Iowa Specialty Hospital

Notes from Steve

April 27, 2020

I was in Colorado in February for an American Hospital Association meeting.  The hotel sent a survey and I responded and also asked if they found a swimsuit in my room that I was missing.  It was new and cool and couldn’t find it.  They responded that “yes, indeed you did leave your swimsuit* and a whole drawer of clothes”.  (… long mournful sigh …)  I am amazed at me -- a WHOLE DRAWER? I’m losing my damned mind.  (During this break I’m going to work on remembering things.)

I sent out a guide to “maintaining good culture” this week and it had this calculation in it:

ANXIETY = POWERLESSNESS x UNCERTAINTY

(Someone made this equation up so take it with a grain of salt.)  In these times of waiting for the unknown without any ability (besides social distancing and patience) to stop the pandemic; we will naturally become anxious and frustrated.  I talked a friend down from an angry ledge yesterday.  She was frustrated with feelings of relevance and basically, was just twitchy with everybody.  She was going for a walk.  I told her that it is normal in this uncertain environment to feel angst and if possible, chill out and regroup.  Everyone is dealing with getting through this mess in their own way and instead of lashing back angrily; positivity and grace goes a long way.

It’s hard though.  It’s hard not getting geared up on anything that jumps in our way.  I’ve said before that I love drama.  Not drama that involves me but others - vicarious dramatic situations (reality TV smack downs.) Unfortunately, this colors my/our perspective on daily life; we come to expect drama.  If nothing else, this break in “real life” allows us to step back and detox from drama.  Breathe, be patient, be prepared but not anxious.  Focus on the good (family, less pollution, quiet) and less on the lack of power.  Life will resume and let’s all be better because of this break.

*they said “your floral swimsuit” … it was blue with palm fronds on it, not flowers. 

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