Saturday, April 25, 2009

Approaching An Anniversary

" It is a maxim here (at Venice), handed down from generation to generation, that change breeds more mischief from its novelty than advantage from its utility."
~ Hester Lynch Piozzi 1861

Pondering change.....
It will be one year since my arrival in the Central Valley on June 3rd Change is always a challenge. The new has included: the mystery and excitement of making friends - people new to me who have intersected my path; an interesting if somewhat bleak landscape to photograph and attempt to comprehend; last, but not least, being able to navigate city streets without the GPS on ALL the time. A job took shape: connections were made and goals have been set. For the most part, I work with a group of gentle people. There are recruiters knocking on the electronic door. There are job offers else where. The economic downturn has turned the financial incentives to move to the Central Valley into jelly with too little pectin in it - decrease in benefits and no raise. On the other hand, who is getting a raise these day? Well, okay...bankers, but other than the outlier This current company has noble goals and a touching mission statement. The corporation, as with so many others, has been hard hit by the recession. There have been too many acquisitions. Policy, procedure, and staff education as well as staffing itself, have awkwardly fallen behind - that invites health care regulators to dine on practice problems. The corporation, like so many others is withdrawing benefits and promises. I believe the leader when I read his written word. Everyone tells me this in one man for whom giving his word is still a serious business. He has said that if the companies fortunes improve wages and benefits will return eventually. However, this is an interesting time to be an experienced nurse. There is a need far greater than our dwindling numbers. Odd to have recruiters calling a woman in her 60s with potential job offers. All the baby-boom era nurses are beginning the great merge onto the Retirement Pathway. Those of us wanting to continue to work are sought after and urged to considered other "opportunities". The problems will be similar. The solutions will take root over time, with much coaxing, teaching and follow-up. Starting over AGAIN is daunting. There is great comfort in progress and my little team of gentle professionals is definitely making progress. The Central Valley is hot and dusty. The dust and wind work in concert to carry Valley Fever into the body and dust on and into every crevice of the house. The air is filthy and there is a drought. What is the question you ask? The check marks on the negative side and the pro-side. Friends, a book club, a photography pal, and being settled cause me to hesitate. Packing followed by unpacking is exhausting. Moving costly. Being familiar with people and places has an equivalent value in cash.

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