Saturday, October 23, 2010

File Under: Happiness, Miscellaneous Benefits of

I got in the cab (wearing a ridiculous outfit—I was traveling home and these were the leftover clean clothes) and chirped “Good morning! How are you?”

“Well, I don’t know,” said the driver slightly warily. “How are you?”

“Great!” I said. Then I used a line I’ve never used before that I’ve heard some of my favorite patients say: “Every morning you wake up is a great day.”

“You got that right!” he said, and we were off on a wide-ranging conversation in which I learned how much he loved driving a cab (“I’d truly do it for free if I didn’t have to pay bills”), how he spent his summers as a boy learning from his Cherokee grandfather how to survive in the woods, how some riders don’t talk, “but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad people, they might just be in their own heads,” how he got an insider trading tip from overhearing a broker on his cellphone and then invested in the stock and made enough money for a cruise around Greece …

As he dropped me off (and after I’d paid), he said mournfully, “I can’t believe what a great team we make! You are such a lovely person, I don’t want you to leave.”


The workshop—well, it went better than any workshop I’ve ever attended, much less given. I was nervous beforehand, but the room was full, nobody left to “answer their phone,” and at the end, they asked us to keep going. And applauded. One person confessed that she’d gotten choked up during it; someone chased me down at the airport to tell me again how much he liked it; I even got a job offer. (The topic included a lot of what I talk about here. How fun is that?)

Best of all, I did it with someone I used to work with and have sorely missed since she moved away. I suckered her into doing it with me and then after I got the grant left her to do a lot of the heavy lifting as far as preparation was concerned. Half of the time we were “working” on it I was chewing her ear off, because I love talking to someone who gets it, and I had forgotten how much she does — and with my “screen” gone, I have nothing holding me back. The workshop sort of felt like an extension of the conversation. (Incidentally, she is a also new Maggot, though she resists the designation. Welcome, B! Hope those knees are holding up.)

I churned through my recommendation letters, sat for my Boards recertification, covered for a colleague on vacation, and am pretty much through to the other side and can focus on the grant work.

I have bad hours and even days; my car got sideswiped ($1300), the garbage disposal cracked, HB wanted to punish me severely for going on my trip—and: every morning I wake up is a great day. Put it on a poster. With a cute kitty. But not a dog. (I was at a stoplight when I took that. I did not get sideswiped while using my phone.)

(Re HB’s knitting: he learned to finger knit at school, and as is his wont, insisted on taking it to the next level: needle knitting. Fortunately my mother is a master knitter and taught him on a recent visit. This is what he made for me to take with me on my trip for when I missed him and needed something to cuddle.)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Six Zeroes

TH took HB camping for the night. HB prepared for this by donning a shirt and tie and packing his knitting. Originally I had planned for some wilding on my part, but ...

A few months ago I put in this last-minute grant proposal? That I was not at all hopeful about? That I pretty much only did because my boss told me to?

I’m now the Program Director/Principal Investigator of an educational project that got funded to the tune of 2 million dollars.


Which is nice.

And in the next TWO WEEKS, I have to:
  1. have my usual patient hours
  2. write 19 reference letters
  3. write evaluations and submit grades for my most recent group of students
  4. put on a workshop for a national meeting in a state far, far away
  5. sit for my examination for Boards recertification (an every 10 year thing), and, oh yeah,
  6. implement this TWO MILLION DOLLAR program (it has to start immediately).
I am not whining, I’m just saying no wilding for me tonight, and I’m guessing no posting for at least the next couple of weeks. (And I’m really, really sorry if my hare-brained scheme means your taxes go up.)

Wish me luck.

I am not afraid I am not afraid I am not afraid I am not afraid ...

*I do not actually get to put my hands on any of the money—not even a tiny little slush fund—so do not expect to see me partying with Paris. I do get a new title and, eventually, 50 percent “protected” time, i.e., time I do not have to spend seeing patients. (Which may be tricky, since I already have 60 percent protected time. Perhaps the patients will have to try to fix MY problems 10 percent of the time?)