Thursday, July 26, 2012

I love worlidays



Worliday….Ever heard of that term? One which I first heard about on a BBC news programme- and evidently it’s a modern day holiday- whereby while you are sipping on a drink beside the pool, you open your laptop and keep on top of your work. All for the benefit of not having to return to work with an avalanche of pending emails and tasks. Interesting concept no doubt and one which I seem to have become au fait with nowadays. Reason? I don’t think the out of office message actually dissuades anyone nowadays, and I hate having to come back from a break to have all my regained energy sapped away by the mountain of emails to go through. Better to do “work” while on holiday- albeit at designated times….

So, with that in mind, off I went to the Isle of Wight for a “break”. I am never sure how to take this, but when you mention to someone you are off for a break, nowadays the standard response seems to be “aww..you deserve one”. Erm, does that mean I am starting to look ragged, the worry lines are appearing? (Must invest more in that Oil of Olay!!) Anyhow, who knows…maybe they are just well wishers who want me to “take it easy”.

So the IOW it was…and a lovely place in Godshill..pretty much in the middle of nowhere! Surrounded by farm animals, family in tow (for those who liked my tribute to my parents last week, they came along too…visiting their son all the way from the City of Joy, Calcutta)..it was a bit like being detached from modern life. The sun was out, there were opportunities for walks…heck the local pub was stunningly amazing…and it was to put it in one word…relaxing. And here surfaced the benefits of a worliday. I could pick and choose which emails to answer and which bits of work to be involved in. Get up at 10 in the morning, munch on a bacon sandwich, sip some tomato juice, get those rock star shades on…out in the sun, the IPad was such a lovely friend. Kids running around in front being chased by the farm dogs, mum fussing over my breakfast habits, my need for a hair cut (Mum, I am 38!!)…I flipped open the Ipad…And worliday was great fun!

What sunk in however was one fact…it was so difficult to detach myself from my work! Questions and ideas keep swirling in my head…what about the nurse post recruitment for the community? What about the added foot clinics? What about the NHS Innovation role? What about the type 1 service….challenges, challenges…so much more to do…..ideas keep cropping up..and I jot them down…try a different negotiation tactic, maybe which will unlock that particular puzzle…

Workaholic? Possibly. Any different from what my dad used to do when I was a kid? Not in the slightest. I looked back at him through my Ray-Bans…the man, the epitome to me of what dedication to a patient stood for, my inspiration…mellow now, playing with my 6 year old, breaking out into some sort of random shared joke- one which only a granddad and grandson share…and it was clear…the baton had passed on. He tells me he is 70…looks far younger than that…still fretting about his “patients missing him in Calcutta”…the fire hadn’t died down…but the man who never showed a sign of wear and tear was certainly taking a well deserved and earned rest.

And you know what…a worliday was fun! You pick the best of both worlds..enjoy the time with your near and dear ones, enjoy feeding straw to the horses…ignore phone calls from the hospital at leisure, time to write a blog for Roy Lilley…and answer emails at leisure. 3 of those emails were from my Type 1 patients….and I looked at them and paused for a second. Ignore as on holiday…there are plenty of other folks around? Then I saw their names…3 of the most difficult to engage young ones…and they had put faith enough to email me about a problem. Break the promise to “always answer” and lose their trust? A split second decision for me…and you know what? Pat came back some grateful “Cheers doc”. Ahh…Who the heck needs awards, eh?

5 days spent in the IOW passed in a blur…and in spite of the non-detachment from work…I walked back into the bowels of the sparkling hospital of Portsmouth….walked into the department…buzzing with ideas. Much more to do…and I now have a master plan….if executed, will be a path blazer. What was it that Bruce said…”it's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you”…and when I am done, all this will hopefully define what I stand for..beyond all the brashness, all the cockiness, all the charm…you see….a break does help to give you a good deal of clarity of thought. 

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