May 9, 2013

flashback Thursday: May

And the return of FLASHBACK THURSDAY commences!  This feels so critical to me - like re-reading through my old journals - like a conversation with my past selves, asking their advice on if I'm living my life right and true now.  But because it's a lot, I think I may just do one entry at the first Thursday of every month (trying to make more realistic expectations of blogging for residency!).  Same thing as before - to read the full entry, click on the date (e.g. "May 2012").

What could you learn from your past MAY selves?  
What were you doing last May?

in May 2012, I was on my night float acting internship delivering babies and not sleeping very much.  It was a critical time for me because it solidified my decision to be an ob-gyn; even though I was constantly more exhausted than I had ever been before, I loved it.  Some of the guidelines for night float I wrote down then:

1. first thing you do when you get home is shower.  I don't care how tired you are, [other people's] amniotic fluid should not be on your sheets.
2. bring lots of healthy snacks - especially water-heavy snacks (fruits, veggies, just plain old water)
3. when you wake up (or if you feel alert before heading to sleep): work out.  even if it's short, ugly, traumatic - there's not a day when it will feel good so if you start using that as your measure if you should go work out, it'll never happen.

in May 2011, I was on my family medicine clerkship and telling lots of stories about my amazing interactions with my patients.  My tribe also came to visit me in northern maine and we took a trip out to Acadia!  During that time, I came up with a list of "things I learned in family med" including:

1. Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have (even if sometimes what they have is a history of an alcoholic mother and bad coping mechanisms)
that one needs a pause for emphasis. okay, next:
2. Trust but verify. (Ronald Regan, about the Soviet Union)
3. Manage the unavoidable and avoid (or prevent) the unmanageable (-Friedman, about climate science)
4. Try not to work too much harder than your patients are working for themselves.
5. Results can be good or bad news, so deliver all results neutrally until you know how people feel

in  May 2010, I was finishing up first year of medical school and trying to do a million things at once.  Also, the world cup was happening and I was maybe falling in love with the manfriend - slowly but surely!  (here's us at a US soccer game in CT where we drove through the night to get back for class the next day)

in May 2009, I was preparing to move to Vermont and start medical school.  I only have one blog entry from that month and it is entitled "Loosening the Moorings on the Soul". For some reason this one feels the most fitting right now, perhaps because, four years later, I'm in yet another transition.  Here's an excerpt:

Question: How do we adjust our lives in a world that requires us to be in so many more places?

Answer inspired by a novel by Salman Rushdie, called the Enchantress of Florence:

"In a small wooden box concealed behind a sliding panel...[he] kept a collection of beloved 'objects of virtue', beautiful little pieces without which a man who traveled constantly might lose his bearings, for too much travel....too much strangeness and novelty, could loosen the moorings of the soul"
-Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence

in May 2008, I was living in Boston, finally comfortable being single, still working at my very first job, and running along the Charles River pretty much daily.  Here's a passage from an entry reminding me to continue to interact with strangers:

So after I passed the Pretty Good-Looking Guy the second time, I'm smiling all happy-like. Ahead of me, walking the other direction listening to his old school Walkman is a slightly tattered Old Man. And because I'm feeling so happy, I smile briefly at the Old Man as I run by, thinking very little of it.

But a few strides later, I hear him yell back at me (yell in a kind, not aggressive, way) "thanks for the smile; that was very nice". I regret that I didn't turn, I just gave him a behind-my-head thumbs up and kept going the other way. 

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