Every so often I try to find one word to describe how I am doing.  And my word the other week was “demoralized”.  Usually, I am a very positive person, but things were just getting to me.  It was one of those weeks where I was slogging through a train-wreck pile-up of days where mindless scheduling produced an endless string of 15-minute appointments with people showing up 20 minutes late.   Not only that, the air conditioning at Tujunga was not working, computers were freezing up, Dessie’s phone was not working, my nurse took 3 weeks off, I ran out of spring mix in the middle of the week because I did not have time to go to the store, the air conditioning was not working.  I was staying at work until 7 pm to get charts done, I had 84 tasks and patients were complaining that I had not called them back about their rash.  And did I say the air conditioning was not working???  I came home at the end of the week exhausted and depleted, and I laid on the couch to watch a marathon of House Hunting shows with my husband, imagining what it would be like to search for a beachfront property like those people on TV.  By the time I went to bed, I was thinking about how to get out of my funk.  I wasn’t feeling like the normal me!  Over the years, I have learned to build up my resilience but I was really down in the dumps about how irritating every little thing was, and I had lost all my patience.

A few mornings later I was still thinking about the demoralization thing.  I talked to my sister on the phone when she called, and I asked her, “Do you feel demoralized at work?”  And she said, “of course, everyone there is like that.”  So I asked her “well, how do YOU deal with it?”  And she gave me some food for thought that I have been digesting ever since.  Here are 3 gems she gave me to think about which I want to share with you all:

  1. View what you are going through as a means to an end.  For example, whatever you are doing might not make you ecstatic, but it may be giving you a way to take care of yourself while you are trying to figure everything else out.
  2. You will learn lessons from your situation that you could not learn otherwise.  Being put in difficult situations forces you to solve problems that you would never have to deal with otherwise.  For example, you learn patience, you learn how to prioritize things, you learn how to manage people and projects.  You don’t learn this stuff by not being challenged in some way.
  3. Look for the little bright spots in what you do that make you happy and give you fulfillment, even if it’s a very small part of your crappy day.  Focus on the good things that are in your life, be grateful and be of service.  The example that she gave me was in how she oversees her staff.  She has the opportunity to mentor them and support them, and she finds this very fulfilling even though the corporate environment they all function in may not be optimal every day.

These tidbits of wisdom really helped me get through the week.  Maybe it will give you food for thought when you go through your next period of demoralization!

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