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I’ve been lately thinking a lot about failure, particularly those of my own. I recognize I’ve gone through life having a handful of shortcomings. All people have some of course, and it is easy to dwell on them. There are only two good reasons to reflect ones failures: to learn their lessons and to remedy what can be done about them. It is hoped most failures fall into either category (preferably the latter one).  The trick is to not succumb to emotional humbuggery ‘It is a failure that can’t now be fixed”.

One of the largest failures of my life is establishing networks. This is particularly true in my career. I don’t have a professional network. I have worked alone for 15 years in setting in which I don’t interact with other doctors. If I were to suddenly need a new job I could not pick up the phone or text colleagues to inquire after a new post. If I were in need of a consultation or a collegial shoulder to cry upon I am out of luck. I know no one. When I go to local conferences I am amazed and envious folks know each other/work together.

Then there is a failure too in my home life. I am blessed with friends and family who are far-flung. What I have failed to do is nourish a local network here in Arizona.  I could not call someone to come over right away to help with a home matter or to drive me somewhere or tend Harper during a time of crisis.

People are social critters; we need networks for our well-being as well as security. ” I ask all new patients ‘what is your network”.  “Nobody” is a common answer.  I often hear of  ‘X’ needing surgery and weeks at home for convalescence – but they have no one really to help them getting to/from appointments let alone to take care of them. This may be more a risk factor than smoking.
“The best time to dig a well is before you are thirsty”.  This expression reminds me to get cracking on these deficits before it becomes necessary. Building a network when you need one doesn’t work; it has to be done before.

Is it too late to develop networks? Is this a failure I have to be at peace with? Probably not. However this is no easy quick task to remedy.  It will require time and effort to do; it won’t happen passively.  I feel I must do something before I become thirsty at work and at home.

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