straitgirl77 1,842 Views
Joined: Jun 4, '12;
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Congratulations!! I also passed my NCLEX last year at age 65!!! It was a big accomplishment, so I know how you feel! You are never to old to reach your dream of being a Nurse!!
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congrats!!! welcome new lpn!! i'm 50 also licensed this year too, but have no desire go back to school ever! lol!!! good luck.
I was a stay-at-home mom for 24yrs. Graduated LPN school August 2008. Did RN bridge program and passed NCLEX last month. Officially an RN at the age of 49.....It CAN be done
congrats!!! welcome new lpn!! i'm 50 also licensed this year too, but have no desire go back to school ever! lol!!! good luck.
What setting was this, a BP that low on a general floor is a concern. I wonder why your preceptor didn't intervene ??
OP, learn from this and move on. You did a few things right, next time and there will be a next time, call the PCP sooner. And anything you don't understand or unsure of ask..
Becoming a nurse is not simply that, it is evolving into a full bodied advocate for the health and wellness of all humanity. Since a young age, I developed a keen perception for the care of other people and their surroundings.Whether I was the grounding stone of family conflict, rescuing snails from the desert heat, or saving a fallen flower bud, I had a purpose.Without consciously deciding it, I had already expressed the infant quirks of being a 'nurse' through out childhood.
Once I matured into adolescence I soon realized that my personality trait of 'humanitarian' resonated a much deeper and soul satisfying destiny of healing. From gaining more experience into the big pool of life,the layers of what would push me to become a nurse unraveled. I began witnessing the realism of suffering within the world, within my own backyard. Regardless of class, age, gender, or upbringing, we all will encounter tragedy or trauma that will land us in the presence of a health care professional; and I wanted to be that professional. The thought of "I want to be a hero in the strife of one persons' worst day ever, every day..." flickered through my mind often. Upon graduating from high school, I made it my life's mission to not only become a nurse, but to craft my self into warrior so that I can have the strength to touch others. With persistence of a dream in tow, I successfully completed all my classes to be given the opportunity of student nurse, now here I am.
I do not know yet, what it is to be a nurse, but I firmly believe that I am on a journey to unveil the beautiful artistry of this field. Every experience onward will expand my ability to heal the sick and ultimately unlock a new sense of meaning and being within my own life; through selfless action we discover hidden avenues of light within ourselves. A nurses' aptitude for restoring health are transcendental skills, beginning with curing physical ailments, and ending with resonating a greater sense of spiritual vitality to the patient.
Living within a world that is bombarded with messages of despair, suffering, negativity, weakness,and self-destruction it becomes almost pseudo-natural to feel defeated rather than motivated to become the candle holder for all the people whom need our help. However, through adversity there is always one simple story I keep in mind, "The Starfish Story",this story pertains directly to nursing care, and spreads all throughout life, bringing with it the message that what we do does make a difference; we behold the power to change circumstances, and to ignite positive impact. Times of vulnerability and distress become the ultimate tests within life, including nursing, but for what is first seen as an ordeal can easily be turned into an opportunity once we take the steps of courage forward. "The Starfish Story" is a quiet yet foundational memorandum of integrity and perseverance that will be carried forward within me throughout nursing practice:
"Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, so he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young girl, and that what she was doing was not dancing at all. The young girl was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out, "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?" The young girl paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish into the ocean."
"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this the young girl replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young girl, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"
As if she hadn't heard, the young girl bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, she turned, smiled and said,
"It made a difference to that one!"
- Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley
As those who study the social habits of humans have observed, Internet forums are a reflection of society as a whole, no matter how exclusive the community. And as the spate of recent threads here on Allnurses indicates, the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School have spurred many a debate about the Second Amendment......and as an unfortunate by-product, the rights of citizens with mental illness.
Strangely, nowhere is the latter issue more divisive than in the healthcare professions. We have a reputation for being compassionate, non-judgmental, caring; yet within our ranks we are often merciless to those who suffer from diseases of the brain.
