le cahier de kev

le cahier de kev

adventures fresh off the press

(Don't) Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, right?


Yesterday there was a winter storm that caught everybody off guard after the holiday weekend so it made the commute home unpleasant.  The snow had been cleared and today it was nice and sunny (albeit freezing cold!).  It's interesting because a few weeks ago we had the hyped up big winter storm; however, the one yesterday wasn't mentioned as much (for me at least).


I still have pictures that I took the following morning when I shoveled the snow during the first storm post New Years.  The snow piled up quickly and turned into a mountain in an instant after shoveling haha  As a kid it's fun, but when you're older, it's a pain!





As I was walking through the snow, I used my black Ugg boots that I bought around 3-4 years ago.  I rarely use it so it was interesting to walk in them again.  They're pretty comfortable though so I can see why people like walking around in them.  In my old job, I wore them on a casual Friday and my co-workers said they looked like astronaut boots.  I was laughing because I told them that I might've gotten them too big and was waddling like a penguin when I was walking from the train station.  The boots brought back so many memories so it made the shoveling nostalgic.


My "Astronaut" Ugg boots :)



When I watched Top Chef a few episodes ago, one of the contestants was eliminated and had to challenge a chef to see if she could get back into the competition. 


Before she cooked she said, "Don't focus on the finale, focus on the challenge at hand."


It's an interesting quote because we're in the new year and many people make new plans such as juggling new projects, venturing into new horizons, getting married/having children, or relocating.  There's always that constant joke towards the new year where people would ask each other, "Are you ready to make resolutions that you won't keep?"  And everyone ends up laughing because it's true.


Similar to that quote above, we focus so much on that finale (be it becoming a founder of a start up, a famous musician with a multimillion recording contract, or a professional such as a doctor, professor, lawyer, etc.) that we end up getting muddled in the present due to lack of organization and focus.  Given that we have easier access to many resources now, it's a lot easier to find interest in different things, but more difficult to focus on what we want to truly accomplish in the long run.


I admit, I was guilty of that when I was in college.  I took a music theory course and wanted to become a famous musician.  When I took a sociology class, I wanted to become a sociology professor in international relations.  But towards graduation, I looked at what I really enjoyed and what I wanted to make a career in.  It was science and writing.  I enjoyed pharmacology and public health which is what influenced my path in graduate school and the following career goals.  I integrated writing and public relations to health care when I performed grant writing and community health promotion.  As for the pharmaceutical work, I loved chemistry since I was in high school so it was a nice experience to work in case management where I combined patient care and the facilitation of the documentation process.


It's different now than when I was a 20 year old junior in college because I won't jump into becoming a music theory professor or circus acrobat.  It makes it easier to know my own focus and where I want to head for the future.


As we are in the new year, I think it's more feasible to focus on one thing instead of making a billion resolutions.  What would you like to accomplish this year?  Do you want to open a barbecue stand?  Do you want to finish your degree?  Do you want to learn a new language?  Do you want to become a writer?


Once you focus on something, you can basically put your all into it. I can say for me that when I played sports when I was younger, I had to choose what I wanted to do.  I focused on swimming because I loved the water and enjoyed the exercise of going from the shallow to the deep end.  I was terrified at first because I was afraid that I might sink or drown.  But who isn't afraid when starting out?  I could've easily said "screw this" and moved to another sport.


When I started writing, I got rejections from editors.  That experience is what helped me practice and apply the advice that editors gave me.  When I got a position as an editor, I knew how tough it was for writers to put themselves out there.  I was in their position.  Same with teaching and being a student.  When you actually experience it, you gain a stronger appreciation for the field and you will want to help those who are just starting off.  There will be hurdles when you focus, but they shouldn't discourage you from pursuing it to completion.


It's never too late to do something that you want to do.  It's not easy, but when you find that focus, you are going to have the fuel and ambition to master it (or get it accomplished).  We can only make do with what we have.  However the more that we hone our skills and take advantage of opportunities that come our way, we will have a wider range of tools to get things done.


Last week I had to go to the post office to send paperwork to the Board of Pharmacy along with a Christmas card to my aunt.  One of the forms that I had to send to the Board needed to be notarized so it was quite an adventure finding a notary public available when I was free.  I barely missed her one day when I had to rush out of the train to get to her office.  However, I finally got in contact with her since she was working with another client.  I loved it when she used the stamp that made an indentation on the paper.  I've always thought that was cool since I was younger because it always made documents look professional.


The Pharmacy Board emailed me a confirmation that they received everything and thanked me for my time.  The American Pharmacists Association were also the same way when I needed to handle records.  They've always been very quick and friendly when helping me with matters.  I really appreciated their service and they made it less stressful to organize my continuing education and prepare everything for renewal.  My renewal date is in March so I want to have everything taken care of before then.


I think in any profession it's important to be aware of new developments in the field and see if there is any new research that can help facilitate processes.  In the health professions, there's always a need to work with diverse populations on understanding the mechanics of the health care system.  Recently, I was reviewing medical Spanish and it was very helpful when communicating with Spanish speaking individuals.  Making an effort can really go a long way especially when assisting with adherence to regimens and treatment.


There is a lot of fear when there are significant changes at hand (such as changes in testing procedures for a license). When populations cannot communicate their needs, it makes it fairly difficult to find out how to address their concerns.  Facilitating communication requires understanding (both an empathic and knowledge based type) how to identify the problem and then utilizing new information as a tool.  Professionals constantly have to do this on a daily basis to keep up with the demands of a changing environment.


Decades ago there were no treatments or vaccines for a lot of ailments that we don't even think about today.  When there are no cures for diseases (for example, multiple sclerosis), keeping updated on developments can help educate and inform patients.  While there is no guarantee for a "cure all," walking them through the process can be cathartic and may make it easier to help slow down the progression of the disease.  Knowledge is always good, but combining it with skills such as empathy can go a long way (especially with adherence to medical advice and gaining trust and patience).


It's not always going to be that way.  Go ask a social worker or a DMV worker.  Having to repeat information or being spread thin (such as providing service to multiple people) can take a toll.  We're all human though so we do have our limits.  Despite these challenges, being patient and informative can facilitate problem resolution.  It's not always going to be 100 percent successful every day, but providing a helpful presence can lessen escalation problems and frustration.


I can't believe it's almost the end of January!  My cousin's getting married in a few months and one of my childhood acquaintances is getting married next month.  My grandmother is also celebrating her 80th birthday.  It's pretty eventful so hopefully everything goes well :)  Hope you're all staying warm!  If you're in a tropical place, let's switch places! haha

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