Tuesday, 7 August 2018

The best days of our lives haven't happened yet

I'm floating down the river, with blue sky and sunshine above me, my friends and family around me, and the eagles soaring quietly above us, much closer than they are on land. I'm feeling so content and at peace that I can't contain myself, and I shout out to anyone who's close enough to listen: "This is the happiest day of my life!" My sister yells back, "I feel the same way!", and the joy I feel about sharing this special moment with her is indescribable. 
Later that day we will ride in the back of our pick-up truck, warm wind blowing in our hair, holding on tight to the tubes so they don't fly away, shrieking with laughter and excited for that night's barbecue, bonfire, and birthday celebration in honour of my love.
Just a week earlier, I was lying in bed, too depressed to get up, obsessively reading articles about suicide and depression, wondering if I would ever feel happy again.
Thankfully, I remembered the mantra I always use when I'm in a depression:

The best days of our lives haven't happened yet.

And only one week later, one of the best days of my life happened. 
Never give up. 

*


I'm walking into work, greeting the lab-tech who walks in at the same time, nodding at a few patients already waiting in the waiting room, two of them familiar to me from earlier visits. I boot up my computer, warm up the tube in the x-ray room, and then I head over to the ER to see who's working today. I know all the nurses and doctors who work there, and have grown to love the camaraderie we share. One of the housekeepers and I slap each other on the butt for our morning greeting, joking about my coffee-dependency and her hot-water-honey-and-lemon-concoction (seriously girl, this is no way to start the day), before I head into the staff room to get my first big cup of ice water. On the way there I say hi to the unit clerk, chat with the maintenance guy about his weekend, and sign a book for one of the nurses. 

I'm happier in this hospital than I ever dared to hope for. That's how I imagined my happily-ever-after: being part of a community, a team, a work family. I had already found it once, back in 2010 when I joined my first work family. I worked with them for over 6 years, and when it was time to say goodbye at Christmas of 2016, I was heartbroken. I was sure that I would never find another work family like that  again. 
I was close to many of my x-ray co-workers: not only the techs, but also the clerks, porters, some of the radiologists, and even a select few of the emergency-staff. 
When I first started at my rural hospital, I had to go through an adjustment period. For the first month, I felt desperately lonely. Instead of having my work buddies all around me, I was alone for most of the time. If I wanted to have human contact outside of patient contact, I would have to actively seek it out. 

Well, shit. That wasn't part of my introvert's personality at all. 
But after sitting by myself for three shifts in a row, I simply couldn't stand it any more, and I hesitantly ventured out.  
It was awkward at first. I legitimately stuttered when I first talked to the doctors (the majority of whom is young, male, and hot), and I didn't know how to start a conversation with the nurses, never having to do that before (because I always had plenty of x-ray techs around me). 
But somehow, it worked. A combination of their openness and kindness, my awkward stubbornness to stick around, and the sheer magic of a small hospital community, slowly made my life-long dream of being part of a small-town community come true. 
One-and-a-half years later, I have never felt more at home or more satisfied with a job in my life. 

If you would have told me back in 2016, that 

the best days of my life haven't happened yet,


I would not have believed you. But it was true. 

*

I'm sitting under the willow tree, my happy place, and I'm sad. We sold our property (another dream come true, but it's emotional), and I will miss this place

We move to our new place. I love it. 
We settle in, make new friendsrevel in the sunniness and dryness of our new home, and continually congratulate each other on this brilliant move we made. 
We love it. 
But - there is no willow tree. I don't have a special spot in our new home. It's a silly little thing, stupid and self-indulgent, not even worth mentioning in the face of all the good stuff we have gained. 
I know that. So I don't say anything, because how spoiled would it sound if I whine about a willow tree when everything else is so amazing?

But I miss having "my" spot. A spot to read, doze, do yoga, cuddle the dogs, flee to when the world is just a little bit too hostile that day. I try different spots around our place, but none of them feel right. 

Until I decide to realize another one of my dreams: build my own she shed. 
In the process, I inadvertently find a new favourite spot: my hammock. It's the perfect spot to read, nap, snuggle the dogs, hang out with friends, and watch the sunset (it's facing west!), and just tonight I told Rich: "I never thought I would find a better spot than the willow tree - but here we are."

Once again, I wouldn't have believed your claim in 2016, or even last year, that 

the best days of your life haven't happened yet.

As you may know, I'm about to embark upon a new adventure this Thursday. As always, I'm scared. So many things are already so good right now, it's hard to imagine they could be better. But you know what?
I didn't think I would ever be deliriously happy again back in June - but I was.
I never thought I would find a work place I could love as much (and even more!) than the previous one - but I did. 
I never thought I would find another special place again - but then I created it

I have no idea what's in store for me coming Thursday. But I will trust in the universe, my own history, and the goodness of people, and believe in this:

The best days of my life haven't happened yet.

No matter what, I'll keep you updated!

xoxo Miriam


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2 comments

  1. What a great way to start my day! You know, it's crazy, I actually typed up a draft last night about happiness, and a lot of the same ideas are there. I'm so glad that you are able to continually find happiness, Miriam. Sure, there might be some tougher times but everything tends to work out A-ok. Can't wait for your adventure ahead - no stress, no nerves, even better days are coming!

    xoxo
    Samantha

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    Replies
    1. As I've said before, you and your adventurous spirit are a great inspiration for me when it comes to trying out new things!
      And I have to say, my first day at the new job is going swimmingly. Later on I will venture into town and take a few pics, I'm excited!

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