Lessons from the Lawn

It’s almost-but-not-quite the day Allen comes to mow our lawn. So it’s a bit of a jungle out there with clovers and other weeds vying for their place in our front yard along with the grass.

But, upon looking out the front windows, I was treated to a sight I may have missed had our lawn been perfectly manicured….

I looked out to see a whole menagerie of urban wildlife, from a mother and baby bunny to a whole variety of birds, happily playing our front yard.

It reminded me of that scene from Disney’s old Snow White film where all the furry forest creatures are keeping Snow White company as she happily sings in the woods.

I realized…. all of the weeds and tall grass were actually attracting the amazing wildlife I was enjoying. I couldn’t help but wondering if in all of our striving for perfection, we miss – or even destroy – the beauty around us.

That is one reason I’ve titled this blog (and future book), Ragamuffin Oasis. Perhaps the true places of oasis (rest, refreshing, and thriving) are not the well manicured facades that consumerism and even religion tell us we need.

Perhaps only in admitting we are human and embracing are scruffier, imperfect, ragamuffin selves can we every be truly free.

On the RaDonda Vaught Verdict

Those of us who have been in the healthcare field for more than a minute cannot deny that the system is broken. Our health care organizations and professionals are excellent and compassionate but at risk of being set up for failure by the larger broken system (or, more accurately, non-system) that exists across our nation.

I can’t help but believe that the entire nursing profession is going through collective survivor’s syndrome right now as we watch a colleague facing prison time for a medication error.

Many of us in the field of Healthcare Quality have worked so hard to encouraging speaking up when things go wrong in healthcare. But I believe this verdict is not just tragic for the individual nurse involved, but could possibly cripple much of the forward motion we’ve made in building transparent cultures of patient safety within hospitals over the past decade.

My Prayer for Healthcare

Walter Cronkite made this statement decades ago, long before COVID-19, the hyper-politicization of healthcare, supply crises, and staffing shortages like we’ve never seen before. So… the truth of these words rings even more loudly today.

However, I believe the current tipping point of my industry is birthing the #innovative “out of the box” thinking so necessary for much needed positive and lasting #change.

And, by “out of the box”, I truly mean out of big boxy hospital buildings and through screens into homes, thanks to innovative uses of #telemedicine.

As lauded at the beginning of the pandemic, healthcare professionals truly are amazing, caring superheroes. However, even the greatest superheroes cannot sustain changes in a broken system.

Praying that all of these crises will facilitate the mending of our country’s healthcare system rather than accelerating its implosion.

An Unexpected Cure for Procrastination

The procrastination cure may not be what you think….

It may require soul searching and evening therapy to root out what may be blocking your progress rather than yet another self help book or career coach.

I’ve struggled with procrastination my whole life. I’m only now learning that I’m not lazy or inefficient or a whole slew of other things I may call myself.

This journey is different for everyone, but it was a drilldown to a root of shame that is setting me on a journey toward freedom from procrastination. In my childhood, most attempts at participation in anything – from playground games (I was small and awkward) to simply speaking to classmates (I had a severe speech impediment) were met with ridicule and shame.

Fast forward several decades….. Even though I’ve long outgrown my skinny awkwardness and I even do public speaking now, I often find myself putting off the most simple of tasks. You see, certain responses were burned into my brain during my formative years (and, unfortunately, reinforced by some destructive relationships in my adulthood). To avoid the pain of relentless bullying on the playground at recess or lunch, I would simply avoid the pain of participation by hiding out in the library or the bathroom. So even in adulthood when faced with something to do, my first response is to dodge.

That’s when I have to tell that little girl that hid in the library or bathroom that it’s not her show anymore. “Grown Tracy” is taking charge now and realizes that in this present moment, avoidance in the form of procrastination will only bring pain rather than being a rescue from bullies that now exist only in my brain.

So, perhaps…. untangling from shame is the hidden key to unleashing focus and productivity.

Ways to “Love Your Neighbor” during a surging pandemic

I know there were lots of thoughts and prayers for the healthcare community at the beginning of the pandemic. But it is even more needed now. The number of patients very sick with COVID-19 is once again on the rise. But the difference from the early days is that those taking care of them are oh so very weary. Please pray for the following:

🙏 Strength for the ALL healthcare professionals whether they clean rooms, serve food, run hospitals, or prescribe and provide vital treatments, etc….

🙏 Protection for healthcare workers…. Although vaccines can help prevent and/or strengthen immunity to not get as sick from COVID-19, those who choose to be around highly infected patients (many of whom have chosen not to be vaccinated) as a part of their profession are still very much at risk. Plus their sheer exhaustion can weaken their immunity. Also, rates of mental decline and suicide are increasing within the healthcare community.

🙏 That we would continue to have everything we need to care for each patient…. From masks to life-saving medications like Remdesivir, please pray for supplies to
be replenished and to get to where they are needed.

🙏 For everyone in our communities to care for their neighbors through great hand hygiene, masking when out in public, social distancing as much as possible, and staying home if they even have a sniffle until they have a negative COVID-19 test.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support.