Note #66: To move freely, you need a fixed point
Moving, trusting, dreading, falling
I got a new iPad for under £40.
Here’s how it happened. I’ve had a crack on my iPad screen for nearly a year but held back from taking it to the Apple reseller store in town because I didn’t want to be without it for the time they’d take to fix it—I use it every day! But my Apple Care was almost up, so I bit the bullet and sent it in. Turns out, they not only had it ready by the next day, but apparently their policy with screen issues is to just replace. And because of Apple Care+ they charged me the excess fee for it.
That said it only took me 10 months, all because I didn’t want to be without it. It reminded me of how I don’t like change in some areas. Remember I said I moved over the weekend? Well, that’s still stressing me out. The new place is nice, but it’s also, well, new. That means having to build new muscle memory for where everything is—but of course you’re still deciding where everything is.
It sometimes surprises people when they realise I can be a bit samey, because they think of me as sort of spontaneous. But I think that’s precisely why I like routines. When the basic things are fixed you’re free to think be flexible with all sorts of other things. Uncertainty with the basics on the other hand means having to focus energy on those, and that can get draining fast.
I think, you really do need a fixed point to move freely.
What do you fix so that you can fly elsewhere?
Psych and paed (essay)
This week, I wrote about the similarity between psychiatry and paediatrics. It’s a short essay about something I find interesting.
It’s a question I like to pose to medical students and junior doctors.
Sometimes I’ll point out that they obviously both start with a “p” but I’m looking for a deeper similarity. Can you think what it is? On a few occasions I’ve had a student catch it: they’re the two specialties where patients are very likely to have been brought to hospital without their having chosen to, and sometimes even against their will.
In psychiatry and paediatrics we really have to earn the patient’s trust.
You can read the rest of the essay here: What do psychiatrists and paediatrics have in common?
I read this quote from CS Lewis a while ago and I have often found myself coming back to it in my mind. Domain knowledge is a powerful thing—within its domain. Do any examples of this come to mind for you?
Where do you look when you fall? That’s what this week’s Yoruba wisdom is about:
The child who falls looks ahead, but the elder who falls looks back.
Basically the child is focused on moving on, but the elder understands that if they don’t learn from the fall, they’re likely to fall again. I see this with people all the time: once we get over something unpleasant we want to just forget about it and “move on”. But the past you don’t process and learn from doesn’t leave you alone. It’s unpleasant to look at our mistakes, but then most treatment isn’t exactly pleasant, right?
When you fall, take a moment to look back. It might hurt, but it’ll be worth it.