Do any of you ever have days like my day today? I was up early to complete two work assignments; I had three physician panels before my scheduled workday had even started; and then I had a day of nonstop work. When I sat down for dinner and reached for the glass of wine, I felt like pulling aside the whole bottle. I didn’t. Why not? Because I had two additional charts to review after dinner, each taking well over an hour. Why? So I would be well prepared for tomorrow’s work.
My specific activities do not really matter. I am great believer that we are defined by who we are, not by what we do. But what did I just do? I worked before my regular work hours. I worked all day during my regular work hours. I even worked for two hours after my regular work hours. So, how many of you fall into the same trap? Bringing home some work when you should be leaving it behind?
If I died tonight, would I want to relive today? That would depend on my level of desperation and frankly, I would have to feel pretty desperate. If I had to grade today on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being an enjoyable day), I would give today a score of 2. Did I do anything to fill my soul with substance? Did I do anything to lift my mind? Did I do anything to lift someone else’s spirits? Three no’s.
So, what could I have done? I could have refused the additional consults. I could have paused to read a book or listen to an audio program. I could have educated myself. I could have stared work on a project in the back of mind, titled “The Boomer Hope Chest.” Certainly, there is hope within our reach. But today, like many of your days, I did not reach out and grab it. Instead, I let it slip through my fingers.
Now why am I sharing a day like today? Because I need to walk my talk. I am becoming a better person, but it is a process, not a destination. We all need to pause and catch the joy in life. Unfortunately, that joy does not just come to you. In almost all cases you need to find it yourself. But that is my recommendation for tonight. Let go of some of the work responsibilities. Let go of the constant demands from others for your services. Let go and spare yourself the late night blues.
Do I think my program works? Absolutely. Has it helped me with my own life and relationships? Tremendously. But no quarterback throws a touchdown with every throw. We have to move our life from first down to first down. We want to move ourselves towards that end zone. But me? I do not want the game to end. I just want to run more plays – more enjoyable plays. And the score? Does it matter? Not if you have truly enjoyed the day.