“Some things cannot be fixed, they can only be carried.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote recently. There are so many challenges beyond our control. I think it’s good to remember we shouldn’t expect to conquer all our burdens. Some of our struggles can only be addressed by breathing, accepting, being kind to ourselves, and putting one foot in front of the other.
If you are struggling right now, please take heart that you are not alone. I hear stress from across the industry as our workforce is spread thin and demand for our services just seems to keep going up. You aren’t doing anything wrong. You’re just in a hard position (and you are not alone).
Remember you can’t please everyone, and you can do more harm than good if you try too hard. You need to take care of yourself first, because no one is more responsible for you than you. Put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others. After that, take care of your team. After that, take care of your clients.
Know that this too shall pass. You will not be emerging from a pandemic forever. The summer rush will end as it always does. You will sort out the headaches you are facing, and then you’ll get a new set of headaches. The frenzy of corporate consolidation will come to an end, and most groups buying up practices will be gone. Prices and wages will sort themselves out and our businesses will persist. The only thing that won’t change is that people will love their pets and want to take care of them.
I don’t say these things to encourage anyone to “suck it up.” I say them because I don’t think, for most of us, there’s an immediate answer to our struggles. Some problems won’t be solved; they’ll just be endured. All we can do is take care of ourselves and discipline our minds for the required endurance. We can rest, hold on to the good parts of our job, and be proud of all that we accomplish. We can see our jobs as worthy challenges instead of unfair burdens. We can find meaning in laying our hands on patients, supporting our community, learning and growing daily, giving people a healthy workplace, serving those we lead, and setting an example for what it means to be a kind and loving person. We can encourage each other and celebrate our victories. We can try to make the world better than it would be without us.