Touch of Grey will, well, touch upon the rainbow that is life. Good music, good times, and good friends combine to make all the splendid colors. Touch of Grey will celebrate this beautiful rainbow.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Don't Let It Consume You"

That's what SHE said. Really, that is what she said.

Early into my stint as lab manager, a former lab manager, co-worker and friend at another hospital said those words to me. They echo from time to time in my overwhelmed brain.

A year has passed, and I am still here. Amazing. Being a lab manager is one of the craziest, most difficult, most rewarding, most infuriating, most exhausting things I have ever done. I am challenged every day and take the small victories where I can get them. I hope every day that I make a difference for somebody - a fellow tech, a patient, a student- but most days I feel that I am just performing chaos control.

It DOES consume me from time to time. I have been trying my hardest this last year to balance work and family, work and friends, work and new kitties, work and work and work. So much of what I am is what I do for a living, and it has been thus for at least 23 years now. I wouldn't know how to separate my career from ME even if I tried. There were times in the past year that I would declare "It's just not worth it" and vow that I would never be a manager again. But of course, those feelings pass and I see the triumphs, the small battles won, and I know that I can't really imagine myself doing anything else. I consistently have to pull on knowledge and experience gained in that past couple of decades to solve problems and develop new avenues. I know that this coming National Lab Week will be better than last year's because I am more comfortable in my role and have fought in the trenches (or is that benches) with my staff for what we have now. I also know I have a long way to go before I am a "seasoned" manager, the same way 23 years ago I had a long way to go before I became a "seasoned" tech. But it happened. I worked, I dreamed, I studied, I acheived. And I'm doing it all over again. Only now, the stakes are much higher. I have never been a person who likes to fail. But now, if I fail, the lab fails. I know there are so many people I cannot let down.

So does it consume me? Yes. And no. I strive to keep my balance, and the kitty laying right here in front of my monitor, looking so peaceful, is an indication that I am doing at least something right. It is that silver lining, even with a touch of grey, that keeps me going. I have more than I ever dreamed I would at this point in my life, and even the wild thought that I would be a lab manager has come to pass. I am truly blessed with opportunity, hope and love. And it doesn't get any better than that.

Because she has sung my life for nearly twenty years now, I will once again let her say it in the only way she can. Alanis, you are my muse and my voice. And I know that even though I haven't really got it figured out just yet, everything is gonna be fine, fine, fine.

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