It hit me as I was looking down at the keyboard recently at work as I typed in a prescription order. I just happened to glance down at my left hand and saw the wedding ring sitting on my figure.
It’s true. I recently stood up in front of family and friends, struggled through vows in which I admittedly choked up a time or two, and then said two of the biggest little words in the English language- I Do! I recently became a married man.
Getting married didn’t instantly change my life in some dramatic way other than officially committing my heart to the woman who has owned it for quite some time anyway. But entering the institution of marriage did seem to put a different perspective on my relationship with my job.
Being a pharmacist is being part of a demanding profession. And as a floater, I often have what can be described as an unusual work schedule. There is no such thing as a 9-5 M-F job in community pharmacy. And I’ve always been OK with that.
But that is where things have changed a little now. Now, the pronoun of choice in my daily conversation is we, not I. My work schedule no longer affects just my life. My wife is impacted by last minute schedule changes, weekend or holiday shifts, and long workdays.
I am also noticing that my views on work have changed. I’m a little more thankful to be employed now. Employment is my means to provide for my family now, not just myself. I have someone else who depends on me.
I am starting to realize that in an age where unemployment is high, having a job is something to be thankful for everyday. I no longer take employment for granted like I might have done earlier in my career.
Sure, there are days that being a pharmacist simply isn’t very fun. The stress and hectic nature of the job can wear you down. And even at a job you love, there are days where you just don’t want to be at a pharmacy.
But I understand now that my work is more important that just for the patients I attempt to help on the job. It is important for the paycheck I receive and the ability I now have to help my wife.
I’m thankful for the job I was able to go back to after my big day. And just like any other life changing event, we all have to try to return to some sense of normal after the fact.
Pharmacy has been really good to me over the years despite any moaning and complaining I may be guilty of doing. And now, I hope pharmacy will continue to be good for us in the coming years together.
I’m thankful for the loving wife I now call my better half. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that I am also thankful for a profession and a job that is rewarding and intellectually stimulating like few others.
We’re at a crossroads as a profession. The next few years may shape the course of the profession of pharmacy for several decades to come. But I am thankful that I’m a small part of it all and I hope that I will continue to be a pharmacist for a long time to come.
It took a marriage to help me realize that my work is a blessing and a gift. I just hope I remember that when the bad days come and I want to simply quit and give up. I think though that going forward I will remember how lucky I am. It’s easy now, I’ll just think of her.
The Redheaded Pharmacist