Monday, February 23, 2009

Stopping to Appreciate the Roses with Robert Frost

This is not what I originally intended to post this week. Just something I felt like I needed to write today. Some self care.

The past few weeks I have been busy. Every day going from one task to another. Family meeting... Extubation... Team meeting... All tasks I needed to accomplish in order to get through another day. Even days I have off I fill more more tasks. Take the cat to vet... Organize taxes... Clean house...

Today, as I rushed into my office, just dropping something off on my way to a family meeting, I found a card laying on a stack of mail I hadn't gotten to in the past week (or two). I was in a hurry, so I don't really know why I opened it at that time, but I did. (Maybe because it was a pale pink color and I don't often get pink mail.) It was a Thank You card from a patient's family. I had taken care of their family member in the hospital when he had died a few weeks (maybe months) ago. I get Thank You cards from time to time, but this one made me pause. I think it was more because of when I was reading it rather than what I was reading.

Something popped into my head that I hadn't thought of in a long time. There is a poem I memorized in 7th grade. We had to pick a Robert Frost poem to recite, so I memorized it (bonus points I think, yeah I was like that). Even though it kind of stuck with me, I don't think I ever really thought about what it means. It suddenly made a lot of sense.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

As I stood in my office with the card in hand, I stopped for just a minute. I gave a few moments to that patient and his family. He was more than just a task. I gave a moment to myself. Not really a moment to enjoy, but a moment to appreciate.

Then I was off to the meeting. After all, they were waiting for me and I still had miles to go before I sleep.

3 Responses to “Stopping to Appreciate the Roses with Robert Frost”

Risa Denenberg said...
February 24, 2009 at 8:18 AM

A wonderful self-care moment. Thank you.

Christian Sinclair said...
February 24, 2009 at 9:43 PM

I totally agree risaden. Very good post and something that I stopped to read again today after a very long clinical day.

Amber Wollesen, MD said...
February 25, 2009 at 7:10 AM

Sometimes I get so busy with what I'm doing that I forget to stop and think about what I'm doing. Thanks for your comments.