My flame is burning low!

Jan. 1, 2000
Our lives are like closets ... not all things we store in our Ocloset? are good things. We put a lot of junk in there,too.

Our lives are like closets ... not all things we store in our Ocloset? are good things. We put a lot of junk in there,too.

Dianne Glasscoe, RDH, BS

Dear Dianne,

I feel like I am burning out! I no longer have the enthusiasm for my work I once had. I`ve come to the place in my life where I actually dread going to work. I feel like I`m too old to go back to school, nor do I have the desire. I feel like I do the same old thing all day long, day in and day out. My co-workers and boss are great. The problem is me! What can I do to get my joy back?

Burned Out in Birmingham

Dear Burned Out,

You`ve presented me with a challenge. The challenge is for me to tell you how to renew your zest for your profession. OK, I`ll bite (no pun intended!). In fact, I`ll go one step further and say that this advice will help you with life in general.

Let`s consider an analogy. Have you ever stopped to consider the purpose of a closet? That`s where we store things out of view of other people. Some people have nice, orderly closets that are uncluttered, and everything is in its proper place. However, I think most people have cluttered, tightly packed closets like I do. At times, it`s dangerous to open the door, if you know what I mean.

Our lives are like closets. From our childhood forward, we continually add things to our "closet" in the form of life experiences. Those experiences shape us and make us who we ultimately are.

However, not all the things we store in our "closet" are good things. We put a lot of junk in there, too.

Now, I don`t know a thing about your personal life, but I`d be willing to bet there are, or have been, some major problems along the way. These problems become "junk"(in the form of negative emotions) that we sometimes pack into our closet.

Sometimes, our "closet" gets so packed full of junk that we can`t find the good stuff. We just keep packing more and more junk in until we can`t close the door. Then, finally one day, the junk comes spilling out.

Now we have a bigger problem. Not only do we have a bunch of junk that we wanted to keep hidden, but now it`s in plain view for others to see.

What can we do? There`s no way we can put all that junk back in the closet and close the door. There`s just too much of it!

One solution would be to just run away. Let someone else deal with the junk. The chore is just too big for one person to even think about! But, then, we remember that there`s some good stuff hidden in all that junk. It`s too painful to consider leaving the good stuff.

Suddenly, another solution comes to mind. Why don`t we clean out this closet, get rid of the junk, and keep the good stuff? Now that`s a good idea!

Here`s your solution - you need to clean out the closet of your life! Get rid of all the negative things you`ve packed inside your "closet."

Here are some examples of what to discard: hurt feelings, ego, anger, resentment, deception, and strife, for starters. Also, you probably need to rid yourself of some negative acquaintances. One large piece of tough at work. When we lose sight of this fact, our job can become boring, meaningless, and without purpose. We need to look at each day as a fresh opportunity to make a difference for good in the lives of those who trust their care to us. We need to so endear ourselves to our patients that they actually look forward to their visits with us.

So, get busy and clean out your closet! Freshen your perspective about what you do, and I guarantee you that you?ll love this profession just as much as I do ... which is a lot!


Dianne Glasscoe, RDH, BS, is an adjunct instructor in clinical hygiene at Guilford Technical Community College. She holds a bachelor`s degree in human resource management and is a practice-management consultant, writer, and speaker. She may be contacted by e-mail at [email protected], phone (336) 472-3515, or fax (336) 472-5567.