In the doctors lunch room…
“Hey doc, are you riding your bike in this weather?”
“It is the off-season, I am resting my body and exercising the mind.”
A look of bewilderment, like what does “off season” mean? I quickly remember that “normal” people do not do this nonsense that is bike racing.
Three months ago, one day after a particularly eventful ride, I sat and jotted some words about the experience primarily to send to the e-group for their enjoyment, but it struck me that these words may have broader appeal and also, making words felt good. At work, while searching a defibrillator question, I came about Dr Wes
‘ blog and then others that he had linked to. I wonder, “what is a blog” Can anyone do this? It is amazing what you can learn just by typing a question like, “how to start a blog,” into google.
The beginning of a new year seems an appropriate time for reflection. Reading and writing -don’t call it “blogging” as this seems the same as a runner being called a jogger – has provided similar sensations to that trans-formative day many years ago in which after watching the NY city marathon I decided to run.
This first week of the year there is quiet in the drafty old house as the family vacations on a large boat in the warmth. “You weren’t on call last year so you are not eligible to spend vacation with your family this year.” Medicine is not always shangri-la.
Reading? A “crit” racer starts with Thoreau’s Walden
, then Wroblewski’s Edgar Sawtelle
, then Burruoghs’ You better not cry
, then Coeelho’s The Alchemist
/Relin’s Three cups of tea
. These books and the immersion into words, stories and imagination provides discovery and ideas to this newbie or “dry sponge”- as we used to call the new doctors. “Great, this would be a good topic for the blog,” I think while reading. But then this email from a wise friend comes to mind. These words come in response to an apology from me for using so many of the concepts of our discussions. These words gnaw at me.
I distinctly remember my dad telling me “you’ll never think something that hasn’t been thought.” We were driving over Kennedy Bridge. It was dark. He finished saying it as we hit the ramp to I-64. I was 11ish. It hit me hard. Hard enough to remember the details 40ish years later.
He can’t be 100% correct on this. But he was 99.99% right. We’re all digesting and recycling ideas. Every once in awhile, the synthesis yields something slightly and truly new, which is cool but not necessary.
What’s necessary is new to you. Like my first car. Someone was done w/ it, but I loved it. Easily entertained I am.
The desire to continue to learn is a huge factor in happiness. A sub-part of being easily entertained.
Humbling it is. The words of this old working man provides a profound reminder that my discovery of Thoreau’s ideas on simplicity or Coelho’s encouragement to pursue your “Personal Legend,” are already known by millions and have already been thought by many. They are new to me however, and I want to learn more and am easily entertained and happy.
For sure, knowing more is good, but sharing knowledge feels better, like in medicine, the act of spreading this discovery to colleagues and patients alike is gratifying and necessary.
Discovery raises the happiness quotient. I know, I know, you already knew that.