Happy New Year, everybody!
Can you believe that we made it? 2016 has begun!
I know for some of us a new year means a new start, a new workout regimen, a new set of books to read before next year, or a resolution.
To be honest I didn’t plan to have a “resolution” this year. Life is a bit hectic for me right now to say the least. I have finished four years of schooling and am officially over halfway finished with my internship. I am that much closer to being a certified professional and reaching a goal which I have been working toward and planning for since I was fourteen.
My plan for my break was to catch up on work and maybe even get ahead… so I’ll just be upfront with you… that did not happen. It is now three days until we are back in the grind of crazy life and this blog post is my first completed task on my to do list. Whats crazy though, is that I am entirely okay with it.
Over my break I actively chose to make decisions that would bring me joy, not happiness, but lasting, true joy. So instead of making myself complete and assignment that wasn’t due for another week, with a frazzled holiday mindset I chose not to. Instead, I spent time with my family, I laughed, I babysat my cousin, I bonded with my brother and brothers in law. I fostered relationships that were important to me. And when, on occasion I had free time alone after others had gone to sleep, I found that I enjoyed doing research and looking up ideas for the clients I see in my internship. I found that I would have bursts of random ideas for songs, interventions, even documentation.
I was inspired. The joy that I had decided to bring into my life was now fueling a passion and drive to complete the work I had determined to be taxing from the start.
My new years resolution this year is to choose joy in my daily life and actively pursue a personal and professional lifestyle which allows me to do that.
This last week has been much more of an introspective sort of week. My internship supervisors have completed my midterm evaluation and have asked me to evaluate myself as well. This is very difficult to do because I want to be the best therapist I can be. Unfortunately, that leads me to hold myself to unreasonable and at times, unrealistic expectations for myself.
So I have been trudging through this challenging task with all of this in mind. Fortunately for me a very important point was brought to my attention…
A few days ago I was working on the pediatrics floor of St. Johns hospital when I approached a patient’s room. As usual I knocked, said hello, introduced myself and what I do and asked if the patient would be interested in doing music with me. The patient shook his head and said no. With the guardian’s interest and encouragement I walked to the patients bedside and asked about the toys he was playing with.
Soon thereafter the patient agreed to playing a song. Throughout the session we took frequent breaks to talk about his family, toys, and interests of his. His affect was flat through most of the session but appeared to be relaxed so we kept going. Finally, it was time to go. After I sang goodbye, the patient’s eyes began to well up with tears and he nodded when his guardian asked him if he liked the music.
This patient did not express outright interest in active music making, but because I was able to engage with him he was able to have a musical experience that clearly meant a lot to him in the end.
The reason why I tell this story is because three months ago when I first began my internship, I would not have attempted engaged a patient after being told no. I’m not even sure that I would have left my supervisor’s side in any given patient’s room. Internships are meant to be challenging, difficult, new, exciting, terrifying, eye opening, and truly an experience that can only be defined as organized chaos. This enviornment fosters rapid growth.
To measure success without understanding where I have been and where I am now would be an entirely inaccurate and meaningless measurement.
So my very important point, or epiphany was centered around the idea of growth.
Growth is the most important thing. No greatness came from stagnation.
If you’re growing your getting closer to your goals everyday.