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Showing posts from December, 2016

The Gifts of Mistake and Ignorance

The tree is up and adorned with the lights of the season and dozens of memories in the form of ornaments. Each ornament signifies some event in our personal or family past - dangling reminders of how much we have changed. New jobs, new children, new friends. Each has a back-story and is significant to us, and that is why we hang them every year - to celebrate where we've been and where we've ended up. Our whole lives are festively suspended from the boughs of an illuminated pine tree. It's a beautiful, if not somewhat curious tradition.

It strikes me that even though Christmas only comes once per year, our memories, habits and attitudes model the Tannenbaum during every day. The things we have done throughout our careers in EMS dangle like invisible ornaments from the trees of our psyche. We attach them to our brains either on purpose, or they are so sublime that they adhered themselves without our blessing. Memories of patients, calls, partners, arguments, physicians- th…