Healing Reflections: "Light at the End of the Tunnel" by Sue Bauer

Feb 12, 2021 | Hannah Schlotthauer, Administrative Assistant | @schlohan

Light at the End of the Tunnel
Story by: Sue Bauer | Mayo Clinic Health System

In looking back on the past year, I learned many things about myself. At first there was fear and disappointment. A cancelled March spring break trip, no family gathering for Easter, then a cancellation of my only daughter’s college graduation ceremony. I learned that although a lot of disappointment, life kept moving on and it was time to make the best of everything even though things were different. Making the best of less than normal situations became the norm. Planted a garden which I had not done in many years.

To stay resilient, I looked at the bright side of things. Did my best to take care of my mental health. I enjoyed being outside, cherishing time with friends and family in a safe manner, continued to camp and enjoy all that goes along with those weekends.

I’m grateful for all I have. From my past, I know things could be 10-fold worse. My family and friends are safe, and we still enjoy many of the same things we always did.

I feared that I’d lose hope and not being able to look forward to things loved to do.

I’ll never forget helping others overcome their own fear and disappointment of the situation. Live your life with some minor changes but live your life!! The furlough that basically forced me off for three weeks was a true god send for me. It was a great time to see myself in a different manner and all I have to offer to others and myself outside of the Mayo Clinic world that I had been in for so long.

I’m proud that, in my professional life, my job duties changed significantly and that I was able to dig in and do my best to learn which seemed like a very steep learning curve. It was emotionally exhausting at times and I had many days where leaving work with tears streaming down my face was common. I have many colleagues/friends that supported me, and I think I am a better person because of it.

One moment of joy over the last year is seeing public places ramping back up, people abiding by the rules (masking etc) but still enjoying life.

The most difficult aspect of my job has been attending to our phone lines 5 days per week. Besides being emotionally exhausting, the anxiety it causes for me is overwhelming at times. I love helping customers/patients with the resources I have. Just need for focused time.

When I find that life is chaotic, I enjoy being in nature. Even in the winter I love to be out walking or snowmobiling. In the summer planting, digging in the dirt etc. Music!!

I would give the advice to be your own person - don’t always follow the herd. It’s better to be lonely than abused (in reference of friends etc). Stick your neck out…always do whatever you can to help others. Accept people for who they are – recognize our differences. And if you can be anything be KIND!!

I am getting through this time due to laughter, gratefulness and making the best of things.


Art by:  Ameila Anderson | Menomonie, WI

Amelia Anderson is a freshman at Menomonie High School who is involved in gymnastics and cheerleading.

We can constantly feel trapped and surrounded by all the bad in the world that we don’t always realize the “light at the end of the tunnel.”


For more information about the Healing Reflections gallery or to get involved with the project, contact Sara Martinek.

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