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Train of Thought...
December 2003 - tis the season to be .?

As another year bites the dust we tend to enter reflective mode. "Where has the year gone?" and "What have I achieved?" are typical questions we ask ourselves - and, dare I suggest, others as well. Christmas is a time of good cheer and celebration for most, but it can also be a time of disenchantment and disheartenment.

As the party season gets into full swing we tend to look back over the year that has passed but what do we see? I see the unfinished - nay even unstarted - research projects; I see a heap of ideas for developing the web-site that are still little more than twinkles in my eye; I see accreditation tasks that are still in their infancy; I see performance appraisals that are overdue;. A familiar tale?

It seems to be human nature to dwell on what hasn't been achieved. When we complete a project we file it away and it is quickly forgotten. The "To do" pile, however, rises inexorably towards the ceiling. It is hard not to see it. Is it any wonder we become despondent?

At this time of year it is particularly important to focus on the successes of the last year, small as well as big. It is time to celebrate those achievements and recognise those who have contributed to them. For some it will have been presenting at the ASM for the first time; for others it will have been gaining CRFS; for others again it will have been submitting an application for accreditation or maybe just finishing another section of the lab manual. There will have been achievements and successes, look them out. Big or small, celebrate your successes; stand up and be recognised for them.

For me this has been a year of consolidation. The web-site has become firmly established in its new incarnation - new sections have been added and traffic has continued to grow at an astonishing rate. We now score more than 21,000 hits per month internationally. The Mouthpiece review is completed and under consideration by the Board. I have been educated in the wonderful partnership between politics and health in Australia. Lata and I have established ourselves in Perth and it now feels like home. I even have a "To do" list at home now! While the "To do" pile may be bigger than ever, on reflection, I have indeed achieved a moderate amount this year - it doesn't always feel like it though!

I am gratified how successful the web-site appears to be. The foundation for that success, however, lies with those whose contributions have been so gladly offered every month - the Regional Reps, the sustaining members in the Trade, Andrew Coates with his Surf Report, Derek Figurski for fronting the "Ask Derek: column (inspired by Michael Goldman), those whose letters have appeared, those who have contributed items for the library page. These are the ones who deserve the accolades. Thank you to one and all - especially those who have e-mailed me with encouraging comments. Thanks too to Kustas for his untiring commitment to the web-site.

There is an old adage that says "If you want something done, give it to the busiest person you can find." There can be reasons why your backlog gets bigger - YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO SAY NO!! In an effort to maintain the balance, I have moved my "Done" pile in front of the "To do" pile. Sure it may be dwarfed but at least it is no longer hidden!

Take the time to celebrate you achievements as you wind down for Christmas. Finishing the year on a positive note will help get the next off to a flying start. It is indeed the season to be jolly!

All the very best for a safe and happy holiday,

Kevin

December, 2003

kevin.gain@health.wa.gov.au

 

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