My suspension has been lifted (sorry, my "negotiation of my return to work"), so my first shift will be Tuesday night. I must be nuts for looking forward to going to work, but I am. I love being a nurse and have missed being allowed to do what I love and am good at. I don't know the story behind any of this; HR just called and said "come back to work Tuesday." No conditions, no explanations, nothing. This blessed event WAS temporally related to my involvement of an attorney, and I'm interested to eventually learn what went on there, but the relevant point is I'm going back to work and being slotted right back into my schedule and regular life, which is all I've wanted for the unreasonably long time I've been in limbo. I haven't worked as a nurse since October 21. I've been working as a writer and and editor, so I haven't been sitting on my butt doing nothing, but I'm a NURSE. And for those who have asked what I'm complaining about, sitting around getting paid for not working: being suspended with pay, although far better than being suspended without pay, is NOT a vacation. It is punitive---I don't care what spin the HR people put on it. It's punitive and humiliating, it leaves you in limbo not knowing whether you have a job or not, and there is just no way to relax and have a good time. This has dragged on for so long it's stretched my coping skills to the breaking point. Not fun.
Still, even though I haven't had a chance to get the story from my attorney, I can't see any way this is not good news. I get to go back to work, and everyone involved seems to have nothing more to say about it. I do fear that I'll be like a bug under a microscope and any little thing I do will be written up so they can fire me for cause, but if I go back and everyone acts crazy mean I'll deal with it then. One of my coworkers did make up some crayzee shit about me while I was ON LEAVE and told my boss, who called me about it when I was my dad's bedside. That pissed me off. It's not a particularly good omen, either. But I'm just going to wait and see. No reason to make trouble. I've had enough real trouble, and it's not exactly the first time I've been back-stabbed by a colleague. I've lived through it before, and I can do it again.
Also, my dad's doing much better. The man has hair! He's gaining 2 to 3 pounds per week and is able to walk without a walker or cane. He hasn't needed a transfusion for a few weeks. He's cantankerous and back to himself personality-wise. He has the energy to go up the stairs to his computer cave, so he's got some quality of life back, although the neuropathy in his hands keeps him from playing his instruments. I know that has to bother him. I don't ask. No reason to rub salt in a wound. I took this video of him playing a part of one of our favorite Fauré pieces right before he got sick. It is bittersweet to watch.
My health is improving as well. I hope I'll be energetic enough to start working out again soon. That'll make a big difference in my outlook. Gimme endorphins.
And...I sold my first photo! I'm pretty excited about that. People are always saying I am a good photographer, but it feels official to be paid because someone wants one of MY photos. I'm not excited about selling my writing. Haven't been for a decade. It's old hat ("yes, yes, I'm a good writer. yawn."). Photography, though, that's something different and new.
There are a few BAD situations in my life that bother the crap out of me, but they're not major things like my livelihood and my dad's health. I also can't do much about any of them except feel sad and hope they resolve. They involve close friends. It's strange: all the catastrophes in my life have shaken up my friendships, and each major issue has ended up netting me a new close friend ("netting" meaning I've lost some, too). I'm lucky. But I am sad when they're in trouble.
All in all, though, the balance points toward positive for the first time in a long time. It's been a very, very bad year for me and my family. I hope that 2012 pays us back with a very, very good year.