Lessons Learned from 2015…Goodbye to the Negatives
As 2015 comes to a close, I have found myself thinking more about things that are happening in my life and more importantly, those things that are creating issues. One of the biggest is my job. I used to say that I loved my job, but as the year went on, I realized that I loved things about my job, but the job as a whole, not so much. Trying to find what had changed, I made a list and as the list came together, I realized that there were a lot less listed on the loved side.
I still love taking care of the patients. They are going through the fight of their lives and I hope that I make a difference, even if it is ensuring that they smile or laugh and maybe help them forget about things for a few minutes.
I used to enjoy going to work. I would get to work early to get everything ready for the day. I didn’t mind the days where a patient needed to start earlier than usual to make another appointment. It was fine because we were there to take care of the patients. But I realized that more times than not, some of my co-workers were resentful of being asked to come in early or were no longer offering to come in early because “those that don’t have a life always come in early.” I realized that they thought that I don’t have a life, so it was now expected that I would always come in early so they wouldn’t have to. And really, how fair is that?
But I do have a life and I realize that I am starting to resent being taken advantage of. I shouldn’t feel that I am being professionally punished because I have come in early in the past and now it is expected that I will always come in early. And that resentment has begun to affect me and how I am at work. I have started to get headaches, and while it is easy to blame the weather (yes, it is almost January and we have not had any snow, but a lot of rain), so it could be a sinus headache. Except, they start on the drive to work and continue until I get home. So no, not sinus headaches, but stress headaches. The stress is causing other physical problems in addition to the headaches. I often feel nauseous and have started to look for reasons to miss meetings where I know someone is going to try to rope me into taking on another task or planning another event because their plans and their lives are more important than mine.
So I’ve started to say no. No to all of the additional things I am being asked to do or take on because someone else isn’t willing to do so. At a meeting last week, I told them no and they seemed surprised and asked for clarification. So I clarified it by saying, “No, I have too much on my plate, so maybe someone else who hasn’t volunteered for anything this year can take on this task.” And then I listed 4 people around the table that hadn’t done anything extra. Did it make me popular among my co-workers? No, but that is okay. I can’t worry about that. I have to do what I can do to get rid of the stress in my life.
I don’t like feeling so negative all the time and I often feel like I am bringing all of that negativity from work home with me. Several years ago, my husband and I used to drive to and from work together. On the 20 minute drive to work, one of us would vent and on the drive back home the other would vent. Once we arrived home, it was put aside. I know that I need to find ways to deal with the stress. So, while I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, I have a resolution for 2016 and it is to find ways to deal with the stress. I made another list of things that I like to do and those that I want to do for the next year and I’ll share them soon. Some will be easy and others will take some time, but hopefully they will be resolutions that I can actually accomplish.