TWITTER PAROLE!!

After almost two weeks and lots of “chats” with TwitterHelp, my accidental suspension was lifted and I have officially been paroled!  Apparently, the combination of having a new account and simultaneously having my blog go live on KevinMD and getting retweeted by a bunch of other accounts got me mislabeled as a spammer.  Today we are back in business – feel free to tweet me: @lumistclaire

As always, thanks for reading!

~lumi

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Physician Know Thyself

I’ve been thinking a lot about Kathy Caprino’s article that I mentioned in a prior blog post (“Guilt Is Not A Career Platform”). The issue of not knowing yourself really stuck with me. I was actually chatting about it with the hubby the other day, and he asked me, “Well who DO you know in medicine who is really happy with their career and really knows what they want??”

What an outstanding question.

I thought of course I’d immediately be able to come up with a bunch of colleagues that were satisfied and happy in their work. Sadly, as I ticked off the list in my head, I realized that it was much harder than I thought. Most of my friends from my old department were wrestling with a lot of the same things I was, and weren’t winning the battle either.

But finally, it happened.

I remembered the dean of the medical school where I used to work, Gary, who may have been one of the happiest people I have ever met on the planet. This guy literally whistled while he worked. So I asked myself, what was it exactly that he had going on that the rest of us were missing?

And the answer I came up with was that this man took nosce te ipsum to a whole new level.

Gary certainly was as busy as the rest of us, if not more so. In addition to being an extremely active and involved dean (with all of the administration and red tape that comes along with the job), he also still held clinic weekly and carried a regular patient load. Gary had every right to be cranky, put-upon, and unhappy. Except that he wasn’t.

I think Gary had simply found the absolute perfect career for himself.

Gary was the kind of dean who inspired even student he met. He loved to teach. He grabbed teaching moments every chance he got. He personally sponsored an annual award ceremony that acknowledged the best teaching residents in the hospital. Illuminating medical student’s lives was his passion. And he took it upon himself to truly know all of them, every year. They absolutely worshipped him, and he inspired them to become great doctors. But it didn’t stop with his students. He had the same effect on his colleagues. We all wanted to be better doctors because of the way he made us feel. His knowledge and his presence lit up a room.

But medicine was not Gary’s entire existence. He was apparently a real fishing enthusiast too. The only reason I even knew this was because of a random encounter I had with him at the hospital.

I was still a resident, and I had been on call Friday night in the ICU. It had been a really intense call night, and my head had not even come close to touching a pillow. When I was finally free to go home on Saturday afternoon, I stumbled out to the parking garage, squinting in the bright sunlight, to find that my car was gone.

It took me a few minutes in my post-call fog to figure out what had happened, but I finally remembered that I had been forced to valet my car on Friday because the garage had been so packed (this was unfortunately a common occurrence). Over the weekend, that particular garage wasn’t manned, so the valets moved all of the cars over to a central garage where an actual person was working.

I realized I was clear on the wrong side of campus, and started exhaustedly trudging back the way I came, hoping that my car would indeed be in the main campus garage. As I dragged myself back up the hill and passed the Medical School, who should come bopping out but Gary. In full-on fly fishing vest, waders, and floppy hat complete with pinned-on lures.

“Hey Lumi! Where you headed?”

I said I should ask him the same thing.

“Oh, I’m off to go fishing – I go pretty much every Saturday. It’s great just being out there, even if you don’t catch anything!” Truly, the man’s optimism was mildly nauseating.

I asked him what he was doing at the medical school.

“Oh, I like to come in on Saturday mornings if I can, just to get some stuff done. It’s nice and quiet.” (So the man voluntarily comes in on his day off just to catch up on “stuff”.) “So where are you headed? Are you getting out of here?”

I said I was trying, but I hadn’t exactly located my car yet. I told him about the valet situation.

“Yeah, it probably is in the other garage. Hopefully you’ll get home soon – you must be exhausted! But listen, if for some bizarre reason it’s not there, here’s my cell number. Just give me a call and I’ll make sure you get home.”

This is how Gary was every single day. He loved his job. He loved stuff other than his job. And he knew himself. You can’t fake that kind of enthusiasm and kindness for very long without going completely insane.

I drove home from work yesterday after a very long, hard day, and was smiling because I felt so good about my job. For a long time I didn’t realize that you can actually enjoy those really tough, draining days. And maybe you should be able to enjoy some of them. I am knowing myself better every day.

