The Life Lemonade Resume: An Occupational (Profile) Hazard?

What makes up your occupational identity? What makes you, you? We all have our unique stories, our life of accumulated events that define us. Sometimes it’s hard to look on the bright side when life hands us lemons, especially when Life happens to shop at Costco. I’ve kept a "life resume" for years, and many of its entries come from life-lemonade events.

For example, have you…

Saved a dying angelfish in your aquarium using only a long breadstick?
Been followed home by a former client in an airplane?
Been burned by a crystal ball?
Broken your toe on a rock while hula hoop dancing at the beach? [Just happened last week. Ow.]
Given yourself a black eye with an ice cream scoop?
Nearly strangled yourself to death with hula hoops in a parked car?
Been bruised by a gallon of green juice bouncing off your shin?

No? Because I have. Stories like this make me "me", they give me my occupational identity. When that gallon of juice bounces off my shin, my first thought is OW, that sucked. But my second thought is haha, another entry for my life resume. Bet not many other people can say juice bounced off their shin. Another "this is the unique story of Karen" moment.

Think about yourself, think about your clients. Do you have any that can see the humor or uniqueness in their stories, especially the smaller, day-to-day ones? Do you think you could compile your own life resume? You can make one that includes all the life basics – places you’ve been, people you’ve met, special events, pets, scars, etc. Add in life lemonade – and life awesome-ade – as it comes! It can be little – if you get creative, you could probably have daily entries.

With this reflective approach, we make our lemonade events more palatable. We recognize that each event is a contributor to our unique occupational identity, rather than a detractor. And we can laugh about a lot of them! Laughter is the most natural sweetener there is.

Jan 27, 2015 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

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