Intentions for 2022

I realize January 1st has come and gone, and probably many of the New Year’s resolutions set by many of you for 2022. But my birthday is in March so for me this is really the start of my new year. Rather than state my New Year’s resolutions, I prefer to state my intentions for the rest of this new year.

But before I begin, I feel I should give you some background to what I’m going to lovingly call “this journey.” I’m not alone in stating that the last two years have been one hell of a roller coaster ride, especially for those of us working in healthcare. For those of you who don’t know, I am a Nurse Practitioner in Internal Medicine. And, although I do not work in the hospital, that doesn’t mean the struggles we faced during the pandemic were not scary and exhausting. From my perspective, however, the covid 19 virus turned out to be the easy part of the pandemic. I know that sounds crazy, but let me explain.

You see as a nurse you are trained to protect yourself from any number of unsavory bacteria and viruses that roam the halls of healthcare facilities on any given day. Yes, covid 19 was a new virus but the training I received in the use of PPE still applied. That having been said, the first day I walked into work and was told we had a covid 19 outbreak was terrifying. So, I put on my PPE and rounded on my patients in a plastic wrapped unit that looked like a scene from the 1995 movie, Outbreak. Not only was I scared for myself but for what I might bring home to my family, so as I’ve done many times before when taking care of patients with nasty communicable diseases, as soon as the door to the garage closed, I stripped down naked, walked directly to the laundry room and loaded my clothes into a hot water washing machine and then proceeded directly to a hot soapy shower. I did this many times over the next two years, and fortunately never tested positive for covid. But, I have to tell you, the covid virus wasn’t the really damaging part of the covid experience.

As the pandemic unfolded before everyone’s eyes the politics of medicine and the business of medicine quickly also started to unfold. For me the most damaging part of the whole experience was the rift that quickly formed between healthcare workers. People I considered part of my “team”, people I trusted to keep me and my patients from harm’s way turned into people I didn’t think could exist in medicine. Much to my surprise many of my colleagues decided the PPE was not necessary, even when there was no shortage of supply. And, because of their lack of consideration several of them and then several of my patients contracted covid while under my care. As the one spearheading internal medicine it then was left to me to explain to the patient and their family members (remember, family was not allowed in healthcare facilities) that the patient had contracted covid from within our facility. Obviously, there was outrage and, quite frankly, I was outraged myself. 

Then as time unfolded and a vaccine came into focus on the horizon a whole new set of issues arose. You see the type of facility I work in, in Arizona, falls under the category of nursing home, so we were expected to the be the first to get vaccinated; the guinea pigs, so to speak. So, I did my research on the mRNA science and quickly realized the importance of this research not only for the covid vaccine but for other medical endeavors in the future. I supported the vaccine and was happy to be one of the first to get it when it was time. But of course, that was not the case with all of my fellow co-workers and another rift developed.

Then in 2021, another phenomenon started to unfold in medicine. You see there are many, many people who make a whole lot of money in medicine and the expense of covid was great. In 2020 there was additional reimbursement for facilities taking care of covid patients but that was winding down in 2021, and people wanted to make money again. The only problem was many, many healthcare workers quit working in medicine because, well, it sucked. So, then there was this push to accept more patients to our facilities, who were more acutely ill (because hospitals were pushing them out the door quickly to make way for more covid patients) coupled with less staff to take care of them. Hence a situation unfolded with more unhappy patients and family members and quite frankly a less safe environment for my patients in the name of making money.

In addition, in the past two years I have watched cases of mental illness explode. You see, sick people get depressed and people separated from their loved ones get depressed. And people who lose their jobs get depressed, etc etc. Closer to home during the past two years, I experienced one friend who tried to take her life and thankfully failed, and another who unfortunately did not. I watched my daughter spiral down a rabbit hole of self-destruction after she was furloughed from her dream job early on in the pandemic, and struggled with my inability to find any way to help her out of the sadness and destruction raging in her head. I watched my son struggle as well, as he graduated from college right after the start of the pandemic and struggled to live at home with his parents again, without a clue where to begin. By the end of 2021, I not only felt overworked, underappreciated, and unhealthy but, well, depressed…very, very depressed.

I started 2021 with hope and renewed strength, but ended the year feeling lost and sad, questioning every aspect of who I am – as a nurse, a mother, a wife, a friend. I decided it was time to find myself again, and maybe reinvent myself, again. I knew this new path required new intentions and maybe a revision to some old ways. So, I wrote down some intentions for my life in this new year, and here they are:


This one cannot be overstated. I have this goal every year, but this year the goal to simplify my life seems crucial. So crucial in fact that all my other intentions stem from this one main goal. I want to simplify my daily life, my work, my relationships, my health, and hopefully find renewed strength through this one overarching theme.

Practice more yoga 

Yoga is not only exercise for the body but also for the mind. I have been practicing yoga for twenty years and the older I get the more important yoga becomes to improve my inner and outer strength.

Focus on my health 

This one includes my physical and mental health and renewed focus on simple, health eating and exercise, and putting my mental health ahead of everything else. 

Reconnect with nature 

I love being outside in any shape or form. It’s why I live in Arizona; where we can be outside enjoying the weather almost all year long. I love gardening and riding bikes and sitting on the patio at the end of the day watching the sunset. Mother Nature is an old dear friend that I have neglected, and I want to reconnect. 

Explore flower 

I used flower in my younger days, but this is a whole new ballgame. The more I read about the medical and recreational benefits of flower and its derivatives the more I want to know and explore to see how it fits into my life and lifestyle today. 

I invite you to come along on this journey to explore new things and learn more about yourself in the process. I know I will. Let’s get started.


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