Sunday, January 24, 2021


I spent some time today on my stationary bike getting in a little workout. I live in Michigan so naturally it is snowing and miserably cold outside this time of year.   Actual outdoor trail biking is not in the cards right now, unless you have a death wish.  I love bike riding in the summer, so I bought a stationary bike for winter. The next best thing.  

My stationary bike (NordicTrack) allows Internet access to classes and trainers.  I can ride along with trainers all over the world on the screen attached to the front of the bike.  Today I rode with a trainer in Moab Utah — beautiful scenery, sunshine, and actual wind noise coming to me thorough my “hand me down” ear buds my son gave when he upgraded.  The trainer was fit, perky, energetic, and a bit of a philosopher.  She talked throughout the 60 minute ride about feeling grateful and blessed to be in Utah riding her bike.  She apparently had a nasty riding accident, which trashed her shoulder and gave her some new perspectives about life. As she was talking, a phrase that she used jumped out to me as an idea for this blog. She said that we are “shaped by intensity” and I related so much to that. Our lives are shaped by the challenges and negative circumstances that we face and how well we react to them.  

Life is full of adversity.  In fact, we all have struggles and challenges in our lives that have molded us into the people that we are today.  We are shaped by the intensity of our experiences and our responses to them.  

How do we develop into strong minded people that withstand adversity?

Take time to process.  When bad things happen, strong willed people do not become overwhelmed by negative thoughts.  They grieve their loss, but then take the time to process their emotion.  Feeling your feelings all the way through allows you to eventually let them go and move on to building the strength that comes from adversity. 

Most disasters in life come with some kind of lesson. Working to find the life lesson that adversity provides will allow you to avoid becoming a victim of future mistakes.  Adversity often offers an opportunity for growth that we would miss if life were too easy.  We are stronger after we push through something difficult, building up our resilience and adding to our belief in our capabilities. 

The next time you fail or face an adversity, remember that your body and mind are stronger when they are worked.  Easy does not build muscle, and easy does not build character.  Strength is shaped by intensity. 

Dr. Julie Cappel

“In times of adversity and change, we really discover who we are and what we’re made of.” -  Howard Schultz

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” C. S. Lewis

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Time Does Not Wait

I had an extra day off from work this week, which made me stop to think about the concept of time.  When I have “extra” time given to me by way of a day off, I often feel more pressure to use it wisely. I want to get many things done in order to feel accomplished.  My primary self-preservation temptation is to enjoy my day in the interest of self-care.  I want to read a good book or watch a movie.  Then my driven brain wants me to think of downtime as wasted time, so I feel guilt.  That extra “day off” turns into a battle between industry and relaxation.

Is there a right way to spend time?

Interestingly, on this day off, I watched the movie “Soul” on Disney plus.  The movie has some amazing messaging about time and how we let it pass without notice because we are laser-focused on our future.I won’t give away the story, but the lessons that it offers are profound. There are lessons about living life in the moment and seeing the beauty around us. It teaches that we often miss the things that mean the most because we are chasing after some future conquest.  Make the time to watch this movie.  You will not be disappointed.

The definition of time is “The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future, regarded as a whole.”

The thing that stands out to me in the definition is the word “whole”.  It is the whole life that we need to appreciate.  Little things can be most important — time with family and friends and appreciation of the little things like health. Large things like career goals, education, or big dreams, while crucial, are just a part of the whole. All things that take time to accomplish, all things that need to be noticed and appreciated.  Living well means living whole.

Set goals and work towards them, but do not forget to notice the journey.  Do not beat yourself up for downtime and self-care.  If you do not take care of yourself, you will not have the ability to reach big goals.  Goals and dreams are something to work for, not necessarily the end game. If you set a lofty goal and then reach it, you will quickly find out that the goal does not change your true self.  The destination is often less exciting than the journey.

Think about your time this week and notice the “whole.”  What things are you missing because you are in a hurry to get to your future?  Are you missing your present to get to the end?  Take time to live in and be present, then appreciate and reflect on your past.  Embrace your “whole” time because time does not wait for you.

Dr. Julie Cappel

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Don’t wish, just work.

It has been said that you have exactly the life that you want.  On some level that is true.  We do not get to choose our circumstances in life, but there are an awful lot of things that we can do to change our eventual outcome.  Giving in to the negative circumstances and remaining idle will keep you from creating the things that you want.

