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The gift shop in the hospital lobby has a little coffee bar that I frequent.  I can never remember its hours on the weekend, so I usually make at least one trip in vain.

I was on one such trip the other day and felt that familiar irrational surge of rage to see the dark shop.  I started to turn back when I heard someone say, “Are you Diana?”

I looked to see a somewhat familiar face and said, “Yes.”

She then gestured to a young woman standing beside her and told me that I had been her daughter’s nurse. “Remember?  You used to have to straighten her up all the time.”

I looked into her daughter’s eyes and suddenly remembered a young woman who arrested at home.  Her family had performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.  When I met her she had just transferred to the floor.  Alive and doing physically well, but a childlike shell of the person she had been.

“She’s about 90% recovered.  Just some short-term memory problems.”

I gave her a hug and told her how glad I was to see her doing so well.  She never said much.  I doubt she actually remembered me, but her mom continued to gush. “You were one of our favorite nurses.  I know you guys don’t hear it enough, but this is why you do what you do.”

I had gotten my fix after all.


When a patient’s family member was your patient two years ago, and he tells the patient, “You’ve got the best nurse.”

When a patient’s family member brags about you to other staff.

I was voted again “Nurse of the Year” by my fellow nurses.*

Last year’s award came only with the satisfaction of knowing my co-workers value me.

This year’s award came with an Ipod Nano.

Oh, yeah.


*  “Nurse of the Year” of my floor only as voted by the two units I work on.  Still nice, but not nearly as cool as it sounds.

I walked into a new patient’s room to assess him after his heart cath.  He had family at the bedside, and one man said, “Do you recognize me?”  I looked at him and said, “I know your face. And hers.” Meaning his wife standing next to him.

He had been my patient a year ago.  And now I was caring for his father.

A patient returned to the hospital with gifts for the staff who worked with him.  He works with metal and so created these lovely crosses with inspirational words cut out like “Love” and “Faith.”

I chose “Hope.”


** My sister was delighted to see this cross as she has teased that my home was just not American enough because I had no cross wall.  (Or is that a Texas thing?)  I responded by placing the cross in an area that left no room for additional crosses.

Cops don’t like to give tickets to nurses.

A patient’s family member returned to the hospital to bring me treats and a card.


Combating work-related negativity since October 2010.

Nursing students are specifically requesting me to precept them.


*Combating work-related negativity since October 2010.

It’s that time of year.
Job evaluations.
Mine rocked.


*Combating work-related negativity since October 2010.

My Happiness Project

1. Set a bedtime.
2. Make my bed every morning.
3. Always be reading something.
4. Move more.
5. Toss and organize.
6. Give proofs of love.
7. Leave the past.
8. Fight right.
9. Don't expect praise or appreciation.
10. Kiss more, hug more, touch more.
11. Aim higher.
12. Find some fun.
13. Ask for help.
14. Smile.
15. Realize it's possible.
16. Don't compare;be inspired.
17. Focus on what I have.
18. Beware of drift.
19. Take a chance.
20. Listen.
21. Be mindful.
22. Cultivate gratitude.
23. Spend out.
24. Do good, feel good.
25. Show up.
26. Have the courage to be imperfect.
27. Find joy in the ordinary.
28. Work smart.
29. Enjoy now.
30. Talk to strangers.
31. Go outside.
32. Start where I am.
33. Show up on time.
34. See art everyday.
35. Love with abandon.
36. Be colorful.
37. Dress the part.
38. Revel in accomplishments.
39. Learn something new.
40. Fear less.
41. Take pictures.
42. Speak with integrity.
43. Don't be critical about small things.
44. Manage my pain.
45. Surround myself with creative people.
46. Practice, practice, practice.
47. Don't force it.
48. Deal with something once.
49. Trust my instincts.
50. Avoid gossip.
51. Choose to see the best in people.
52. Take time to be silly.
53. Throw my own party.
54. Be a mentor.
55. Lean into my fears.
56. Find the others.
57. Do the unexpected.
58. Don't break the chain.
59. Do things others aren't.
60. Slow down.
61. Be cool with not being cool.
62. Be kinder than necessary and more generous than reasonable.
63. Pretend I'm good at it.
64. Keep in touch.
65. Row my own canoe.
66. Do what only you can do.
67. If it doesn't work out, find something that does.
68. Dream bigger.
69. Notice what's right.
70. Stop talking. Start doing.
71. When in doubt, choose laughter.
72. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
73. Respect everyone.
74. Be early.
75. Delete the unnecessary.

Three Simple Rules

1. If you do not GO after what you want, you will never have it.
2. If you do not ASK, the answer will always be no.
3. If you do not MOVE forward, you will always be in the same place.

All I Need

1. Someone to love.
2. Something to do.
3. Something to hope for.

What I’m Reading

Blood Meridian
by Cormac McCarthy
Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston

U.S. States I’ve Visited

New Mexico
North Carolina

Countries I’ve Visited

Bermuda (British territory)

I write about…