* * Anonymous Doc

Friday, October 29, 2010

Back to work.

Today I'm starting a month in the emergency room.

Day shifts, night shifts, all sorts of shifts that together make up a schedule I'm not particularly looking forward to. 2PM to midnight one day, back at 8AM to 9PM the next, then 24 hours off and working 9PM to 7AM the next day. It's as if the point is to disorient us and mess up any hope of a real sleep schedule. But that can't be the point, can it?

I'm scared. I haven't missed work these last two weeks. And I feel like that's a problem. If this is what I'm going to be doing for the rest of my life, shouldn't I miss it when I'm not doing it? Shouldn't there be some part of me that wants to go back? And maybe that's too high a standard to hold myself to -- it's been so many months since any kind of a vacation, why do I feel like it's so wrong to have a vacation and not think about work and just take the days off and be off? What is wrong with enjoying not going to work?

I think the problem is that I'm still trying to come to terms with the idea that most jobs are just jobs. I feel like I used to picture this as a calling. I used to look at adults and think their jobs were a big piece of what defined them, and of course they must enjoy their jobs because otherwise they would be doing something else. And that life was about finding a rewarding career and the rest of the pieces could fall into place after that.

But the more adult I get, the more adults I meet, and the more I realize that very few people find that calling. And for the rest of us, it's a job, and most jobs aren't so awesome. There are good things, there are bad things, but it's just a job. And if it's just a job and not a calling, we're allowed not to like it, and we're allowed to enjoy being on vacation.

So it's not so much that I'm annoyed that I don't miss work. It's that I'm annoyed to finally be realizing that I'm going to spend my life with a job, and not a calling.

But at least there'll be a paycheck.


  1. my dad always says: "every job seems great until it's yours." aaand, it's probably true. good luck with ER-- i'm on rotation there now; it's....fun....

  2. noooooo...surely with all the avenues of medicine there are you can walk down one that is intriguing and satisfying! please keep looking.

  3. There are a lot more ways to be a doctor than being on rotation at a hospital.

    And even though I love my job - I love a break now and then too. I also think it's healthier if you don't think about your work 24/365. Whatever you're doing whether it's surgery or surfing, that's where your mind should be.

  4. About what motivates you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc