I had anticipated making my way through this 'finding the balance' series a little more quickly. But, you know, life has other plans most of the time.
In the last few weeks, I spent a lot of time dealing with this:
That would be Tiny with peri-orbital cellulitis. She ended up requiring a trip to the ER for IV antibiotics when the oral version wasn't cutting it. And my girl did not cry (or even wince!) when they drew blood or placed the IV. She is so my daughter. And she's all better, which is fabulous.
**All better and livin' it up at the Home Depot!**
And I spent a long weekend with some dear friends. I took all these books with me to read, but why did I do that? Because when I'm around my friends, we never stop talking. I still managed to finish two books thanks to my quiet plane rides. I kept feeling like I should be wrangling a little body into their seat, but, nope--just me and my book. I'm sure husband was glad that I got out some of my talkiness (though he would never let on!).
So, anyhoo. I've been playing catch-up. One 'finding the balance' tip before I dive into kelle hampton's new book.
1)Squeeze good into small spaces: Because time spent at the hospital or clinic can be so draining, it's easy to let that suck the life out of the little time you have that's not at the clinic or hospital. Rage against the machine, my friends. Don't let yourself get caught in the trap of putting off all fun until the training road is done. I've always been someone who relished having something to look forward to. Whether it was big or small, I've liked having a little anticipation in my back pocket. It has added color and sparkle to my days.
That can be a powerful thing during medical training. When you're tired, it's easy to want to hang out with your DVR or a book instead of the friends of yours who are meeting up at a restaurant. Because, you know, that would require wearing something other than scrubs, combined with the scarce commodity of energy. And most of that time, I think it's just fine to skip those things. You do need to rest. You do need to be careful about not stretching yourself too thin.
But you also need to remind yourself that there is still fun to be had along the way.
Rockstar and I were celebrating our 2nd anniversary during my intern year. We switch off surprise-planning them, and when baby status allows for it, we try to make it a weekend getaway. It was my year to plan. At first I felt defeated at the thought of trying to plan something fun into such a chaotic schedule. But I reminded myself about the power of anticipation, and the need to keep living my life. So on one of my Golden weekends (a rare bird where you are post-call on Friday, have Sat/Sun off, then return to be on-call on Monday), I planned a New York trip. It was a whirlwind of restaurants, Wicked, and shopping. Even knowing I had to be back to craziness in 48 hours, we ate it up. It's still one of our favorite memories.
I might've been tired, but I felt alive.
Most of my simple joys were on a smaller scale: McDonald's ice cream cones, live music, walks by the local river, trips to the bookstore, phone conversations with old friends, dinner out.
**inexpensive manicures! (Shellac really does last 3 weeks!)**
Such things, for me, were key to maintaining sanity.
Find something that makes you feel alive and try to fit it into small spaces every once in a while. Have something to look forward to. Make it happen even during improbable times. That's not always easy, but the dividends are rich.