“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world; someone to love, something to do, and something to be hopeful for.”  — Tom Bodett

~~*~*~*~*~*~~

Happy St. Paddy’s Day to all you Laddies and Lassies … Well what’s left of it anyway.

Oh yeah, a Detroit Original ... *finally* in Chicago!

But more important (at least to me), Happy Blog O’Versary to me!!

Yeah, I’m lame; but I just had to add a bit o’ Irish to it, seeing as I started this blog three years ago to the day.

After my first Meetup last night, I was so exhausted. Not that going to the event was so stressful … It’s just that it had been a reaaallly long day, and the last thing I felt like doing was writing a blog entry. Yet I persisted. After all, I made that lofty promise both here and with NaBloPoMo. (D*mn you, the overachiever in me!)

~~*~*~*~*~*~~

This week I’ve been trying to have One-on-One meetings with my staff. It’s something that I’ve learned from my previous stint as a supervisor that has proven to beneficial with getting to understand my team.  While meetings are a great way for a message to be delivered in a manner where everyone hears it at the same time, One-on-One meetings provide a person to be heard and recognized individually. And since many days I’m too busy running from meetings to meetings of my own instead of being readily available to them, I’ve made it a point to allot a block of time on my schedule just to spend quality mentoring time together.

On the drive to the West Loop yesterday.

The thing is, I now have a staff of 12 people; 10 of them that are Nurse Case Managers (CM). With six CMs, carrying out One-on-One’s are quite a chore. Adding the additional four new CMs to the list? Well, it’s simply exhausting … even if I broke them up over the past three days. But the upswing to them is that I’ve really gotten to know these four new hires.

Two of the new CMs are younger in age** in comparison to the rest of my staff. Not that the rest of my staff are years and years older than them. But with these young newbies come a fresher, more enthusiastic attitude than the more established CMs.

Then there’s the older, more experienced new hire. She has years of knowledge in Case Management and resources up the wazoo. After spending time with her today, I realize that she is definitely one (of the very few) staff members than can understand the intellect behind some of the business decisions in our department.*** And, trust me … I truly appreciate that!

Anyway, this older new hire is currently going through Empty Nest syndrome. With her only daughter now in college and no spouse in the picture, she confessed that she had been going through a difficult time. For the past 18-plus years, her life was centered on her child’s life, and now she’s not exactly sure what her next step will be.

We stumbled on THIS while trying to find parking ...

Reflecting on that conversation had me contemplating about my struggles with my infertility “next steps.” For so long, my life was centered on getting pregnant and starting our family. After the failed IVF attempt, Hubby & I went on a long sabbatical on actively TTC (trying to conceive) to decide what our next step would be. Should we try another round of IVF? Or should we look at adoption? And even if we finally came to a decision, could we even afford either option? But after a multi-year sabbatical, entwined with several pregnancies in our families alone, we finally decided to go down the Childfree Living path.

While doing this, I realized that “Empty Nesting” is similar to an infertile who finally sets free that dream of having a family. Suddenly there’s no purpose in life and there’s a struggle to find out what to do next. And the childless couple as well as the Empty Nester both share the same thought process; both begin to think, “Our lives no longer revolve around a child anymore.”

It’s just that an infertile’s “child” is merely a dream.

~~*~*~*~*~*~~

One last bit about my Blog O’Versary … Thank you for all those readers and commenters out there; both faithful and new. Knowing that my voice is heard in some manner or another means that I am leaving a legacy behind … even if it’s a “virtual” legacy.

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

We were told it's a large toy storage facility!

Oops. Almost forgot about my Daily Lenten practice. But really, this shouldn’t be too hard today.

Daily Good Deed: I think that today, my daily good deed happens to be setting the time aside to spend with my staff. As much as these One-on-One meetings take up a big chunk of my schedule when I could spend it working on those projects and reports I’ve been assigned to, I believe that this is one of those value-added tasks that allow me to see the bigger picture of my staff.

Daily Gratitude: It’s all about you readers today. Again … thanks for your love and support.

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

** Which sometimes makes me feel so old as their supervisor … especially since I’ve always been the youngest CM/Superivsor on the block. And here I am hiring younger staff than me … eesh!

*** Here’s an example of what I mean. I know that most people are resistant to change, and I expect that. When enhancing and streamlining a piece of our established CM process, most of my established CMs will voice concerns that we’re adding an “extra” piece of work for us to do. While they may see it as non-value added step (despite given a logical explanation), this older CM actually sees it as another piece of the puzzle to a) understand the member and b) a way to “justify” our jobs.