Sunday, October 26, 2008

Break Time

Tuesday morning I will leave for my first vacation in 14 months. I cannot even tell you how excited I am for a whole week off from work! I've had a day or two off here and there in the past year but it has just not been enough. I've been burned out since at least the spring but none of my vacation plans have worked out until now. I'm headed to Boston and Maine with a friend and plan to eat, shop, and hike to my heart's content. Part of me will miss my patients but a bigger part of me is glad not to carry the burden of my job for this week. I guess I'll know when I get back if I need to be more serious about finding a new job or if I just needed a little break to feel rejuvenated again. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I hope all of my loyal readers will enjoy their work weeks! (That's not being mean- I've sat back this past year and watched you all go on vacation while I had to work. Now it's my turn!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Personal pet therapy

I almost bought a puppy today. I, who have long decried people (friends, family, and strangers alike) who leave their dogs at home all day while they work, took one look at this beautiful Shiba Inu puppy and just about caved. I should have known better than to listen to my friend Linda when she asked if we could stop by Petland during our morning shopping excursion. I've been missing pet ownership like crazy lately. A pet store is the last place I should be! But when Linda asked, I didn't think twice. I figured we'd take a quick look and then move on.

Then I saw her:

Petland employees are quite brilliant. Before we could say we were just looking, the employee scuttled to the cage and lifted out my little Shiba, bringing her over to a play area. This puppy quickly captured my heart with her playful spirit and incredibly soft fur. My hospice patients have the option for pet therapy but I think we can all benefit from a little one-on-one time with a dog or cat. We just relate a little differently with furry critters somehow. It was good to play and laugh and cuddle this sweet puppy. Of course, Petland employees would come back to check on us and then ask, So are you going to take her home today? Or what questions do you have about taking or home? What can we do to encourage you to take her home today? They are persistent! I just wanted to play in peace. Instead, we got the Big Presentation about all that is included in the cost (food, free spay, crate, chew toy!) and, more importantly, how we will have this beautiful dog in our lives and be loyal Petland shoppers for life. All for the grand total of $1395. At least twice what I was guessing! Still, as my little Sheba the Shiba (as I liked to call her) scampered in my lap, I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could budget it in. Every time Linda and I said we'd have to think about it, the employee would say they'd leave us for a few minutes, with hopes those extra minutes would be enough for us to change our minds. Of course, outside of my budget, my apartment does not allow dogs. And there's that whole "not being home during the work day" aspect. I briefly considered pleading Sheba's case with my parents but I'm not sure what Tucker and Buzz would think about a new animal in their home. Alas, I had to say goodbye to my sweet, spunky puppy. At least I have a new favorite breed! And there's a rescue group too so maybe I can get a dog and do a good deed at the same time someday...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Political Food for Thought

Charles Colson asks, "So maybe a particular candidate isn't going to cut your taxes or vote for your favorite program, but the real question is, will he serve all the people, or only the loudest?" Check out the whole article: Voting Like It Matters.

Jim Wallis looks at common ground regarding each candidate's take on abortion during the debate last night. Read the whole article and join the conversation on his blog. I hope we can continue in this positive direction.

Joe the Plumber responds. I personally don't have a problem with a 3% tax increase on those making more than $250,000 but that might be easy for me to say since I will never make that much money! Yes, most people have earned their money (although what about the millionaires that made their money off of others' misfortunes?) but I still feel we have an obligation to help the least of us. Just imagine if the candidates had been talking about Leigh the Social Worker!

Finally, don't forget to FactCheck the debate. I love this website!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cross it off the list!

The hospice team with Jim pre-jump

"Jim" went skydiving yesterday! What an experience! Unfortunately, I did not jump with him, thanks to the residual effects of Thursday's migraine. I'm hoping to go in the spring, or else when the hospice chaplain celebrates his 60th birthday in July- it seems we're all inspired to take a leap of faith. I'm not sure if Jim will still be living then but if he is, I know he and the hospice volunteer Gary will come support me. And if he has passed away, then I will jump in his memory. It truly was inspiring to watch him yesterday, ever calm, cool, and collected. The Skydive Chicago staff were incredible! So accomodating and similarly impressed by Jim's chutzpah. He's glad he did it- but I think also glad to be back on the ground!