I hope Gary would be proud.

Guilt is Not a Career Platform

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Recently, I read a very interesting Forbes.com post by Kathy Caprino, entitled “Why You Remain Stuck in a Career You Hate.” In it, she gives eight outstanding reasons why those of us who are unhappy in our careers remain paralyzed and unable to move. The first reason on her list (“You Don’t Know Yourself”) resonated strongly with me. It took me eleven years in primary care medicine to come to the conclusion that I just don’t like being a primary care doctor. It’s not a good fit for my personality or how I tend to function in a work role. I’m much happier in a “specialist” model – where I can take more time and function in a niche rather than trying to cover a broad range of things in a very limited period of time.

This is just a simple fact I had to learn about myself. It’s not a judgment about the importance of primary care versus other specialities. On the contrary, I have enormous respect for my colleagues who are primary care providers and do it well. I think they have one of the most challenging jobs on the planet.  I just needed to do enough introspective searching to finally admit to myself that I wasn’t in the right field.

But why did it take me such a long time? The immediate obvious answer is that for those of us who spend the better part of our lifetime training for a specific career, it’s a hard pill to swallow to admit that maybe that career isn’t exactly the best one for you. Especially if you are one of those types who was born knowing you wanted to become a doctor/lawyer/etc. But, as I’ve alluded to in some of my other blog posts, I’ve never been one of those people. I’ve also never really viewed being a physician as a critical part of my identity. I am a person first, who practices medicine second. I know that is not the case for everyone, and that’s the point. We are all different.

In really taking some time to figure out what makes me “tick” as a career person, I came to realize something very important in the months leading up to my eventual resignation from clinical medicine. It turns out that I am one of those self-masochists who loves to turn a career’s worth of guilt inward. I was the stereotypical worrier, wondering what would happen to my patients. If I left, who would take care of them the way I did? How would they get what they needed from someone who didn’t know them like I did?” Looking back, these “guilt scripts” held me hostage for years before I finally took a good hard look at what was preventing me from being happy in my work.

It was actually the fiancé of a friend of mine who inadvertently helped me break through the last of my career shackles. My friend was a nurse practitioner in the clinic I worked in, and the two of us developed a friendship borne out of commiseration. We would often get dinner or hit the local bar after clinic was over and just wallow in the injustices of our work environment. We even had our own little book club so we could have some kind of pretense for getting together. We’d talk about the book for about three minutes, and then the conversation would immediately devolve into a first-class bitch session.

One day her fiancé happened to join us for dinner. He listened to us talk about how trapped we were working for an institution that refused to listen to its employees, and imposed all sorts of inappropriate constraints on us. We bemoaned how powerless we were to make change, despite the fact that we were two of the most outspoken faculty in the clinic. We complained about the unbelievable inefficiency and suboptimal level of care in our clinic due to administrative decisions that clinically left our hands tied.

After this went on for about half an hour, he looked at both of us and then asked quite frankly, “So why do you continue to work there?”

My friend and I of course had all sorts of excuses. Our patients needed us. No one else knew the issues our patients faced as well as we did. As I listened to myself spouting off 101 reasons why I couldn’t leave, I realized I had enough career guilt on board to fuel a Catholic mass for three weeks.

His question stuck with me though. He had planted a seed, and over the next several months it germinated into a big, blooming flower. Eventually I had to admit to myself that my patients somehow had found medical care before they met me, and they would after I left . Would it be the same medical care that I provided them? No. Would they get worse care after I left? Possibly. Or maybe someone would come along and do a better job than I had. Regardless, they would not be left lying in a ditch somewhere. Sure, they would miss me. I have several families that I still keep in touch with by email after having left clinical practice, and they do miss me. But they also are very pleased to hear that I am happy and thriving in my new work.

With due deference to Kathy Caprino, I respectfully submit Reason #9 for her consideration: Guilt Is Not A Career Platform. Certainly not for a fulfilling career anyway.

~lumi

RELATED LINKS:

A Good Way to Measure What Works for You

Cheers to a Messy Life

Since I started this blog, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.  A LOT.  Which has been wonderful, although my brain has decided that it is perfectly acceptable to wake me up like clockwork at 3:30 a.m. so I can sit at my computer and get more thoughts out into cyberspace.  This would be no problem if I wrote for a living and didn’t actually have to get up and work in the morning.

