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The walk from my house to the hospital and back had become a symbol of transition, from family life to work, from work back to family life. Knowing we would both have long and sometimes disruptive hours, my husband and I chose to live a short walk from the hospital where we work. The location is convenient, although at times emotionally challenging to have neither physical nor metaphorical space separating work and family. So I created a transition ritual out of crossing the main intersection on my walk. As I cross from east to west to go to work, I intentionally breathe in preparedness, hope, and energy for the patients and colleagues who await me at the hospital and I breathe out warmth, gratitude, and comfort that my children are safe and nurtured in my absence. As I cross from west to east back home, I reverse the process, breathing in love, fun, and (more) energy for my family and breathing out the satisfaction of hard work, shared grief, and comfort that patients and colleagues are provided for in my absence.
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Corresponding Author: Stephanie Parks Taylor, MD, MS, Department of Internal Medicine, Carolinas Medical Center, Atrium Health, 1000 Blythe Blvd, MEB Fifth Floor, Charlotte, NC 28203 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: October 28, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.21746
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Taylor receives support from grants 5R01NR018434 from the National Institute of Nursing Research and 1R21LM013373 from the National Library of Medicine, outside the submitted work.
Additional Contributions: I thank Brice Taylor, MD, for allowing me to share our family’s story.
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