I am stuck.
I don’t know if this is because I am in a work-limbo; in the transition between the end of a decade working in Doncaster and a shift to Rotherham, or whether there is something deeper, perhaps more sinister going on.
What, if I have run out of ideas?
Many years ago, a friend gave me a copy of Alice in Wonderland – she wrote across the DVD, ‘Six impossible things before breakfast.’
My relationship with that sentiment is a little like the fog of forgetting that writers such as CS Lewis capture in his tales – the change of focus accompanied by growing up, what was once real, live, vivid, becomes a dream… Returning to Narnia.
Sure, I know there were times when, head buzzing, I would conceive of multitudes before mid-day, scribbling in notepad, bouncing ideas, but those were the past, those were before, now, they don’t seem real.
Once there was such a concatenation of circumstances, everything aligning, people who championed me and whom I could support, new adventures, novel concepts, back in the day when saying ‘person-centred’ out-loud in a clinical setting was likely to get you shot, when the evidence-base ruled and all were subservient to the science.
Perhaps the world has changed so much, that radicalism is no longer required – what does a revolutionary do after the overthrow, when things are moving to a new-order, when the trains are running on time and the rich no longer take everything? Do you keep fighting, fighting for what?
Do you become redundant, forgotten and washed-up? No longer necessary to the Zeitgeist?
The Native Americans talk about war and peacetime leaders – individuals with very different characters, personalities which are required at different phases of a society’s evolution, perhaps my lack of inspiration is because I have evolved myself out of a job? The person-centred, holistic, multidisciplinary behemoth has started to gain traction and there is nothing for me to do but stand aside and watch; those driving the bus are only indirectly dependent on the engineers who designed it.
Alternatively, this is just a temporary hiatus. After all, most of us live long these days, and a decade is not what it used to be. Time speeding up, and living longer lives – funny, it makes me think of the speed of a vehicle travelling across London at rush-hour, in 2017 we move a little slower than the speed of a horse thanks to congestion, running to stand still.
Was it worth it?
You wouldn’t and couldn’t un-invent the motorcar, just as you would not want to return to the bad old days; we might have variation in practice now, before, the variation was so wide it was as if different teams were on separate planets… Patient A is on Ward 2, their experience is 23, what more can you expect?
It’s was arbitrary and today there is more involved than the luck of the draw.
I suppose, the lessons of history show that we evolve, grow at the speed of thought, through periods of rapid change allied with slowdowns, when yesterday was the same as the day before and next week. These phases – we used to call them biorhythms, the waxing and waning of development are likely necessary to avoid burnout – think of 2007 and the iPhone; since its inception, we still have weighty, mostly black, metal objects that can do a little bit more – there is nothing magical about the latest app, as when Steven Jobs held his phone up to the audience ten years ago.
One of my favourite songs contains the line, ‘Worrying about the future is as good as chewing gum to solve an algebra equation,’ yes, we can’t anticipate or expect when the next mass-extinction event or our move to a higher form of society; there might be signals, but there can be no certainty.
So, I guess, let it be.
Accept that I have slowed-down, just as others are accelerating.
It is hard, it is sometimes frustrating; at least there is always another book to read or game of Scrabble to play.
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