Wednesday, March 30, 2011

At What Price Success?

OK, before I even get started - RAMBLING ALERT!

I think it was Larry D who ran a post about how people who go to church a lot are more likely to be obese. I can kind of see how that's possible.  Some folks give up a lot to be involved, and that includes exercise.  I don't know how scientific the study is, but the priest's words at the 6:30 a few weeks ago got me to thinking.  The weekday Mass I attend sometimes has better attendance than some Sunday Masses at other parishes.  The priest, in his sermon, said that he thought that people who make the effort to go to daily Mass are achievers. His words really struck me because outside of the spiritual realm, I'm as far from an achiever as you can get.

I am very torn right now about whether or not I really want to pursue my Master's.  I dropped my course this semester with the excuse that it was too much to continue studies  while I'm still getting the hang of a new job.  The reality is, I dropped it because I didn't want to be consumed with writing papers during Lent.  I don't want to take my next course because it will coincide with my involvement with the Treasures of the Church relic tour.  The truth is, the only achievements in which I have an interest are spiritual.  Outside of that, I couldn't care less about school, professional organizations, letters after my name, titles, etc.  This got me to thinking again.  Am I wasting some God-given ability?  It's hard work to complete 4 credits online in 8 weeks.  What if I had followed the traditional course of events and abandoned a career to stay home with my kids?  Wouldn't this have been more pleasing to God? What am I called to do?

It's kind of late to look on back and wonder what could have been.  The reality is that I cannot reverse the course.  If I stopped to think about all the weight that I carry, I would collapse, so I don't think about it.  There are women with much heavier burdens than the one I carry, so I cannot and should not complain.  

Last week, the Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN) held its annual congress in Philadelphia.  Some of my nurses are heavily involved in this organization and it was a sacrilege to them that I did not attend.  They brought me back some of the literature.  There were lots and lots of names that had lots and lots of initials after them.  I find this a bit amusing.  I don't know of  any other walk of life where people feel the need to have every single credential they have ever earned after their names.   I think this comes from a sense of insecurity, but who knows?  As a mother with children still in high school, shouldn't I rather concern myself with their achievements?

Anyway, this has been on my mind of late.  Am I lazy?  Does God expect more of me?   We can always do more.  I'd just rather do more spiritually.  


  1. I am in the "I gave up exercise for Lent" group, lol! Partly because I want to get my spiritual life in better shape. And get THOSE muscles toned up. The rest is that my darn body isn't getting well from the whatever it is, and I am doing well if a regular days' activities don't leave me limp.
    BUT! on the topic of achieving. I have to take it as it comes. I have that music thing I love to do, and God gave me that desire and some ability. There have been times when years would go by before I did anything musical. And then opportunities would pop up here and there. My role as a mom always had to take precedence, and sometimes I would have to 86 the music projects I started.

    I can only speak from my own perspective. I feel that God gave me something, so I should use it, plus, he wired me so I would be enriched by using it. I hope and pray others are occasionally enriched as well.
    You were given the gift of being good at, and smart enough to be in the medical profession. Which definitely helps people! But then you have to weigh and balance that with your home and children. I know you can't go signing up for courses to "see how it feels," lol. But you can take a look at at everything and all your priorities, and ask yourself if you think at this season of your life, if you are pursuing the things God has given you to.
    If going for your Masters is a requirement of your job, then that will increase it's weight. God did steer you into that job, or so it seems to me :) AND sometimes the work or the gift IS the spiritual thing, if you know what I mean...
    Sorry, a rambly comment.
    God Bless you!

    ps-- I was particularly affected by something on EWTN early one morning, I can't even remember who it was now...but he said that God knows how to let us mess up things, so we can see our need, but never to leave us there. Then He can come in and we know it is Him at work. But somehow it left me feeling like I need to let some of my older kids experience the consequences of their actions and not be too quick to jump in and save them. Something I have always believed but not always put into practice. But in terms of having high school kids, sometimes it is good to let go of mom just a teeny bit. This is not a lesson I am taking at all well, but I thought i would share it anyway. :)

  2. I think it depends on how critical your paycheck is or if your husband lost his job, could you get by? Or does your profession require more to just retain your position. If it's not critical that you continue with your education, then study something you would prefer, or scale back the pace of your studies. Maybe religious study like Mary Christine? I never got my masters. I wanted to spend time with the family instead and didn't have managerial aspirations.

    Sometimes I wonder if the masters programs have gotten out of hand for non-specialized occupations. Even the people that post our cash have their masters at our place.