I received this message from a client that I met yesterday.  A gentleman came in with his wife and their elderly cat. He told me his story of alcoholism, sobriety, and his battle with mouth cancer.  Ironically we were treating his cat that also had been diagnosed with mouth cancer. He described his battle to overcome his addiction and also his horrific and heroic battle to fight his cancer.  He was a tough and inspiring individual.  I aspire to be more like him.

We all have things that we wish for, more money, better health, weight loss, business success, or even just increased feelings of self worth.  In order to achieve these things, we cannot just sit and wish for them, we need to take action.  It takes work to create something great. 

If you want to lose weight, you must change the way you eat and move your body.  There is no magic wish that will transform you. You will not change until you start to change the actions that you are taking when it comes to your body.  Treating yourself better will create better.  You have to create a vision of the person that you want to become and then create the thoughts that allow you to feel motivated to take action. 

Stop with the excuses.  When you tell yourself that you cannot get in shape “because you do not have time”, you are just creating an excuse.  The excuses that your brain creates may sometimes feel like facts, but in reality they are just your thoughts.  They are you, holding yourself back.  Once you start to realize that the excuses are created by you, change is possible.  Creating new, more productive thoughts on purpose is under your control. 

Ask for help.  Your brain is so powerful, that sometimes is seems impossible to resist your own impulses.  Find someone that is successful in whatever arena you wish to join. Read their books, listen to their podcasts, ask them questions, or if possible actually work with someone that you admire.  Mentorship helps you work through your obstacles and get the support you need to understand how to get off your butt and start working. 

Get over your fear of failure.  Working towards big dreams is not for the faint of heart.  Failure is always part of the process.  Failure is how you know that you are working towards something big.  Each failure that you encounter will teach you something if you listen to the lesson that it wants to teach.  Look back on the times in your life when you did overcome failure to succeed.  Use those past successes to combat that fear of failure. 

Create self-motivation. People who have developed the skill of self-motivation are usually the ones that appear to be succeeding in life.  The people that have what you want are practicing internal motivational techniques.  Whether it is self coaching, meditation, self-discipline, or just massive action; creating motivation within your own brain will allow you to get ahead.  I like to play motivating music or watch inspirational movies to help me to get out of my own head. That is why I am such a Rocky Balboa fan.  The story, the music, and the “happily ever after” endings help motivate me to action.

Take some massive action this year and see how it affects your life.  Work and you will get your wish.

Dr. Julie Cappel

“Wishes only come true to those who work relentlessly.” ― Edmond Mbiaka

Sunday, January 3, 2021

New Year’s Resolution Anxiety

I do not know if there is such a thing as resolution anxiety, but if there is, I think that I have it. 

Each year as the holidays come to a close, I resolve to eat healthier, exercise more, be more generous, make more money, and many, many things.  I am so freaking ambitious when the new year rolls around that I set some pretty lofty goals for myself.  The self promises are always easier to make than to keep.  This past year my resolutions experienced a little twist (I am sure yours did too) with the emergence of Covid-19 stay at home orders and the uncertainty of contracting an ugly virus.  Shock and grief over the loss of life and liberty allowed me to slack off quite a bit. Some of my resolutions were just not possible.

One of my big resolutions last year included travel to Italy.  I researched the destinations and prices, but luckily never actually scheduled anything.  The pandemic hit before I had a chance to make solid plans.  Travel resolutions went down the toilet for all of us in 2020.  

When I look back on New Year’s resolutions that I have made in the past, it seems that I am about 40-50% successful in completing my goals.  Some of them I nail, and others get half completed or neglected altogether, so I add them to the list for the following year.  I don’t usually sweat it too much because I see those failures as lessons for my future. 

The dictionary definition of making New Year’s resolutions is “setting goals for the New Year.”  The word “goals” is not normally an anxiety provoking word for me.  I usually love goal setting.  This year, however I feel off balance as I do so.  Goals for 2021 seem to be causing me to question everything and so I am experiencing some resolution anxiety. 

Why is it healthy for us to set goals in the new year?

One reason is that it creates optimism.  Thinking about erasing past mistakes and planning for  the new year allows us to feel excitement and hope.  Hope and optimism are good things.  Just the act of setting goals creates hope, and I would argue that each step in the direction of change is a positive one - even if you never reach the lofty end goal.  

Another reason for goal setting is the ability to take stock of where you are and then examine where you would like to be.  Thinking about past mistakes and dropped goals allows you to learn about yourself and acknowledge the things that you want to change. Do you want to be more grateful or generous?  Start by setting that goal in the new year.

