Friday, March 4, 2011

Back to school......for me.

Late last year I decided that 2011 was going to be a year of moving forward. I have spent the last couple of years just surviving; learning to live with my fibromyalgia. That time at home was essential. I went through some really low points  and through various stages - much like the stages of grieving. I was, in effect grieving my "old life". Finally, I reached a point of acceptance that my old life is not returning and I chose to build a new life and move toward the future with hope. I have learned to listen to my body and to respect it.

I have decided to stop stressing about the "will-I-or-won't-I-go-back-to-nursing" dilemma.
Every time I have contemplated going back to nursing, I have had knots in my stomach. When I started planning to start nursing again, I didn't sleep well. I'd have nightmares about being at work, in a chaotic, understaffed ward that was completely out of control. In my nightmares I felt panicked that I was so busy that I was unable to take care of my patients properly, placing their safety at risk. As you might have guessed, it was this sort of stress that lead me to quit my nursing job 2 1/2 years ago, and I believe that this stress contributed significantly to the onset of my illness.
After months and months of beating myself up over not being able to return to nursing I have decided to let it go. I simply cannot take on the stress and responsibility of caring for people in potentially life threatening situations. My health cannot stand up to it. 

After much reflection and contemplation I have decided that I need to completely change direction. I want to work again, but in a different field. Looking back at my childhood hopes and dreams, I recalled that, growing up, all I wanted to be was a kindergarten teacher (until I was steered toward nursing in my late high school years). I loved the idea of working with pre-schoolers doing fun and creative  work. While I'm yet to see how far I will take this journey, I have started down the path. I have begun my Certificate III in Children's Services at Swinburne TAFE. I will be at TAFE two days per week and on placement in a daycare centre two days per week for the next 6 months. I may or may not continue on to the Diploma of Children's Services or even a graduate diploma in early childhood education at uni. The Cert. III course is my way of "testing the waters". I want to see a). if I really want to work in children's service, b). how my family copes with me no longer being a stay-at-home-mum (SAHM), and c). how my health holds up to the studying/working schedule. It is all a big experiment at this stage, but it is progress. I am moving forwards. I am looking to my future instead of being consumed by illness.

My first week has been really positive. There have been a few issues with timetabling that have been frustrating, but once they are sorted out, I think I will enjoy the student life again (it has been quite a while since I studied!). Practical placement starts in week 4. I'm not sure where I'll be placed yet, but I'm looking forward to getting out there.


  1. What a beautiful photo. Such handsome looking boys!! Fantastic to see you looking so happy & healthy Neetie. Enjoy the coming weekend. I will be thinking of you all. xx

  2. Oh Anita I'm so pleased for you! I always wanted to be a kindy teacher too. Enjoy being back at school and learning. I love the photo of you and your sweet boys.

  3. Anita! This is such exciting news! I'm so happy for you. You would be an amazing kindy teacher..and i know that all the kids and their parents would all absolutely love you. All my love and wishes for success in this new avenue of life. X x
    P.S. I like the picture of the card in the banner at the top of your page! Looks very familiar!

  4. Exciting news - all the best with your studies and with tweaking the home routine. Sounds like your 2011 is off to such a positive start. Love your new blog header - that basket of vegies looks YUM! xx

  5. Big changes for you, your lovely family and your blog! and they all look and sound great. A positive attitude is half the battle and it sounds like you have it in the bag, & it is reflected in that gorgeous pic of you & the boys.
    Good luck with your studies, you'll pick it up in no time!

  6. I am so impressed Anita and I wish you every success - although we have never met I think you would a brilliant kinder teacher - the parents and children will love you to bits. Love the photo of you and your boys.

  7. Gorgeous photo Anita. You are looking so well these days which makes me happy. You deserve good things gorgeous girl. I have been thinking of you all week with your new study and am excited to hear the first week went well. You HAVE to scrap that photo - it's just gorgeous.


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