropriate. I cry at least once a day from laughing so much! Just today we were teasing our doctor over her high school nickname, then we were trash talking about each other’s ridiculous weight loss methods, then we started planning more fun get-togethers heading into the end of the year. We even built a cardboard castle for one of our patients!

The occasional fourteen-hour days are doable because we all stick together. Nobody jumps ship and bails. The teamwork is unlike any I have ever witnessed in my career! It makes me feel proud and full of admiration.

So yes, our job is often stressful. Yes, we can all get frustrated. Yes, I have taken on additional stress because of my responsibilities as a supervisor. Yes, work is work. But I get through it because of my awesome team.