Friday, March 14, 2008

code red: blank 3

Sometimes my job is busy and stressful, but there are many days of laughter that make up for the bad ones.

Last night I worked 7pm-7am and had a really good night. I spent the first four hours of my night playing salon with one of my patients, doing hair and nails. Then we played a board game and she totally beat me.

After the game she wanted a snack, so I said I would make something for her. She gave me an individual serving of hamburger helper that looked delicious. The directions said to add 3/4 cup water and heat in the microwave for 4-6 minutes.

So I went to our kitchenette and began to faithfully follow the directions. At 3 minutes of microwave time, I thought the food smelled a little funny, but it wasn't until 3 minutes and 45 seconds that it started to smell like burning. I quickly opened the microwave door to find smoke billowing out. Inside were the pathetic remains of my patient's little snack. The bowl had melted into a plate and the hamburger helper was burned into a solid rock that resembled a large hockey puck. You could just barely make out what used to be elbow macoroni noodles mixed into the charred mess.

Needless to say, the whole unit smelled like it was on fire. I had to call public safety to warn them that if the fire alarms went off, it was not a fire but it was because Kathleen burned the hamburger helper. Our unit secretary called all of the surrounding wings of the hospital to reassure them that if they smelled burning, it was becaue somebody burned food in the microwave.

The whole night I walked around the hospital smelling awful. It's the kind of smell that when you walk by someone at a distance they look up from their charting and say "Is something burning?"

After a few hours of this, I was sick of how I smelled (I was actually getting nauseated and a headache). So I went to the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit), confiscated the biggest pair of the children's scrubs I could find, and threw my own scrubs into the laundry. My hair and skin still smelled like I've been a smoker for 20 years, so I kept spraying myself with the bathroom de-odorizer spray.

It didn't help much.

As you can see, I need to work on my cooking skills. Thankfully, my patient thought it was hilarious. When I showed her the wonderful meal I had created for her, she refused to eat it. Instead she had me make her some chicken noodle soup.

This time I heated it for 30 seconds and it was the perfect temperature. Who knew?

Monday, March 10, 2008

the case for settling

I was at the gym today and read a very interesting article in The Atlantic called "Marry Him: The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough" by Lori Gottlieb.

Gottlieb presented the argument that a woman in her 40's should "settle" for someone who is not her ideal man as long as she can respect him, enjoys his company, and if he would make a good husband/dad/provider for a family. She stated that women are often too picky, rejecting men in their 20's and 30's who they would probably be very happy with in marriage. "Unless you meet the man of your dreams (who, by the way, doesn't exist, precisely because you dreamed him up)," Gottleib cautioned, "there's going to be a downside to getting married, but a possibly more profound downside to holding out for someone better." (pg. 83)

I do not know how to feel after reading this article. On one hand, it contrasts with everything we are brought up to believe. It seems at first to be a contradiction to what theologians such as Christopher West have said about it being better to not get married at all rather than to settle for someone who will not see your true dignity as a woman.

But on further analysis, I don't think this is what Gottlieb is trying to say. She is just advising women to see that all men are human and have less-than-ideal qualities. In a certain sense, she is echoing my favorite quote from Karol Wojtyla's Love and Responsibility:

"We love the person complete with all his or her virtues and faults, and up to a point independently of those virtues and in spite of those faults. The strength of such a love emerges most clearly when the beloved person stumbles, when his or her weaknesses or even sins come into the open. One who truly loves does not then withdraw his love, but loves all the more, loves in full conciousness of the other's shorcomings and faults, and without in the least apporving of them. For the person as such never loses its essential value. The emotion which attaches itself to the value of the person remains loyal to the human being." (pg. 135)

I don't like her term of "settling." That still makes it seem like she believes her perfect man is out there but she will never find him. But it is a more realistic approach to our fairytale world.

Never does she say that you should settle for anyone. There are many people you could settle for, Mr. Jerk, Mr. Drives Me Nuts, Mr. Dreamer But Will Never Be Able to Support a Family, etc. She advises to overlook little faults and see the bigger picture of Mr. Good Enough rather than rejecting him for Mr. Right or Mr. Perfect.

It's a difficult article to swallow. I'll have to chew on it for a while to see how I feel about it in the end.

God bless America.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

go find adam!

Being single is always a good opportunity for me to re-focus my life of God. However, it is difficult to do this when all I seem to be able to do is search for a new boy. Whenever I meet a man, or see anyone I already knew who is single, my immediate reaction is to think Are you my husband?

Not a good attitude. Very utilitarian!

In our girls' Bible study, we are reading Chosen and Cherished by Kimberly Hahn. As I was pondering who my new husband prospects are, I picked up the book and read this:

"I was preparing to return for my senior year at Grove City College romantically unattached. I did not want to panic about wheter or not I would find my future husband before graduation, but it was on my mind. I longed to be married, yet I wanted to trust the Lord for the timing.

"When I shared my concerns with Sibyl, she reminded me that God did not set Eve loose in the garden and say, 'Go find Adam!' Nor did he send Adam to hunt for Eve. Rather, at the right time, God made Eve for Adam and presented her to him. Adam awoke to discover the gift God had given him.

"Sibyl assured me that, at the right time, God would present me to my Adam; I would not need to make it happen. For the time being I should let God refine me so that I would become the helper fit for that man, just as he had fashioned Eve" (pg. 18).

These words have reassured me so faithfully! God has a wonderful plan for my life and His timing is perfect! I seem to have a tendency to throw myself at guys, fearing the might not notice me. Each day I realize more and more that Love is Patient and if it is God's will, then it will happen.

Jesus, thank you for the words and witness of Kimberly Hahn. Bless my future husband and allow us to follow Your perfect timing.