Yesterday, Chad wrote an incredible blog, it was so accurate and concise. Chad’s words in his blog are very important and very prevalent in our field. It hasn’t been talked about a lot until recent years. Though this job a dream, it is so rewarding and fulfilling, it can also be extremely taxing- not just physically, but emotionally and if you are not careful it will drain you. It’s hard to find a balance, it’s hard to feel like you are doing enough, or to not feel guilt, it’s hard to not give your whole self to the job, you can often feel pulled in a million different directions, and it’s hard to turn work off and be at home.
This year I received the opportunity to attend the NAPSA conference, where they spoke a lot about compassion fatigue/burnout. A big takeaways from the conference was one of the ways to fight against compassion fatigue, finding compassion satisfaction. That could mean something as simple as a positive interactions with the chimps- something that made us feel good. For example: making some type of enrichment that stimulated the chimps and made them happy, watching the chimps play, having a fun interaction with the chimps. Those moments remind us why we do our job and why it’s all worth it. However, the trick is that we don’t always have the time. For me personally, I have been trying to have a minute of reflection, what did I love about today? Today, I loved that Jamie was in a fun and silly mood, so much so that she made me carry her bonobo book and wear her favorite pair of Doc Martins to walk around Young’s Hill. That moment and small others like it have helped lighten my heart when it is feeling heavy.
If you haven’t read Chad’s blog I urge you to read it, his words are very important to those who care for others. Chad’s words comforted me on a topic that can be so difficult to discuss. He reminding me that I am not alone in those feelings and that though it is hard to do, it is not selfish to need to take care of yourself sometimes. So thank you Chad!
I will leave you with a photo of Jamie. We have added some items to the Amazon Wish List today, including Jamie’s birthday boot! We also added a lot of day to day items we need around the chimp house. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!