I’m a pediatric nurse. Which means I get to play with a ton of cute kids, wear brightly colored scrubs, play bingo on Thursdays, put on cartoon bandaids, play peek-a-boo, and give out lollipops, right? Hmm, sometimes. Kids usually hate me. I’ve become a master of holding down a wiggling, terrified child. I have to restrain myself from repeating “sorry” a million times a day (because child life specialists have explained the psychological effect of what we do). I have triple the patients, because parents are great, but they’re so hard — when a child is fortunate enough for them to be present. I know how sticky medicine can be when spit on your face. And, I am a master distractor. I love kids, and I love what I do. But what I am most thankful for about my job (other than being the best form of birth control out there) is that it never ceases to humble me.
A typical day at work for me is probably the worst day of someone’s life. When this is the case, it’s impossible not to be grateful. I am so fortunate that I was born, and continue to be, healthy. So fortunate that I was born to two loving, well-educated parents and grew up with 5 (of the most annoying) fun, supportive, and challenging siblings. I was fed, clothed, kissed, educated, vaccinated, and nurtured. Yes, Dad did keep the house stocked with Oreos and Mom was quite easy to coerce into making a pit stop at McDonald’s fairly regularly..but there are a series of easy-to-overlook, seemingly simple aspects of my life of which I am consistently reminded of their importance.
Being humbled is necessary, and permeates into every other aspect of my life. It’s not uncommon for me to feel exhausted, frustrated, relieved, hungry, and grossly dirty after a shift. But it’s also equally as common for me to feel grateful, appreciated,impactful, and accomplished. As Martina McBride encourages, my “job” enables me to “still feel small when I stand beside the ocean.” And those are things that all the money in the world can’t buy.