"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Safety Dance

The other day a friend and I were discussing some of her work relationships and how frustrated she gets in dealing with the "management head-games" that are played out.

Being a good friend, I tossed out a few suggestions, but finished with a shrug and a comment....

"You can dance if you want to..." 

(Implying of course, that there are some things that are worth engaging in and some things that are not.)

She piped in...

"You can leave your friends behind..."

Then we both shouted out...

"Cause your friends don't dance
and if they don't dance
well, they're no friends of mine."

We busted out laughing.  (I told you I'm a child of the 80's) 

Of course, I had to google the rest of the song when I got home. 

That's right... Safety Dance...a one hit wonder.  (I never did understand the video or why it's even called the "Safety Dance" for that matter.)

(Looks like the Renaissance Fair to me. Grin.)

This all got me to thinking about choices...and safety.  We all make choices that impact the people around us.  And therefore the safety of others. 

I'm in the medical industry, so safety is a priority.  We have rules in place for a reason.  Safety. 

Risk Management, SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures), Surgical "Time-Outs"...Whatever you want to call them, there's a rule book, a process that needs to be followed for the benefit of all involved. 

I remember laying on the gurney just before being taken in for my Sx.  The Anesthesiologist peppered me with questions.  In front of 2 assisting nurses and my husband, I gave my name, rank and serial number along with the obvious health questions. 

Then he zinged me.

"What procedure are we doing on you?" and even me...ME! for a split second...thought "Don't you know what I'm here for?"

And then the light bulb went on....Duh! (I ask this question all the time and get that same stupid look back from my own patients.)

"Uhhhh....Ap....pen....deck....tomy" .  (I may have saved myself from a gallbladder sx for all I know.)

But here's my point...and even my own observation.  The choices we make in life...business, relationships, how to drive, what we eat (this list is endless)...These choices are made based on a "safety net" of our own making. 

Our own personal rule book. Our defined comfort zones. 

What are we willing to risk?  What are the rules in place for this activity?

I'm a safety girl.  I tend to always look for the "pothole".  This "defensive" thinking works really well for me.  At my job, it's one of my strengths.  I follow my gut.  I try to apply common sense. 

But I have moments where I wonder...Does my Safety Rule Book hold me back?  You bet.  The old adage..."you only go around once"...whispers in my ear and reminds me that I'm on a time clock.

What's the riskiest thing I've done?  

I hate flying.  It's a control thing. 

Five years ago my Mom (Hi Mom!) was in Alaska RVing and SM and I took 2 weeks off and did the tourist thing.  We spent just a couple of days with Mom at Denali.

Now you miss a big part of Alaska if you stay on the ground so I signed us up for a "sight see" flight to the big mountain.

And I did it all without drugs...(yeah me!)  (I used to take Xanax whenever I flew...I figured that it was better than me running down the isle way screaming "We're all gonna die!")

I was so excited!  I was determined to do this thing.  Before we got on the plane, I ran to the bathroom.  Inside was a young gal puking, saying it was the scariest, most horrible thing she's ever done.  (*Anxiety level increasing*)

But the flight was already paid for...and I was committed to see it through!

Out we went to the tarmac.  And here sits this 6 seater Cessna.  And the pilot goes into the "Safety" talk.  Blah blah blah....The only thing I really hear is:

"If the plane crashes, stay near the plane...That's why it has an yellow tail.  So we can be found in the snow.  That's assuming anyone survives..." He chuckles.

Smart ass. 

"Are you freaking kidding me?!?"  I'm thinking.  Even SM, who is my rock, looks a bit uncertain.  My mom on the other hand is not fazed at all. 

Mom gets the co-pilot seat.  SM and I in the middle.  2 dudes behind us who work for the flight team, tagged along as our was the last flight of the night.  Help balance the plane.

The flight was gorgeous.  Denali up close and personal.  I notice SM's is holding onto the seat infront of him, white knuckled.  This makes me feel slightly better as my own knees were knocking with adrenline.
Denali makes it's own weather, it's SO huge.  On the way back we flew between 2 storms that were forming.  Rollercoaster, bucking bronco...take your pick.

We made it through and when we landed we noticed a few more people at the strip waiting for us. 

Turns out, not only were we overdue...we'd also lost radio communications.

They thought the worst.  We didn't know any better.

At first SM said he'd never do that again.  He changed his mind eventually.

Me?  It was a personal best.  I'd overcome a horrible fear and discovered the rewards of doing so.  A memory that I'll never forget.


  1. That was a wonderful flight. Thanks again for treating me to it. Love you much. I look the same too. Must not be aging.

  2. Back attcha Mom! You DO look the same. Me with short hair? I look like Broom Hilda now with the bushy long stuff.

  3. Interesting post Tami. I wonder if too often our personal safety nets are based on our fears. Mine probably is. Interesting you are in health care. I used to be too. Also, I don't like flying either! Good for you for taking the risk.