I was in a meeting this morning, and — feeling slightly taxed from paying attention during the previous 35 minutes of roundtable reports and project updates — when we got to the closing announcements, I started to lapse into that non-morning-person, struggling-to-concentrate foggyhead space.

“Blah wahh yada woonkblah blah leadership goals blah,” I heard. “Blah strategic villywoo every department blah blahblow will participate in a project.”

Huh? You mean I might have to do something? OK, brain. I’m slappin’ you in your metaphorical face. Wake up.

“Every department in the system will choose one of three activities,” announced Sally, our marketing director. “Your department managers and I have eliminated one as an option. That one is blah bolo jibbby kob noveroo blah blah blah gimpy glib blah yada yada swarky boo blah blah yada bome chick.”

She went on to describe the two options from which we were to choose — we’d vote on the spot to decide which activity we’d pursue as a group. One option was for each person to submit a story describing their best healthcare experience EVER, and then the department managers would compile and decide how to creatively share the stories. The second option was to create a list of at least 5 things for which you are grateful, and then add one item to that list daily.

Oki doke. I can swing either way. Brain, you may dilly dally again until further notice.
La dahhhh dee da da dahhhhh….the Smurf song is happy.
Blue people in general seem to be happy.
Like the dudes in the Blue Man Group, for example.
I loved Stomp when they came to The Peace Center.
Except for the part where they flung their sweat on us. 
You’d think we would’ve been safe in the third row.
I like to sweat.
Really loving that evening bootcamp class.
Would like to help the Life Center shoot some quickie videos for their Facebook page.
They need videos.
Should try to work some into their social media campaign.
I’ll bet Lynda.com has an iMovie tutorial.
Hmmm? 
What? 
People are asking questions. 
Now they are laughing. 
Cool, I like to laugh.

“So if we choose the gratitude list, how many exactly will we have to submit?”
“Yeah, and how many days in a row are we supposed to be grateful?”
“Do the items have to be work related?”
“Do we have to be grateful on the weekends?”
“The instruction says one grateful thing a day, but for how long? I hope not a long time.”
“Yeah. Not that we’re not grateful, mind you. We just don’t have time.”
“If we choose the story option, when is it due?”
“Does the story have to relate to something clinical?”
“We don’t really do clinical, you know.”
“Can we shoot a video instead?”
“Oooo, cool idea. Can we draw a picture?”
“If the drawing depicts ALL my grateful items, can it just be one drawing?”
“When do we have to start?”
“Are we going to track this in our project management system?”
“I can’t go too many days in a row without being curmudgeonly.”
“I am grateful for fiber.”
“Yeah, and for Angel Soft toilet tissue.”
“Hey, that’s not work related.”
“Oh yes it is, too. I LOVE our toilet at work.”
“Why did you say 19 items? I count 14.”
“Did you hear what they just said over there?”
“No, I can’t hear anything. Motley Crue concert. 1989.”
“I know what you mean. Rolling Stones for me.”
“Let’s vote! Raise your hands.”
“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.”
“OK, the story wins.”
“The story? I thought you said raise our hands if we want to do the list.”
“No, the story won.”
“Let’s vote again. Raise your hands if you want to do the story.”
“But I really don’t care which one.”
“You HAVE to vote for one of them.”
“Welll…OK, who voted for what again? I’m a slave to peer pressure.”

Ultimately, we decided to do the gratitude project and submit the list to our managers after two weeks. Five items today, and then one item each weekday for two weeks. That’s 14, right? I am mathematically retarded, so you won’t hurt my feelings if you tell me I’m wrong.

You know what that means, people?

You guessed it. A new series of blog posts. Following are five things which I appreciate in my life. And, OK — if I MUST, geeeeesh — they are all related to my employment with Greenville Hospital System. :)

I’m grateful to work in an industry that helps people. When you’re in in-house advertising, you live and breathe your product — and health care is an altruistic thing to live and breathe. It matters to me what I do with such a big chunk of my life.

I’m grateful we have a financially stable organization. Thanks to visionary leadership — or, heck, maybe it’s some financial-genius dude in a basement somewhere — GHS is weathering current economical woes better than many companies and industries. There have been many times I’ve felt lucky to have a job.

I’m grateful that we always get the tools we need to do our jobs efficiently. In our li’l work unit of art directors, our boss Mark makes sure our equipment rocks hard. Whether we need faster Macs, faster printers, software upgrades, stock photo subscriptions, video training subscriptions, portable hard drives….whatever. As long as it’s not unreasonable, he finds a way.

I’m grateful we get discounts at a couple of awesome gyms. Several years ago, something clicked in my head and I realized the responsibility I have to myself and to my loved ones to stay healthy. I lost weight and made fitness a priority. Employee cost savings at the Life Center and Acceleration Sports Institute make it easier to stay on track.

I’m grateful that our department has mandated fun. OK, just kidding with the word ‘mandated.’ No one’s trying to force anyone else to have fun…participation is optional, and anyone who wants to be grumpy will not be ridiculed. :) Back during the summer, a group of people in our department went to lunch and brainstormed fun things we could do as a department. Last month we started implementing some of those ideas. Next week we’re doing two back-to-back classes at the Life Center — spinning with Jeanine followed by yoga with Jeannie. I’m thinking about organizing a bike ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail in the spring. For some reason no one liked my idea of nude volleyball. Go figure.

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