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Moments in Time

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Erin Wells, BSN, RN, CCTC, CPN
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Chicago, IL, USA

"Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters" - Margaret Peters

I have been trying to think of a way to tie in an out with the old, in with the new theme for this article without it being a little too over the top or cheesy. Last week, this popped up on my Facebook feed:

My entire life can be summed up in one sentence "...well that didn't go as planned."

I reposted and added I wouldn't have it any other way. The last 11 years have been a roller coaster to say the least. 7 moves, 6 jobs in 6 states, several significant family losses, 3 transplant centers, 2 fur babies and 1 husband later I never would have mapped out this path for my life. Truth be told, if there had been a category in our senior year book for most likely to never leave Louisiana, I would have taken that prize easily. This also explains why I have always felt "where do you see yourself in 5 years" is an awful interview question.

I imagine the "this didn't go as planned" sentiment rings quite true for our patients and families as well. Most never could have imagined this is where their path would lead, but face the journey with equal parts grace and grit. Time is often measured in transplant anniversaries and a countdown clock forever linked to those looming survival statistics we share the first time they see us. They learn to treasure every precious moment in a way most of us can only aspire to.

I have very clear memories of my grandmother telling me time goes by faster and faster the older you get. The older I get, the more I realize she wasn't really speaking about hours or minutes, but moments in time. The ones that tend to come so softly, so quietly, and in the blink of an eye are gone. It's not that time is getting shorter; our lives just keep getting busier. This is why no matter how much time we get with our loved ones, 10 years or 65 or 90, it's never enough. It's not more time we want, but more of those precious moments in time.

As I recently shared with someone, I sometimes feel like my days are one giant Outlook calendar reminder after the next. To that end, my resolution for 2017 is to grab every moment and be present amidst the meetings, the deadlines and the to-do lists. After all, it is the number one piece of advice I have given my patients over the years. #9632;

Disclosure Statement: The author has no conflicts or interest to disclose.

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