Personal

The catch-all category of my thoughts, ideas and meanderings.

Dear Ms. Behar

Hi, my name is Paula and I am just your average twenty-something-just-a-nurse. But to be honest, I pity you. You may wonder why I, an average twenty-something-just-a-nurse, feels badly for you, a television star who reaches millions of people who watch The View each day, but I do. One time, two times, four times, many times, I have seen joy, death, pain, happiness, hope, fear and love move swiftly across the faces of many people. I have given a newborn a bath and have solemnly prepared a person to be seen by their family for the last time. I have drawn blood at 5:00am, I have given CPR and have made glove balloons and handed out ice and apple juice with a smile on my face. I have met people I would never have met, had I not been “just” their nurse. And the fact that you will never know these joys makes me sad for you.

My patients have caused me great difficulty but have also brought me dinner, called me beautiful, asked if I was pregnant or what grade I was in. My patients have wondered about my life, have asked about what books I’ve read lately, have wondered what it is that makes me smile when I’m not in the hospital. They have given me fleeting friendships that allow for the deepest kind of service to mankind, compassion. I may be just your average twenty-something-just-a-nurse, but I have seen more of what life, death, and the course of disease can to do a family, a friend, or a person than anyone could ever bear to see in a lifetime. And the fact that you will never know the hope that such struggles bring makes me sad for you.

Fast-forward an one year later, I am in the unique position of being a Bachelors-prepared Registered Nurse who is also a medical student. I can tell you that in this moment, as I sit here before I begin my studies for the evening, I look back on my time as a nurse and regret none of it. I will always be proud that the first two letters after my name were “R” and “N” because the magnitude of the burden that they carry has taught me one thing: in order to save lives, you must love life.

That is why I am not angry with you; callous words and ignorant thoughts could never diminish or degrade the integrity, passion, honor and commitment that accompanied my position as a staff nurse at a small hospital in New Jersey. It will take away from the lessons I’ve learned, the late nights drinking a cold chai latte with fellow coworkers, the hours I spent laughing with patients, the hours I’ve spent crying with them, and that one time, I saved a life.

You will grow old. You will get sick. That’s a fact of life. And when that happens, please, come right in. My name is Paula. I’m a nurse. I’ll take care of you.

Honestly Abe

With the beginnings of a new school year making an appearance, I wanted to share with everyone one of my favorite websites. 

Most of you, if you haven’t figured it out by now, probably have realized that I am an extreme bookie. I. Love. Books. I have an unhealthy obsession with them, I have a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in my bedroom and my world (and paycheck) rise and set on what books I can buy with what money. I always have a list of books to read, I dabble in some writing myself (haha, dabble is the appropriate word) and I am so in love with the way books are. Everything about them makes me happy. They are my happy place. 

With that said, books are expensive. Extremely so. Especially when you are dealing with textbooks. Cue my favorite place on the World Wide Web, AbeBooks. The website doesn’t boast about itself, but it’s tagline is Passion for Books. And ladies and gentlemen, that’s what this is. This is a place where you can get all your books from anywhere in the world for insanely small amounts of money. It’s the greatest thing in the world! I have found books I’ve been trying to find for YEARS for $3.47 AND free shipping. That’s the greatest thing about this place; it lists the books that it finds to match your search query in order of lowest TOTAL purchase amount and half the time, you get one with free shipping. 

The only difficulty I’ve found with using this website is that sometimes, you wait for the purchases to come, like anywhere, depending on where they’re shipping from and where they’re shipping to, but if you’re in no rush, it’s a great resource and one that will definitely be used month after month after a month…

If you’re an addict like me, that is :) 

Any experience with internet thrift bookshops? Comment below and let me know! Happy Adventuring! 

 

Love, PB

Commuter Struggles

So I’m taking a post-baccalaureate summer class. And since it’s post-bacc and I’m no longer living at school, I have the pleasure of being exposed to (for the first time in two years) a daily commute on a local bus through four zones in my lovely state. I forgot how much I disliked the commute and for someone who has motion sickness like me, a bus driver who’s rough with the brake pedal can be a one-way ticket to nausea and vomiting. Not fun.

