Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Contemplating the Stress of Change

As my wife Mary and I prepare to radically change our lives, quit our jobs, eschew the trappings of the workaday world and hit the road to see America, I often take time to contemplate stress and how it manifests in my life.

This process of detaching ourselves from our home of eleven years, our hometown of 17 years, and all that is familiar and normal, is a process fraught with pain, pleasure, anticipation, anxiety, excitement, and plenty----plenty---of stress.

Now, don't get me wrong. I blame no one for this situation in which we find ourselves. We created this situation. We asked for it. We designed it. We will reap the rewards, cry the tears, and feel the highs and lows as we open a life chapter filled with uncertainty and adventure.

As we move through the process, stress settles in my body, curls along my spine, throbs in my neck, and disturbs my sleep. I toss and turn, I eat haphazardly, too much at one sitting---or not at all.

At work, I'm distracted, restless, frequently inefficient. I feel guilty for leaving my public health job just as flu season and H1N1 begin to heat up. Then again, I'm relieved that I'm skipping town before the infectious feces hits the proverbial fan.

After thirteen years as a nurse, I need to step away from the desk, put down the syringe, close the file cabinet, and look towards a new way of being, both professionally and personally. The stress of work has taken its toll, and it's ironic that the stress of detaching ourselves from our lives here in New England is taking its own toll on my body and mind. That said, the day will come when we weigh anchor, pull up stakes, and listen giddily as the miles roll beneath our RV's eight wheels.

I look forward to sharing the journey with you, dear Readers, here on Digital Doorway and on our new shared travel blog. It will no doubt be a wild ride, and along the way I'll be exploring and
reporting on American health care seen through the eyes of a nurse traveling the highways and the byways of America with his trusty dog and loving life partner at his side.

I hope you'll come along for the ride!
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