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Rising to the Challenge

This past week has pushed me to my limits. Starting a new job is always stressful. It doesn’t get any easier as you get older. Quite the opposite, in fact. I was fortunate to find a job that is close to my house, with likeable co-workers, and doing something I enjoy.

There was one obstacle I had to overcome before I could settle in. I had to take EKG classes and pass the test. In order to become a Monitor Tech, I have to be certified. I was a good student in school, but that was more decades ago than I care to think about. My stress factor became a viable creature who taunted me day and night. The classes didn’t help. Two days to learn a ton of information that's crucial to a patient’s well-being, one day to study, then the exam.

Waking up on exam day, I actually felt pretty positive about the whole thing. I studied practically non-stop, and thought I had the gist of information retained in what remained of my muddled mind. I’d been over the multitude of EKG strips and could identify them all. When I sat down to take the exam—I went blank. Full out panic set in, and I knew my own heart rate was textbook tachycardia—due to stress.

Forcing yourself to calm down and think is hard, especially when so much is riding on the outcome. I’m one of those people who put more pressure on themselves. I was bound and determined to pass the test. I certainly didn’t want to have to do it again. Waiting for the instructor to grade my paper was agonizing. Her words were encouraging, but all I could see were the red X’s on my test paper. I didn’t expect to ace it, but I desperately wanted to pass.

“You go, girl. You passed,” was absolute music to my ears. My smile was ear to ear, and I flew to my department to inform my director of the good news. My news was well-received by my boss and co-workers. I left the building minus the heavy burden of stress. The hard part, to me, anyway, was over.

Starting a new job doesn’t come without sacrifice and changes. My writing gig is taking a definite hit from the new day job. I’ve got a crazy 2 and 5, 5 and 2 schedule. It’s going to take some time to get used to it. Because of this schedule, I’ve had to cancel my next three book signings. I’m not sure about the one in October 2018 because I haven’t figured that far ahead. Being the new kid, days off are out of the question. It’s a possibility to trade shifts, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth. I’ve decided to deal with it the best I can.

The up side to my schedule is that I’ll get as many days off as I work. Which breaks down to half of the month working, the other half writing. That’s a plus side in my book.

I just got back Save the Last Dance from my publisher. She was giving it her final read, which is basically, the final edit. I’ll be spending the weekend going over revisions. The sooner I’m done and can get it back to her, the sooner I can get it released. Originally, I was hoping for a December release date. Now, I’m pushing for Thanksgiving week. Nothing is definite yet, but that’s my goal.

After that, it’s back to one of my new stories. With my publisher’s okay, I’d like to submit it for a boxed set. But before any of that happens, I have to finish it. Back to the writing cave.


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