Some of the things I’ve had to combat on this dust-filled, sweaty, body-odorous journey are things like:

  • hot, dry skin
  • the sun beating down from my bus stop walk to my destination
  • heat, heat, heat
  • stagnant air on the bus
  • body odor (hopefully not my own)

(more…)

Savvy Travelin’

With the 4th of July being a long weekend this year, I’m sure many people are took to airplanes, cars and trains and high-tailed it out of their hometowns!

I headed down south with my family and I have to say, I was so, so excited to visit the rest of my family down there and to enjoy the great company, good food and of course, the alcohol-induced laughter! I am among the youngest in the extended family, so seeing my “big cousins” (as I so fondly call my heroes) is always such a blast. This gave me an idea for this post: how do we, women of the modern world, decide what to bring? How do we pack both efficiently and effectively for weekend trips?

Have no fear, ladies (and gentlemen)! I’ll show you how it’s done ;] (more…)

The Morning Multitasker

I know this sounds crazy but bear with me: ever get so tired of your expensive morning routine that you want to just skip all the steps and go right to the part where you’re ready?

I do.

Morning routines can be difficult to keep, especially when they’re complexed and let’s face it, we have morning routines because we want our skin to remain as fresh, youthful and invigorated as possible so, most of our our routines require a level of commitment. I’ll share with you mine:

After jumping into the shower…
Step 1: Exfoliate (Sun+Thurs)/Facial cleansing (all other days)
Step 2: Toner
Step 3: Allow to air dry
Step 4: Moisturizer face, neck and chest area
Step 5: Depending on the day this could include make-up, putting in contacts, etc.

That may not seem like a lot for just my face, but consider the fact that I still have to shampoo and condition, brush my teeth, dry and style my hair and all that good stuff, time can be an important factor, especially when I’m running late! Enter the multitasking. I’ve found that combining a few of these steps helps alleviate some of that added mental stress, especially when on a time crunch

For example, I keep my exfoliating product (St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub) and my facial cleanser (Aveeno Daily Cleanser) in the shower so that I can wash my face and cleanse during the 2-3 minutes that my conditioner is sitting. Following that, immediately after I step out of the tub, I brush my teeth and apply my toner (Dickinson’s Witch Hazel) after which I moisturizer my body while waiting for the toner to air dry. Then, I apply my SPF facial moisturizer (currently Trader Joe’s enrich, SPF 15) and get dressed.

When all’s said and done, I’ve found that incorporating my routine into things I already do cuts my getting ready time in half! If you really pressure me, I can be ready to go, hair done, dressed and walking out the door all in about 15-20 minutes.

What’s your morning routine look like? How do you make it efficient and effective? Leave me a comment to tell me more!

Happy Adventuring!

Love, PB

#selfimprovementsummer

I swear I decide to do this every summer, but I’m impressed with myself because this is the first summer I’ve ever been totally serious about revamping my physique.

Before I began I college, I was weighing in at 120 lbs. Four years later (and half a head of grey hair later), I now weigh exactly 140 lbs. No, I’m not lying. And yes, I am so annoyed with myself. And yes, I also understand that a 20-pound weight gain isn’t the freshman fifteen, but to me, it’s still a lot and I can really feel the extra weight in places where it wasn’t really apparent at all. In January of this year (my final semester in college), I decided that it was really time I make a decision: do I want to live a healthier lifestyle or am I just going to let the snide comments about my weight fester in my soul? Naturally, I thought living a healthier lifestyle would be a little more fruitful, physically, mentally and emotionally and I resolved to shape up this summer!

So, I’ve gone back on a diet. I don’t “diet” in the traditional sense, although I have tried Weight Watchers and the Paleo diet! My problem with these kinds of programs is that they’re extremely difficult to maintain and when I was on them, although they worked, when I returned to college without the ability to make my own meals, go to a grocery store (I’m carless) and without healthier eating options, maintaining either of these two diets was slim to none. Instead, I try and make healthier choices and my diet centers itself around portion control. (more…)

By Way of Introduction

Now that I’ve gotten a few posts under my belt, I think it’s time that I take the time to introduce myself to the blogosphere! Those of you who have already read my About Me page already have a brief idea of what the inside of my brain is like, but in truth, there’s a little more to me than meets the eye!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve decided to do this Q&A style and have formulated some answers from all of you based off of blogs I’ve seen. Don’t worry, I’ll fill in the gaps with fun descriptions; I have a tendency to be long-winded :) (more…)