I’m Still Here in 2022


It’s been a while since I’ve written on Melissa Kaylene.

Like 15 months since I’ve written on Melissa Kaylene.

What once began 10 years ago has been hard to maintain over the last couple of years. My life, like so many others, has been a rollercoaster of instability and daily changes. But I do miss writing here. And I think I’ll always continue to write here – if not for you; just for me. 

I’m currently sitting in a backyard that’s not mine. It’s a large backyard with an inground pool, grapefruit trees, a lemon tree, and palm trees. The mountains that surround Palm Springs are in the background, and I – well, I’m sitting here typing and trying to make sense of it all. 

You see, we were supposed to all be in Oahu right now – going on tours, luaus, and exploring the island. I had even booked us a submarine tour. I was going all out. We have never really been on a family vacation before, and as a nurse, I’ve been working like crazy since COVID hit. I, like many people in the healthcare field, have been burnt out, so we’ve been chasing the money. 

I’ve taken a leave of absence at my ‘regular’ job; and have been doing travel nursing jobs off and on over the last year. I’m currently on assignment at the Oregon State Hospital, where I commute back and forth on my days off. My initial contract ended, but they wanted to extend it through the end of April, so, I agreed and asked for a week off so that I could take my family to Hawaii. 

But plans changed. 

The night before departure someone in our travel party ended up testing positive for COVID. So, I had to cancel everything. I decided not to let this ruin my week away with the kids, so last minute I booked a private house in Palm Springs for a week. We left at 3:45 am Tuesday morning and arrived at 9:15 that evening. It was by far the longest road trip I’ve ever accomplished in one day. 

So here we are in Southern California. Not all here like I wanted. Not on the fun tours or lounging on the Ocean. But it’s better than nothing. 

You see, on top of everything COVID related, my mom died suddenly on December 20th.

I was her power of attorney and had to make the most difficult decision of my life. All in the matter of minutes. But that’s another story. 

So here I am right now. Contemplating life. Thinking about 2022 and how the last couple of years have been hard on all of us. Wondering if we can pivot forward this year and have more enjoyment, less sadness. 

Until then I guess I’ll just sit here, soak up the 75-degree weather, and try to appreciate everything that I do have – what I have accomplished. 

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I’m Still Here in 2022 was last modified: January 14th, 2022 by Melissa Kaylene

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