It starts early with nursing students, who are under immense pressure to begin with and who sometimes crumble under the weight of lengthy written assignments, skills labs, frequent tests, and clinical experiences. While the process of becoming a health professional is (and should be) challenging, sometimes students are winnowed out who could be excellent nurses, if only they were offered assistance with their mental health issues instead of condemnation.
If one is fortunate enough to make it through school and apply for licensure, however, her/his state Board of Nursing is ever ready to put a screeching halt to career plans. In many states, both the initial application and the renewal paperwork require the applicant to answer questions such as "Do you have a physical or mental condition which impairs, or may impair, your ability to practice nursing safely?" To answer this ambiguously-worded inquiry honestly means, at minimum, a delay in receiving clearance to practice and at worst, mandatory participation in a monitoring program that can subject one to restrictions on her/his license, frequent (and costly) urine drug screens, even daily reporting to a case manager or counselor.
And God help you if you should run into trouble during your career. An inpatient hospital admission will both cost you dearly and put your license at risk, especially if a 5150 (involuntary commitment) was necessary. But the worst scenario is the one that a fellow nurse shared with me recently: some states actually publish personal information about a nurse who has been sanctioned by the BON that anyone with two minutes and a computer can find easily.
That's right, folks. This nurse, who answered the mental-health question honestly, had restrictions placed on her license and was mandated to participate in a health professionals' monitoring program. The document supporting the nursing board's decision contains confidential information about her diagnosis and her psychiatrist's evaluation of her fitness to practice, yet her board order can be found with three mouse clicks.
Can we say HIPAA violation, anyone?
To say that this is outrageous only scrapes the tip of the iceberg; if this were an issue of a bad back or an incurable (but non-contagious) skin condition, we would not be having this conversation. Why, then, is it acceptable to share the intimate details of a nurse's psychiatric disorder on a public website that anyone who merely knows her name can access? Why is it necessary to make it harder for a nurse whose illness is well controlled, who sees her doctor regularly and complies with her treatment program, to find a job? And if the intention is to "assist" the "impaired" nurse, why is the focus on schizophrenia, bipolar, borderline personality etc. when the most prevalent mental disorder among nurses is depression?
Please share your experience of being a nurse with mental illness, especially if you've ever tangled with the BON or been discriminated against because of your disorder. There is strength in numbers, and if a significant segment of the nursing population stands up together to say ENOUGH, the powers that be will no longer be able to ignore us, or worse, strip us of our privacy in the name of "protecting the public".
Thanks in advance for your responses.
I believe rules can be bent at times. Heck, I feel that some rules can even be outright broken as long as doing so has brightened someone's day.
Billie is a pseudonym for the septuagenarian nursing home resident whom I first met seven years ago when I was a brand new nurse in long term care. She was a strikingly pretty model during her youth, and even as an elderly woman with a terminal prognosis, she still maintained a whimsical cuteness and a stylish flair through tasteful choices in makeup, haircuts, clothing and jewelry.
Billie received hospice services because her physician did not expect for her to live another six months due to advanced congestive heart failure. Although she barely stood five feet tall and weighed no more than 100 pounds, her lower extremities were chronically wet, weepy, heavy, discolored, swollen, and resembled crude elephant legs. Diuretic medications did not help to pull the extra fluid off. Neither did pressure wraps, sodium restrictions, or keeping the legs elevated. Keeping her comfortable was an uphill battle.
She suffered from mild cognitive impairment, but was very well-versed regarding her dietary restrictions. One day she asked me, with the impression of defeatism stamped on her face and a sense of sorrow prominent in her tone, "Will I ever be able to eat a hamburger again?"
My dark brown eyes made contact with her pale blue eyes. I realized some of the things that I, a young and reasonably healthy adult, take for granted are small pleasures that many elderly nursing home residents will never enjoy again. Most, if not all, of these people will never take another vacation to a faraway city, state or country. Some will forever lose the ability to walk. Others will be robbed of their ability to talk after having a stroke. Still, others will never be able to enjoy a tasty meal due to dysphagia, feeding tubes, pureed textures, restrictive diets, or the notoriously bland foodstuffs commonly served to institutionalized elders.
