Thursday, February 12

Vying for Status: No Interest in Being the Head Dung Beetle .......... 2/12/15

Two dung beetles doing their thing. I'm
 the one on the right, behind the other. 
     When I worked in a psychiatric hospital, I worked the day shift on Saturdays.  Often, at the end of the day, the Assistant Director of Nursing asked if I would work a double shift, for her department.  It was Saturday, as I said.  Invariably, an employee would call in sick.  You could count on it.  For the psychiatric rehab department, I
worked, but they were desperate.  And I was certified.  I had to be prepared if something happened away from hospital, during an outing with the residents.

      After seven years of seniority---from time-to-time---they asked me to work the role of the charge nurse, overseeing the third floor of this locked, sub-acute hospital.  This would happen if one of its two nurses didn't show up.  Meds would be done by the nurse present, something I couldn't and shouldn't do.  On the third floor resided sixty patients.  Sometimes, the issue of who would oversee the mental health workers was a toss up between Lynne and me.

      We were a couple of weeks apart in seniority.  A mental health worker, she was, studying to become a social worker.  The first time, Lynne tried persuading me she should lead.  No need.  I stopped her, replying, "Our situation is like two dung beetles trying to see who will be the king dung beetle over a pile of manure."

      Her forehead wrinkled, with surprise, as she listened.  I continued.  "If you want to be the head dung beetle, that's okay with me."  Said she, "Pablo, I never looked at it that way."

      Problem solved.

      Status, accom-plishments, "success" is transitory.  What matters most is character.  The values that others put on position, size, large numbers, how much someone makes and outdoing others don't mean much.  What matters is, is the person patient?  Does he have integrity?  Does she care about the process as much as the task?  How does a person react during adversity, can I trust them, are they considerate and loyal?

      So, now you have my opinion about status.  I know it means much to many, but very little to me, if there isn't corresponding character to go with it.

1.  I am enjoying the fruit of more rest: I am more relaxed. Life is slowing down, even though my schedule is busier than ever.  It's all about priorities, not letting urgent but not important matters to crowd out the important matters that don't scream out for attention.
2.  Fantastic day.  Super day at work.  I love what I do. It's a perfect fit for my skills, training, and personality.  I am a lucky man that I can serve many and help them enjoy the Great Big Life they deserve and want.
3.  I'll ride my bike tomorrow. Can't wait.
4.  I met with someone who usually taxes me, wearing me down.  A month ago, I was dizzy for two days, after a session with her. Not so, lately.  Knock on wood.
5.  I had opportunities for me to slow down, blips in my schedule.  I relished them.  I love sensing my breath, feeling the world around me in ways never possible, if I allowed my life to rush along, mistaking activity for accomplishment.
6.  I am gradually coming to terms with heartbreak.  I am acknowledging, barely, reality.
7.  Phenomenal time with friends at an Al-Anon Family Group meeting I attended yesterday.  I am happy that there, I can be me: honest, vulnerable, free from worry about what others think of me.

    We read, From Survival to Recovery.  It prompted marvelous, transparent, healing discussion.  The time there was healing for my heart, bones and soul.

       For all of the above, I continue to have a growing, dynamic and thriving Attitude of Gratitude.

How About You? 
What are your three gratitudes for today?  Also, what is your view regarding status, achievement and success? 


Anonymous said...

Hello Dear Innkeeper,

I enjoyed reading the 'Head Dung Beetle' story. A superbly brill way to get your point across... without being covered in ' dung' yourself!! I have gotten myself covered with ' dung ' recently mostly with my fellow human work. I've had a tough two weeks...all my fault...but I'm learning to let go of the 'dung' that lives with in me!

My gratitudes are:

1. I still have a job.

2. I had a wonderful time with friends at an Al-anon Family Group meeting on Wednesday.

3. A friend surprised me and took me out to dinner.

4. For my eldest son's help; with typing.

Jane G. Yorkshire

Thumper said...

Dear Pablo,

You are right, character and integrity are what success is all about. Too many of us try to outdo others as a sign of success. I know quite a few people who step on others and have absolutely no integrity and they cannot be trusted. Character is what matters.
Kudos to you.

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From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.