I was again on-call the other weekend. After the extended hours of working a very long week (2 weeks that blended into each other), I felt exhausted and depleted. Am I getting tired of this profession? What if I call it quits today? Will I be able to survive on my current passion and skills other than being a physician?
I can give more time to writing. In fact, writing is my stress reliever, that’s why I still blog no matter how busy I get. I enjoy writing, maybe because I don’t have any deadlines or quota on how many articles I can spew out. I write only when I want, and is always on my terms. But that may change if I have to write to earn a living.
Talking about earning, I was offered an honorary* amount of $25 for every article that I contribute to a national newspaper in the Philippines. So that can provide enough money for a decent meal for a day. And on days I cannot produce an article, I guess I don’t eat. Forget about supporting a family or sending my children to college.
But maybe I can write a book that will be a bestseller. Then maybe my book will be adapted into a movie. Then I certainly have it made. I can dream, can’t I? Or maybe I can make big money from this blogging? Ha! Dream on.
How about if I pay more attention to my piano playing? I was asked to play for a funeral service once and I did it out of respect. I was not expecting anything in return, but was surprised when they gave me an honorary sum of $75 for about 30 minutes of playing. Not a bad gig at all! But then I need to find more dead people to play in their funeral to make this a living. (Hanap-patay instead of hanap-buhay.) That’s not a good wishful thinking.
Maybe I can hone on my violin playing once more and move back to New York City to play at the Lincoln Center. Did you think the concert hall at the Lincoln Center? No! I’ll play in the subway station at Lincoln Center. I read some news articles that panhandlers in New York City can make up to $200 – $300 a day! Really? Really.
I can also consider teaching or giving lectures. Last year, a national medical organization invited me to speak in one of their educational courses. I obliged to give the lecture since they prepared all the materials and slides, and all I have to do was present it. I did it for the love of teaching, but was delightedly surprised when they handed me an honorary fee of $200 for spending about 2 hours with them. They invited me again this year, and of course I said yes. Did I mention they gave me free lunch too?
Maybe I can be a traveling lecturer, like the ancient Greek philosophers. Maybe I can assume the title “Pedagog.” Or maybe I can be a motivational speaker. That will be great! But wait a minute. What if I am a lousy teacher? Or what if I am a boring speaker? And what if…….
After giving so much thought on all these options, I have decided that I will keep my current day job……..for at least a little bit longer.
(*honorary job really means without pay, so an honorary fee is definitely less than its market value; in other words, they can pay you better but they wouldn’t)