I did something I should not have done. I broke a rule. During my lunch break I visited a local fast food joint and ordered a hamburger with extra tomatoes. Since Billie spent the vast majority of her time in her room due to depression, smuggling the burger to her was an easier feat than I had expected. Her eyes lit up with joy and anticipation.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" she exclaimed. She kept her door closed and picked at the burger for several hours, eating the fixings individually before finally polishing the sandwich off. This was the first hamburger she had eaten in several years.
Billie died a couple of months later. She passed quietly, serenely, on her bed in the nursing home surrounded by the hospice nurse, a nursing student, and myself. She had two attentive adult children who visited frequently, but they did not want to be present during her final hour.
I broke a rule by supplying an elderly resident under my care with an unhealthy food item. But if it alleviated some of the bleakness of her existence during her final days on earth, I feel no shame for doing what I did. To every rule there's an exception.
This is going to continue, until we, as nurses, RNs and LPN/LVNs, go public with this. Teachers aren't being replaced with unlicensed teaching assistants, are they? Why not? Because teachers are almost universally unionzed, with strong, and politically powerful unions. That is why. And furthermore, no one ever died because they could not do long division, or diagram a sentence, have they? And when/if, schools try anything that lessens, or removes the teachers' control over his/her classroom, they go right to the parents. They have public rallies with the parents, in very public places, with the news and TV stations in attendance, to make sure that it lands on the front page on the local paper and is on the 6:00 and 11:00 news reports.
Whine all you want about unions, being unionzed, blah, blah, but unions are what give workers power and control over their work and professional practice.
There is nothing unprofessional about being unionzed, just like there is nothing professional about being overworked, forced to work out of your scope of practice, forced to give up your professional practice to nothing more than HS dropouts.
Why haven't nurses gone to the public about this? Probably because most nursing homes or ALFs are not unionized, and you would be fired, and probabaly reported to the BON by the administration, on some trumped up allegation.
Nurses have no one to blame but themselves. Period. Our professional practice is being given away like it was the door prize. With our permission.
JMHO and my NY $0.02.
Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
Somewhere in the PACNW
I believe your anxiety comes out of fear of desapointing yourself, not doing the right thing. I would seek medical treatment, because this problem is not related to nursing. It is related to how you react to uncertainty and fear. Look, if others can do it, you can do it too. So as one of the previous posts said: "get it under control before you take a final decision".
I had a friend who left nursing school on her first semester, became a shoe designer and is happy now.
All the best!!!
I don't know that everyone likes mountain climbing/hiking or has had the blessing to experience climbing to the summit of a 14,000 ft peak (a 14er), but my wife and I very much enjoy summiting 14ers, and were able to summit 4 on our honeymoon a couple years ago, we long to go back and be able to do that more often but unfortunately do not have the means to do so lately....someday. Anyway enough with that tangent, I'll get to the point. The point is the analogy comparing your pursuits in nursing school to that of summitting a 14er.
Entering nursing school there is a feeling of excitement and anticipation of the great things to come, this in my vision is much like to the drive to a trail head leading to the summit. At most trail heads you can see far off in the distance the beautiful peak of the mountain you are about to set off to summit. You are eager to get there and your eyes are fixed for that moment on the peak and the finish line and you feel excitement! This can even continue through the beginning of your hike or journey in nursing school as you have not yet been challenged on the trail and can still see the peak.
However, on every trail we have hiked this beautiful beginning is quickly transitioned into the real hike! (Especially if you are hiking up Long's Peak in Colorado!) On Long's path you enter into dense vegetation and are slowed to a painful crawl down the path, the canopy blocks your view of the finish line and you quickly become consumed by the difficulty of the task and lose site of the prize and lose the excitement. Have to say that's where I have been throughout this week. Still moving forward down the path but not able to take joy in glimpsing the beautiful landscape or the summit being so clouded by the negative and struggles.
Later down the path you reach the base of the mountain and once again you can glimpse the summit but at this point instead of seeing the potential for the beauty at the top you become overwhelmed by how high the summit truly is and how much work it is going to require to get there. You may even wish there was a ski lift or something that would just take you to the top so you could avoid the work but enjoy the finish line. Again much like nursing school in that you can see the finish and what licensure would mean to you, but instead of seeing the finish you see the obstacles and the difficulty of the path.
