A Nurse’s Sketch Book


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Nearly a year ago, I wrote a post about mindfulness and found time for creativity, in which I described how I used downtime spent in waiting rooms to draw, or more accurately, for advanced doodling.

The practice continues. This year, I purchased an inexpensive set of crayons, which I keep in a desk drawer. During my lunch break, I take a minute or two to add a splash of color to the ballpoint pen ink drawings. None took longer than 15 minutes to sketch, usually much less.

These rough sketches don’t take the place of painting in my studio, but, there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with adapting to challenges of managing time, learning to juggle purpose and passion. Nursing provides purpose rooted in service, and passion (or a reasonable facsimile of art) blossoms from its branches. Like spring flowers following a severe winter, it will not be denied.


10 Things to Do On Time-Limited Medical Leave

Three Horses oil & graphite on canvas by jparadisi

I expected to return to work today, but a temporary administrative glitch changed those plans. Rather than languish at home, I’ll write about things to do while on a time-limited medical leave, derived from my own experience.

  1. Finally read Middlemarch, by George Eliot. Okay, I haven’t actually read it yet, but I downloaded the free version to my Kindle this morning. Free is a very good price on disability wages.
  2. Make new friends on Facebook, also free.
  3. Ask my daughter, the hairstylist to give me a cute new haircut. She gave this service as a gift.
  4. Call my mother more often and realize how much I enjoy our leisurely conversations.
  5. Spend time with my favorite eleven year-old. Unfortunately, his toddler sister weighs more than I’m currently allowed to lift. Sigh.
  6. Learn how to apply make up like a pro. By way of charming and entertaining videos, Marlena at Makeup Geek teaches how to create a smoky eye, and wear red lipstick without it making you look clownish. She explains which brushes you need and how to use them. She offers alternative products to more the expensive department store brands. This is a fun site to watch with your teenage daughter if either of you want to bump up your everyday look once in a while.
  7. Walk alternative routes in the neighborhood and see what’s new.
  8. Earn continuing education units. In order to maintain my OCN certification, I’m required to complete 100 units of CE every four years. CE is expensive at $10-$20 per unit. Medscape offers CE in 0.5-2 unit increments free and provides a convenient on-line CE tracker.
  9. Thoughtfully consider my direction as an artist and writer, and plan new goals.
  10. Send a platter of cookies to my colleagues at work, because I’m sorry I’m not there to pick up my part.