Pulse - July 2022 - 44

FROM THE SCVMA OFFICE JENNIFER HAWKINS, DVM, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
JHAWKINS@SCVMA.ORG
FROM ZERO TO WARP SPEED
I
'll never forget picking my daughter up one Thursday afternoon at the end of her school day. A product of her
mother, she loves school and learning. She was in the first grade at the time and absolutely adored her teacher.
But on this particular day, I was receiving texts and emails about other school districts that had just made the decision
to close. Another mom asked if I had seen the school district email that had just been sent. I looked at my phone
and there it was. The pandemic had closed my daughter's school and even her teacher didn't yet know it.
With tears in my eyes, I walked my daughter home. Little did
we know how long it would be before she returned to campus.
Time moved slowly for the weeks and months that followed.
While many people reorganized their pantries and learned to bake
bread, veterinary professionals worked harder and longer than even
before. Some days it felt like we were the only ones on the road or
going to work at all.
Two and a half years later, the pandemic is still not over. But life
outside of work has certainly sped up again. In April, the SCVMA
held its first live Celebration since 2020. Weddings previously postponed
or held virtually are being held in person again. Vet school
graduations were held in person this year. Proms, ceremonies,
meetings are all coming to life again. Many other life events are
being scheduled now as well. Between the busy workdays and personal
commitments, it feels a bit like life just leapt from zero to
warp speed.
A friend of mine recently got married and I asked him if he felt
any different. He admitted that though his living situation had not
changed, he did have a moment the day after the wedding, walking
with his wife, where he took pause and realized that he did indeed
feel different, special now that he was officially a husband and she,
his wife.
Some years ago, I was introduced to the concept of two different
ways in which the passing of time is perceived. The ancient Greeks
used the words chronos and kairos to describe time. Chronos time
is the time with which we are all familiar. It is chronological time.
It is the daily grind time. Kairos time is qualitative time. Kairos
describes moments that are special and seem to transcend chronological
time.
Chronos time is the time you spend watching the clock as you
apply pressure to that part of the spleen you incidentally lacerated
with the spay hook (how did I do that??). It's the time you spend
elevating that PM4 when your first afternoon appointment has
already arrived and is waiting in an exam room. And you haven't
eaten lunch. Or used the bathroom. Chronos time is the 40 minutes
you have left after cleaning up the cat vomit before your
45-minute commute. Chronos time is the minutes that tick away
when you're working solo and are still feeling around for your
patient's abdominal testis.
It's impossible to remember every second of the day. Kairos
moments are those moments that your brain marks as special because
they carry meaning for you. In my opinion, the moment my friend
experienced the day after his nuptials was a kairos moment. Kairos
moments are when you notice that your first post-op enterotomy is
eating...and defecating. A kairos moment is seeing the expression of
wonder on a child's face when you show him what an ear mite looks
like under the microscope.
A kairos moment could also be the way time seems to stand
still when your tires skid on the wet asphalt and your car slowly
44
does a 360 before stopping safely on the shoulder. For me, learning
that my daughter's schooling would be forever changed by the
pandemic was not dissimilar to the feeling of my car spinning out
of control.
I've been moving so fast of late that I don't recall having one of
those in-the-moment moments for some time. I first wrote about
my discovery of kairos as a description of time in 2013 as SCVMA
president. It now occurs to me that another potential way of experiencing
kairos time is through mindfulness. Yes, I cringe when you
hear this word too. It conjures up images of sitting in the lotus
position and, well, I just don't like to sit still, so this doesn't usually
work for me. But (stay with me here), there is a way to take
control of your own response to life's daily rush and not feel like
you're always spinning out of control.
While mindfulness exercises can indeed involve sitting and meditating,
there are other ways to bring your mind to the present.
Going for a walk and making a conscious effort to see the blades
of grass and listen to the sounds around you while tuning into how
your body feels with each step is a way to experience mindfulness.
Even on the morning commute, turning off the radio and taking a
moment to look around at the sights you pass every day, the feeling
of the steering wheel and hum of the car. Focusing on how
the water feels as it hits your skin in the shower or creating a rule
for yourself to take a deep breath every time you walk through a
doorway are also ways of increasing mindfulness. Mindfulness does
not have to be time consuming, but it does have to be deliberate.
Though the impact of the pandemic will be felt for many
years to come, my hope is that, going forward, we will not take
for granted so many of the daily experiences we are able to again
engage in. As chronological time ticks away and we move into our
next normal, appreciating the moment can benefit us in more ways
than we realize. Though kairos moments can occur spontaneously,
mindfulness through conscious efforts has been shown to increase
resilience, improve one's mood, improve brain function and elevate
the ability to cope with stress.
Chronological time slows for no one. Take a breath, in and out,
and smell the proverbial roses.
JULY 2022
PULSE

Pulse - July 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - July 2022

Pulse - July 2022
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
President’s Perspective
Pulsepoints
SCVMA Profile
COVER FEATURE STORY
Practical Pathology
UC Davis Update
Tools for Success
Angel Fund
The RVT
Industry Insights
Quick Reference
AVMA Diplomates
Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Resources
Disease Table
From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - July 2022 - Pulse - July 2022
Pulse - July 2022 - Cover2
Pulse - July 2022 - 1
Pulse - July 2022 - 2
Pulse - July 2022 - Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Pulse - July 2022 - President’s Perspective
Pulse - July 2022 - Pulsepoints
Pulse - July 2022 - 6
Pulse - July 2022 - 7
Pulse - July 2022 - 8
Pulse - July 2022 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - July 2022 - COVER FEATURE STORY
Pulse - July 2022 - 11
Pulse - July 2022 - 12
Pulse - July 2022 - Practical Pathology
Pulse - July 2022 - UC Davis Update
Pulse - July 2022 - Tools for Success
Pulse - July 2022 - Angel Fund
Pulse - July 2022 - The RVT
Pulse - July 2022 - Industry Insights
Pulse - July 2022 - Quick Reference
Pulse - July 2022 - AVMA Diplomates
Pulse - July 2022 - Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Pulse - July 2022 - 22
Pulse - July 2022 - 23
Pulse - July 2022 - 24
Pulse - July 2022 - Resources
Pulse - July 2022 - Disease Table
Pulse - July 2022 - 27
Pulse - July 2022 - 28
Pulse - July 2022 - 29
Pulse - July 2022 - 30
Pulse - July 2022 - 31
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Pulse - July 2022 - From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - July 2022 - Cover3
Pulse - July 2022 - Cover4
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