  3. Hi Joyce, I deal with this all the time except in reverse. I gave up the letters after my name to home school and now I'm too tired, broke and old to take out the loans I would need for alphabet soup after my name.: ) In my unlettered opinion, you have been given great gifts both spiritually and professionally, but it sounds like one is a deeper longing. I think of the verse that says,'let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.' I don't think you'd ever regret going with that. Blessings and +PAX

  4. Wow! That is a post that gets one thinking! I know Joyce where you are coming from. I am in the medical field part-time (would rather be home full time) and I am not interested learning about the lastest ultrasounds or picking up another specialty...I grudgingly do my credits I have to admit. I would rather immerse myself in the Carmelites, and writing, and spiritual reading. In is not a point of being lazy...the point is that it is a natural feeling on the spiritual journey...our focus on God becomes more intense and we want to spend more time with Him. We realize the things of the world are passing and aren't quite as important as we thought they were. It doesn't mean we are going to start doing our jobs poorly or complain about it or not listen to our supervisors or ignore our means we become MORE focused on God's Will in our jobs and our families...and we start questioning *Where are you leading me Lord?* We only need to be open during prayer to see where He may be leading us. I am rambling...sorry. Take one step at a are a prayerful person and I am sure you are fulfilling God's Will as it unfolds.

  5. OM Gosh...God sent you into my life for a reason!

    First, I really can relate to your school dilemma. My sister is an ICU nurse in St. Louis and struggles with this exact same scenario. She only works part-time...nights...but has 2 little boys. They need her. Her husband needs her. Her patients need her. She has dropped coursework for her Masters for various is challenging that way.

    My husband and I struggled with infertility for years...and while I didn't realize it at the was a hidden blessing b/c it allowed for me to complete my Masters BC...before children! ;) Also, I think us teachers run a close 2nd to achieving letters behind our names, only to you nurses! :) And don't get me started on education and parenting...I've never understood a career that while "mothering" other people's children all day, makes it nearly impossible for one to then go home and spend time "mothering" their own!!! hehehe!

    As I have recently had my own way back to the Church, I find myself obsessed with all things spiritual! Where I used to love watching NCIS, CSI, Criminal Minds (talk about a culture of death!), I now could care less...I only want to watch EWTN...Catholic television! HA!

    Wishing you a great evening,

  6. It's very hard to earn a degree as an adult. There are too many things that tear us away. I got my master's in English Lit when I was in my late thirties, and I almost quit a few times along the way. I know how you feel. But if you think that the degree is something that is important, then I urge you to struggle. Think of it as a cross to bear during Lent. You know it's easy to go to extra mass and adoration chapel because you love those things. Real Lenten sacrifice is struggling with things you don't want to do. Think of your degree as a means to glorify God.

  7. 'Am I lazy? Does God expect more of me? We can always do more. '

    As my dad often reminds me, "You are a human BEING, not a human DOING".

    So, feet up after the rosary, cup of tea, or 'carfee' as you Americans prefer and enjoy the peace, as it can read and write and understand, what more do you want?

    God bless.

  8. It will amuse you to learn that I have as many letters AFTER my name as I have IN my name! I desperately wanted them, and was willing to go after them with laser focus. I got my masters degree the day after I turned 50. I do think I was trying to prove something, but I don't regret it.

    I don't know the answers to your questions. I struggle with the same things. I am training for a marathon, and I am going to church every day... oh, and working 8 hours a day / 5 days a week, and taking care of a house, and being a grandmother and mother. It seems to all add up to more hours in a week than I have.

  9. Is this a Masters in Nursing? As one who has one, I think it was the biggest waste of time in my whole life; I only wish I could have those years back!

    It's really nothing but a lot of smoke and mirrors, and in my experience, the people in my class just wanted to have a couple of more letters after their name to feel more important.

    I kept my degree pretty much a secret, and was always amused when people found out and made a big deal about it and wondered why I was "still just doing staff nursing." Yeah, still "just nursing" at the bedside, doing what I wanted to do, happily serving God in non-status job.

    Do yourself a favor and don't put that burden on yourself! Listen to your heart. Those stupid little letters after your name will be one of the things like hay and straw that will be burnt up in the Eternal Light.

  10. "The chief of all, the enemy ,summons innumerable demons and scatters them. Some to one city and some to another throughout the whole world, so that no province, no place, no state of life, no individual is overlooked. He goes around to lay snares for men to seek to chain them. First they are to tempt them to covet riches, as Satan himself is accustomed to do in most cases, that they more easily obtain the empty honors of this world and then come to overweening pride. The first step then, will be riches, the second; honor, the third; pride, from these three steps the one leads to all other vices".
    --St.Ignatius of Loyola

  11. wow, really, really great comments and advice, thank you all. Unfortunately, the people who run nursing education seem, in my humble opinion, to be so busy trying to find ways to justify their own existence that they have no idea how little of what is taught is applicable to what we do. Not that I want to go back to the hospital I left (believe me, I do NOT) but I couldn't go back now if I wanted to because I'm missing the letters MSN after my name. If I feel like I need some more letters after my name, I'd like them to be OCDS. One of these days, anyway. God Bless all

  12. Haha...I was thinking after reading your post that I much prefer OCDS after my name than RDMS (teehee).


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