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OHPF Day 60

I am (relatively) sure few have waiting with bated breath for the updated edition of this blog - thank you for your patience to any who were. It is with curiosity, some regret, a sense of failure, an acceptance of humanity and opportunity for growth that I return to write some 42 blank pages later. I jokingly commented to a friend this week that I took a veritable Lent from my writing.

Today's landscape - barren - as my recent pages!

Considering, or perhaps more accurately forgetting, the mantra of “done is better than perfect,” I effectively did neither this past month and a half and choose now to resume that refrain. Reflecting on how this gap came to pass has revealed a few key points for me in a process to seek a (hopefully) more successful engagement with the project:

  • The desire to present “a day in the life of an Osteopathic Health Policy Fellow” is a significant undertaking that is easier completed during the intensive sessions than in the tumult and heightened tasks load of daily life.

  • Missing one day, or even a few, should not derail the entire project – indeed, perhaps this is an even more accurate representation to say that sometimes, there simply isn’t time in the day for all the things and priorities must be shuffled. This is not a full-time experience and requires integration into personal and professional life.

  • While I hold out hope for a potential daily entry, I am shifting the global framework to the following, beginning with today, as I head into the second in-person session with the fellowship:

  • Daily reflections while on-site, with classmates and course leaders – an easier task with time carved out in the evenings and physical removal from the responsibilities of personal and professional life at home

  • Weekly reflections once back home, with a more global view of the week, taking into account the tasks of daily life, listening for the presence of policy in the day-to-day, exploring the use of principles and skills learned in session on a broader scale and review of the “homework” including methods of approach, challenges and progress.

  • Full disclosure – I have kept a list of ideas, thoughts and even have a few starts that simply never came to completion and there remains a sliver of desire to “make up” these self-imposed assignments. So, if a barrage of writing inspiration and, more critically, a haven of time and space, presents, perhaps those 42 pieces will find their way to the surface.

Considering further the Lent concept, though mentioned in jest, is not far from the truth in experience. Having grown up Catholic, I always looked forward to the season – for quiet and reflection, fasting and discipline. I once gave up chocolate in solidarity with an allergic sister only to continue the fast for another seven years. Recognizing this tendency to trend toward extremes, I will proceed with caution here and instead take a middle road, reflecting on the time away as invitation to increase appreciation for the opportunity to write.

May we give ourselves the grace to begin again, renewed in spirit and steadfast in dedication with a realistic expectation to better support our success.

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