Our health centers are “medical homes” now, so I have to come to accept (but not necessarily embrace) my allotted turn or assignment to work, i.e. see pediatric patients, on an occasional Saturday. Periodically, I am able to trade these away, so they end up being few and far between. After a full day of patient care on a recent Saturday on a recent 3-day holiday weekend, my family (me included) were out to dinner and a colleague happened to be picking up dinner at the restaurant where we were dining. She came over to make small talk, and I mentioned I'd just come from working the whole day.
My young son then chimes in with, “But mom,
for you, work is fun, so it’s not so bad.”
And that got
me thinking about whether or not it is fun. Of course, there are all kinds of fun. Family fun is our recent amusement/water park trip, swimming in any
lake, ocean, or gorge together, and family movie night. My individual "fun" is going on a long run, doing the Sunday NY Times crossword puzzle, or simply sleeping late.
perception that work is fun has got me thinking. Indeed, a lot of pediatrics and teaching is,
when my patients giggle and the toddlers talk and my students are inspired and inspiring. And
my work is gratifying. It feels meaningful. But at times it is heart-wrenching.
I’m intrigued that “fun” is how I portray
my work to my children, or that this is how they perceive my
orientation towards what takes me from them day to day. That this one word (fun) has encapsulated their mom’s
chosen career path.