“Sit down, go blank, stay put.” – Michael Leunig, Newcastle Writer’s Festival, 2017
When was the last time you did that?
Last year, I had to apply for a job for the first time. Anxious times.
More graduates, the same amount of jobs. While I complain, our job prospects shimmer compared to the dieticians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and lawyers out there.
I received a call from the hospital. I had got the job. Immediately, my mind turned to next years campaign. That elusive registrar position. A long term contract and a bit of security.
My mind turned to what courses I needed to attend, what terms I needed to complete, who I should approach as referees. I even thought about the college requirements and sitting examinations.
Planning, planning, planning. Climbing the greased pole.
I hadn’t even stopped to congratulate myself.
My inner child took hold. He struck me down for being such a damn adult about everything.
The world is in a rush. With 15 minute consults and 4 hour NEAT times, medicine has not been spared. Patients to care for. Families to talk to. Multiple demands on your finite time.
Career planning. Career progression. Always looking for the next step.
You’re an achiever. You’re a meticulous planner. Thats what you do.
But it’s no good for yourself, your friends, your family, your patients if you don’t stop to appreciate your achievements every once in a while.
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Ferris Bueller said that.
Mindfulness and meditation is a sure fire way to make yourself stop and look around. You don’t have to submit to believing reincarnation to do it. Just sit with your own thoughts for a while. Just 5 minutes.
And while you join me in scaling the mountain, don’t forget to sit down and have a rest every now and again. That’s how you get there.