Navigating The Ebb & Flow of Life

IMG_0582

When I was a young girl growing up in Newport, RI, a perfect summer day would consist of spending the morning at the beach and sailing in the afternoon. Initially, I was a little tentative with force of the wind and the waves during the gusty afternoons (similar to the picture above).

But as I learned to hike out over the water to stabilize the boat and kept a watchful eye on the point of sail, eventually the lessons of wind, waves, currents, and tides created a strong foundation for my life. I learned that navigating any challenge was a lot like navigating Narragansett Bay during an afternoon sail.

I learned there is an ebb and flow of life; and that for every close-hauled, upwind sail when the waves would come over the bow of the boat and spray salt water on our faces, there was a downwind sail that would have the warm sun on our backs as we navigated towards home and the safety of the harbor.

From my years of sailing, and then racing one-design sailboats and offshore yachts, I learned a lot about navigation, teamwork, wind, and points of sail and subsequently became a highly skilled navigator and tactician.

Today, I’m still in love with navigation and teamwork. My skills and passion from sailing, combined with my comprehensive education and experience, have transcended into an amazing career in healthcare. Having the ability to serve patients and families with navigating fast-paced, healthcare environments and the difficult conversations related to illnesses, new diagnoses and the provision of care has been an honor. For the clinical teams I’ve coached, trained and debriefed, I’ve learned that navigation involves the delicate art of transitioning from one patient to another and then another while maintaining the compassionate composure and tact necessary in any healthcare environment without ever knowing what the day will bring.