As I'm waiting for my pediatric case to start (I'm on home-call this weekend for pediatrics and am currently at the hospital), I've been thinking about how hard I sometimes work.
I put in a significant number of hours per week, anywhere from 50-70+ hours, plus a 1.5-2 hr commute round-trip daily, and it gets absolutely exhausting. Through residency, fellowship, and now working as an attending, this has been a fairly consistent routine for the past 6+ years. There are times even this early in my career where I think of retirement (lol), but I know that's a number of years away. And I'll continue to work hard, but it's mentally taxing at times.
But then I think of how hard Daddy worked.
I don't have any records to help me quantify the number of hours per week he put in (let alone the number of hours he spent being a husband and father), but it assuredly was more than me; in addition, he had a 2-3 hr roundtrip work commute daily. He did this for over 25 years and never complained. It's absolutely amazing the work ethic he had, and how different our generations are in regards to how they approach life.
I try and put many things into perspective to help keep me grounded on a day-to-day basis, and this situation is no different.
No matter how hard I work, Daddy worked harder.
No matter how hard I continue to work, Daddy's fight the last year of his life make my challenges completely insignificant.
I am blessed to be healthy enough to live my life, whereas at the end of his life, he was not. I am going to try and do my best to not complain when I am working hard, especially since I chose this line of work (and honestly, it can be very fulfilling).
But ultimately, to best put it into perspective, I know if Daddy had the chance, he would have traded his last year's struggles, without a second thought, to work those long hours with that long commute once again.
And he would have felt like the luckiest man in the world.