Wow, y’all, we made it to 2021. Probably like you, I didn’t think the new year would ever get here. 2020 was arguably the most stressful year in modern history (stressful is also the understatement of the year, but you get the point). Last year pushed us to the brink in so many ways, and as much as we joke about going back in time and skipping 2020 (Marty McFly, where are you?), I don’t think any of us will forget 2020. So instead, we should refocus our energy to reflect on what it taught us and apply it to our personal and professional lives.
“Flexibility is the key to stability.” – John Wooden
How ironic, right? When we stay too rigid in our ways, we will become frustrated and annoyed. I try to avoid those sorts of feelings, so staying flexible is the best alternative. Especially as audiologists, flexibility is critical. Your right insert headphone is broken? Well, it looks like you’re using the left one for both ears. Your two-year-old patient is wailing over tympanometry? Skip it and come back to it at the end! Virtual learning left us with no choice but to be flexible. Yes, it was frustrating at first having to participate in two hours of virtual lecture, but then I realized that I could lay in bed and watch the lecture! By changing my environment and practicing flexibility, I was able to easily finish off the semester. We face situations every day where we can decide to be flexible or inflexible. This new year will continue to challenge you, but remember, flexibility is the key to building strength.
“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.” – Helen Keller
This quote hit home for me. First of all, Helen Keller was an early inspiration to me and led me to audiology. Second, last year presented us with many less-than-joyful moments and tested our patience to the nth degree. Patience goes hand-in-hand with flexibility; they work better together. My plans changed a whole lot this year, and, rightfully so, I got upset because of it. At the same time, it provided me with so many opportunities to further develop my patience. We need patience with our patients, and we should model that for them whenever we can! An underlying component of aural rehabilitation is patience. Think about the patience you need when a communication breakdown occurs! 2021 will continue to test our patience, so you might as well embrace it.
“Gratitude makes sense of your past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
Gratitude was the perfect word to finish off 2020. My gratitude for my health, family, friends, SAA, job, and every single entity/person that impacts me has increased tremendously. Through the trials and tribulations of last year, I’m reminded of how thankful and appreciative I am for what I do have. I urge you to do the same. Thank your patients for attending their appointments as they made their hearing health a priority. Thank your co-workers and/or classmates for supporting you each day, even in the middle of a pandemic. I promise that gratitude will continue to serve you this year and every year after.
Last year was tough. We lost a lot, but I believe we also gained so many other things. As we venture into another year of life, keep these words in your mind. Our flexibility and patience will continue to develop this year, and with some gratitude sprinkled in, I know we’ll make it through.
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