Dear OADN Members,
For the most part when I write to you monthly, I discuss the latest OADN happenings or new initiatives. I think it is important to share all of this information with you as much as possible. However, I also think there are times to share a personal side. On June 1, I will celebrate my third anniversary of being OADN’s CEO. The time has quickly flown by and I am so honored to represent all of you and associate degree nursing. I think the progress of OADN as a national nursing organization has grown expeditiously over these years. We are included in so many more conversations and our voice is being heard. It is an exciting time!
Since becoming OADN’s CEO, on occasion I have shared some personal experiences with you, but mostly related to nursing. I think there is this perception that often we should keep our personal and professional lives separate. I agree, but I also think there are lessons that can be shared with others from a personal standpoint that have the capability of impacting others. This is one of those brief scenarios to share.
I grew up in St. Louis and for the most part was my home, except for leaving to attend college. I changed colleges a few times while I was trying to figure out my life’s path. I did finally settle on Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois completing both my bachelors and masters’ degree. For those of you not aware, Edwardsville is about 30 minutes from downtown St. Louis. I enjoyed Edwardsville and decided this would be home. I was still close my family, and thought this was a good option. I began my first teaching position at Lewis and Clark Community College and met my husband, and quickly life become comfortable it that area. We were blessed with a wonderful daughter, Kara who has known grown into a beautiful young woman. Kara became the traveler and I probably am somewhat responsible for that characteristic. She became my adventurer. After many years of moving about for school, employment, and “just because” she landed in San Diego approximately three years ago. We visited her many times over the last few years, and my heart wanted to be there. But how could we do this? We lived in our home for almost 35 years. How do you sell your belongings and move across country?
The more I visited San Diego, the more I knew I wanted to be there. I am passionate about my work, but just as passionate about enjoying life and being close to those who are so important. My parents had passed away many years ago and most of the family is spread across the country. The idea of moving did not occur without much apprehension. However, the idea of moving became embedded in my brain and on August 1st we went to the local Home Depot to purchase a “for sale by owner sign,” took photos, and with the help of our daughter posted on Zillow on August 7th. On August 8th, we signed a contract. We were in shock and on September 1 after a long distance whirlwind of a move we found ourselves in our new surroundings of San Diego.
As I reflect on this life changing event, I share this with you for a reason. I realized I will always have the memories of our past home. No one can take memories away. Home is about the people there, and certainly not about all the items sitting in the house. Although we had a huge estate sale, we still should have sold more! As nurses we use our critical thinking skills and sometimes we can analyze a situation too much. Obviously, this is important in many aspects with patient care, but in own personal lives sometimes we need to let go and as the popular advertisement has always said, “Just do it!” So if you have been contemplating a change maybe you should just go for it. You may be surprised of the outcome and it could easily be a new adventure and opportunity.
I would be amiss if I did not mention my dear Illinois friends. I have gratitude to each of you who mentored and encouraged me over the years, and as a result are responsible for my journey to becoming OADN’s CEO. You will forever hold a special place in my heart. I would not be where I am today without all of your support. But with new journeys come to new relationships. I have already had the amazing opportunity to meet many of the ADN Deans and Directors at various meetings in California. They have been so welcoming and gracious, and for that I am very grateful. Although my home has changed, my travels continue just as they previously had advocating and representing OADN across the country.
I hope that if you are contemplating a change, take the leap you might find it to be the best decision you ever made!
Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN