Hard to believe it’s THAT time of year again—time to rake the leaves, prepare the feast, and remember what we are thankful for in our lives. Years ago, I bought these little foam trees, and the idea was to write something you are thankful for on a leaf, and attach it to the tree. I’ve shared this tradition with my family for many years, and it occurs to me, why not apply this activity of thankfulness with our work “family.”
Despite the tough days, hissing cats and snapping clients, we all have things we are thankful for, or else we wouldn’t keep coming to work! So get your team thinking about being thankful. One idea is to make a cut-out of a big tree to tape on a wall in the back, and provide cut-out leaves to fill the tree (along with some brief instructions to keep it clean!). Among the many things I am and have been grateful for in my career, here are a few to get your wheels turning (in no particular order):
- Thankful that I HAVE a job, when there are others out there without employment.
- Thankful for a boss that listens to my ideas, at least most time.
- Thankful for the patients that always make the job worth doing, and make me want to come back.
- Thankful for good-fitting muzzles for those patients that don’t want to come back, ever.
- Thankful for the opportunities I have to learn new things in journals, on websites, and with online CE.
- Thankful for the clients who show appreciation for the work I do with their pets.
- Thankful that we have mostly nice clients who ARE appreciative.
- Thankful for the patience to communicate with those clients who are NOT appreciative.
- Thankful for a profession that allows me to help animals, my life’s cause.
- Thankful for the time OFF work to recharge my batteries and take care of myself.
- Thankful for teammates who are helpful and friendly, at least most of the time.
- Thankful for a management team who weeds out those who are NOT helpful and friendly.
- Thankful for good shoes that fit, to help me keep standing all day long.
- Thankful for the manual dexterity that helps me place catheters, even in tiny veins.
- Thankful for the knowledge I possess, which is utilized to make our patients better.
Spread the thankful spirit, and watch the tree of gratitude blossom in your practice!