As January Draws to a Close

This has been an interesting month for me. And a stressful one. What do you do when you see something you've given your heart and soul to heading for a disaster because others don't recognize its value? I've run a mental health program, not an assembly line turning out widgets. People's lives are at stake. While that might sound a touch dramatic, it's oh-so-true. Friends and family are urging me to walk away. To embrace my burgeoning life as a writer. In the end, I'm sure that's what will end up happening. In the meantime, I'm still working on budgets and cost reports and still seeing clients.

An old friend stopped by today while I was slogging through financial reports with a staff analyst. He just looked at me and asked, "Why are you still doing this?"

My answer was a simple one. "Because no one else knows how."

The heir apparent to my position was apparently chosen months ago. In all this time, she has failed to show even the slightest interest in what I do. There's been nary a phone call, or a visit. If the situation were reversed, I would have taken every advantage of picking the incumbent's brains to see what I could learn. Humility is the heart and soul of success. No one ever died from hearing something twice!

Maybe the new person thinks I sit around all day twiddling my thumbs. Maybe she believes she can do a job I spent years learning without any training. My prediction is she will run into difficulties, then blame me or one of my friends. That's how it often is in organizations. But ya know, you can only blame the last guy for a limited time.

Ah, but soon none of this will be my problem anymore. I've been intrigued that my private practice has been growing by leaps and bounds. I haven't advertised at all, and my phone's been ringing off the hook. I don't really want more than a handful of clients. Guess I need to brush up on those "just say no" skills I'm always recommending to others.

Wonder how I'll be feeling at this time next week? Freer? Maybe, but with a bittersweet edge. We don't always get what we want, though. Perhaps, like Mick Jagger said so long ago, "If I try real hard, I just might get what I need." And I am truly looking forward to no longer being responsible for a multi-million dollar program.

Has anyone ever had this type of experience? If so, please let me know about it.


  1. Haven't had this experience, but on one hand I am glad you have work. That is a good thing and something to be grateful for. On the other hand, I hope you have more breathing room soon. :)

  2. Hi Dawn,
    I agree work is good. But I've been working since I was eleven. Let's see, that would make 51 years. Yikes! Maybe it's time to spend some well-deserved retirement time with my husband. That's what he would say, anyway. Thanks for your kind wishes. They're much appreciated.


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