Grey Area

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Part of finding your peace is learning to coexist with what you can’t control—and taking ownership of what you can—Rock and Moonrise.  The hardest thing to do is take the leap when you can’t see the other side.  It requires a massive amount of faith and perseverance because you can never be certain of what’s going to happen.  It also requires an endless amount of tenacity because there are times you won’t come close to making the other side.  There are times you will over-shoot it.  Any life changes we undertake are subject to this rule: nothing new will stay as it was and if you want something different you have to do something different.

I’ve been in healthcare in different areas for 19 years this year.  Going through 2020 and all of the fun that brought exposed so much of what we are.  It brought every question we’ve ever had about where we stand in the eyes of our fellow people under a bright spotlight.  Healthcare for monetary gain, deeming only those with money as worthy, making healthcare decisions based on how you feel that day—it’s so disgusting.  To see people at their wits end, trying to make ends meet, trying to do their best being told that they have to do more was absolutely devastating to me.  The lack of compassion and the outright erasing of humanity in this equation has never been more blatant than at this time. 

I worried for a long time about how I would be perceived by my co-workers and my boss but the very essence of the entire situation came down to a feeling.  The feeling in my gut that told me over and over again that what is happening is wrong.  That this isn’t how we help people.  By focusing on our bottom line, we have forgotten everything about who we are.  We claim it’s about community focus and caring for the people, but all we are doing is selectively choosing who we help.  Now, that isn’t true in all cases, I will admit that.  But I have not once felt like we have the patient’s best interest at heart.  It’s about preserving the organization and the structure of who comes next.   

So how do you continue in a role you know you need to pay the bills while knowing it goes against what you stand for?  I’ve never been very adept at playing the corporate game.  I’ve always been good at getting the job done because I’m task oriented, but I’m not good at the inherent manipulation that lies in businesses, trying to make people do what you want them to.  Granted, it’s not my company so realistically, however they want to run it is up to them.  It’s just incredibly disheartening to know we aren’t serving in the right ways and that the work we do isn’t appreciated nearly enough.

In my role I am fortunate enough to decide some of what happens with my staff.  I’m doing my part to make sure they feel appreciated every day.  I’m taking the time to get their input on how things should be done and to formulate plans with them about the direction we want to go in.  I’m still facing a lot of hurdles because, the truth is, there are already plans in place that were made long before we even knew what was happening.  But I am going to make sure to give my teams every opportunity to highlight what they can do and to create the best opportunities for themselves.  I’m playing ball enough to keep us safe but I’m pushing the lines enough to get noticed.  It’s a funny little dance.

We are real people living human lives and we are all doing our best.  We all slip up and that doesn’t mean we are failures—yet that is exactly what we want to instill in people: one mistake is enough to destroy any credibility.  Being late one time in 20 years for any reason is enough to mark you as flaky.  And those “one time” incidents are always thrown in your face.  We are not machines.  We do not treat machines.  We are human. I’m scared about what comes next, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.  But this is that great unknown—and it is an opportunity.  I’m learning I don’t have to jump the void in one leap—I can make a bridge working with people and we can all cross together.  We make change with one small step at a time.  In little increments with consistent action, over and over again.  Slowly the dark will become light—more quickly when we decide where we want to stand. 

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