The last two weeks have been pretty hectic, while budgets were tabled and bureaucrats tasked with sorting it out, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time dealing with things a little closer to home.
It’s funny how family issues focus you on that which is most important to you. While I choose to withhold some of the details, I will say that my daughter and I have made more trips to the hospital in the last two weeks than any parent should. Things finally seem to be turning the corner and we continue to hope for the best, trust in the expertise of her physicians, and appreciate being able to lean on those who have offered their support.
While the last two weeks have been difficult, they have also reaffirmed by faith in the system. The care my daughter had received has been absolutely top notch. Our doctors and nurses have gone out of their way to ensure my daughter is well attended, that her parents understand what is going on, and that we are relevant and involved in the decision making.
While often heart wrenching, it was also incredibly humanizing. Sometimes the little things are the things that matter the most. A doctor paying attention to the fact that my daughter was sad about missing pizza day last week at school and scheduling appointments around it the follow week or making time in between ORs (surgeries) to see her for a follow up.
I can’t help but think this is what public service is about – tangible, humanizing, high impact, and relational.
I think it’s the kind of work that people with passion for public service would want to do; I think it’s the kind of work that I’d like to do.
After all, who wouldn’t want to leave work every day knowing they made a difference in the life of a little girl, my little girl.
I’m glad to hear things have begun to look up. People that have a passion for what they do make all the difference, which that Doctor must with being thoughtful about scheduling appointments around pizza day.
It’s so important to keep tying our everyday work challenges and struggles into the “why” of it all. Lately, it seems like public servants have been taking it on the chin quite a bit, and so being able to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and focus on how we really can make a difference (even in such seemingly small ways as helping a small patient make it to their pizza day) will make it alot easier to get out of bed in the morning, face another day, and maybe even help inspire those around us with a positive vibe. Thanks for this very humanizing post!
Thanks for sharing your story. You are right about how passion is incredibly important in what you choose to do with your life. We spend so much time at work, away from loved ones. It took me a long time and multiple career paths to find it, hard, and frustrating at times, but now I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The passion I bring to my job is translated into my relationships with family and friends. I try very hard to recognize that passion when I see it in someone who I am interacting with and thank them for it. Appreciate your writing Nick – got me thinking this morning.
I’ve also found that being a parent has made me more aware of how government affects peoples lives. No matter what our role, we touch so many people in the most profound ways. This is the picture of public servants that the public often doesn’t see until a time of crisis. Perhaps it’s these kind of stories that we need to share more often!
Dear Nick —
Thanks for the personal post. I hope your daughter will be better soon.
For the past few years, due to personal circumstances as well, the one goal that stands above all others is the desire to make a difference in somebody’s life. Something that actually changes something that needs changing. That’s what I work for every day, in my professional and personal life.
And if, at the end of the day, the only thing I managed to do is make a stranger on the metro smile, then I made a difference in his/her life, even if it is just for a second.
Thanks for the support everyone; we have one more appointment on Wednesday. I’ve got my fingers crossed.
I’m sorry you’ve had to take your daughter to the hospital so often recently. My teenage son has had some chronic health issues the past 4 years and I’m very grateful to my co-workers and my supervisor(s – I’ve had 3 during the past 4 years, because the 1st retired and the 2nd moved to the west coast) for being so accommodating and understanding during these years.