So, how do I resolve my resolution anxiety?

Embrace the feeling and work to understand it. I can feel anxious and still move forward if I work to understand my feelings.  Of course I will feel uncertain this year because my brain is still reeling from last year.  Who would expect a global pandemic?  Once I understand where my anxiety is coming from -- my past, I can move forward without fear into the future.  I probably will put my trip to Italy on the list, with the understanding that it may not happen until 2022 or beyond.  Just listing it gives me hope.

Set goals that can be broken down into small steps.  Instead of making a resolution to “get into better shape” which is vague and undefined. I can resolve to add one hour of exercise per week or cut one or two bad food habits from my diet.  The more specific and measurable the resolutions, the more likely I am to keep them.  The smaller the steps, the easier they are to accomplish. 

Remember that people who actually make resolutions and write them down are much more likely to see positive change and accomplishments in their future.  If you are experiencing resolution anxiety like I am, push through anyway.  It will all be for the good.  Share your resolutions with a friend or family member.  Sharing helps you to remain accountable.  And don’t forget to look at how you did last year.  I am sure that you rocked it!

Have a happy, blessed New Year and get some shit done.

Dr. Julie Cappel

“Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility.  Breaking them is part of the cycle.” – Eric Zorn

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Goodbye Cruel Year

This year is almost over and I am really glad to see it go. I have so many negative emotions about the year 2020.  It started off OK, but quickly challenged us in so many ways.  Many friends and families have been challenged with job loss and the financial difficulties that come with unemployment.  Also, many have struggled with health challenges and even loss of loved ones. Whatever you have experienced this year, I think we can all agree that it has been one unusual year that we are happy to see in our rear view mirror.

2020 was difficult for all of us, but I also had some great things happen for me this year.  Good and bad is how life balance is designed. There were many difficulties experienced but also many opportunities for growth and change. When bad things happen in life it is difficult to see any positive, but you can work to train your mind to focus on things that you love and appreciate. 

This week, for example, I had most of my family together.  My parents are in Florida and we traveled there to visit them.  We rented a home, to stay at a distance, and then my children flew in from Dallas. We had a family gathering for the first time in a very long time.  My Mom planned an outdoor, masked up, picnic Christmas gathering to keep everyone safe and distanced - to not risk Covid exposure (as much as humanly possible).  It was amazing to see everyone together, even with the distance and masks.  It was a beautiful day that allowed me to be grateful for so many things. 

Things happen in our life, both good and bad.  Most of them are out of our control. Understanding that life is a mixture of positive and negative experiences, will help you to accept negative emotion. You will be unable to be happy unless you know sad, so pay attention to all of your emotions and do not fear them.  Once you accept both the negative and positive emotion, you will begin to look for things to appreciate about yourself and your life.

As the year ends and we move towards 2021, remember that you get to choose how to think about each day.  Starting each day with optimism and  excitement is a deliberate choice that you get to make. When things do not go the way that you planned, you get to decide whether to give up or get up.  

Start 2021 with gratitude and experience as your goals and things will start to happen for you. Happy New Year my friends!

Here’s to 2020 in the rear view mirror! 

Dr. Julie Cappel

Sunday, December 20, 2020

I want to be more disciplined.

As an ENFJ in the Myers Briggs personality system, I have a tendency to wander, physically and mentally.   I love doing everything and I don’t want to miss anything.  That personality makes me a little unfocused.  I struggle with sticking to a task for more than an hour.  As I write this I am tempted to check my cell phone to see if anything is new on Instagram.  

I know this about myself and I work at being more disciplined every day.  It is like someone trying to quit a mild addiction  - I must continue to work at staying focused in order to achieve my goals and dreams. 

Time management is an illusion.  We need to manage ourselves, not our time.  I have the same amount of time as everyone else.  I may have less years in front of me than a 20 year old, but who really knows how long we each have left?  We have today, in this moment.

Discipline is the key to managing yourself and your time. How can we develop discipline? 

In his article, Three Keys to Developing Daily Disciplines, Todd Duncan lists - clarifying values, blocking time, and forming habits. I would add accepting failure and moving forward.

Clarifying values means that you must know yourself.  Spending time in self study and self love will allow you to truly understand exactly what is important to you.  If you don’t have a good grasp on your values and morals, you will have a difficult time prioritizing tasks to reach your goals.  Because I know that I am easily distracted and bored, I must schedule in breaks and variety to keep me focused. 

