Each day I strive for perfection. Be a better teacher, husband, father, colleague, or doctor. I’ve tried for years to back off, but have found relaxing this standard difficult. What is “good enough”?
Things came to a head at a recent staff meeting. I was updating the group on two projects. The topics, though important to our overall mission, were neither popular nor exciting. I simply wanted to check then off my To Do list and move on. After a frustrating meeting, I struggled to relax during my afternoon clinic. I enjoyed seeing patients quite a bit that day. Several of them were doing better with the problems we had worked to solve; but I could not shake my earlier frustration.
I dreaded going into the hospital the next day, as I could think of many places I would rather be. However, all the residents were in good moods, that morning’s drop-in delivery went well, and the case allowed me to teach the management of post partum hemorrhage to young physicians who were eager to improve. That afternoon I was able to break down asthma treatment by physiological mechanism for one of our new interns and see the light bulb go on.
What ever happens on any day, work’s challenges are less frustrating after taking time off. I leave for the Northwest in a few days to visit family and friends whom I have not seen in years.
When my tea pot is about to boil over, it’s time to for a break.