1. Wright, Kathy B. PhD, RN, CGRN, APRN, BC, Editor

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It's the end of another year and most of us are probably beginning to think about our 2004 resolutions. Typically at this time each year, I reflect back to identify whether I met my resolutions, assess what accomplishments and blessings I've experienced, and begin to think of how I could improve upon failed goals or stretch to accomplish new ones. I had the stark realization, this year, however, that I tend to skip "today." I don't really live in the here and now. I'm so focused on yesterday and tomorrow, I miss today. Can you relate?


I am a very motivated, goal-driven person (over-achiever I think we sometimes call it). Nurses often are over-achievers in my observation. I am always thinking about what I need to do, what contribution I can make, how I can grow. I often will look backwards to see how I've responded to challenges, what lessons are to be learned, and if I am responsive to change and growth. I don't, however, often just stop and enjoy the present. I get up in the morning, already looking forward to getting back in my soft bed again tonight! I am crossing off my "to do" list in my mind as I drive to the office as if there is some great prize at the end, but really it is just so I can get to the next item on the never-ending list! I put out one fire and move on to the next (sometimes starting the fire myself in the first place). Rarely do I just stop and acknowledge a normal "today" for all it has to offer. I don't stop "doing" just to "be." Are you the same?


Does the weekday usually start with a race to get to your patients or responsibilities on time? Is the daily routine so predictable, you just go through the motions without really experiencing the day? Do you rush from three esophagogastroduodenoscopies (EGD) to four colonoscopies to three endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographies (ERCP), rounding out the day with an endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) fine needle aspiration? For some of you, that may just be for starters!


How often do you take the time in your demanding life to stop and look at the amazing environment you work in, the expertise of you and those you work with in caring for patients, the equipment resources available to accomplish incredible diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to aid patients, the patients who cross your path with insights to share as well as lessons to learn? Do you live in the here and now or are you dreaming for yesterday when the pace was slower and staffing was optimal or are you looking to the future when you celebrate your retirement party and head to the Bahamas? These are wonderful things to ponder, but do you balance yesterday and tomorrow with giving attention to today? Are we so driven to accomplish that we miss the accomplishment; so driven to live, we miss life? So determined to finish, we miss the thrill of the race?


As we enter a new year, I challenge you to consciously focus on the here and now. Look to the past and develop your resolutions for 2004, but don't be like me-don't neglect today in favor of yesterday or tomorrow. Live today. Grow today. Find pleasure in today. Connect with a patient today. Support a colleague today. Give your best today.