I recently had an unscheduled trip to Good Sam over the weekend... unscheduled being the big word here. While the "visit" was somewhat serious, checking out was definitely a welcomed event. When getting the chance to allow yourself (or be forced!) to take a step back, I wondered why it takes such an event to give oneself the time to pause and evaluate one's schedule and pace of each day. It does seem, at least to me, that the days seem to run into each other, going from task to task with vary a chance to catch our breath, let alone get some deep thinking done.
After being checked in, I was introduced to the team assigned to me: nurses, aids, doctors, housekeeping, dietician... you get the idea. One by one they came in- they were very kind as they announced who they were, what they do, and how they would help me in my time of need. I have always had a great respect for all working people, regardless of their education, age, color or any differentiating traits. There was one person however, who stood out in that first day of introductions: the gentleman who brought me my meals three times a day- usually a quiet, no-descript person who you rarely notice but thank when you see the tray of food on your table. I've discussed writing about him thoroughly, so bear with me. Steve is a very tall guy, certainly taller than me. The first thing I noticed was that as he went about his business, he was singing- with total abandon, paired with a smile on his face. We began to chat, and he asked me what I did for a living. Most in Rockland know me for my financial acumen, but only those who have been around for many decades remember I was "Neal from The Cheeserie," a cheese, appetizing store and croissant bakery in Spring Valley. Not wanting to pry but always eager to chat, I asked him how long he had been there, and we went from there. It was then I found out you can't judge a book by it's cover, as they say... Steve ("Stevie D" to his friends) was an accomplished chef, graduate of Johnson and Wales (one of the most prestigious cooking schools in the world) graduating top in his class. While I consider myself comfortable in the kitchen, his expertise and experience certainly set me in my place. When I asked him why he was working in his position as opposed to using his skills for certainly more money and attention, his answer was simple: he derived great joy in helping the people he met in the hospital have a balance meal, always looked forward to the smiles he received when he came into the room, and made him very happy. Considering he's kept company with the likes of Julia Child, Gordon Ramsey, Anthony Bourdain and scores of famous kitchen folk in his history, I found his attitude amazingly helpful to my own healing process.
Most of us go to work every day to make a living, feed our family, and to help others. How do you fit into the occupational mold: do you go to work to help others consciously or do you just go to work to make enough money to get by? Unemployment is the lowest it has been in 50 years says the Government statistics: how many of those working people actually enjoy what they do, and derive the joy Steve takes in doing is job? I challenge you to ask yourself the same question: are you in it for the money or the joy o f it? Both can be accomplished, but in today's lightning fast world, most don't take the time to step away from the daily fracas to evaluate what they get out of their occupation. Personally, I get up every day looking forward to finding out who I can help on that given day, and go home knowing I spent the day working on giving aid any way I could to as many I could. It's not hard to understand that a happy person performs at anything more efficiently than an unhappy person: and the satisfaction of helping others should be tops on your list. Think about how you may enhance your daily experience to leave the job as happy as you may have started it: you just may find out a lot about yourself.
I thank Good Sam and "my team" for getting me back in the chair in time to write this issue- for me Good Sam was a 5-star experience... with Stevie D being one of those stars. They say there are so many stars in the sky you can't count that high: I challenge you too to be a star.