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Saturday, January 16, 2010


************CAUTION: This is one of my long introspective wanderings in which I chronicle some insight to my psyche, really important for me to document and explore but boring as hell for everyone else!

I had a horrendous week (or two) at work, I felt as if every thing I touched failed and I know I could do, I have to do better for myself and for my patients. I have really been struggling with my career in the past 5 years since buying a portion of the clinic, I really do not enjoy being the boss. There was some non-existent communication between the other owner and myself which has led to alot of resentment on my part-mostly financial expectations not met. This has been spilling over into the part of my job I am so in love with-the clinical hands-on with people and their pets. I have developed a bad attitude and a whiny, 'poor me' the victim outlook. I haven't been taking my job as seriously as I should in a lot of different ways and last week was my wake-up call. Our clinic is moving forward and earning a reputation for high quality work; I need to be an enthusiastic participant or walk away. I refuse to hang on grumbling and digging in my heels.

I also realized how much of my image of myself is wrapped around being a veterinarian, that's not a big surprise -since the age of 17 that has been who I am or who I was training to be. Now 20+ years later it is part of me; part of what is valued about me. There are alot of self-worth issues here. I have value because of my profession-if I gave this up what would I be? An overweight stay-at-home mom who likes to garden? (don't yell at me-I am just exploring). My perception of self worth also affects what happens in the exam room. Thoughts of I am no good-what I do doesn't have value, the client will not accept treatment for xx dollars, results in a low estimate which means I am constrained to only performing x, when the cat really needs x AND y, so I do x and y but do not bill for y so I can stick to my estimate. (hmmm, remember what i said about financial expectation not being met?)

I just paid my computer guy $75 per hour to debug my laptop, I didn't blink-so why do I cringe when I bill someone $125 per hour to remove a corn cob from their dog's small intestines. In addition to my time, I am paying for a vet tech and expensive monitoring and anesthetic equipment. As a surgeon my time is worth that (and then some) but as me -kris- am I worth that? (Again the intertwining of professional and personal worth) I cringe and hand over the bill and guess what ? The client doesn't blink.

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH-long story short. I will use some of my 'off work' time to work-read journals, stay current on new drugs and surgical techniques. Keep the passion high for the clinical stuff. The owner stuff, well it pays the bills, I may sell after we have moved and built, but I won't let the victim just roll over and be passive about it. I will practice gratitude. Thank you for the opportunity to help people, thank you for the opportunity to use my mind, thank you for the income to live comfortably, thank you for the opportunity to improve and take pride in what I do. I can't tell you how much lighter and clearer I feel after figuring these things out, letting go of the resentment and replacing it with gratitude was absolutely liberating.


Kelle said...

Thanks for following our blog!

"An overweight stay-at-home mom who likes to garden? (don't yell at me-I am just exploring)."

LOVE IT! and BTW I resemble that comment*wink*

Blessings from,
The Never Done Farm

Mia@agoodhuman said...

It's a difficult thing to be attached to our work identity, but society doesn't make it easy to get away from that. It's such a shame that everytime you meet someone new the first question is "So, what do you do?" When did being a gardening, stay-at-home Mom stop being a valued member of society? Hopefully that's what I'll be next year, at least for a little while.

Anonymous said...

In a strange way, this is sort of what I've been mulling over (i.e. identity as linked to career).... sometimes getting thoughts out there matters, a way to sort things out for a while.

Gina said...

(If you are even still reading over at my own "exploring" blog)

I am going through something very similar and I feel the same way about how much of my identity is wrapped up in "what I do outside the house" (i.e. my career). I often feel like a dismal failure or i wasted my life looking one way and not around me or being adventurous to move outside the "comfort zone".

I don't have anything really "helpful" to offer because I know this is personal to you and you will have to figure it out ultimatley on your own. I am offering you a bit of comaradery and empathy!!

And, $125 per hour is reasonable!!