Hey! My cleaner is leaving after 9-10 years’ faithful service; my PA is leaving (but not yet) to develop her own business; husband gone long ago, lawyer son is joining my business (as well as developing his own practice part-time); Melbourne son planning a family at last, so life is FULL of change right now. But am I panicking?? Well, not much, considering the upheaval.
I’m such a simple soul with technology that the only way I can keep track of all my various jobs/appointments outside the clinic is to write LARGE letters and dates across the top of pages in date order on the top of my desk!! Otherwise chaos is likely to prevail. Hidden diaries inside computers are the most dangerous as I have a visual memory and if I haven’t seen the date written LARGE as I pass by, I won’t recall that there is anything on and am as likely to be out seeing friends.
Which leads me to wonder whether the faint feeling of having forgotten something today is causing a general feeling of anxiety in our work-torn world. Not just me, but everyone? Maybe others are 3-4 times as smart as me and don’t forget to consult the hidden diary in the computer/phone/iPad etc. But I recall missing a court date when I was a young lawyer which made me fear the terror of such a thing ever happening again. Missing court dates is enough to get you not only fired, but disbarred, in American parlance. Luckily that situation could be redeemed but only just.
Upheaval and excessive events are a known cause of stress. There is even a table of ‘stressors’ that you can download. Each event has a stress value and there are some positive stressors as well as negative. For instance, death (other’s, not your own) rates about 10 points and divorce rates 11. Death of a child rates about 15 or so but marriage and a new job also rate about 8-10. I have stopped taking the test as the last time I did it I rated over 40 (well over 40), which was the maximum, equalling close to being admitted to the funny farm.
Ambient stress such as I am now going through, is OK if you remember to stop more and more things closing in. If more and more does close in beyond your control, you really have to just stop everything. And breathe. And plan the order of things to be done.
It takes time to process many different sorts of things at once. When I was younger, I had a medical practice, studied law, ran a teenage family, was the primary bread winner, and played bridge, went camping and basically enjoyed my life. When I was asked how I did it (memo to self tonight: this should be remembered and applied right now) I said I just thought of the tasks as part of one job i.e. my life. Just as women all over the world think about children, food, cleaning, husbands, travel and solving homework, they are all part of one job, raising a family. Well, my problems now are all part of one job: surviving my life!
In many ways the clinic practice is light relief. I can’t think of anything else as I concentrate on the patients and I don’t take phone calls from outsiders during the consultation, so there is caa-aa-alm. But as soon as I step outside into the corridor or to go to the…. tea-room, they pounce. Either receptionists, nurses, colleagues, other patients, or (God Help Me) reps from pharmaceutical companies. Nice people themselves with a dreadful job to do so I try not to be too rude!
So what message can I give you from all this?
- Be patient if I seem rattled!
- Use my website emails only for seminar details etc, not your own hormones or clinical problems
- Find me another PA before the end of May!
- Allow me to go on holiday in August-September, I will need it!
- Tell me if you don’t get this blog. (WAIT a minute! How can you know if you don’t get it?? OK, so you can take the girl out of Ireland, but you can’t get Ireland out of the girl!