The other week at work, a co-worker and I were in my patient’s room making sure he was situated and ready for bed. He has been one of the, if not the most kind and appreciative patient I’ve had in these 6 months of the nurse life — let’s just say that can be hard to come by. He was admitted to the hospital for complications of heart failure, but unfortunately had a much longer stay due to some unforeseen health issues. Throughout the time he was in my care, he was always so sweet and so kind, but as the long days and sleepless nights in the hospital became innumerable, it was obvious his joyful spirit began to dwindle.
After helping him to the bathroom and finishing up his nightly medications, I said, “Alright! Are you comfortable? Do you need anything else right now?”
He responded, “Well, I might be comfortable soon. But right now, I’m not really.”
I was kind of puzzled at his response. So I said, “Tell me what’s wrong and we can fix it. I want to make sure you’re alright.”
“I think I will be comfortable eventually… Right now, I’m just not. But that is okay.”
We went back and forth a little bit and eventually I accepted the fact that he was content with where he was at. I felt frustrated that I couldn’t give him exactly what he needed.
This was a simple interaction, but what struck a cord with me was his willingness to be uncomfortable. He was unbothered by his circumstance. No grumbling, no complaining, just being. We live in a culture where instant gratification is expected. We are told if we’re not happy, to get out while we can and go after whatever it is to be happy. But that’s not always the best approach. We can see that by evidence of failed marriages or bad financial decisions. Sometimes, I think we just have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable things in life – the sucky job, the awkward love life, the difficult conversation with a close friend. Sometimes, we’ve got to be okay with where we’re at, even if it’s not the most fun or the most ideal.
Not only was my patient content, but he was hopeful. We don’t always have certainty on whether our bad situations will change sooner or later, or at all. But we can always hope our circumstances will get better. We can bank on the fact that nearly all things are temporary, expect for the One who made them temporary. And that’s a hard concept to grasp when you’re living in a now society.
So if you don’t love where you’re at in life right now, it’s all good. It’s temporary, and be hopeful that cooler and better things are to come.
Just get comfy with the uncomfy.