Bubble Gum Humor & Resilience
Who doesn’t love a good belly laugh now and then? Can you recall the last time your funny bone was tickled in such a way? The work we do is medicine is generally serious work, focused, intellectual and sometimes grief-ridden. This past year, has been that way perhaps more so than ever before.
Looking for light-hearted, humorous moments in the day is an act of mindfulness and an important resilience tool. I think that is part of the reason I went into pediatrics, because kids seem to often have that quirky perspective about the world. I recall a particular encounter with a 5 year old who had tricuspid atresia. As I was examining her, she suddenly perked up and said, “I smell bubble gum! Dr Sue, are YOU chewing bubble gum?” Truth be told, I had popped a gum ball, leftover from Halloween candy, in my mouth a few minutes earlier. I paused and admitted I was, indeed, chewing bubblegum. She then insisted on a piece for herself. Her mom looked embarrassed and a bit mortified that her daughter had called out the doctor. We headed to my office where she got to choose a treat from the basket of candy and she was as happy as a clam. I saw this girl recently, she is now a teen. Her mom mentioned the bubble gum story and even several year later it got us giggling.
Staying curious throughout our day, searching for those bright moment that offer a grin, a moment of deeper connection with our patients and colleagues, a bit of inner healing are so very important to our well-being. The FUNdamentals list below comes from Happier Valley Improv. In looking at the list, there is so much to apply to life and resilience in general - after all, in a way life is just one long improv sketch.