Not that I’m complaining though.  For the first time in a very long time, I can honestly say that I love my job.  Or make that jobs.  Actually, looking at my life from the outside, one could argue that it has become somewhat messy.

Two years ago, I essentially walked away from my previous life.  In all fairness, my husband and I both took a massive leap of faith together.  On paper, we had supposedly been living the American dream.  He was a big-city, big-firm lawyer, and I was an academic physician at a well-known university hospital.  We had the dream house, three cars, and pulled in a half million dollars a year between the two of us.

And we were f**king miserable.

We both hated being smothered by the systems we worked for and had no voice in fixing. We ended up resenting our clients, who were the reason we were employed in the first place.  We grew to loath the suburban Garden of Eden we had bought into.  We drank too much.  We lived to get away for vacation, and then were even more miserable when we came back and it took us a month just to dig out from under the stack of work, charts, and emails that had been slowly breeding while we were gone.

But it took us years to actually figure out that we just really didn’t like how we were living.

We had naturally assumed that we had everything we were supposed to want in life, and something just must have been wrong with us.  Though we’re not quite sure exactly how it happened, eventually we both realized that the things that are supposed to make us happy in life simply didn’t.  We are just not those kind of people.

And then miraculously (you could almost hear the stars lining up in the sky,) in this crappy, terrifying economy, my husband got an invitation to join a small boutique law firm in the south.  Far, far away from our Yankee roots, not to mention both our extended families and life-long friends.  It would mean cutting almost every tie we had, and leaving the place we had grown up and lived in virtually all our lives.  It would mean leaving behind careers and reputations we had spent decades building.

I tendered my resignation immediately.

Some of my colleagues, of course, were horrified.  After all, I was a successful (at least by their terms) physician with a good reputation and a solid academic position.  How could I possibly ditch all that?  And to rub salt into the wound, I had absolutely no job lined up for after we moved.  Terrifying, right?

I actually found it to be incredibly exhilarating.

I have never been defined by my job.  I certainly am not criticizing those who are.  I am just not one of those people who takes a lot of stock in making my M.D. part of my identity.  I am the last person at a party who is going to introduce themselves as “Dr. St. Claire” (especially since people are so uninhibited about asking you grotesquely inappropriate medical advice after they have had some hors d’oeuvres and slugged down a couple of glasses of wine.)  My good friend once described me as “the most reluctant pediatrician I have ever met.”

So for me, I didn’t really view this as a period of mourning.  I had a great run.  I was leaving on a high note.  And I couldn’t wait to see how things settled out for me in our new life. Perhaps I was totally naive (actually, I’m sure I was.)  But honestly, I think it really worked in my favor.  I have discovered several important things in the process of relocating my life:

1. After eleven years in the field, I finally figured out that I just don’t like primary care medicine that much.  I am much better as a specialist and a consultant.

2. I absolutely, positively, love being my own boss.  And my own scheduler.  Although I have on occasion been overheard complaining that I need to fire my scheduler when I’ve really overextended myself.  Thankfully, it doesn’t happen very often.

3. After 37 years of living just outside a northeastern urban metropolis, I have discovered that I really do not like living just outside a northeastern urban metropolis.

4. I like my life messy.

Let me clear – messy does not mean chaotic.  My life is unbelievably scheduled.  I have a speaking engagement I just put on the calendar for April….of 2013.  But this discipline and organization has ironically afforded me the chance to be spontaneous much more than before.  For one, I don’t take call anymore.  I also rarely schedule anything over a weekend.  You can imagine after eleven years of being tethered to a pager and spending a good number of weekends on call or in the hospital, how this has blown open my life in terms of new opportunities.  For the love of all that is holy, I learned to cook after we moved.

For me, messy just means unbound.  I am always open to new ideas, especially when it comes to work.  I was just offered some consulting work in an area that is closely related to my field, but is something I haven’t had the time to focus on until now.  I snapped it up like a bear standing in a river during a salmon spawn.

Sure, it’s unpredictable.  But for me, that’s what keeps it intriguing.  Yes, there are times where money is tight, and then times where I can hardly breathe I have so much work.  It keeps me honest and prevents me from taking my successes for granted.  In my case, leaving clinical medicine simply allowed me to pursue other avenues in life that bring me joy.

Sheryl Sandberg, the current COO of Facebook, said that the best advice she ever got was from Eric Schmidt at Google.  When she was considering turning down an offer she received to be Google’s general manager, Eric told her, “Stop being an idiot; all that matters is growth.”

