“What is this patient doing in the hallway?” the nurse said sternly, guiding a patient back into the room. I looked around, confused about where I was. I must have fallen asleep.
“Shit, this is bad,” I thought to myself.
The lecture I got was not fun. It was 4 am, and I had been up since 6 am the previous morning. I had been called in as a patient sitter because they were short staffed. I already run on little sleep, and I should have said no to the over night shift. But I am a sucker for helping out. After my last class I headed to the hospital.
I was lucky. This patient was someone with dementia, and he was relatively harmless. Often I sit with suicidal patients, or patients who are detoxing. Sometimes they are very angry about being there. As it turned out I had fallen asleep. The last thing I remember was reading. Honestly, had this been someone trying to commit suicide or a druggie who wanted to be gone, it could have been a million times worse.
I screwed up.
I have written about accepting circumstances and taking responsibility. In this instance, neither of those would have helped. What happened, happened. Sometimes you don’t see bad things coming until after they hit, or things go awry despite your best efforts. What then?
Surprisingly, my advice is similar. Accept you screwed up, take responsibility and then act. I have screwed up a lot, this is but one example. I have totaled cars, lost jobs and bombed tests. Each time I tried to find a lesson to learn, and each time I started by accepting responsibility. You can save face in the worst situations by just saying “it is my fault.”
Then you have to fix the situation. After getting my lecture from the nurse I apologized, explaining how I messed up. I then asked if she would be willing to sneak me coffee. It is against rules for sitters to keep drinks in the room with the patients, but I told her I didn’t want the situation to happen again. She agreed. That was the last time a patient walked out on me. My lesson was to not over estimate my abilities and to be more careful, both of which I did.
Just like every challenge is an opportunity to grow, every failure is an opportunity to learn and modify your approach. Did the last test go horribly bad? Maybe you need to find a new way to study. Did you get fired from your job? Perhaps your behavior warranted it. Before blaming others for your failure, look for how you might have caused the situation. Again, you can’t be blamed for everything. A lightening strike, or freak occurrence, can not be blamed on you. Nor the actions of others. But you would be surprised what outcomes you can trace back to your own actions.
Hiccups like this happen. But you can’t let it define you. Sometimes you have to hit some bumps in the road before you become successful. Hell, I am still just bumping along the road of life. You have with in you everything you need to succeed, as long as you take the right approach. Always accept life how it is. Take responsibility for the out comes in your life. And act to make things better.
19 Notes/ Hide
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