This is a very strange week for me. As you know, I bowed out of grounded last Friday. Our fridge broke and I got it fixed, but all the meats and cheeses weren't good anymore. Since I sold it and the new owners would take over in a couple of weeks, I took this as a sign from God to transition a bit sooner than I anticipated. Ok, so I'm going to be a bit transparent here - many people have been saying to me "Aren't you going to miss it? Aren't you going to miss all the fun?" The clear answers in my head are "no" and "no". About 10 years ago, Sam Waller and I were talking in the kitchen. I was doing one of those "do my job days" ... or I was thinking about it ... Anyway, Sam and I were talking about how people work. She challenged me to "walk in her shoes to see what real work was all about". That got me thinking "What is missing from my life experience?" The answer I got back was hard work, true 100% ownership, and a perspective from all angles.
Maybe people, when they are looking to add experience to their lives, make room for it - quit a job, stop something that takes time, but no, I decided to just shove more on my plate. For the last three and a half years, every Saturday (I may have taken 3 off) I got up at 4am, and went in at 5:30 and cooked and cleaned and worked for 7 hours. Every other day for the past four years, I worried like a parent for grounded. "Was it fun though?" I gained experience, I was proud of my employees, of our product, and our presence on Main Street in Clarion. It was a completely and absolutely exhausting (yet awesome) experience. I am glad I have it to add to my life's portfolio.
So many people have asked me what my next project is. Sleep, I tell them - not really - but I do want to wait. "Wait for what?" We started the "journey" to excellence at the hospital in 2002 - the year my mom died. Dad moved here in 2003, died in 2008. My "project" beyond my folks at the time was my lake house and then grounded took over. I'm taking a break, nothing for about a year. I'm thinking I'm going to read books and binge watch all those shows people talk about that I have never seen. (no marathons, no flipping houses, no new animals, no new businesses ... I think CEO of Iowa Specialty Hospitals and Clinics will do for now.)
-Steve Simonin, President & CEO