At this moment in the path, having come through the valley and now standing at the base of the mountain seeing the climb you can either turn back or push on. You've already come through the valley so you might as well push on and get to the climbing.
As you begin climbing you pass areas that are fairly easy and some that seem insurmountable; some steep grades with large boulders, and some paths worn through the rock where footing is sure and easy. You try to make up time and excel through the easy paths often failing to enjoy the easy sections and observe the beauty around the mountain when you are safe on the path and instead rush into the next hard section where struggle begins. In this stage in nursing school it is imperative to soak in the "easier" phases and enjoy everything around you as much as possible to restore your resolve to make the next arduous climb that inevitably lies ahead.
When you are climbing the tough passes it is life saving and encouraging to be climbing with another. Obviously in nursing school you are going to benefit so much from relying on others and being there for others in these hard parts of the path. You may make the pass on your own, but trust me there is much more joy in celebrating accomplishing a challenging climb along with a partner.
All throughout the climb you have the chance to attempt to glimpse the summit. Simply standing still, taking your eyes off the path/task ahead, and looking up at the summit can provide inspiration and drive. Much the same in school, take some time every once in a while to take your mind off the tasks that lie ahead and dream of the finish line and what it's going to be like and mean to you. Although you may want to stand there and glimpse the summit for a while you realize you'll never reach it f you don't get back to trekking on the path, so take the inspiration, lock back in, and get climbing.
At other times you may be so overwhelmed all you want to do is feel that feeling of glimpsing the summit and you look up to realize there is so much overhang and the path is so difficult you can't even see the summit at this point. So you hike on until you get to where you can see it once again! There were times this week where the finish line was far from vision and the path was so covered in muck it was in question whether the summit was even there anymore. At these moments all you can do is move forward and get back into the vision of the summit.
Finally, after overcoming all the moments of disbelief and climbing over all the obstacles you get to where the summit is just steps away (often the most difficult steps) but you so overcome with joy and pride that you take leaps and bounds over those difficult final steps and before you know it you are at the summit. You look back at where you were before down at the trail head and are dismayed by the accomplishment. By allowing yourself to remain so focused and motivated along each step of the way you forget how far you are progressing until the finish. The correlation to nursing school is obvious here.
My suggestion would be to reflect on your progress along the way take time to see how far you have come from the trail head and what you have already overcome, being fully conscious of your progress along the way, and when you reach the summit soak it in because you earned the summit of that 14er! Be thankful there was not a ski lift to take you to the top as it would have little to no meaning to you to look at the lift you road to the top compared to looking down on the work you accomplished!
Realize you can't remain on that summit forever, if you look at each task as a summit in itself then you realize you must descend in order to reach the trail head of your next summit. Or if you look at each step in nursing education (advancing degrees) as a separate summit then you will also be descending and heading to the next trail head. Either way you don't leave that summit behind it stays with you forever and boost your confidence as you approach the next trail head on your path.
When you're on the mountain you rarely see many other climbers, because mountain climbing is hard and few can endure it; so it is true also with nursing school! Few can understand the beauty of the mountain top because few are willing to climb.
We give it to security, who dumps it out. Often the police bring guys in, they dump it out too. Don't need people getting drunk in the ER or on the floors; we are already treated as a hotel with frequent demands for food/blankets/juice/whatever. Its a safety issue.
Don't give back partial bottles of pills to the ODs either. People aren't allowed to keep meds at bedside without a doctor's order (are catelogued and sent to pharmacy if not sent home).
i am bringing this post over from another area of the board from when someone asked me some tips for success while working through a nursing program. i thought that this post might be useful to nursing students frequenting this section of the forum so i copied it here. for background, i recently completed my bachelors level studies and am graduating this weekend. in the next few months i will be taking my boards and starting masters level studies.
i did the best i could with this list is by no means meant to be the definitive guide to success, just some useful tips and tricks that can help you when you are just starting out. some of this stuff would have been useful to me when i started out had someone told me. the least i can do is share my experiences and hope that it makes someone elses journey through nursing school a little bit easier.
