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Everyone Needs Joy

An Early Birthday Gift of Joy

When we were in Orlando, we went to see “Inside Out” on its opening weekend.  I loved the movie to bits – especially the character of Joy.  I spent the remaining 10 days of our vacation searching every toy and gift store in Disney World for the plush version of Joy.  I wanted to take her home as a reminder of all the Joy that is always waiting inside of us.  Alas, the happiest place on earth was sold out of Joy.  I had almost given up hope for finding Joy, because even upon returning home, every Disney store was also sold out.

I was more than surprised yesterday, when after falling with a heap of sobs into my husband’s arms, he chose to present me with this gift of Joy, even though my birthday is still a few days away.  I guess he decided that I needed a little extra Joy today.

Yesterday was a difficult day, and not at all what I was expecting.  I learned that there are a number of my colleagues who read my blog and who have been reading it for some time.  I was surprised about this because no one had ever said anything to me about it.  What bothered me, however, were the few colleagues who chose to use my blog as a forum to anonymously express hurtful opinions about me because of what I’ve written.  At one point I did decide to stop approving comments, as they were becoming increasingly more inflammatory.

That being said, I do want to sincerely apologize to everyone who may have been upset or offended by my recent (and perhaps even older) expressions of frustration at work.  It was never my intention to offend anyone and my frustrations around learning experiences are not aimed at people – rather, they are centred around the process .  I greatly admire and value my co-residents: As a group, we all work hard, we all face the same challenges, and I know that everyone above me has been where I am now.  While the process is frustrating and not always ideal, the people I work with are far from that.  One of the most difficult parts of the day was knowing that I had inadvertently upset or offended people by the things I said.

My blog has never just been about challenges – there has been many good things as well.  While yesterday’s emphasis seemed to be on the negative, I know that there have been just as many, if not more times that I have talked positively about my program, my learning experiences, and the people I work with.  I will never forget how supportive and understanding my program and some fellow residents were when I needed to take some time off for my son’s autism diagnosis.  Regardless of the good or the bad, this experience has definitely caused to me step back and re-evaluate how I discuss my experiences at work.

Over the years my blog has become a wonderful place for me to talk about my life – the challenges, the successes, and everything in between.  While work is a small part of what I blog about, it certainly is far from being my main topic.  I value the people who read and interact with my blog for their support and advice, especially when I discuss challenges I am experiencing.  In the time that I have kept this blog, I have overcome some difficult obstacles, learned more about myself than I thought was possible, and made some great friends (even if I don’t really know you all).  For this reason, I have decided to continue blogging in much the same way I do now.

I did consider taking down my blog, and some of the people I talked to yesterday even suggested it might be a good idea.  In the end, I’ve decided to keep it the way it is.  I harkened back to the words of the great Brenè Brown: “Lean into the Discomfort.”  Today has certainly brought a lot of discomfort, and I’m sure it will continue to be difficult.  However, taking down my blog might suggest that I have something to be ashamed of, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  This blog is who I am, which is much more than what today suggests.  Whether or not this blog affects my “reputation” in a professional capacity, I can’t really know the truth.  I know that regardless of what goes on in my life, I show up, I work hard, and I give everything my best effort – at work and at home.  If anything today was just another opportunity for me to learn.