Did my first shift of clinical hours in conjunction with my first on-call shift. In some ways I felt like my situation had more in common with most of the patients than with the staff. Most patients and I were in a stressful, unfamiliar environment where the stakes of something going wrong felt critical, surrounded by people (staff) who feel uber-confident and in place in their environment. I knew my stakes weren’t really as high as that of the patients, and I felt kind of privileged to be able to wear my badge and stride through the floors, the way staff glanced at my badge, accepted me and moved on, but that first day especially I felt like a bit of a sham. I think I said before, it’s a privilege of middle age to have gone through similar experiences before and know that I won’t always feel like “the new guy,” but there was actually some relief walking into a patient’s room, introducing myself and asking how I could help.
I really saw the distinction between my desire to do a good job and my desire to serve. I’m working with the humbling it brings.
It was Rosh Hashanah and the Days of Awe, the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a time for introspection and self-evaluation, laying out your heart before G_D, and I was feeling that, trying to be honest about where my strengths are and where I fall short of the mark. Facing into my pride about my sense of specialness, and how that can interfere with my ability to learn and to serve.