as others come through i encourage you to add to this topic and share your experiences, together we can make a pretty nice starters guide and help to better equip current and future nursing students for greater success.
the value of keeping your eye on the prize can not be underestimated. while you're going through it [color=firebrick]never forget why you are doing this to yourself (because you will at some point ask yourself "what theh*ll was i thinking?"). by default, because it is a healthcare profession there is lots of regulation and red tape. as such the standards for passing and progressing in your degree are higher than it is in many other college programs, which in turn adds to the pressure as if trying to learn from 20 textbooks (some texts look like 3 textbooks in one) and learn another language (medical jargon) wasn't enough.
to ice the cake, failing a key course often sets a student back 1 year because of how it is structured (some courses are only offered in either fall or spring).to help manage the pressure remember that a house wasn't built in a day. [color=firebrick]focus each day on what is most important and strike a balance between personal and nursing school.
- effective studying is paramount! set up an area where you can focus free from distractions.
- actually study, don't just say you did (because if you didn't it will show both on your tests and in clinical)
- prioritize your life- be prepared to say no to friends and stand your ground if you have things that really need to be done. if you are at a university where many programs are offered and you live on campus, some of your friends may not understand it when you say you cant do whatever or go with them to <insert activity here>. not attending class, blowing off tests, taking tests without studying and showing up for clinical late or unprepared to provide safe, effective, evidence based care is incompatible with successfully progressing through the program. when you know what you have to do, stand your ground (it will be tempting to take some time for yourself, but sometimes you cant afford to).
- decide which class needs the most attention, some will be harder than others. if it means giving up a solid "a" in one course to devote a little more time to just pass another class with the "c+" then so be it. don't get me wrong, "a"s are great but passing all classes is key! don't fall into the trap of trying to get an "a" in all your classes. i suppose it is possible (and if you can do it great) but i have seen this strategy swallow other students whole and add them to the programs attrition rate.
- pace yourself, this isn't history class, we are learning about a fantastically complex device call the human body. it is not nearly possible to try and learn what you need to know the night before the test. plan ahead, study and keep up with the content and you will be in a much better position to do well. reading ahead a little on the content that will be covered in the next days lecture makes comprehension and knowledge retention alot easier.
- set aside ample time for care plans, they take at least twice as long as you think. many a night have i been up till 2 am working on care plans for patients that i would start taking care of in the next few hours.
- study in small blocks of time (a few hours) and remember that your brain needs time to process all you just learned. breaks between study blocks (of time) are absolutely essential (30 minutes to several hours). find what works for you and stick to that.
- flash cards are great, not the ones you buy, the ones you make. having to write it all down again on a flash card that you will use to study is just one more opportunity to commit that knowledge to memory. save a buck and do it yourself.
- realize that you are the master of your own destiny, know this and you will come to understand that along your journey to becoming a professional nurse, you are ultimately responsible for your success (or failure).
- group studying helps, bouncing ideas and questions off of each other in group study sessions is a great way to reach mastery level on new content. one person cant think of everything, your classmates may be able to help each other out by sharing new strategies, acronyms or ways to remember something. it doesnt matter how you learn the new content as long as you learn it and remember it, use everything to your advantage.
- don't give up on yourself, it's not over till its over. if you are having a rough semester, stop, evaluate and take action early on. why withdrawl from a semester when you can finish it proper? in my last semester for my bsn when i thought all was lost because my average in one of my nursing classes was not high enough i decided that failure was not an option and made it happen! i didn't get alot of sleep due to studying, but that was a sacrifice i was willing to make and it paid off. the key is to recognise that you have a problem early on and do some damage control to bring it back while you still can. when things start to go bad, knuckle up and finish strong!
disclaimer to the above: many nursing programs only allow you to repeat one class in the entire program, if you really have allowed things to get too far out of hand that you would need close to 100% on every last graded assignment/test in the class, it might be the better option to bow out and take the w rather than use your "retake". this did not happen to me but i have read stories where people have failed 2 classes and were not allowed to finish thier program. you must keep track of your grades and do your own assessment, when in doubt, talk to the instructor and see what they think.
