Since I have started working again I have noticed there are a few correlations between what I do now and home educating.
Individual attention. I have two patients and so I am able to concentrate only on them.
Specialization. It takes a special skill set to work as an ICU RN. It also takes a special skill set to homeschool.
Continuing education. You are always learning as a nurse and as a home educator. If you aren’t learning in either role then something’s wrong.
Critical thinking. You must constantly evaluate test results and assessments, put clues together and think three steps ahead.
Caring for the whole person. As a nurse I don’t just care for a person medically. I also care for their spiritual well-being and their soul as well. As a home educator the same is definitely true.
The little things matter. What I do–or don’t do– can make a BIG difference. And little changes in my patient can mean big things down the road. Noticing subtle changes in your children can also make a big difference down the road.
Caring for the vulnerable. It is my responsibility to care for those who cannot care for themselves. They are counting on me to know what to do and how to do it. I also have to teach them things they need to know until they are well enough to take care of themselves. I feel it is my responsibility to not just make sure they are still alive when I go home, but that they are well cared for, that I do all I can to make their lives better.
You can’t do it alone. No man is an island. We aren’t created to be isolated.Teamwork is important, even within families. Don’t be a martyr or a victim. I need help turning, double checking and sometimes just reinforcing my gut feeling when dealing with patients. Home educators can’t be lone rangers. You cannot be everything your children need all by yourself.
They aren’t with us very long. My patients move out of ICU ASAP. That’s a good thing and as long as they are in my unit I want to make sure they are well cared for. Our children aren’t with us long either. Before you know they seem to move from toddlerhood to high school!
You have to love it. You’ll burn out. You won’t do a good job. Those whose care you are charged with will resent you. You can make silly mistakes because your heart isn’t in it.
They are both critically important roles, and both extremely rewarding as well. When done right, they make a difference in the lives of the individuals in our care.
These days in the art community there is a wonderful movement that strives to get back to handcrafted, placing a premium on pieces that are brimming with the artist’s personality. I agree, I much prefer the one-of-a-kind over the mass produced. I prefer smaller pieces that are well done over larger pieces that lack detail. That said, there are some things about your art that are better bigger.
Bigger Dreams. Goal setting is important, but don’t forget your dreams in the day to day. When you are afraid, reach even higher.
Bigger Quality. How can you improve on your quality?
Bigger Knowledge. Take a class. Call a mentor. Read a book. Get into the studio and experiment. It is amazing how learning will spark the creative juices. Learn something new already!
Bigger Reputation. What do you want people to say when your name is mentioned? Make every effort to keep your word, ship on time and offer value every chance you can get.
Bigger Body of Work. Keep on growing. Keep on reaching. Keep on working.The most successful artists are the ones who are faithful to work work work.
Bigger Circle of Friends. Get out there and make sincere connections. Not just for your career but for your sanity. Friends keep you honest, give your ego a healthy boost and make sure you keep some balance. But adding to your professional Rolodex doesn’t hurt either.
Bigger Heart. Be generous with your information. Offer freebies. Donate profits or do work to sell for charity. People love people who aren’t afraid to share their knowledge with them.
These things, added up, will add up to a fulfilling artistic career. And all that will translate into bigger dollars, but all the other “biggers” will ensure that your increasing profits are not temporary, but a natural, permanent growth. And that bigger is definitely better.