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Saturday, December 31, 2016

In the dark quiet of the last day of 2016

Oh, no. Not a New Year's Resolution post. Who needs another "Live healthier, Be a better doctor, Be a better mom" post?

Well, I do.

Genmedmom here.

It's 6:30 in the morning on Saturday, December 31st, 2016, and I'm sitting typing in the quiet dark of our house. No one is stirring except for our two big spoiled cats, who relentlessly knocked things off of my nightstand until I got up.

You know how you get really busy, barely any downtime to even answer the texts from old friends, never mind call them, and all the very small spaces in your life are stuffed with overflow tasks, like making shopping lists on your phone on the train, and never going up or down your stairs without having something in your arms that needs to go up or down, like dirty laundry down and folded clean stuff up, empty tea mugs down and toilet paper rolls from the basement up, wrapped gifts down and unwrapped stuff up, so many goddamned toys and factory-new clothes and the boxes, tissue and gift bags that you can't bear to toss that will clutter your home until next year too, and even with your superior physician multitasking skills you realize you're screwing up, like forgetting to RSVP for that thing and being late paying that bill and getting lame last-minute crap for the important staff member you totally spaced out, and then even the doctor stuff starts slipping (which is always last to go, right?) like that you promised to personally get back to your longtime dear patient on a result that wasn't critical but it was important to HER and you totally intended to check that on the holiday weekend and simply send her a quick message through the online portal and you just did not do it.

Then the kids get sick, and you get sick, and any delusion of control you had goes down the toilet with the first bowl of vomit. Your Christmas agenda: poof.

Barf.

But life marches on and there's still things to do and when everyone is (mostly) better you try to keep going, get yourself and the family to rescheduled gatherings and pick up where you left off with the gifts and the cards and the outings for school vacation. Maybe you start losing track of what's really important and what's just life and lose your cool, show your frustration, yell at your kids when the situation just doesn't merit a freakout. No one is running towards a busy street or about to drink drain cleaner, they're just jumping on the couch and throwing pillows and wrestling and, well, not listening to you when you order them to get their shoes on because you're late or pick up that banana peel and take it to the trash or SETTLE DOWN already. And when they react to your red-faced temper with sass and disrespect, maybe you throw the remote control across the living room and when it lands on the hardwood with an unexpected clatter, your kids stare at you with a sad, silent combination of shock and wonder and fear that you hope you never see again.

You know you're out of balance and that this is not right and this is not you.

So in the dark quiet of a holiday weekend morning when, miraculously, there is no event planned nor pressing task nor other thing of perceived great import, you sit and breathe and resolve:

This year, I will live healthier, be a better doctor, be a better mom. I will do this by uncluttering my headspace. I will leave the little breathing spaces empty. For breathing. I will remain thoughtfully committed to my medical practice and remember the high standards I hold for myself. I will love my family, my children,  always reflecting on how blessed we are, how much we have and enjoy in this very difficult modern world. I will pray for those who are struggling and suffering, every day, I will not forget them.

Happy New Year and God Bless.

4 comments:

  1. Oh yes, yes, yes. I am right there you. My 2017 goal is less - less to do, less stuff, less stress. I also need to free up more breathing spaces, as you so wisely call them. I have been more aware recently of how many of my 'have tos' are self-imposed and then cause me so much stress running around, perpetually late and harried. How ironic that it is often easier to do, do, do than to consciously scale back and focus on priorities.

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  2. Yes! Really resonates here. Happy New Year and good luck to us all to prioritize wisely.

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  3. God bless you too! I'm with you this year was so crazy. My kids are older but still, I'm now dealing with teenager hormonal holiday meltdowns. I was medical proxy for a 98 year old great aunt, helping navigate her to hospice and ultimately a funeral Christmas week. Also on call Christmas week. Hosted 25-30 people Christmas Eve on call. Then headed to a family celebration that didn't turn out quite so well. But I'm hanging in there. Health, kids and happiness - that's what's important. And I've decided to hire a personal trainer for the first time ever. Along with the 200 other people at my gym LOL but I want to stick with it. Hugs to you and your beautiful family. I thought of you often and bragged to my brothers, one of whom lives in Boston and is a huge Patriots fan, over the holidays. And your blog is helping one of my other brother's friend - he is a criminal defense lawyer in Atlanta and she works with him - with her child issues. So you are an inspiration. Love reading you always.

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