I don’t do too well without having something to look forward to. Not to say that I am a necessarily a goal oriented person, but having my eyes set on something helps keeps the feet churning. And this isn’t the first time I’ve wandered into a phase of life without a set game plan.
That’s the neat thing about school. School within its confines already has a map for you to follow. Whether it was high school, college, or the trade school, you knew there was a finish line at the end, and you had that to work towards to (graduation/degree).
I’ve probably blabbered about this topic in previous posts, so I’ll try to keep this short. In high school, I was with a group of like minded friends in school who’re all doing their part to get the grades and extracurricular activities to get into a good college. So since that was the goal, and we were all working towards the same goal, it was easy to follow along and do what needed to be done.
It was harder in college, as I was more or less doing my own thing (failed to join any groups/clubs with shared career goals; my fault). I was heavily invested in church/fellowship groups which are no longer a part of my life (and also did relatively little in furthering my career path), so that foundation fell out from under me. It’s not to say that “finding your path” is impossible, but it was definitely a lot harder when I didn’t have people in college working towards that same path to help me out.
The thing I enjoyed about these past two years of school was that all 26 of us were working towards the same thing together. (Well, together in the loosest sense, in that I didn’t make any new bffs). We struggled through classes, fought through clinical rotations, and tackled the board exam to all become licensed PTAs now.
I’ve enjoyed the first two weeks of work. Talking to my new rehab team members, talking to the patients (I’ve spoken so much more Mandarin and Cantonese, which has been tough, but I’m glad I can do so, and wish I paid more attention in Chinese school as a kid), and just not bumming around at home doing nothing. Maybe it’s because I’m still very early in the process, but to all those who said school was better than work, I disagree. At least for my job, I don’t have to take my work home with me. Daytime = work, and nighttime = leisure time. Forget about studying/homework/projects and the like. Although, I don’t know if I’m truly over that yet.
The working life also hasn’t been exactly dull. I accidentally locked myself out of my car (first time since I started driving driving 10 years ago) when I stepped out to check my spacing from driveway/car/curb while parking. Keys were still in the ignition, and it took AAA’s contracted lock service over an hour to get to me (quoted time of 30 minutes, so that was annoying).
We also had someone “expire” yesterday. It’s a weird euphemism/terminology used in the nursing home setting, and I don’t like it, but that’s what it is. It’s not the first time I’ve had a patient pass away during their stay, and I’m sure it won’t be the last during my (hopefully long lasting) career. I’m still not sure what happened, but I just know the patient had such a fighting spirit during our treatment sessions.
I had like 13 hours at my home facility and 25 hours at another facility this week. So yes, I spent more time at an unfamiliar setting for this week of work. But I got to meet another rehab team and another group of patients, and it’s always nice to see new things. I’m thinking I put myself into their good graces, as the boss of the 2nd facility said they liked having me there and would like to have me back if they need coverage. I mean, I picked up 2 extra hours of overtime pay yesterday (Friday). Time and a half pay? That’s the highest hourly rate I’ve ever worked for. Sweet.
Got a little off topic up there. But point is, what now? You really don’t get holidays off in the healthcare profession. I was already planning on working Thanksgiving and probably other holidays moving forward, unless someone gives me a good reason not to (you get a small bonus for working those days. So yay?). I’ve currently no travel plans (I used up my travel quota for 2017, right? haha), or really anything else to look forward to right now. Sure, there’s working to save up for a *blank* but that’s currently an intangible benefit down the road for future me. What’s in it for current me? How do I keep my eyes on the prize when there isn’t necessarily a tangible “prize” to work towards?
Two weeks in, and I’m already asking these questions. I don’t even have my first paycheck yet (next week), or my benefits kick in (1st of the month after 30 days employment, so Jan 1, 2017)).