Archive for the 'life' Category

On being older than I used to be

Liz once told me a story about someone she knows saying “back then she used to be older than me”

that made me laugh

Anyhow, I’m now older. I’ve made it to 30. Which, on my one day’s experience seems to be a lovely age. People are always very down on getting older but I still kind of like it.

I hate birthday parties, or rather I hate large amounts of attention foisted upon me when I don’t really feel like it.

Just give me your material gifts and leave your love and kindness at the door.

I usually work on my birthday which avoids all of this. I do remember Craig and Matt waiting up till ¬†got home at 11.30pm so they could jump out in the dark and start playing Stevie Wonder’s Happy birthday song. It was moving.

This year I have a wife which is all very exciting. Having a wife is good at stopping you being a self-pitying bastard and teaches you that to love you have to let yourself be loved, you have to let yourself be celebrated.

And I did. Feel very celebrated that is.

Winners never quit

Talking to Transfarmer the other day I mentioned how my sense of achievement and success in life has changed somewhat.

When I was younger and lived in NZ I saw a big part of what I did in life as that doctor type stuff. To work hard at it and do it well. Because a well done thing is worth doing – a general principle I had learnt cleaning corridors in Craigavon Hospital in my student years.

Medicine is that wonderful vocation where they pay you well, respect you and you get to do something where you can easily fool yourself into thinking you’re a good person (by which we mean better than someone else of course).

Which makes it awfully easy to to get muddled in your motives and purpose in life.

I am good at what I do. I think. People tell me I could be better – this usually involves being at the top of the hierarchy in the hospital. I’ve never quite understood why that makes me better. Though as much as I’ve never understood it I’ve always found it very tempting. I’ve realised that most of this is just good old-fashioned pride. This does not mean that career advancement is inherently bad, it is merely a statement about where I think my motives come from.

Transfarmer once told me that my job was to love my patients. I’m pretty sure this isn’t covered in the GMC’s good medical practice. That was fairly insightful to say the least. My basic purpose in life is to love people, so why does wasn’t that extending to the work sphere?

Professionalism is important no doubt but loving people trumps it. We can argue about what that looks like but not about the starting point.

So what does acheivment or success look like today – loving my (almost) wife, loving my family, loving those around me, loving GOD.

[Yes I know this is very Jesus Creed but I am about to hear Scott McKnight speak on 4 different occasions this week…]

As life goes on, more and more this looks like a 3 day employed working week and the rest of the time devoted to the people in my life. I could live with that I think.

Don’t change your plans

Let me see. Where was/am I?

This is the plan.

In the next few months I get married to this idiot ball and chain sucking parasitic drag on my life light of my life.

That’ll be fun for starters. Let me say this and be clear – I have thoroughly enjoyed planning and organising our wedding. I mean that. You’re always told how stressful and horrible it is but it isn’t – at least ours isn’t. It’s been fun and cool to see it all come together.

Some of you will be getting an invite soon. I think the invites alone are worth getting married for but that’s just me.

We’ve planned a kick ass honeymoon except this guy has gone and made a TV show about it and given away the secret. And even has the dog I want.

Being a big fan of consumerist, western traditions I’m having a “stag do”. By which I mean we’ll form a canoe flotilla to Coney Island for a night for a BBQ and sit round a fire. I hope to retain both eyebrows. If you’d like to come let me know though I’m afraid testicles are probably a requirement.

[Incidentally me and transfarmer were there yesterday checking up on the place. It is still wonderful though feeling the effects of the biggest freeze in a long time followed by flooding. Peter (the wonderful warden who lives on the island, whose broken arm I fixes one nnight with my magical healing powers) has his work cut out just reclaiming the paths from the island.

Walking around the place feels a bit like the set of Lost. I’m waiting for polar bears and smoke mosnters and off shacks with shadowy old men in them to appear from the trees… here wait a minute…]

I have quit my job here, where I have worked on and off for 10 years (I started as a cleaner on weekends in the ED there and now I’m a doctor in the ED there. While the doctoring certainly pays better I pine on occasion for a floor buffer and a night shift…) give or take a few detours to NZ or looking after Da.

I will miss this place. I will miss these people. I will even miss not getting home till 2am and the not sleeping and worrying about the patients.

I love my current job in man ways – as much as it drives me batty. I think I am really quite good at it most of the time – though I could be a hell of a lot better. I even dare to use the words “call” and “vocation” in association with it.

But seeing as most patients I see end up dead shortly after I see them I figured I may just cut out the middle man (which may actually be me…) and just deal with dead people. So I have got a job here for a year in where I’ll be working with medical (and other professions) students doing cadaveric dissection (though I might wear gloves). And they even pay me.

I will work during term time and between 9 and 5. This will be a new experience for me. I currently only work 40 hours a week so I’m not normally mad busy but I do work a lot of evenings and weekends.

We will be living here home of – debo, clairebo, zoomtard, mitchelinman, and I finally endeavour to become a member of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, finally overcoming my own procrastination on the issue of membership.

We both have jobs for a year. We have no real plan beyond that. I have never really had a plan beyond a year so I suppose that’s nothing new.

I suppose this is all a bit of a change really. Exciting but perhaps somewhat unknown. I am neither scared nor apprehensive. I rather feel I should be.


July 2022