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 15 will cover the week of November 15. You can read all of my previous Episodes on my website.
Mood: I feel like the ketchup trying to exit the Heinz bottle … anticipation.
Accomplishments: Getting more meetings, and more excited, about the WCI conference in Orlando on Dec 12-15. I’m excited to discuss virtual reality therapy on behalf of Harvard MedTech as a panelist at the “Pain Medicine Breakout” on Dec 14 at 1pm. Some of the excitement is also related to the conference graciously providing space to The Transitions organization I co-founded. Much more to come about that in the near future as we leverage this huge gathering of industry professionals to further the goals of our movement. I drove down to St. Simons Island on Wed so I could attend (Thu) and speak at (Fri) the SAWCA All-Committee conference. It’s a cozy environment with Work Comp regulators from around the country. While we covered a number of subjects in “Things that make Bob go hmmmm,” a majority of my comments were on the generational shift. Actually, quite a bit of the conference was dedicated to the challenges in recruiting and retaining talent while preparing for the loss of institutional knowledge. On the drive home we had the initial planning session for The Transitions‘ eleventh webinar in 2021, scheduled for Dec 7, to discuss “Rebranding Work Comp.” In retrospect, most of my focus last week was on promoting The Transitions, a pay-it-forward project for me and many others. That is a solid investment.
What I Learned: I really need to start each day with Reflection. I have a 41 minute, 2.75 mile route around our neighborhood that gets me ready for each day. I start with a couple of news podcasts and then I move onto my thoughts. During this prayer time (for others it’s spiritual or secular mindfulness / meditation) I have a chronology that sets up my perspective for the day:
- Count my blessings
- Identify the needs of others
- Identify my own concerns
- Formulate today’s priorities
Even though I know the benefits of preparing my mind for the day (and my body by getting exercise), it is still sometimes a struggle to do it every day. The tangible benefits of wellbeing should be enough motivation but, alas, sometimes it isn’t. It’s the conundrum of knowing what to do, the reasons for and the benefits from it, and yet it isn’t automatic. Discipline, like resilience, is a skill that requires constant nurturing and attention.
Anxiety Level (1-10): 4
I only halved it because of the short week with a chill holiday
Three Good Things:
- A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been alongside me during this journey. From words of encouragement to timely advice, your support has been one of the major reasons why I’ve gotten this far.
- Speaking of friends, it was very nice to be in-person with so many of them at SAWCA. And not in a rushed, hallway-passing “hey” kind of way but a substantive discussion in a leisurely, eyeball to eyeball, way. This industry is filled with great people and I appreciated the reminder.
- This is Thanksgiving Week!
Word for the Week: Blessed
This Week’s Lesson: Struggle creates Resilience. Over the past decade I’ve had #resilience modeled to me by so many people in so many ways. My dad’s grace thru Parkinson’s and then my mom’s response to his death. My two cousins (brothers) lost their mom and dad (my “second parents”) within 30 days of each other. Other deaths of family, family’s friends, friends and friend’s family. Countless friends and colleagues going thru career changes, some voluntary and others involuntary, some to new jobs and some to new businesses. My daughter-in-law and son as they beat breast cancer, and many others that beat cancer and other diseases (and some that didn’t). Businesses and their leadership that adapted to COVID. Athletes that overcame catastrophic injuries, like Alex Smith. As Mike Tyson once said, “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” I have seen over and over again people get punched but keep advancing. I have received my own punches in 2021 but I strive to keep advancing.
I’ve said before that I write this journal not just for me but for those that read it. During this journey …
I’ve learned a lot about myself
You’ve learned a lot about me
I hope you’ve learned a lot about you
… and you take those lessons and (a) apply them to your future (b) help others.
From me to you … My best wishes for a week full of quality time with those you love and that you strategically take time to be intentionally thankful. However challenging 2021 has been for you, you can find at least one way to consider yourself blessed. Find that attitude and be a blessing. Happy Thanksgiving!
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.