What do you love about life?

06 November 2016

{Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash}

What do you love about life? 

Looking back on life, it's funny to me which memories stick out the most. Our lives are such a collection of brief moments that it's hard to lay the semblance of a plot, a direction, over our experiences. Part of the fun for me is looking back on the hodge podge of memories. 

One of my memories is strolling through Jim Barnett Park on a summer night and picking honeysuckle with my parents. I can still picture how vividly green the park was and I can hear the sound of traffic on the highway just on the other side of the tree-line that we were at. I loved that.

I remember driving over the hill at the end of a two mile long gravel driveway in Illinois, just to see the tips of the silos peek up as we drove - followed closely by endless fields of corn, barns, and a little farmhouse. Meanwhile the scent of manure was attacking my nostrils... and I loved that. 

Periodically growing up we would take our dogs, Lucky & Brownie, out to what I call the "industrial district" of our hometown where the warehouses are. We would just have them walk and run beside us. There was no point to being there other than just walking with our dogs. I loved that.

We would take trips up to Camp White Rock with the girl scout troop. We would sing, eat, craft, hike, and we sang Taps as we lowered the flag. We had bonfires at night and sang again, then traversed the woods back to Hemlock to sleep in our canvas tents. I loved that. 

At James Wood High School the band would stay after school on Friday nights to run through our drills. Left, right, fermata, hold. Then we would go in to enjoy a group dinner that the boosters had put together before we changed into our uniforms. We played the pep songs and cheered for our team; spirit was high. I loved that. 

I love that in life, it's sometimes the little moments that add so much to who we are as a person. There's no denying that we life-changing moments too, events that come and stand tall in front of us; our decisions at these times seem to alter the entire course of our life path. Yet, the little moments add up to be just as much, they just sort of sneak up on you over time. I love that we can appreciate little moments in every day and commit them to memory to call upon when we need them. I truly believe that taking the time to stop and pick honeysuckle will stick with me until I'm gone and I treasure that I have one of those fleeting moments with my parents that will stay within me. Life has a lot of joys in the day-to-day that can add up, one-by-one, until they create our spirit as a whole.

And I love that.

My Mentor

05 November 2016

I think in life we all need a mentor. Many of us have multiple mentors depending on the aspect of life that you're focusing on. We may have a different mentor in our careers than we do in our relationships, and yet another for our physical or spiritual health. I met one of mine when I interviewed at Shenandoah's School of Pharmacy. She had the office next to my mother-in-laws at the time and when I came in to answer questions she made me feel instantly at ease. 

Over the next couple of years we were able to work together on an independent project, attend two conferences together, she coordinated my endocrine module, and we talked about career goals and ways to achieve them. When Phi Lambda Sigma student leaders came to our school and talked about finding a mentor (whether peer or faculty) I already had pharmacist that came to mind. 

While she is mainly my professional mentor (having gone through residency, becoming faculty, department chair, running a residency, and now acting as dean of academic affairs) she is also a woman who is juggling both a career and a family, which I would like to do one day. On top of being a professor she has given me her ear when I have trials of my own to face. Today I wrote a thank you card to her and my only sticking point with it is that it feels inadequate. How can you convey to someone the impact they have had on you in the space of a card? I don't think it's feasible. 

Reason to Smile: I have a wonderful mentor in my life and as a guide for my pharmacy career. If you have a mentor you would like to thank, reach out to them and let them know how much of an impact they have had on your life. Everyone deserves to hear when they are appreciated!
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