We got back from vacation yesterday, our annual trip to York Beach, Maine. Although we were tired and at times really grouchy, we really rallied on our last two days. Our two children kept us on our toes. There are two things that I took home with me that relate to my professional life.
1) Changing your expectations and thoughts is hard work.
For good and bad, after you have children, vacations will never be the same. My wife and I sometimes lament not being able to sit in peace at a restaurant and have a drink by the ocean. Instead we have to sit and have dinner through relative chaos (and have a drink). After any life changing event you have to change your perspective. This is sometimes easier said then done. I always expect my clients to think differently or to problem solve. After thinking about this, it is certainly easier said than done.
Things are different and you must adjust your thinking. Without children I would not hear my two year old repeat “water fun” after playing on the beach. I would not hear my 6 year old say, “Thank you, you are the best daddy ever” or see him swim underwater for the first time. Negative thoughts cross my mind as my two year old is screaming his high chair during dinner or my six year old is having a fit because he is hot and over tired.
In that moment having the positive outweigh the negative is really hard. It takes work to change your mind or perspective. As clinicians we work with people who are under a lot more stress than this. I hope to shift other’s perspective on negative experiences, with renewed understanding that it work.
2) I’m always incredibly thankful for the things I have.
I am thankful that I have the resources to take my children to a beautiful place and experience new things. As I sit here on my beautiful deck writing this, I continue to be thankful for the things that I have. In working with people in poverty and disadvantages, I have to remember the things that I have. They are exhausting to take on my vacation but I have two wonderful and healthy children. I have a wife that is incredibly supportive (and fun as well). Some people have no resources and no supports whatsoever. No means to take a break, relax, and have new experiences with their family.
I am thankful for my children and how they can change my perspective to make my life better. Have you had a life changing event that helped you change your professional experience?
Original Picture of Nubble Lighthouse. York Beach, ME