High-powered, upwardly mobile people talk about goals and setting goals all the time. There is some statistic that gets bandied about how every member of the the Yale Class of ’68 set many goals for themselves and became billionaires except for one, who ended up cutting his toungue while sealing an envelope, contracted tetanus and passed away. (Wait, that was due to the chain letter he neglected to forward on.)
Truthfully, setting goals is important. Without knowing where you want to go, how do you know when you get there? However, I rarely, if ever, set goals.
Some of this is due to my personality type. I am more of a “lumper” (putting ideas together to form big picture ideas) than a “splitter” (delving down into every intricate detail). I get frustrated and quickly bored having to pour over every little thing. Setting all sorts of goals for the day or week or month to me is far too tedious. I would rather just wake every day, happy to be alive and looking for what interesting opportunities may arise. (This is not be confused with tasks. Being a doctor and administrator involves a great many tasks, which I diligently jot down so as not to suck at my job. Which still happens anyway. I usually wake up expecting to have been fired, or killed. Just like Wesley with the Dread Pirate Roberts.)
Last year, at the behest of my boss, I made a list of goals for the coming academic year. (What an excellent mentor she is!) Well, wouldn’t you know it, one of those goals came true today. I was a visiting professor and gave Pediatric Grand Rounds!
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt was the lucky (unlucky?) receipient of my vast knowledge of social media and the practice of medicine. It was an excellent time, meeting a great many thoughtful and creative educators, finding some former IU medical students and getting reacquainted with long-lost chief colleagues.
I’m not going to lie, it was not all smooth sailing. I may have had a brief moment of panic and sense of impending doom when my plane touched down in Nashville. I half considered during right around and heading back home. But then I saw the driver holding a sign with my name on it, and I knew I was born to do it.
My favorite part of Grand Rounds was the location. This picture doesn’t do it justice, but we were in the Children’s Theater where the hospital shows movies for the patients, complete with fun and colorful movie-themed lights, kitschy decor and bean bag chairs (stacked up in the corner, just left of the stage in the picture.) Unfortunately, no one sat in them. It was my only disappointment.
But just know, that if you hear of an anonymous (and considerable) donation of bean bag chairs to the Ruth Lilly Auditorium in the ROC, I will have achieved another goal…