I love the idea of blocking time.  We do it in our veterinary hospitals giving 20, 40, or 60 minutes to each appointment.  I like giving myself a set amount of time for each task that I want to accomplish in a day (Including my breaks).  Planning my day first thing in the morning allows me to be more productive and disciplined than if I just “wing” it.  If left unscheduled, my brain will be wandering around wondering what to do next.  Maybe just get a snack and watch my show on Netflix.   That does not make me productive or disciplined. 

Once you get into a rhythm of planning your day, it will become a habit.  You must resolve to get the important things scheduled and done first in your day.  Your values will help you determine the things to put first on your list.   If you value your health above all else, you need to schedule your diet and exercise first.  They are your priority.  I set goals, outline steps, schedule things on my calendar, and vow to stick to it.  I have to set my timer and keep the phone on the other side of the table so I don’t pick it up and start scrolling through instagram.  

The last and final key is dealing with your failures.  I often set out to do something and get interrupted by something or someone.  I get distracted by something (I told you I struggle with focus),  my husband starts talking to me, the dogs need to go out, or the phone rings - it is one of my kids.  I drop everything when my kids or parents call.  When my plan does not go “as planned” I reschedule.  I leave a time block open in my day to do the thing that I was doing when I was interrupted - “the reschedule block”.  Giving up is not an option.  If I give up, I have lost.  Overcoming the disappointment that comes along with distraction and failure is my constant struggle. But if I listen to my friend Rocky, I will never indulge in my failures.

“Going in one more round when you don’t think you can. That’s what makes all the difference in your life.” – Rocky Balboa

If you struggle to be more focused and disciplined, like me, start today and vow to set some goals, examine your priorities, and get something on your schedule.  One small step will start you in the right direction to achieving your dreams. 

Dr. Julie Cappel

“The most powerful decision you will ever make in productivity is building rhythm and routine around doing what matters most.” - Todd Duncan. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Our attitude is always a work in progress.

Today I happen to be in Florida, away from the cold Michigan winter, enjoying the sunshine. I feel so lucky to have a break from work and weather.   I was able to walk my dogs, ride my bicycle, and sit outside in the warm Florida air. My attitude is great on a day like this!  

How can we create a great attitude even when things are not sunny and warm?


According to leadership author, John Maxwell, your attitude towards life is constantly being shaped by the following factors: personality, environment, self-image, exposure to new experiences, friendships, family, and financial security. Maxwell believes that your environment shapes you more than your personality or other inherited traits. Your actions and attitudes are a direct reflection of your self-image.

To create an ongoing positive attitude we need to work at it.  We know that negativity comes more naturally to most of us than positivity. It takes practice to train yourself to keep a great attitude.

Take responsibility for your language.  Some of us are more naturally programed to optimism.  Personality counts, but we all can go to a negative mindset. If you hear yourself start to complain about the weather, work, or another person, stop yourself and vow to speak kindly.  Changing the way you speak will start to train your brain towards more optimism. 

Be curious and continue learning.  Reading positive books, listening to positive podcasts, and finding positive friends to associate yourself with will help you fill your mind with more positive messages.  Attitude can be learned.

Create a positive daily routine for yourself. In order to create a new habit, you have to practice.  A routine of healthy habits and positive thinking will allow you to train yourself to see the bright side.  Your attitude is your responsibility, so remember that blaming the weather or other people is not productive.  

Whatever your day brings to you — sun or rain — your attitude is always a work in progress. 

Dr. Julie Cappel

“Whether you are eleven, forty-two, or sixty-five, your attitude toward life is still under construction. It’s never too late for a person to change his attitude.” - John Maxwell

Sunday, December 6, 2020

F-ing Fabulous Failure

Yesterday I experienced failure. (Not my first time BTW.) It was a big fat epic failure that caused me to mentally beat myself up for hours.   I had all the human emotions;  anger, frustration, embarrassment, shame, and sadness. I felt so much anger towards myself and the crummy situation, and I should know better - I am a life coach after all. 

Here is what happened.  I had arranged a small group of veterinary professionals to record a podcast with me about dealing with curbside medicine, Covid-19, and life in veterinary medicine this past year.  Saturday, I had assembled the group of five veterinarians and veterinary technicians for a podcast recording over zoom. You see where this is going, right?

