Friday, October 29, 2010

You Really Wanna Know?

Probably, the answer to that is "no." Because right now I am not reading John Steinbeck or watching Julia Roberts trot across some beautiful land with a tub of popcorn. I am reading any and everything that has to do in some way or another with EMRs and the sharing of health information. Don't know what those are? You might want to figure it out if you plan on reading any more of these posts by me...ever. Because, although I love curling up with my fun reads, (The Kite Runner is my pick this weekend for anyone who still is keeping track) I am unbelievably focused on knowing everything about my new position. And I love it. I can't seem to get enough of it. I do not see a burnout anywhere in the future, so maybe you will hop on board? I promise, it is not boring, and I promise, you will be touched by these ideas in some way sometime.

EMRs are my new life (Don't worry - this isn't something that has replaced David or Bo, it's just my work life). I eat, sleep, breathe, and everything in between EMRs from now until LACIE (yep, another one you will need to familiarize yourself with) takes over the U.S. And I can promise you this, LACIE is coming to a town near you, and soon. Since most of my readers are in fact in this same town as me, the answer is "Yep, it's already taken over your town."

So here is a cheat sheet for what's to come. You will now, my kind followers, be able to say that you know a bit more about HIEs and yes, you are excited about the future of healthcare.

EMR - Electronic Medical Record
HIE - Health Information Exchange
HIT - Health Information Technology
LACIE - the Lewis and Clark Information Exchange
U.S. - Well, if you don't know this one, I simply cannot help you

Questions anyone? If you don't have any questions, don't tell my boss because she very well might just hire you instead. Because I have exactly one million.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall = John Steinbeck

It's the middle of October and you know what that means. Wait, you don't? Well, it means it is John Steinbeck time! Every Fall I love to read two books, and maybe, just maybe, this year I will branch out and read one of his that I haven't read yet..if there is one.

Okay, I have said I wouldn't push my favorites on you. But I also have said that I wouldn't waste my time reading teeny bop books (woops - Twilight). So here's my push. Read East of Eden. Seriously. Stop reading this blog and go buy it. You need your own copy; don't borrow one. You need to highlight in it, fold pages over, get water marks from reading in the bath, and have your own copy to "give" to your best friend to borrow when she says she hasn't read it yet. And try not to gasp or give a horrible snarl when that happens.

And, while you are buying your copy just go ahead and buy The Winter of Our Discontent. Because the minute you finish East of Eden you won't want to wait a few days while you can run to the bookstore or wait for it in the mail for a week. You will start reading The Winter of Our Discontent immediately. And quickly. This one is shorter. So if you must start with it, by all means go ahead. But I have to tell you that for some reason I feel like you should read East of Eden first. Maybe it's only because I don't deal well with change and I always read it first...that's probably a different blog topic.

And then you will be ready for winter! And you can thank me for changing your life after you have read these both.

So Happy Fall and you're welcome.

"But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed - because 'Thou mayest."  - East of Eden

"People who are most afraid of their dreams convince themselves they don't dream at all." - The Winter of Our Discontent

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Relentless Pursuit of Happiness

"I keep remembering one of my Guru's teachings about happiness. She says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will eat away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments."
So, lately, I have had what some people think of as a "stroke of luck." Here is what happened to me last week from an outside perspective: I interviewed for two positions with two local and wonderful companies in St. Joe on Monday morning. On Tuesday morning I received a call from Company A offering me a wonderful job...saying that the two men I interviewed with were very impressed. Later that same morning, Company B told me to expect a call from HR later that day with an offer, and do NOT accept another position until I gave them a fighting chance. By Wednesday morning, less than 48 hours after my interviews, I had two amazing job offers. I accepted my new position that day.
Don't roll your eyes at me yet or decide you hate me because I am "just one of the lucky people who has everything handed to her" because, my closest friends and family members can vouch for me on this one, this is all a consequence of personal effort.  I fought for this, strived for this, and insisted upon making this happen. I do understand that some people work hard and things still don't happen for them for one reason or another...however, this was a result of relentless pursuit on my part.
Last April (six months ago) I started pursuing both of these companies. Six months ago, I started reading and researching, praying, and thinking. I decided that I was going to work in St Joe, spend more time with my family and friends, support my wonderful fiancé by being there, and get involved in the community that I loved. I prayed that I would find a career that would challenge me, that I would work hard for, and that I would be successful with. So then, I made sure I had an active role in making this happen. I spent the weekend before my interviews reading the latest news about each company. I read the newspaper, memorized the companies' websites, and read about the competitors each company faced. I went for long runs and practiced my interview questions so that I knew my answers were prepared and honest. I visualized myself walking into these companies in a calm way. I didn't just walk into these interviews and hope that good things happened for me or to me. I worked hard to insist that good things would happen.
I could go on. All of this was tough. It was hard for me to tell my current manager that I was leaving the company that I have grown so attached to over this past year. It was hard for me to decide which company was the right one and turn down the other. It was hard for me to tell my teammates that I was leaving. All of this was hard and was not fun. I can't stand disappointing people and I made myself sick. None of this was easy and none of it merely happened to me.
I love the part in the excerpt above from Eat, Pray, Love that says "you have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings." Relentlessly. Participate relentlessly. This is how I have felt these last six months. I had to relentlessly pursue through the struggles so that I could be happy. Now, as I enjoy the benefits of all of my hard work, I just pray that I don't become lax in maintaining this excitement. The next four months are going to be crazy. I will start my new career and prepare for my wedding and marriage. I know that some days will be tough and I know that some days will be wonderful. I just know that it's up to me to decide my feelings about each day. And it's up to me to insist that I am happy and to relentlessly pursue this happiness every single day.
My sister Abby reminded me of a quote from The Holiday that she is using lately. "You're supposed to be the leading lady of your own life!" Unless you are the kind of person that good things just happen to day after day (in which case I roll my eyes at you, am way jealous, and hate you a little), you are going to have to work hard for your happiness. You are going to have to wake up each morning and decide that yes, it's going to be tough, and yes, it might be a bad day, but yes, you are going to be the leading lady today and you are going to do whatever you need to do to be happy.