extensions and exceptions are available. now i am not saying that you should procrastinate and ask for an extension every time but occasionally it seems like everything is due at once and making a due date adjustment would really help you out. if you have a reasonable professor, are professional in your request and dont make a habit of it, you have a very good chance of having your request for a few extra days approved.
it cant hurt to ask. if you have a special request, need some help or have an unusual curcumstance that may warrant accomadations in one form or another let your professor or clinical instructor early on. the worst they can say is no.
don't be a problem child. i am not trying to be mean here. when making it through nursing school it is best to try and fly under the radar, just blend in. you definitely do not want to be the one student that every professor knows about. news flash, they have faculty meetings and share the progress of the students with the other professors. if you really p*ss one of them off, pretty soon they are all going to know about it. if you let this become you then every action you take (or fail to take) will be scrutinized (probably overly so) and it may eventually end up in your failing a course or being removed from the program alltogether. i have seen this happen to someone, it's not pretty. just remember, "when in rome do as the romans do" and you should be fine.
- if you have a smartphone, a snazzy electronic drug guide can make you look godlike in clinical as you will be able to retrieve information on drugs 10 times faster than a book. you can pay for the davis or use free ones like epocrates. personally i had and used both, they were great.
in closing, believe in yourself, you can do this! it won't be a handout at anypoint, you will work d*mn hard for it but i promise you this, for every hour of sleep you lose, for every tear you shed or stressed-out day you have, when you do finally make it, it will feel that much better knowing how far you have come. you will have made it through a program that not all people have the dedication and/or perseverance to endure. you will also have a newfound respect for your fellow nurses and the profession as a whole. there are plenty of people that discount nursing and what we have to know. to them i say "try it sometime". the types of people that discount the profession usually are the ones that couldn't hack it for a typical day in our shoes. don't let it get to you, just move on and git er dun.
p.s. - when the going gets tough (and it will), find your inspiration. i found mine on a campus poster. it reads:
a person who wants something will find a way; a person who doesn't will find an excuse
-steffan dolley jr.
when i needed a little extra motivation i saw this quote and it reminded me that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. when it gets hard just remember that life is simply testing you to see if you want it bad enough.
work hard and stay on track and you will be don't sooner that you think, just take it one step at a time.
please like this topic if you learned something that will help you make it through nursing school and remember you can do this!
I think every new nurse is discouraged at first. You are not alone! Give yourself time to get used to everything. Speed comes with time. The important thing to remember is that you want to focus on accuracy first.
Human brains store repetative information in such a way that eventually it becomes an unconcious act. You do not want to be "storing innacurate practices" in that memory bank! It makes no difference what job we are doing or what repetative acts. If you want to be an actual good nurse you MUST remember this; ACCURACY first before the unconcious mind starts to take over and throws monkey wrenches into your work every day! Better to train your brain the right way in the first place than to have to try to retrain it after it starts creating bigger problems for you later!
Once the unconcious mind has something burned into it it will actually "start witout you"! LOL You will be reaching for things before you even conciously think about it etc.
I remember my "training" at an old job. I already understood this principle and so was being very careful to do that job accurately. I remember the manager making a disgusted face and telling the person training me "Oh she is going to be ANOTHER slow one!" I of course knew better and refused to let her discouraging words affect my "method" for learning this new job. I simply looked her right in the eye and said "Not true. I simply know it is essential that I master accuracy first. wait and see"
Indeed she lived to eat her words! I became "the best of the best". I would be sent into one store after the other to help open them and train new employees and shift supervisors.
Although ther were others that were "fast" sadly the "crap" they put out at the end and the mess they created trying to do it only created even more work later and unhappy customers with lots of complaints.
The BIGGER problem was RETRAINING them to ACCURATELY do the job. All their bad habits were already "burned into their databanks" Overwriting that is far harder than putting it in on a fresh clean slate. I had brand new employees "outrunning" the long term ones within weeks due to this very problem.
Acuracy first, speed will come naturally.
study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.
~ william arthur ward
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