|by Dina E. O'Leary, MBA, FACHE|
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Neale Donald Walsch
Several years ago I was enjoying the Northwest Flower & Garden Show with my eldest daughter and a good friend when we happened upon a jewelry booth. Flowery pendants and thin bracelets were adorned with short inspirational quotes. This one really jumped out at me…and so I purchased a bracelet. At the time I was firmly established in my comfort zone. I liked my job and the wonderful people I worked with. We had onsite daycare and good benefits which had greatly aided my family's ability to grow while still allowing me to work in healthcare. But things were beginning to change – mergers and acquisitions, some tragedies in the life of our family and the families of several close friends…things were about to get very uncomfortable.
I found myself between jobs, questioning whether I wanted to continue to work in healthcare…or even work at all. I was enjoying my first unemployed summer since Junior High (oh, why don’t we all get summer break – it is a marvelous gift!). It was then, in the midst of my uncertainty, that I was asked if I would be willing to run for President-Elect of WSHEF. That was definitely outside of what I considered to be my comfort zone. By the end of the summer there would be several other steps outside of my comfort zone – my husband started a new job, we found our son a new daycare, I went to work for a major retailer, and I was elected to serve WSHEF. These dis-comforting occurrences in my life have all turned out to be amazing blessings. My son is thriving, my husband and I both love our new jobs, our daughters are happy, and I am enjoying serving WSHEF.
What’s outside of your comfort zone? For what have you been reluctant to put yourself out there? Somewhere amongst you are several new Fellows, possibly a District 5 Regent at Large, and some potential WSHEF board members. We are looking for people willing to step outside their comfort zone and host a Meet -n- Mingle or serve on a local program council. This summer I challenge you to take a step outside your comfort zone and see what else life has to offer you!
I want to take a moment to publicly thank Norma Pearce. Norma Pearce has served as the WSHEF Administrative Assistant for the last several years. As a Board we owe the timeliness of our event notifications, seamless registration process, and any semblance of organization and flawless preparedness to Norma. (Any snafus in those things was due to one of the Board members not providing Norma with what she needed.) If you attended one of the last several WSHEF Breakfasts at the WSHA meeting, she probably checked you in for the event. We will miss you! Thank you so much for working with us!
Finally, I would like to encourage everyone that is interested in the WSHEF Regent at Large position to please apply by July 15, 2017. If you have any questions about the application process please reach out to me or any of the board members!
Enjoy your summer!
Dina E. O'Leary, MBA, FACHE
President, Washington State Healthcare Executives Forum