In my continuing effort to document what it’s like to go from comfortably employed to suddenly unemployed to launching a business in very short order, Episode 12 will cover the week of October 18. You can read all of my previous Episodes on my website.
Mood: Physical and mental exhaustion. I was either out-of-practice or old (probably both) as the schedule was demanding. Sunday was a fuzzy recovery day. But so many good conversations and opportunities to learn made it completely worthwhile.
- Monday: Flew from ATL to LAS.
- Tuesday (9am – 11pm PT): Attended the Science Symposium at MjBizCon at the Convention Center. Uber’d to Mandalay Bay. One meeting at NWCDC then offsite dinner.
- Wednesday (7am – 10pm PT): Breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings. Four additional meetings + “Your Pharmacy Benefit Program May Be Leaking (and Losing More Money than You Realize)” session. Spent about 15 minutes in the exhibit hall. Did not attend any parties, never left the building.
- Thursday (7am – 10pm PT): Breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings. Five additional meetings + “A Closer Look at How Virtual Reality Produces Real Results for Injured Workers” session (led by Harvard MedTech). And, of course, the session I co-hosted with Stuart Colburn entitled “Real-World Methods to Defuse Distrust and Foster Collaboration” (or as we called it, “Antidote to Antagonism”). Did not attend any parties, never left the building.
- Friday (7am – 2pm PT): Breakfast meeting + “60 Tips in 60 Minutes – Beware the Invisible Undertow of Mental Health Risks (aka How to Buy the Psych Claim the Right Way)” session. Uber’d to the Convention Center to visit the MjBizCon exhibit hall.
- Saturday: Flew from LAS to ATL.
What I Learned: How much I missed seeing my work family. Beyond all of the scheduled meals and meetings, there were incalculable spontaneous chats in the hallway with people I hadn’t seen in at least two years. And there were a bunch of people that I know well but never saw (probably because they were likewise scampering to/from one meal / meeting / session / event themselves). Greetings were a combination of fist bumps, handshakes and hugs. Whether it was a 60 second “hey” while passing each other to our next gig or a longer interaction, smiles were everywhere. Yes, Airborne and Aleve were my best friends each day, but a close second were all of the people that I got to see again (finally).
Anxiety Level (1-10): 6
Three Good Things:
- NWCDC. A special thanks to the Program Leadership (Michelle Kerr, Denise Algire, John Smolk) and the many people on their team that did such a fabulous job in making orange juice out of this lemon 2021. While the number of attendees and exhibitors were down from pre-COVID, the whole experience felt normal and there was the usual amount of buzz onsite.
- MjBizCon. I wasn’t sure what to expect during my first time attending a marijuana (“Mj”) conference. But there were as many PhDs and MDs as there were, um, dudes. As many suits as tshirts. There was a consistent air of professionalism and legitimacy alongside the constant discussion of the science and CGMP. And, yes, grow lights. It was well worth my personal investment to attend.
- The Braves are in the World Series! I’m an ATL sports lifer and other than 1995 (Braves) and 2018 (ATLUTD, season ticket holder), I’ve had nothing but heartache. We’ll see what happens over the next week+, but the Game 6 win on Saturday night was a fun cap to the entire week.
Word for the Week: Whew!
This Week’s Lesson: Mental health IS physical health. This was one of the tips that my long-time friend and mentor Dr. Geralyn Datz said on Friday morning. It is obviously very pertinent to what we’ve all gone thru since February 2020. Resilience, relationship and mental health were an underlying component to almost all of the 60 tips. In fact, it was a common theme for the entire conference as many of the sessions dealt with corporate and/or personal resilience. The blessing of getting to see everyone had a healing effect and offered hope for the future. My primary lesson from COVID-19 is how important resilience is, and that you don’t know how much you have until you have to use it. It took me back to my 8/3/21 blogpost “Next!” as I was just entering this new chapter in my life and drinking from my reservoir of resilience:
“I truly don’t know what the future holds. I’m plowing new ground. But the feedback from others and my own spirit tells me I’m going to be OK because … I said Next!”
Last week was a Next! moment for many of us.
About Mark Pew
Mark Pew is a passionate educating and agitating thought leader in workers’ compensation and award-winning international speaker, blogger, author and jurisdictional advisor. He has focused on the intersection of chronic pain and appropriate treatment since 2003. He is the driving force and co-founder of The Transitions and just recently launched The RxProfessor consulting practice at https://therxprofessor.com.