Crazy, Crazy, Life!

“What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?”
~Ursula K. LeGuin

In honour of this past week being crazy, I decided to (yet again) re-post last year’s entry.  This past week I worked 4 call shifts in 9 days, which included working through an entire weekend.  In essence, I basically worked 12 days straight!  How exhausting! (At least I’ve managed to keep up with the blogging challenge!)

From The Old Blog, November 17, 2014

Oh My!  Where do I start?  This World is just too much sometimes!  What world?  How about all the worlds???

The “Real” World: Technology, Facebook, Movie stars, Competition, Mommy Wars, Politics, Weather… you name it.  The real world that we all live in and that we all share – it is one crazy, difficult to manage place most of the time.

The “Parent” World: If you have kids, you know what I mean.  I ended a friendship over a blog post I shared on Facebook once.  It was titled (something like) “Ten things I hate about being a parent and one thing I love.” It was basically talking about all the crappy, stressful things that go along with having kids: Food everywhere, no sleep, 24hr/7day job with no break, puke in the middle of the night (complete with doing laundry)… the list goes on.  The one thing the author loved was her actual children and the happiness they brought to her life.  Well, my Facebook friend thought this article was far from comical and basically said that she loves every minute of being a parent (to her 6-wk old only baby at the time) and that any person who jokes about how “terrible” parenting is shouldn’t have kids.  Well, Facebook friend, the truth is that being a parent is crazy challenging… (I wonder if she would have a different opinion 3 years later…)

The “Resident” World: If you’re a resident (or medical student, or doctor), you get it.  Regularly working 11 hr days, then working approximately 2 call shifts a week.  All while having academic commitments, and commitments to your staff, and your patients, and yourself, (and your family)… And all that “learning” you’re trying to do while making sure you don’t screw up someone’s medical care… while all you try not to think about is how much you’d like to sleep…
I went to a productivity seminar for my resident retreat a few days ago.  The presenter was telling us how important it is to get a good amount and quality of sleep.  She encouraged us to think about how we could all improve this in our lives and gave an example of why it’s important.  She said that “if a person gets 4 hours of sleep for 4 nights in a row, they function at the same level as someone who has been awake for 24hours straight!  And, that’s the same level of functioning as someone who is above the legal limit of impairment!” (If you are a resident/medical student/doctor, you know where this is going…)  This poor lady then asked us what we thought of that.  We didn’t know what to say.  Every one of us in the room was thinking the exact same thing, but none of us were going to say it: “Do you know how often I am awake for 24hours straight?  Do you know what kinds of decisions/procedures I am responsible for when I am ‘above the legal limit of impairment?'”  Anyway, all that to say, resident life is beyond crazy sometimes.

I have to say, though, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who’s crazy!

Together in Pieces

“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”
~Suzanne Collins

Image Source: ldsperfectday.blogspot.com

Over the past year, I have slowly been working on putting myself back together.  In last year’s post on this day, I spoke about making an attempt to be more positive and figure out a way to start moving forward.  Here is an excerpt from The Old Blog’s post from last year:

As I child, I remember my mom always getting so angry when something fragile would break because she could never glue it back together without it looking perfect.  This gave me the idea, from a young age, that you are never as good as you were before you were broken.  Anytime I got in trouble or got hurt in some way, I just imagined that it made me less “valuable.”  When I came across this Japanese idea of accentuating flaws – because it makes something more beautiful – I suddenly felt so much less “broken.”

I took the small pieces of myself that I had left and assembled them into a new life.  This really started to materialize in the new year, when I made multiple goals that I wanted to meet – most of which I did accomplish by the mid point of this year.  I am proud of my accomplishments – I ran a half marathon, I made great progress on my goal to read 12 books this year (I read 9 whole books, and I have 3 books on the go… the year still isn’t  over yet…).  I made some new friends, joined a taekwondo club, where I have attained a green belt (that is on hold now while I grow a tiny human), and I’ve got another year of residency completed and under my belt.

The most important part of all of this, though, is that I haven’t been pretending that everything is always okay.  I’ve admitted to difficulties and mistakes – and those are the gold seals that show up in this new and re-formulated life of mine.

Singing While You Work

“He started to sing as he tackled the thing that couldn’t be done,
and he did it”

~Edgar A. Guest

I have to say, I’m surprised that this is a quotation that made the cut in this project last year.  It seems less “inspiring” than most of the others.  Perhaps my interpretation of the quote is just another difference between what I was feeling last year and what I’m feeling now.

I am still on the bottom end of getting through this “beast” known as residency.  However, I am a year closer to being finished than I was before!  Some days it still feels like this task ahead of me is an insurmountable challege, even when I know it can be accomplished if I just put my mind to it.  So, that must be what I’m doing – putting my head dow, singing a song, and getting the job done.  It’s not as easy as I’d like it to be, but the most important thing is that it’s getting done.

The sentiment in this quotation, I guess, is that you need to take your time, stay relaxed and finish one small step at a time.  Eventually, with this approach, you will get to the place you never thought possible. Here’s to hoping that in another year I can say I’ve gotten even more of the task completed (thought maybe not a full year since I’ll be taking a maternity leave), and this will be looking even brighter!

Mommy Guilt Doesn’t Win

Today is the last weekday of my vacation, technically.  Tomorrow we are headed out of town for the holiday long weekend.

I complain every day that I dislike my job for how little time it leaves me to spend with my kids and my family.  Yet every day this week I found reasons to sequester in my room to “study” for an upcoming exam, take a nap, have coffee with a friend I haven’t seen in a while, go for lunch with my husband, etc.  I have spent some time with my kids – taking them to their various lessons through the week, dropping the little one off at preschool, walking the big one to the bus stop in the morning and waiting at the door to wave to the bus driver when they drop him off at lunch.  I’ve (kind of) eaten breakfast with them every morning, walked to the park with them once or twice… basically, I have spent much more time with them this week than I do on normal weeks, but I still haven’t make it my priority to spend every minute that I can with them.  In fact, one day they even drove me beyond crazy!

So my question is, why do I not feel more inclined to spend my time off with my kids?  Even today, for example, while the big kid is at school and the little one is with the Nanny, I am sitting in a Starbucks sipping coffee, blogging, and then hopefully studying.  My goal is to go home and see them after lunch, take them to the park, and then who knows what, until it’s time to leave for our road trip.

IMG_6336Is there something strange about my difficult dichotomy?  When I work, I complain that I don’t have enough time to spend with my kids, but then I have a week off work, and I don’t spend all my time with them.  And, I can’t even say that the guilt works because my older kid is always saying, “Mom, why do you always have to study/go for coffee/go to an appointment…?” Yet, I still go out.  I know they want to spend time with me, and I want to spend time with them too.  But I don’t know why I feel so… exhausted…