I am a firm believer in finding balance in life, and in making your own happiness. If you are unhappy, it is really not anyone's fault but you own. So often I find my self complaining about work, about how much I work, and about how far I feel like I still have to go. Some days I really feel like I was trapped into this whole medicine thing. Like by the time I had figured out what it was all about and how much of myself they would demand, I was too far invested (financially and personally) to turn back. Might I have been happy and content doing something else with my life? Perhaps. But I haven't the slightest idea what that would be. And honestly, I think medicine is a good fit for me. As Dr. Weber would say, "Things generally tend to turn out like they're supposed to". AND, let's be honest with ourselves, my life is not that bad. I see people every day who have it worse than me. I could be blind, or have a terminal illness, or be in chronic pain. All of those would be worse. I have everything that I could ever need or want. And I need to remind myself of that.
So, in an effort to find more balance in my life (because right now it is not there) I have made the following resolutions for this academic year:
Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night
I often find myself getting absorbed in things late in the evening, then I go to bed at midnight and have to get up at 5:30AM. That is just not good for a person, and it is not good for my stress level.
I really slacked off on this towards the end of last year. For a number of reasons. But now that my shin is healing and I have more time, I need to make it a priority. Because if I run 3-4 times a week, I feel better every day.
Don't eat out so much
I don't like cooking for myself, so I found myself eating out A LOT during the week last year. Then Charlie and I would go out on the weekend because we wanted to. I don't want to eat out more than once a week, except on the rare occasion. Food is better when it's made at home,and it's good for me to learn to cook for myself.
Now that I'm a big, bad second year resident, I really need to start devoting at least an hour per day and a few extra on the weekends to reading. I only have two more years to learn all that I can before I am taking care of patient's eyes on my own. On that same note I need to make myself go to the surgical skills lab at least once per week to get ready to do cataract surgery for real this year.
Now that more of my evenings are free, I'd like to go to yoga a few times per month. I think that it is good for me as a sort of moving meditation, and it is good for my overall fitness and flexibility. It's something I would like to take forward with me in life, but I really need to make it a habit now, otherwise it will fall to the wayside when things get busy again.
I really do a very terrible job at this. I feel like I need to be busy all the time. Like I can't just take a few days and do nothing. Whenever I do nothing for a day I feel guilty about it. I think there is a balance that could be struck here. Being a bit easier on myself in all aspects of life also falls into this category I think:)
This is one that I constantly struggle with, and will probably continue to struggle with as I go forward in life. I really need to continue to evaluate purchases and decisions that I make and really think about whether or not it is something that I need at this time. Obviously we all get things that we don't need but I really feel that if we are going to continue as a viable species on this planet we need to stop using up more than our share of the resources. That means that I do not need another skirt. I do need to ride my bike to work. I don't need to turn the a/c on all summer long. I think a lot of my resolutions above also fall into this category.
So, just a few things that I can work towards to make my life more balanced. Because sometimes it feels like I don't do anything well because I'm too overwhelmed to do anything. That is not really very productive either.