Thursday, November 14, 2013

4:11 and the sun is setting in my office. The light slants across my keyboard, and I’m typing away. Listening to a conference call with some of the most annoying people I’ve ever met. The big boss around here is leading the call and is So! Perky! And! Fake! I can’t stand people like this. To sum it up, this is a woman who makes more money than the president of the united states, and still talks in baby talk like she’s just a gosh-darn, good ol’ gal y’all. And then can turn mean as a snake in 20 seconds.

But, eh. I’ve dealt with worse, I’ll deal with many more like her in the years to come.

Elizabeth posted this quote this morning, and I very rarely ever stop and consider the weight of words of a quote anymore. It feels like I’ve heard every platitude under the sun by now, and these days, I feel too rushed and frantic to pause.

Do not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

-The Talmud

Working in healthcare policy right now is very hard. It’s been hard, from almost the moment I had this dropped in my lap in 2006 and it took off into this career I’ve grown into. This city is in firing squad mode about, and I have friends and colleagues in the government that feel more like indentured servants than employees. One testified on the Hill yesterday, and since his summons to appear before Congress came, he’s slept on the floor of his office. It just sounds like a nightmare over there right now. Don't get me wrong -- this needs to be fixed. It should have never happened this way. Things could have been done so much better.

I touch Obamacare’s reimbursement/insurance/payment issues in my career, but it isn’t specifically my day job, and I’ve been guarded from the onslaught of criticism. But our time will come. 2014 will be our heavy lift; it will be our triumph or our downfall. I know I am being cryptic, and it’s nothing secret, just nothing worth going into.

Work is consuming me. So much (not the public stuff, more like office dynamic stuff) is going wrong and I feel like I’ve been on a steady decline all year as far as morale. And now I’m sitting at the bottom. My coworkers all bring their complaints and problems and hurts to me because I’m senior to them, but I’m not their boss. So I have the pleasure of listening and being dragged in, but having no authority to fix anything.

Ah lah, as Mary Moon would say.

The other night I dreamed I was prepping the CMS Administrator for her appearance before Congress. I had been emailing with her during the midnight hour the night before, and she had gone before Congress that day, and I guess this creeped into my mind at rest. I was sitting across from her and she kept asking me questions I couldn’t answer, and getting more and more mad and insistent. Uh, paging Dr. Freud please. I can’t quite figure out what all this means. Geez.

And I don’t have the answers. Things with this law aren’t perfect, things that we’re doing on our end aren’t perfect either. We’re slowly turning a ship in the middle of the ocean. S.l.o.w.l.y. I can’t be burdened with the enormity of it all.

But nor do I feel free to abandon it either. I’m seven years in, and I feel entrenched in this. Invested. Stuck. Honored. Lucky. Caught. Attached.

I suppose this all seems very dramatic, the ravings of a mid-level employee, mid-level in life. But it has been consuming me for so long that I’m putting my head up to realize that life is too short for all of this, surely. I can’t be dreaming about the office every single night. I need more.

No good way to end this, so I’ll leave a snapshot of my view, and know I am thinking of each of you as I type these words.