My life is full of growth.  My life is messy.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

~lumi

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RELATED LINKS:

Leaving Medicine

Women Leaving Medicine

Half of Primary Care Doctors in Survey Would Leave Medicine

On Leaving Medicine Part 2: Passive Parenting

It’s ironic that I left clinical practice for one of the very same reasons I entered into it in the first place: families.  Don’t get me wrong – I still love working with families. They are a key to successful practice in medicine, and are the cornerstone in clinical family and patient-centered care.  If you haven’t checked out the Institute for Patient-and Family-Centered Care, I highly recommend it.  (And I have taken all the work out for you by providing this lovely hyperlink.)  Families are a huge reason I specialized in pediatrics: I loved the idea of nurturing change and providing education to a group of people that have tremendous influence on a child.  Children do not grow up in vacuums.  Real change and intervention has to happen with the caregivers.  And many of the families I worked with over the years were gracious, kind, and motivated in caring for their children.

I wasn’t naive enough to think I was going to have a mind-blowing experience working with every single family in my clinic.  But there were some parents that really caused me to struggle immensely in my practice.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t the aggressive over-parenters that really got to me.  Sure, I had my issues with helicopter parents who would come in demanding some brand new test they saw on TV be run on their (healthy) child so they could confirm exactly what was wrong THIS INSTANT.   Never mind that the test cost $1500, took seven weeks to run, and was intended for identifying illness that only occurs in populations that regularly ingest raw brains as part of their diet.  Somehow, I always managed to eventually find a common ground with these parents and figure out a way to meaningfully collaborate in taking care of their kids.

My true achilles heel lay with the parents who were the exact opposites: The Passive Parents.  These are the folks who simply weren’t that actively involved with parenting their children.  It happened for a variety of reasons.  Some just weren’t interested in parenting (despite that they were, in fact, parents.)  Some decided to twist the Montessori educational method for their own purposes, and insisted that children learn from the world and each other, so that they were actually doing harm if they ever ran interference where their kids were concerned.  (Hey genius, if your kid learns that his old sister can bully the hell out of him and you will stand around and watch and never set any limits for anyone, you’ve done a fabulous job teaching your kid learned helplessness.  Way to empower your child.)

But my ultimate nemesis were the parents that were actually afraid of their own children.  Like somehow standing up to a pint-sized version of themselves and actually saying “no” once in a while was the most terrifying prospect they would ever face.  I’m not even really talking about parents whose children have already turned into teenagers run amuck and have developed Conduct Disorder and like to set fire to things – that is a very serious concern.  The parent’s I’m talking about are the ones who can’t face down their elementary schooler.

I wil never forget one family in particular I took care of in my clinic for several years.  “Jack” and his mom came into my clinic for the first time for Jack’s six year-old well checkup.  I heard about Jack before he ever got back to my exam room.  The nurses actually came to warn me that he was terrorizing the front waiting room, and that the toys (that were actually there for all the children who were waiting to be seen) were scattered to the four winds.  Jack apparently didn’t do very well during the nursing screening either when he was getting measured and weighed – I heard the screaming all the way down the hall.

Eventually, Jack finally made it back into an exam room.  The frazzled nurse, who was actually quite experienced with “demanding” children, handed me the chart and wished me luck, saying that the mom was going to be no help.  I took a deep breath, turned the handle, and entered the room.

It was the “feeding after midnight” scene straight out of Gremlins.  Jack had dragged a chair across the floor, used it to climb on top of the sink, and had proceeded to pull all of the plastic basins, boxes, and gowns out and throw them all over the floor.  His mother was sitting like a stunned sheep in the corner of the room, too petrified to say anything to her son.

I immediately addressed her, and let her know it was dangerous for her young son to be standing on top of the sink, and she should probably retrieve him.  She stood up, walked across the room and picked up her son, and timidly said something to the effect of, “now Sweety, you really shouldn’t be climbing on top of things.”  Whereas Jack promptly turned in her loving arms, looked at her, and smacked her dead in the face.

I realized that I was going to get absolutely no help from this woman during the visit.  So I asked her to please put Jack down.  She did and scurried back to her chair in the corner. I squatted down so I was eye level with Jack, and we just looked at each other for a long moment. I then addressed him in a gravely serious voice, but making sure that I snuck in several glances at his mother to let her know I was addressing her too.

