I gave birth two and a half weeks ago. It was not the delivery I had planned but then life has a way of throwing curveballs right when you least expect it. I came out on the other side of that experience, good and happily, baby is well and thriving. Looking back on that experience, I have discovered a couple of interesting insights.
1. If people care, it shows. You can’t fake engagement or care with a higher paycheck.
Being in the hospital can really bring this to the forefront. I had nurses, nurse aides, operating theatre assistants and all manner of nursing staff attend to my needs during my stay. And the one clear noticeable fact was that bar one or two nurses, everyone cared about their job. It was so clearly evident in how they approached their work and how they approached me, their patient. I began to realise, no matter how much money you throw at someone, you cannot fake care or true engagement. So, in the end, money is never the answer.
2. Everyone deserves recognition.
When in pain, you tend to be very reliant on your carers and therefore, very appreciative of the care bestowed. You can’t help it – your vulnerability comes to the forefront and leaves you wide open. You are therefore appreciative when those around you show care, and empathise via their words and actions. However, when you are back on your feet, it’s easy to forget the place you were once at, and consequently, forget those who were instrumental to your getting back on track again.
It’s important to recognise care and help when it is given. You don’t need to embrace the grand gestures – a simple thank you, a card or small gift is enough to show that you are appreciative. And these simple acts go a long way.
3. Slow down.
Leaving the hospital, I have slowed down a great deal. Considerably and probably on more than one occasion, whether I wanted to or not. I’ve had to reorganise my priorities, juggle the things I am handling and generally, say a lot more no’s than yes’es. Is that hard? Yes. Is it necessary? Yes. Should I continue doing so? Yes.
Slowing down has been hard on many levels because since I am not used to it, it gets in the way of getting stuff done. But on the flipside, it’s been great : decisions have been much simpler to make, my calendar has cleared up and I can actually see the horizon! What a lovely experience.
The other thing about slowing down is I am now able to focus more on the distinction between what is urgent and what is important. Whether I care to admit it, I tend to get absorbed with the former and tend to push to some unattainable time, the latter. Any rational minded person would say that this is the opposite approach to take. Even I myself know that is not what I should do, but the urgent has a way of working itself under my skin.
4. What is important becomes a lot clearer.
You only need a few signature events to happen in your life (or maybe just the one) to realise what the truly important things in life are. I can’t help but feel that the important somehow always gets sidelined because we fool ourselves into thinking that we will attend to what is important in time. But with no firm deadline or goal in sight, the important will never get done as tomorrow simply never arrives.
So, are you then saying that you have spent the greater part of your life focused on what was urgent? And won’t you feel stupid knowing that a good percentage of what was urgent was actually so according to someone else’s perspective ie it was not really urgent to you.