In every day life we all sacrifice one thing for the sake of another. Those of us with children this seems to be the status quo. Our sacrifices could be be studying to better ourselves and move further along in our profession, working long or odd hours to increase our income through shift loadings or facilitate care of our children; and sometimes it is merely sacrificing what we would like to do in order to do what we should do for our family, our loved ones, or even ourselves.
For those of you who have been reading my posts for a while know that University has recently started back again. This has meant the onslaught of assignments has begun. I am studying Full Time, and working 8 shifts a fortnight. This has meant that this semester I have eight assignments due by July, a three day mandatory residential school, and four weeks of placements. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but when I need to take leave from work to go and work for free, or use my days off in my roster to attend residential school, it makes a difference. This fortnight for example, I will be working 13 days straight. I will work for five days, have my three days rostered off which will be consumed by residential school, then another five days on at work. I study full time to advance my career, I advance my career to better support my family with improved income, and open up opportunities in the future to guarantee job security. I sacrifice the short term for long term gain.
I work in an acute care hospital. I work all shifts; Early, Late and Night Duty. I work eight shifts a fortnight. I miss a lot of time with my children and my wife because I am either at work, recovering from work, or getting ready for work. As a Nurse there are a myriad of different opportunities for us. We can work in a Doctors office, an acute care hospital, aged care facility, community based organisation, some schools, specialised work sites, our military. Some of these jobs have the benefit of only working day time hours, 9-5 or 8-4 for example. The rest rely on nurses being at the facility 24/7 and therefore require a roster system to cover the whole day. To better my skills and earn a little extra money for the family, I opted to work in an acute care facility, which involves working all shifts. This means I am often at work when my family is home, sleeping when my family is awake, or at home while they are at school. It is not unusual to go several days without seeing my children, and if it wasn’t for my wife burning her candle from both ends with work, I wouldn’t see her either. I sacrifice the amount of time I get with my family to ensure a better present and future quality of life.
Outside of work, and study the sacrifices move into two categories; wants and needs. Often I find myself sacrificing, willingly, what I would like to do with what needs to be done. For example, recently I have had some friends who are moving house. I had just finished a Night shift the day before, and I was working a Late shift that evening. My friends requested my help to move some of the bigger furniture as I have a large tray Ute, and they don’t have access to a trailer. I very easily could have blown it off and said that I was busy or otherwise occupied. I even could have said that I was studying. But instead knowing that my friends needed the help, and without it may not be able to move the furniture at all, I willingly put aside what I was doing to help a friend. We all sacrifice the wants for needs.
I am not unique. I am no way attempting to be a bleeding heart to garner sympathy. I do not have it the hardest. I am not saying everyone doesn’t sacrifice. If anything I am opening the dialogue for everyone to share their sacrifice and struggles that come along with it. We as a community can better support each other if we are open and honest. Your own life can be improved by being open and honest. Take care out there everyone. Remember to engage in a little self care.
Maintain the Rage