“Jack, I don’t know how you do things at home, and maybe no one explained the rules about the clinic here to you, so I’m going to do it now to make sure you understand.  In my clinic, we never, ever, hit another person.  Got it?”

Jack stared at me with a curious look, like this was the first time in his life he had ever heard something resembling a limit, and was trying to digest it.  We sat there like that for a few seconds while he processed.  Finally he nodded and said, “I got it.”  The rest of the exam was a piece of cake.  If Jack started getting rowdy while I was getting information from his mom, I would simply remind him about the clinic rules, and he would stop.  His mom kept apologizing profusely for his behavior, looking all the while like she had seen a ghost (perhaps the Ghost of Christmas Parenting?)  At the end of the visit, she appeared so mortified that she could barely make eye contact as she hustled him out of the clinic to the car.

The best part was that apparently, all Jack’s mom needed was a bit of modeling to realize that she needed to get more actively involved in parenting her son, or he was going to end up jumping off a bridge when she wasn’t looking.  Six months later, Jack came in for a followup visit.  I saw his name on the schedule and admittedly cringed a little.  But something had happened in the interim.  When Jack came in to the office with his mom, I happened to be standing close to the front desk and he spotted me.  Wasting no time, he marched right up to me and said, “Dr. St. Claire, today I’m going to be really good.”  I high-fived him and he proudly went with him mom to the check-in desk.  His mother was beaming as if she had just won the Boston Marathon.  There were no reports of waiting room warfare that day.

Sadly, success stories like Jack were few and far between.  Most of the passive parents I saw in my clinic never really gained a sense of active parenting, and it certainly wasn’t a problem a physician was equipped to solve in a fifteen minute visit.  I suspect on some level that these kids might not have gotten as optimal medical care as they might have, had I felt I could actually collaborate with their parents and give them a care plan that they felt comfortable taking home.  I also worry about these kids growing up.  In the 1980s, Psychologist Diana Baumrind identified distinct parenting styles, with the “permissive” parenting style being most often associated with children eventually developing Conduct Disorder.

I have no delusions that I may get some blowback from some offended parents reading this blog who see themselves in my words, and that is perfectly ok.  I am not really interested in lecturing anybody on how to raise their kids.  Plus I don’t have to: the research and the outcomes speak for themselves regarding how our kids grow up these days.  The bottom line for me is that as a physician, I worked very hard for many years to partner with parents in order to provide the best possible care I could for their children. The parents who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, meet me halfway were the ones that unfortunately made my job impossible to do well.  I wish them all the luck in the world.

~lumi

RELATED LINKS

Rochester Sage: “I Want My Kids To Fail”

“Just”: The Ultimate 4-Letter Word

Over the past few years, I have realized that I have come to resent the word “just.” Certainly not in the civil sense of the word: social justice is the driving force behind virtually all the work I do these days. I am talking about using “just” as a qualifier. As in, “Oh, I’m just the medical student,” or, “He’s just a nurse.” We use it blatantly as an offense against others, and more overtly to undermine how we feel about ourselves. That word has come to mean that in some way, you are not educated enough, not qualified enough, or not worthy enough.

It has been really interesting for me in the two years since I left clinical medicine to pursue a decidedly non-traditional career path. I mean, who finishes high school, college, medical school, and clinical residency and then eventually leaves the job they actually trained to do? Here’s the secret about all that: your life experience is critical NO MATTER what road you take. I have been extremely successful so far in developing my new career, and I would not be doing nearly as well as I am and getting the high-profile work I am without my past clinical experience. It gives me credibility, knowledge, and perspective that make what I have to offer unique.

What I have quickly come to realize though, is that while I am extremely comfortable with having taken on a new job identity, a lot of my colleagues are not. The “just” word gets batted around constantly.

“But aren’t you bored being just a consultant?”

“Isn’t it weird being just an interpreter instead of a doctor?”

First of all, I never stopped being a doctor. There are thousands of us who have completed medical school and earned our MD degree (and many who finished clinical residency) who have taken detours to explore other areas of work. Usually they are related in some way to medicine, but don’t necessarily involve direct patient care. And guess what? The M.D. Police have still not shown up at my door to take away my degree. The last time I checked my business card, those two little letters after my name were still there.

