It occurred to me the other day that I have yet to write about my job…as in my actual profession. For those of you who don’t know me personally, it may come as quite a surprise that, in the real world, I have a career….as opposed to sitting around in the river every day drinking a variety of cocktails while blogging about the hilarity that is my life. Shocking, I know.
I have what is arguably one of the best jobs ever. I’m a pediatric physical therapist. I spend my days jumping around, playing and interacting with some of the coolest kids on the planet. They are interesting and beautiful and challenging, and I have spent the past 14 years being blessed and humbled and taught by them and their families. I can treat adults, and do, on occasion. But I prefer to treat children, and am much better at it. I’ve worked in every setting of pediatric therapy – NICU, inpatient, outpatient, home health, schools and ECI. It’s the perfect fit for me. I’ve decided to list why, for your reading pleasure. Let’s do this job application/interview style, shall we?
1. High energy/tons of movement
2. Very animated and dramatic
3. Humor – pretty much everything has the potential to be funny in my world.
4. I love people. I really love kids.
5. Mercy is in my top three spiritual gifts.
6. I can sing anything – and by that, please don’t think I am bragging in and American Idol “you can sing the phone book” way. I mean I literally can sing my way through an entire conversation. Or day. I’m like a walking musical.
7. I can dance anywhere. Please reference above note about singing. Same rules apply.
1. Math – my lack of skill in this area is as legendary as it is frightening. In this job, I never have to count past ten. No lie! We get to ten, I say, “Next set!” and we start again. Plus, it’s kids. Half of them skip six anyway. It’s perfect!
2. Computer skills – beyond e-mail and documentation software, I don’t have to function much in this area. Thank goodness, because I’m really bad at it. I bought a new laptop the other day, and about halfway through the sale, the very nice Best Buy employee who was helping me just stopped asking questions about features and software additions. I think he got tired of watching me blink at him. And he was running out of non-awkward ways to move on and skip over my lack of intelligent responses.
3. Issues with distractibility – I don’t know that we need to elaborate on that one.
In the true manner of a successful job application, we’ll stop there. Note how many more strengths than weaknesses I have. Yes, I do remember Resume 101.
I’m in the process of changing from an outpatient clinic to home health as we attempt to calm our schedule a little (ha!) and give me more flexibility and time with kids (and writing). So, my last several weeks have involved ridiculous amounts of paperwork as I wrap up all documentation and bang out as many evaluations and re-evaluations as humanly possible before my last day. It is killing me. I cannot sit at a computer and type this much on forms and specific software! I signed on for a gig that involves lots of movement and bursts of explosive energy. There are not enough meds or meditation techniques out there to set me up for success in this area. How do people in office and administrative jobs do this day in and day out? If I wanted a career that involved copious paperwork, I would be a lawyer. Then, I would expect this kind of screen and writing time. Plus, I’d make a lot more money. And get to shout out cool phrases like, “You can’t handle the truth!” at random intervals. How awesome would that be?
It’s not that I don’t like to write. Hello….aspiring writer here. It’s just that report after report of medical data and terminology is so boring. It’s a pretty universal fact that the best PTs (especially in pediatrics) tend to have the not-so-best documentation. I must be amazing.
Did I mention the part about how I sing my way through a work day?
There are actually days where my co-workers will kick me out of the documentation room. Apparently, they don’t need my original soundtracks during their note writing time. To each her own, I guess.
All levity and complaints aside, though, I have to take a moment to send out my love and admiration to all the mothers and fathers and siblings and grandparents and family members and loved ones who have a child with special needs and abilities in their lives. I don’t care if that child is 2 or 82…..kudos and compliments to all of you. You walk a path that few can fathom and even fewer can shine through, and you do it with grace and dignity and laughter and love, even on days when the laughter is quieter than the tears. I am honored that you have let me treat your children over the years. They fill my heart and bless my life. I am a better person for knowing you, your stories, your triumphs and frustrations. It is my privilege to work with you and walk with you, to laugh with you and cry with you. You humble and inspire me.
My healer’s heart and artist’s soul are so grateful for a role that fits me like this one. I can combine my strengths and weaknesses into work that overtly matters and makes an obvious difference. It is a calling and a ministry. It is passion and talent and giving of myself wholly into what God has put me here to do. I don’t always do the best job seeing His plan. I lose my clarity more often than I’d like to admit. I flounder and fluster and fret way more than I should.
Then I remember how clearly I see this area of my life, and it reminds me of His promise….that I have a purpose and He has a plan. Every day. Every way. In every aspect of my existence. All I have to do is listen. And follow. As do we all.
Solidarity, sisters. Just breathe. We’ve got this.