Birth of a Clinic: “growing healthy toge her”

GCA opens its doors to the public, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. It’s been a super-intense couple of weeks in preparation. I think that even if I didn’t have to sleep, or eat, I’d still have an unwieldy list of things to do. I’ve been swinging between pure elation and inspiration, just totally engaged and alive with love for this clinic: “Guelph you don’t even know how good this is gonna be!!” – and the deep deep tension of a recovering workaholic perfectionist. I.e., brittle to.the.point.of.breaking. (O fear of failure, my dear old friend.)

I’ve been thinking longingly of the big damn appeal of the Big Damn Clinic, of the sanity of spreading the work around, of working collectively on projects like this. I’m getting a lot of help, and I have vast amounts of sloppy gratitude, but the reality right now is that I’m the central brain directing things, and a woefully underslept brain at that.

Last week I was leaving the clinic feeling a bit tantrum-ey about some task which took about three times longer that it “should” have (I can’t remember what; shows how important it was) and as I closed the door with a bang,

a cross fell out of the sky and landed at my feet.

I’m not kidding. A small, green, metallic cross. I picked it up, bewildered, and then just about pissed myself laughing as I realized that it was a lower-case “t” from the sign above the clinic door with the tag line of the Guelph Community Health Centre: “growing healthy together.”

I'm not a Christian, but the appropriateness of the symbolism wasn't lost on me. I immediately thought of my favourite line from the POCA blog tag cloud: “no martyrs in this revolution”, and the burgeoning self-pity blew away like a small toxic cloud.

In the spirit of no-marytrdom, I'm going to switch off the computer now and watch a heavy metal documentary. Please picture people sleeping in GCA next week, waking up and saying “How long did I sleep for??” and please picture the 'punk who treats them retaining a sense of humour and humility.

Lisa B.
Author: Lisa B.

Lisa prefers fireflies to fireworks, reverts to bluntness in stressful moments, would happily wear legwarmers year-round, and probably wants to be your friend.

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  1. waaaa! this is so great. more crazy CA kismit magic. You and your clinic are gonna rock so hard, Lisa B.

    I have never forgotten this thing that Skip described about the process of CA being like glaciers slowly grinding against stone, sanding away the edges (goodbye perfectionism and fear of failure)and working in some new grooves. (hello growing healthy together). big hugs this week!

  2. I love it! Glad to see the manic last-minute nesting hasn’t left you without a sense of humor. Don’t worry; not everything will be ready before you open (maybe not ever), and everything will still be wonderful. Hugs!

  3. Lisa,
    So grateful for you letting us peek over your shoulder as you embark on this adventure. Guelph is indeed lucky and I look forward to further reports. We made the jump from little clinic to medium sized clinic last summer, and all the time since has been an exercise in letting go of being the “central brain” and working out the joys/hassles/miracles of beginning to move collectively, both with the staff and with the patients, and it’s an amazing ride. Definitely grinds off those edges and has been a sure cure for perfectionism. I wish you every good thing as you dive into the pool. The water’s fine, even when it isn’t!

  4. Congratulations and best of luck! That is so exciting. You seem to have a great vision of how you want your clinic to be and that is awesome.
    BTW, as problematic as it can be to be a workaholic perfectionist, it can definitely be a positive thing when it comes to owning a clinic… as long as it’s under control.

  5. Thanks folks, I just read and re-read your comments with a face-cracking grin. I’m about to head home after a kickass first day — 14 new patients today, some drop-in as well as bunch who actually booked in online (POCApoint really is as handy as y’all said it is!) and WOW is it ever nice to be back in my comfort zone, i.e., rolling around on a little chair in the community qi. I swear my nervous system drank it in all afternoon.

    P.S. Cris, you’re hilarious.