I have done many recordings this way in the past and have not had any trouble.  Saturday there was a little sound glitch in the beginning that caused me to make an adjustment, which in turn caused the podcast not to record properly.  One beautiful hour of work lost forever!  Not only did I waste my time and energy, I wasted the time and energy of 5 other beautiful generous people. It was so frustrating. 

How did I change my thinking about this failure and use it to move forward?

By knowing and accepting that failure is not personal.  I failed but I am not a failure. When we go into shame or blame mode, our little mistakes and failures feel so personal.  We give them too much power.  Once I processed my negative feelings - and it took a little time - I accepted that the recording was gone and I just needed to try again.

By thinking, this failure is temporary.  "I am fine, the veterinarians are fine, and things did not work out the way that I had planned".  My failure is temporary, and even if my brain is telling me that I am an idiot, I can choose to be grateful that the people were so kind to record with me once, they will probably be willing to do it again. 

I choose to remember that:

  • Failure is uncomfortable, but I can handle it.
  • Failure is something that I do, not something that I am.
  • Failure is an opportunity for learning something that I didn’t know before. (Believe me, I learned something about this)
  • Failure is temporary
  • Failure is part of my journey. 

I will live on to record my podcast another day, if I choose to learn from my mistakes and accept my f-ing fabulous failure.

Dr. Julie Cappel

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” ― Thomas A. Edison

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Thanks and Giving

This year has been most difficult to say the least.  Covid-19 has been challenging and unsettling.  It has led us to change the way we work, school, relate, and live. Families caring for young children and people caring for the elderly have my deepest admiration.  Home schooling and the ever-changing mandates must make it so difficult to plan and work.  

Thanksgiving this year was different for most of us who celebrate the holiday.  We gave up large gatherings, travel, and restaurants in an attempt to fight a virus that is unseen and untamed. Practicing thanks and giving is most challenging when we are experiencing times like these.  We must search with intention to see small blessings in the midst of our negative circumstance. 


Let us remain grateful and generous during this most difficult holiday season.

Focus on what’s important.  We all experience difficulties and setbacks, but even in the midst of difficulty we can choose to focus on something positive.  Someone was kind to you, family or friends reached out - even the little gestures that come to you can be seen in a grateful way.  It does not mean that you do not feel your sadness or grief. You need to acknowledge those feelings to process them.  Searching for little blessings in the midst of a tragedy will help you start to see a way to hope.

Kindness shared will spread. “Pay it forward” is a real thing.  If you share something positive with another, they will become happier and share that same attitude with someone else.  One small gesture - like paying for another’s fast food or coffee in the drive through line, will spark a series of future positive actions.  Just imagine how gratitude would spread if we just practiced one small gesture each day.  The small gestures of appreciation to others will ultimately shine back on you and bring you joy.   The ugly social media frenzy that you focused on this morning will be overshadowed with goodness when you give to someone else. 

Practice gratitude and thanksgiving at least once per week.  You do not have to make this a chore, but some regularity will help turn your negative brain chatter down and turn up your spirit.  Make a point to specifically practice gratitude one day each week or even everyday if you are so inclined.  Some regular intentional practice, like exercise, will build your gratitude muscle.  Specifically name at least one thing in your week that you can be thankful for and then practice one action that allows you to share your blessings with others.  Whether it is kind words for a friend or kindness to a stranger.  If you do it purposefully you will get the most reward, a positive mindset boost. 

Thanks and giving helps you to focus on the life that you have right now.  You can be the example and the inspiration for another human in this most challenging holiday season.  Reach out virtually, in writing, or from a proper social distance.  A small blessing, once found, will start to change thoughts of self-pity into silver lining possibility. 

There are so many ways to be thankful and giving. Share yours with me in the comments, or on Facebook and Instagram!

Dr. Julie Cappel

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” - G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Dusting away

Today I spent much of this snowy Sunday cleaning my house.  I am not a big fan of housework.  I have done it for many years and I am pretty good at it but I do not enjoy it.   There was a lot to do today because I worked long hours this week.  My kitchen needed to be reassembled because it was all torn up getting freshly painted, and my bathroom was its own dust covered, natural disaster.  

My home is generally clean most of the time, thanks to my mother.  She trained me as a child to make my bed, dust (once in a while), clean the dishes, scrub bathrooms, and vacuum up the pet hair. In fact, she also taught me that you really need to clean your house right before you host company.  You know when you hustle about the house before visitors arrive just to make sure that everyone knows that you are a clean person. We haven’t had to do that recently, but I will be ready when we are able to host company again — thanks Mom!

