This week many of our patients, children, partners and friends went back to school. Maybe you went back to school too, to take a course or teach one.
I teach at a local graduate school, one I have been teaching for several years now. And before that I worked in public schools, so I have had the opportunity to be mindful of how commencing a new academic year feels for me, and how it can differ from year to year. Some years the summer has seemed so short and the prospect of work so alarming I dreaded it. But this year I am pleasantly aware of how psyched I am to be going back to school. I teach a class on diversity this semester, and this years class is wonderfully diverse across race, age and many other categories visible and invisible. I have brushed up on a few things here with the course, tweaked a few there, and I am ready to go! I hope it lasts, because when I remember how cool it is to be educating future therapists I am very grateful for the opportunity and the pay.
On other occasions, I can feel very differently. It can feel like a drag getting out to campus by car. The weather gets colder. The students haven’t read for the discussion or are angsting about grades. Those days I am more grumpy, less creative, and they, the students, can notice it.
Running a private practice is like this. When I have had some good self-care and am relaxed, I am reminded about how interesting my patients are, and what a profound privilege it is to do this work and get paid for it. I’ll read more articles, think more deeply about things and be more energized to provide treatment.
Think of your practice as Back to School Day today: Are you feeling excited to go to work? Are you dreading it? Did you do something just for you this morning or roll right out of bed into “The Chair”? Are you feeling interested, grateful and energized; or are you feeling put upon? You better check in on yourself, because don’t think for a second that some if not most of your patients don’t notice where you’re at.