Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Staying Motivated

We know doing direct service abortion work can take its toll. After reading our dear Desembarazame's recent post, Trust, I got to thinking: what can we do to keep ourselves motivated? We've talked about how to not burn out, how to take care of ourselves; but what can we do to stay on fire, to keep "burning-in" day in and day out?

I loved what Desembarazame said about wearing her "Trust Women" button (and believing in it to her bones) and about dancing around in the building. I can imagine her - as I'm sure you can, too - bringing a lot of happiness and light to her clinic. I totally wish I worked with her!!! (She would completely rock as a co-worker, wouldn't she?!) I relate to how despite believing so much in what we do, it can be exhausting. Especially in times of change. Especially when co-workers are all up in eachother's business. Especially when I'm annoyed with some decision that someone has made.

Some motivation tips:
1) Share client stories with co-workers (even when they're being - err - a bit challenging. I'm talking about your co-workers, not the clients!).
2) Try to have direct contact with clients, make a connection (remember why you're doing what you're doing).
3) Pick people's brains that have done the work longer than you: ask them for stories from "back in the day." (They'll probably love a skip down memory lane.)
4) Read the Abortioneers Blog!! (Cheeky, I know!)
5) Or...STOP reading about abortiony stuff and abortionland! Take a break! (But not from our blog. OK? Please? Oh, well, alright. If you need a break, it's okay. We won't judge.) :)
*5) Take a long weekend off. No, not just from our blog...from your job, too! Yes, I'm serious! Play hooky! You have our permission! (Uhm...just don't tell your boss!)

In all seriousness, sometimes we need more than a weekend hiatus. Sometimes we need a few months. Or a year. Or longer. It's okay. Honestly. It is.

What kind of things help all of you not just avoid burn-out, but get you to BURN IN (per Jack Kerouac, per Daughter of Wands), to stay motivated?

*PS: We don't endorse lying to your employers. But we know everyone plays a little hooky-hooky sometimes. Just don't call in on a super busy day, like, when people are on vacation or you have clinic!!!!! Be a good co-worker and play sick responsibly!

*PPS: No, don't show this to your HR Manager. And no, we don't offer sick notes: fresh out!

1 comment:

  1. I like this topic! And I really love the mention of talking with older colleagues about their back-in-the-day experiences. Other things:

    -Talk with your coworkers about non-work-related things, like about favorite movies and families and stuff, and get to know them in the context of the rest of their lives. This is surprisingly hard to do when you're rushing around focused on work.
    -Keep meaningful images and words around you. Pictures of old-school women's marches are nice, but so are poems written by friends, and thank-you letters from patients. Also, back when I had a voicemail at work (blessing and curse!), sometimes funding clients would call me back over the weekend to say that their procedure finally took place, it went well and they were feeling all right, and thanks so much for all my help... I really am not in it for the gratitude, but I did save those messages, and they'd push me to keep trying on the tough days when nothing seemed to go right.


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.