The Update You Deserve

A couple looks at the camera with strange expressions on their face. There is green shrubbery in the background.
If you only have a minute:

In this blog post, I reflect on my recent experiences in public health and the challenges of working with different personalities. I also discuss upcoming conferences and plans for a summer vacation. I note a trend of divorce among friends and acquaintances, but express gratitude for my own successful relationship and my daughter. The post concludes with a promise to write again soon.

If you have more than two minutes:

I know… I know… It’s been a while since I’ve written something on the blog. It’s not for lack of trying. I’ve written plenty of drafts, but I haven’t finished my thoughts. If I don’t finish my thoughts, I don’t hit the publish button… And you don’t get to read what I wrote. Not that you would want to read what I write.

National Public Health Week was the first week of April, and I hosted a “Cafecito Hour” on LinkedIn where I talked to people who wanted to chat about getting into public health, finding work, and how to move up in the world of public health. It was a little sobering to see and talk to so many people struggling to get into school, struggling with school, or struggling to get that all-important first job after graduating. Then there are those who’ve been working in public health during the pandemic, and they are exhausted.

Me? I’m not as exhausted as I was last year, when I was still working at the health department. The long commute in and the different personalities who were micromanaging my work made it impossible to get any enjoyment out of working there. I loved the people I worked with, though. They made the whole damned thing tolerable, and I miss working with them.

Now, I’m doing this public health gig with the non-profit, and it’s actually kind of fun. It’s also challenging in its own way, since I have to herd cats, as it were. There are also different types of people with different personalities. From academics, to public health practitioners, to physicians… Everyone contributes a different view, and everyone has an opinion on what we should be doing to improve the lives of the people we serve.

I just wish we could actually do more, instead of just meeting after meeting to talk about what we could do. But all these things take time, and I have my own projects on the side to work on. There are chats/interviews to schedule, multimedia to produce, and conferences to attend. In July, my wife will attend a conference in Denver, and I hope to go with her. In June, I hope to go to Puerto Rico for a few days for a quick conference on — of all things — the law. Later in June, it’s off to Salt Lake City for a gathering of epidemiologists. Then there is the American Public Health Association conference in Atlanta.

I’m also planning to take my wife and daughter on a short vacation this summer, somewhere nearby that we can drive to. We’re holding off on a big, international vacation until next year. This year is just too busy. I’ll be lucky if I can get away and see my parents. (Easier said than done, since they live in such separated places.)

Speaking of divorce, one trend that my wife and I have noticed is how many of our friends and acquaintances are getting divorced, especially those who married before we did. It must be that time when couples fall out of love or find they have nothing else to share. Kids or no kids, they just call it quits and go their own way. Not us. We’ve managed to talk through our issues and find ways to solve our disagreements. We find time to be with each other and away, balancing the needs and wants of the relationship so we’re both happy.

Then again, we have this little kid to look after and make sure she grows up to not burn down the world…

Anyway, that is all I have for now. I’ll write soon again, I promise.


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