Keeping a clean home and work space is so important to how we feel.  As soon as I was done cleaning my kitchen and bathroom, I felt immediately more in control and at peace.  Even though I don’t like to clean, I love the peaceful feeling that comes with having an organized and clean area in which to live and work.  

Researchers at Princeton University found that clutter makes it more difficult for people to focus on a specific task.  A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that women were more fatigued and depressed if they described their homes as cluttered.  Another study showed that people who make their bed each morning are 19 percent more likely to report getting a good night’s sleep.  

How do you start if you hate cleaning like I do?

Start small or constrain. We often live with clutter because a project seems overwhelming and time consuming.  We have so little time, right?  When I feel myself avoiding a project I remind myself that I do not have to tackle it all in one day. If I only have an hour, I can choose to work for one hour. (Even 15 or 30 minutes will work)  I set my timer and give myself a constrained amount of time to organize.  If I totally focus for 30 minutes or an hour I will always get more done than I originally planned.  Breaking an overwhelming task into constrained sessions makes completion feel less impossible.

If you are feeling chaotic this week, try to clean just a little.  Make your bed, organize your sock drawer, put your shoes away, throw out one journal, or wipe that layer of dust off your desk.  Any little thing that you can do to make your life cleaner and more organized will improve your outlook. You will feel more in control of your busy life.  

Also, cut yourself a little slack when you see the dust.  It is there to remind you that you are human — It can always be wiped away.

Dr. Julie Cappel

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Bringing my work home

We have a hospital parrot.  Actually she is my family parrot that I keep at the veterinary hospital. Until this week…

Kimi is a Quaker that was originally my daughter’s pet, a birthday gift when she turned ten years old.  My daughter wanted a bird and I love Quakers, so with a bit of influence from me we picked out a baby Quaker.  Quakers are one of my favorite parrots because they are full of sass and attitude. Our Kimi is no exception.  She is loud and bossy, and bites anyone that dares put their hand in her cage.  She loves people (when she is not in her cage) and junk food, which makes living in our hospital break room the most amazing place for her.  

Kimi lives in the break room since my kids grew up and left home for college and beyond.  Quakers do not make good dorm room or apartment pets, so she remained with me.  One day when I took her to work for boarding while I was on vacation, I decided to let her stay where she could get more attention and be entertained by the day to day activities of the hospital team members.  She also loves visiting with the other birds that live and board at our hospital.  

This week Kimi became suddenly ill.  I did not noticed that anything was wrong but one of our astute technicians noticed that she was acting a little strange on Tuesday.   When we took her out of the cage to share lunch with us, it quickly became apparent that she was indeed ill.  We drew some blood and started her on some medication.  By the end of the day it didn’t look good, so I packed her up in a little hospital cage, warmed up the car, and carried her home to convalesce on my bathroom counter.   

Since Tuesday, she has been shuttling back and forth with me from work to home and back again, so I can keep an eye on her and take care of her medical needs.   She started to eat better today and squawked a bit, so I think she is coming around. 

This has been part of my job as a veterinarian for as long as I have been working.  Orphan kittens, sick birds, injured bunnies, and even baby ducks have spent time in my bathroom.  We take our work home.  Not just literally (patients and records), we also take it home emotionally.  We don’t or can’t leave our work at work — it seems to never end.

This is why we need to learn to coach ourselves to feel our emotions and process them.  Bringing our work home is not the problem, but feeling overwhelmed by bringing work home is.  Feeling that we are not allowed to say, “No” is also one of our key issues.  In my case, I  did not want to say “No” to Kimi; however, if I was feeling very overwhelmed by her illness, I could drop her off with one of my emergency clinic friends to let them treat her all week.  I have options to protect myself emotionally through coaching and manage my physical situation by asking for help.  Taking care of ourselves needs to be our priority. 

Thank goodness, Kimi seems to be improving today and I am hopeful that she will recover. 

Veterinarians, I understand the enormity of your job.  I encourage you to learn to coach yourself through the rough days.  Create some boundaries when you need to protect yourself.  Love the fact that you can help the pets because not everyone is equipped to handle tough situations, but you are.  You are dedicated, strong, brave and worthy. 

Dr. Julie Cappel

“Be strong, be brave, be beautiful, and believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.”  - Misty Copeland


I spent some time today on my stationary bike getting in a little workout. I live in Michigan so naturally it is snowing and miserably cold ...