I have been back in my old/new job as Chief of Psychiatric Services for three business days now. Twenty-two and one half hours.
What can you learn in less than one full calendar day?
Anticipating a new challenge is emotionally and physically stimulating.
Going back to a job that involves constant connection with people after flying hundreds of hours of solo missions is stressful but exhilarating.
Watching a group of young, energetic, bright people execute a well-oiled process, one that you did not invent or start yourself, is like being inside a perfectly tuned Swiss watch.
Understanding that someone can actually email you more than two hundred pages of text, a book chapter and hand you two books to read, all in the first seven hours on the job, is terrifying.
Realizing that your organizational skills are rusty but very much still usable is a gratifying feeling.
Being one of the oldest people in the room has its perks. You have knowledge to share, you can have fun sharing it, and you’re not really that worried what anyone thinks about you as you do it.
Having a patient say “I am so glad you’re back” causes your chest to swell just a bit in spite of all efforts to take this comment in stride.
Seeing a patient that you first treated twenty years ago, who is still doing quite well, grounds you and renews your sense of purpose like nothing else can.
Being able to assess the state of things and decide where to focus your time and energy is golden.
Everyone needs a change every now and then.
If I can stick with it another ten years this go ’round, wonder what else I’ll learn?