He had me at “a bit stuffy and academic.”
I didn’t have to get through the first paragraph before I was sold. In a recent blog, Chris Walden, CIO at HealthAlliance Hospital and co-founder of CultureInfusion.com, opened up about being hesitant to attend the ACHE Congress for fear that it would be “a bit stuff and academic.” As a CIO, he wasn’t sure how he would be received. But despite all of this, he gave it a shot — and it turned out to be well worth the trip.
I love what he wrote, for two reasons.
First, the fact that Walden is so candid and honest about his preconceived notions. We’re all guilty of prejudging, but to come out and admit having those feelings takes guts, especially when talking about a highly respected organization. And second, because he didn’t let those notions get in the way of what turned out to be a very beneficial experience.
Let’s face it, stepping out of our comfort zone — or, in this case, stepping into a discomfort zone — isn’t an easy thing to do. But it’s often the best thing to do.
Right now, my family is in the thick of the discomfort zone dealing with our impending move. We’re only relocating a half-hour away, which may seem like small potatoes, but throw two toddlers into the mix (along with the fact that both our current and future home are undergoing minor renovations), and those are some pretty big potatoes.
Dan and I have lived in Matawan, NJ, for six years, which is the longest I’ve lived anywhere since my childhood home. I know the area like the back of my hand; we’ve got our designated pizza place, bagel shop (it is New Jersey, after all), grocery store, farmer’s market, and favorite parks. I can navigate the trails in our development in my sleep — in fact, I pretty much did that when the babies were newborns and stroller rides were our only outings.
It’s our home.
But now, that’s all about to change, and it’s scary. It’s also a whole lot of work, from organizing the kids’ toys and clothes to prioritizing what needs to be packed when, to deciding what to toss and what to save. And of course all of this has to be done at night, after the kids have been fed, bathed, read to, and put to best. It’s downright exhausting. But in the end, it’s going to improve our quality of life.
You see, the place Dan and I bought in 2008 (right before the housing bubble burst) was absolutely perfect… for two people. And even after our twins were born in 2012, it still seemed doable. But then, little by little, the space seemed to shrink, as high chairs, toy bins, books, play mats, and other “necessities” started to invade. The new house means more space for us, more room for the kids to play, and perhaps most importantly, a yard.
But it also means a longer commute for Dan, a new daycare center for the kids, a new set of neighbors, a bigger place to clean, and a whole new area we’ll have to get to know. I’ll have to find a new pediatrician, new play groups and activities for the kids, and, for my own sanity, a new yoga studio.
It isn’t going to be easy. And there are certainly going to be uncomfortable and even difficult moments, but we can’t let that stop us from creating a better home.