My Quiet Place

Life’s daily distractions can certainly overwhelm you quickly. From getting the kids up, dressed, and to the bus stop to battling work force traffic, you can become stressed out before the day has barely begun. Once you get to work, you have clients, customers, projects, and emails that seem to all demand your attention at the same time. Technology and the expectation of immediate gratification in the Internet age don’t help much either. It really is no wonder how our society has become dependent on antidepressants and anxiety medication to make it through the day. I must confess that I have considered talking with my doctor about prescription options myself.

But is there another way? Maybe. As I sit here writing this on my lunch break in my “quiet” place, I try to block out all of the noise and allow the soft, cool breeze strip away my negative energy. I also try to convert any negative thoughts and stresses into something positive that can possibly help someone else. Thus, we have this post.

My "Quiet" Place

My “Quiet” Place

As you can imagine, trying to relax or write while sitting next to a busy highway is arguably insane. There’s the constant drone of traffic and the rumble of 18 wheelers, but it hasn’t really been so bad. I’ve just basically been having a conversation with a piece of paper, similar to what I would have had with myself anyway. Think of it like a stream of consciousness dump which, for me, is kind of scary. What kind of craziness will spew forth from my mind and onto paper?

Part of the whole goal of this exercise for me is to get in the habit of writing everyday. I have a goal of at least 1000 words per day and I intend to use my “quiet” place to do it. My topics will probably vary wildly from day to day, but I’ll try to keep them focused – at least for the duration of the article. I have several special subject domains that I need content for, so I have lots of material to come up with. Now I stated that I would write at least 1000 words a day, but that can be broken into several different articles when needed. Some topics don’t need the magnitude of information that others will and I don’t want to create unnecessary fluff just to get a word count. If it’s not useful, it’s not going in.

And yes, I know. This post is not even close to 1000 words.

Version 4.1 Bug Report

So if you remember, Version 4.1 of my life (41 years old) was supposed to be full of excitement and progress. I was going to try and write weekly updates and articles of every subject imaginable.
This did not happen. At all.

Instead, I was hit with a spell of depression, transferred to a different campus (I work for a hospital system), pulled a ligament in my leg, got diagnosed with gout, and I think that’s quite enough. No more please. With all of these issues going on, I did not have the drive to work on anything else other than simple day to day life struggles. I took the time to reflect on where I was, where I wanted to be, and what I needed to do to get there. All I was looking for now was a simple sense of peace.

It turns out that being transferred was the best thing that could have happened to me at that point. The new work area is quite expansive – I average 5 miles walking distance every day. Going from maybe walking a mile a day to walking 5 a day….. wow! That is what blew my ligament and sent me to desk duty for a few weeks – which was also great! I’ll explain why in a moment. I have to address the gout for a moment. Gout sucks. There…. now on with the story.

My desk duty consisted of help desk analyst work where I was able to remotely help customers with their various computer problems. It was here that I began to have an understanding of just how much information I had gathered over the previous 14 years of computer related repair and service.

I was soon able to return to full duty and began my daily 5 mile hike around the hospital. I met many new people and ran into some familiar faces from other hospitals along the way. I began looking at this new opportunity as exactly that, a new opportunity. Every time a new problem came up that I knew nothing about, I tried to get out in front of it and come up with a solution. I have always tried to analyze a process and come up with an alternate method for gaining better results. In Healthcare IT, finding solutions producing better results means providing better workflow for our doctors and nurses which means better healthcare for our patients.

It was the transfer that opened me up to new opportunities and laid the ground work for my mental reset. Every opportunity, bad or good, can be looked at in a positive light. Embrace it and make it your own by giving yourself to it completely. I promise* good things will come.

*Disclaiimer: Promises made over the internet are non-binding. 😉