Pleasant Surprises

So there’s this collective I’m part of (when I can be) on Tuesday nights for an hour. It’s a healthcare leadership tweet chat. While that may sound boring to some, it’s anything but.  We discuss a wide variety topics, but I’ve met so many interesting people with diverse backgrounds in that one hour of brainstorming & sharing experiences. When I don’t have improv, I latch on to this as a way to feed my curious mind & get neurons firing.

There are 3 people that moderate it & the accompanying blog.  I won’t go into much detail beyond that to say All three co-moderators are in different locations, yet distance seems no measure for any of them to truly reach & engage with people across the country (& sometimes internationally) on a regular basis concerning varying  subjects. They are gifted.

To really explain this chat; you must experience it for yourself at least once; just even to see the breadth of experiences people bring each week to whatever topic is discussed.  It’s also creative engagement; not dry discussion. May not be everyone’s thing, but if you’re curious & love Twitter – look under hashtag #HCLDR and then see which topics are picked apart by anyone & everyone even just in the feed.  You may not get it, but then you may see the appeal to me.

Yet –  it’s funny through this chat, not only have I gained new followers to my blog (& pulled some friends into the conversation), but I have explored other interests & had some mentoring & engagement in other aspects of my life as a result of its influence that have relatively little or nothing to do with healthcare or topics discussed in this collective.

Yet some of these opportunities came as a direct result of other people I’ve met through this chat.

The common ground of healthcare & social media was only the doorway where I was introduced to these other multifaceted people. I may not have met them otherwise or at least not connected as quickly.

It’s a nice surprise because as I sat here for most of the day by myself here in the rehab center (after daily therapy), I realized something. I thought about how much I had pushed aside over the years with trying to solve bureaucratic puzzles. For years, I was bringing work home with me  in hopes of gaining advancement or achievements or simply because I became so engrossed with the work. Often in my zeal and without realizing it, I pushed off hobbies & interests because I was too tired or they took too much energy. Or I didn’t have enough time (sometimes a combination of all of the aforementioned).

I had a better work/life balance than in the past with a few past jobs I worked once I realized what my workaholism had cost me. How it had in actuality stunted my growth & creativity. I realized early on that a lot of my volunteer energy was spent leveraging those skills to help others. That started out just as a natural extension of wanting to engage & help people I knew directly using these skills I had worked so hard to build. Always in the attempt that someone would appreciate & notice it. I always hoped it would lead to something new either personally, professionally, or both. Part of me did it for myself obviously to give back, but also part of me was dying to flex, develop, & exercise professional muscles due to lack of true professional opportunities & lack of fulfillment. I sometimes felt I lacked staying professionally competitive because of the hybrid careers I gravitated towards which didn’t have a well-defined career ladder or path. I tried to compensate the lack of career fulfillment and opportunity by creating my own with an active volunteer experience instead as an outlet for fulfillment.

Not necessarily bad, but not leaving much to carve out for just myself & by myself to live or learn as much as I had thought.  (At points, dangerously close to mimicking workaholism in free time pursuits because of that need for approval or accomplishment. Or worse, pigeon-holing myself to a few interests instead of many) which could lead to lack of growth and room for diverse opinion or experiences.

Now that I’ve had to completely slow down (even more than what I was), part of the healing process has obviously been physical but also mental.  I’ve rediscovered just how many subjects/interests/hobbies I’ve been made aware of over the course of my life  – all to varying degrees. Or how much natural curiosity I’ve been able to feed & how much more I want to sink my teeth into. Participate more, grow more, learn more for myself. Not just where it can take me.

The more physically ill I’ve become (since July when I had to take disability); the larger those daily struggles appeared in the way of doing self-care tasks amongst other things (like working) & of course breathing (by default).

Yet that said, I’m finding that for everything I lose or cannot do without assistance in the physical realm, I have plenty in the way of interests that I can still fully participate in & use sporadically to break up my days but within my energy equation for that given day.

I feel productive every day (mentally) even if physically I can do very little.

That’s smart based on my nature.  My mind is being fed, so it’s not beating up my body over its inability to keep up like it used to.  They can now run at different speeds but still be in sync with each other.

I don’t get it right all the time.  It’s just something that appears to be unfolding now that seems to work, at least in part. It’s a helpful strategy. It’s crazy because I used to crave routine, structure, schedules. I find myself rebelling a bit from that to have variety instead.

Also for an introverted person, I’m stunned how many likeminded people I encounter in all these wonderful hobbies & communities (on & offline) I’m a part of, but who also I can collaborate with on things or discuss things with on a bit deeper level if both of us choose to.

Time is passing each day at a comfortable pace. I’m not feeling isolated, bored, or super overwhelmed.

This is entirely new.  Hard to explain & it came out of the most unexpected place. This just happened to be a very unique catalyst.


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