Secondly, and perhaps this is the social justice beast in me rearing its ugly head, I can’t think of a single meaningful job that I would ever feel comfortable putting the word “just” in front of. Think about what the act of gainful employment provides for us as individuals. It gives us a sense of worth and need. It puts food on the table. For some of us who are struggling with temptation, it keeps us honest and clean and helps us resist activities that might lead us to a place of total self-destruction. Doctors would be nothing without nurses to actually put their plans into real action and physically take care of patients. And just because you don’t like someone’s job or think that it is particularly challenging, imagine what your life would be like if the trash collector simply stopped coming to your house. Not pretty.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “just” in the past couple of years since I switched my career horses in midstream. Not because I’ve had to wrestle with it at all on a personal level. I have more peace and joy in my career now than I can remember over the last decade. It’s really more about the reaction it draws out of other people. Usually it’s people who have made decisions for themselves that they don’t necessarily feel great about. But for whatever reason, they feel compelled to stick with their decisions. I tend to make these people really uncomfortable. I think it’s because my decision to follow an unorthodox path and find my career happiness again forces them to examine their own decisions more closely. And sometimes they don’t really like what they find. Sometimes they are truly stuck because of financial obligations, and are miserable but just don’t see a way out. I make them unhappy just by being me and feeling fulfilled and standing in the same room with them. Sometimes people are stuck out of fear, and my lack of fear and my willingness to embrace risk-taking makes them feel bad about their own paralysis. We are natural comparers as human beings. We are always looking at what the other guy is doing, and constantly trying to see if we measure up.

Mostly though, it’s other physicians who have the hardest time with my decision to leave clinical medicine. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that there is a strong tradition of hard-won success in medicine. The educational road to becoming a practicing doctor is very long and very hard. For many people, there is also an enormous identity piece. Some people are doctors 24/7. I don’t mean that they live in their offices and never go home. I mean these are the people you will meet at a party (where there are no patients, no white coats, and everyone is drinking wine and eating little puffy hors d’oeuvres), and they will introduce themselves to you as “Dr. So-and-So”. I don’t have particularly strong opinions about whether this is appropriate or not, but it’s something I have never been able to relate to well. I did not come out of the womb knowing I was going to be a doctor. I am not one of those people who absolutely cannot imagine themselves doing any other profession. (Clearly – I have imagined myself right into another line of work.) For some people, being a doctor is the end-all of their identity, and they are not complete people without it and the respect and honor it (rightly) deserves. So these folks are the first ones to ask me how I can possibly be happy just being a consultant, when I could be a doctor?!?

I just came home from a conference where I had the opportunity to escape for lunch with a colleague who is a wonderful friend, and someone I don’t get to see as often as I would like. We were having a very energetic conversation about all the work that lay ahead of us and how motivated we were to be doing it with committed and passionate people. At one point, I was telling her about some of the new opportunities that had come up for me through the conference, as well as some exciting new job opportunities at home, and the fact that I also have been seriously committing time to writing, which has made me eternally happy. I must have looked like some blissed-out kid who had just eaten an entire box of Twinkies (before the vomiting started anyway). My friend looked at me for a long moment, paused, and simply said,

“My dear, clearly you were never meant to be just an MD.”

There it was, that “just” word again. Except this time it had a completely different meaning. It was obvious she hadn’t used it in the sense that being a physician is a lowly occupation, and I could certainly do something more quality with my life. No, she meant it in the purest form of the word. She was talking about scope and self-limitation. Why only be an MD? Why not use your skill set in new and unique ways to address issues of social injustice? It was such a pleasant shock for me to hear someone use that word in such a positive and fitting way, it was all I could do not to leap across the table and tackle her with a huge hug.

Betty Friedan, the famous early feminist trailblazer and author of The Feminine Mystique, once spoke about how different our lives would be if we simply knew early on that we were going to have three or four different careers throughout our lives. If somehow that were the norm, how liberating it would be knowing that at any time, you could go ahead and start gaining the skills and education to do something new and exciting with your life.

I know just how she feels.

~lumi

Thanks Maya

I’m currently out of town at a conference and am looking forward to posting another blog in a few days when I get back home.  Yesterday I attended a lecture, and was reminded of a wonderful quote by Maya Angelou that I thought was worth sharing:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I realized that Maya’s wonderful observation doesn’t just apply to people, it applies to everything you do in life, including work.  It’s not the work you do, it’s how you feel about the work you do.  And right now, I’m feeling pretty amazing about my work.  Thanks Maya.

See you soon……

~lumi