Welcome to Holland
We live in a world of uncertainty, there is no question about that. It feels different than it did 11 weeks ago when it was all “normal” and we had plans. Plans for that wonderful spring vacation, plans for the year for your practice, lots of plans. Then COVID19 planted its existence and changed our world and viewpoint. Hopefully, it has not had a direct impact of illness and loss for you and your family. If so, I am so sorry. Many of us have been spared the direct ugliness of the virus, but we are left in the aftermath.
Recreating your practice and becoming well versed in PPP loans, N95 masks, HEPA filtration, HVE requirements, and a host of other infection control methodologies takes its toll. It is important to recognize that we need to grieve what we had and where we were going and that now it is a different place. It reminds me of the poem written by Emily Perl Kingsley in 1987. Emily wrote about her experience on the birth of her son Jason who has Down syndrome. It is a great read and I have included it at the end of this entry for those that want to read it. It affirms that different is not bad and that we have the potential to see things (and enjoy them) that we never thought we needed (or wanted) to see.
If you are back to working in your practice, you have a new normal. Seeing patients brings on an increased sense of responsibility for their safety and the safety of your family and team. I know what many the struggles are and they are real. You don’t need to weather this storm alone. I am a firm believer in reinventing what is not working and have found that together we are better. I know you are struggling. I can help you struggle less. I am here to help.
“Welcome to Holland” By Emily Perl Kingsley, 1987
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away…because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But…if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.