Thursday, June 3, 2021

Quick Updates and June goals

 Its been a month. In no particular order, some things that happened:

  • B got bit by a dog and got a full set of rabies shots (still awaiting the bill for the 4 ER visits)
  • My MIL came for 3 weeks and created a wave of drama and anxiety all around
  • We spent a cold, rainy Memorial Day weekend in a lovely house in the mountains---which we only left for 5 minutes at a time to walk the dog 
  • Finished a chapter, prepared a talk for a conference, co-writing another paper to submit next month
  • Planned our summer (yay!)
  • Read a lot of good books and some meh ones
  • Ate too much junk and drank too much booze and thus gained too much weight 
June Goals:
  • Exercise daily 
  • Book travel arrangements for all summer adventures 
  • No alcohol on weekdays; only when out with others on weekends
  • Write review article, finish co-written manuscript 
  • Start new clinic initiative
  • Create a chore/responsibility schedule for the kids
OK! I can do a post in 7 minutes, so no excuses to leave for so long again!

Monday, April 26, 2021

Monday Musings

Writing this from my home office, listening to the sound of construction next door and...nothing else. BECAUSE THE KIDS ARE IN SCHOOL! Only 2 days a week but omg.

Weekend was nice---spent a lot of time outdoors---the kids had soccer on Saturday and it was gorgeous, G and I sat and planned out our summer. Sunday, me and the kids did this climbing/zip line thing with a bunch of friends and I loved it---its the right amount of scary/thrilling for me, such that I feel "present" but not "about to have a heart attack". We also spent a lot of time trying to find new backpacks for the kids, but no luck. Did make some returns and buy a new iPad though.

I also got to sleep in (i.e 8 am!) & read. It was nice after a weekend/week on call to have some breathing room. I was physically/mentally exhausted. I finished "Black Buck" which I LOVED. I had no idea what it was about heading in and it was...funny & sad & action-packed and completely over-the-top but worth it. I think it'd make a fantastic movie. I've already casted it in my head. Currently on "White Ivy" (ha, didn't see the juxtaposition of those titles), which is...fine so far. I'm only a few chapters in so will report back. G and I started "The Morning Show", which I'm liking.

On that note, we got a year of free Apple TV+ because I got a new phone! I had cracked my old one (an iphone 10) a few months ago, but it started weirdly short-circuiting, like just possessed and clicking things automatically---it was unusable. I got a loaner from work and it was nice at first (so small! touch ID!) but started to annoy me (so small! also...so small it frequently just...fell out of my pocket and also cracked) so I was much relieved to get my new navy blue 12 (which I immediately put a study case & screen protector on). I also ordered a new laptop/monitors for work, since my current devices are too old to run updated work software. In fact, spent 30 minutes with IT this morning figuring out a work around so I could do telehealth, after a recent software update made it impossible for me to get onto Epic.

Anyways. What more. MIL is coming this week, which...ugh. But at least G & I can have some date nights? He is getting shot #2 on Wednesday. 

Ok, back to work. I still can't believe my kids are in school. 



Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Work Related

 Some things I've been struggling with lately:

Management vs. Leadership. This concept is new to me and very eye-opening. I spend a LOT of time on "management" of my program---handling day to day issues, schedules, staffing, increasing patient volume. I spend little to no time on "big picture thinking"---i.e. articulating the long term goals for the clinic. Things like research ideas and collaborations, optimal care models, enhancing our education strategies, etc...

And that is what really counts. When people look at my performance as a leader, they will not see the fires I put out, or the optimization of schedules & fill rates. They will look at the research output, the novel care models, the recognition from trainees.

Similarly

Deep Work. I have been time-block planning before I knew it was a thing, and it used to work pretty well, but lately my "blocks" for writing/research are being consistently encroached upon, and I have a lot less of them overall given my clinical work & meetings related to the admin role. Its all about hyperactive hive mind here (Cal Newport's term)---checking emails or EMR and reacting. I actually lost a 2hour block of writing time yesterday morning and tracked what I did in that time. Its boring but it was related to rotation schedules for student, editorial role for a journal, scheduling meetings, and patient messages. Those things didn't take up the WHOLE time, but the constant task switching made it impossible to actually make progress. 

Other things that take up my deep work blocks: appointments for myself or kids (they can't happen during patient care so...) and other similar "homing from work" activities. And then...general laziness/distraction. If 85% of my week is taken for, my brain sometimes sees this time as a break. 

I know discipline is the answer---discipline to not schedule things, check email or EMR, and just DO the thing I'm supposed to do without wasting time. 

I'm also still working on the "showing up" part. 

Damn this year has been hard.

Just writing this out was motivating. I need to do better here. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Thoughts

Spring break was wonderful. I had not completely disconnecting from work for a whole week (no email, EMR) for YEARS (since I got a phone with email on it, basically). Honestly what we did doesn't matter,  it was just the feeling of freedom and ability to think only of myself & my family that was refreshing. 

We did have a great time though. We hikes & biked, played a lot of board games, read, and even watched TV the one rainy day (Great British Bake Off and Gravity Falls---which is actually pretty good!) There was obviously whining and fighting and the dog got into the trash and made a mess TWICE (we did not learn from our mistake) and also ran right into a icy creek and scared the crap out of us all (she has NEVER swam in her 15 years of life), but everyone survived. 

I've been feeling very anxious the past few days, and it took me a while to figure out that I'm a little nervous to be letting go of our cozy pandemic life. We are planning for the summer, and going to visit family and ugh. Obligations and stress. Logistics and calendars and flights. Back to school, camps, more activities, etc... Its all good. IT IS. But its also a huge mental load that I didn't have for a whole year and realized HOW FREEING it is. The kids are home all day with G, no travel except for camping trips, and there was nothing to figure out. 

The kids have finally gotten into a groove with virtual school---report card conference last week was a complete 180 from the last quarter . We've gotten used to unstructured evenings and weekends---planning things like park playdates & hikes at the last minute based on how we feel. Now we have soccer and running club to work around and its...different. We were all relieved that running was rained out yesterday even though it was the only thing on our agenda. 

There are definitely things I'm excited about, but along with that excitement is a bit of wistfulness. 


Friday, March 26, 2021

Random Things on a Friday

Yesterday we heard that they are planning hybrid (2-days a week) for 3rd-5th graders beginning late April. We are all very (but cautiously!) optimistic, since K-2 has been going well for a few weeks now. 

So I mentioned I bought a new planner after the Wonderland222 didn't quite meet my needs---the other one didn't either. I am very picky and want specific things and I'm having a really hard time finding it! I need some planner matchmaking help. Calling SHU

I am off next week, for the kids' spring break. We are staying heading to some mountains and staying in a "deluxe" (heated, with bathroom) cabin for 4 nights. We can hike and play games and read books and basically anything besides work. I do NOT want to work.

My phone broke and I got a loaner for work, and I've added minimal things to it (just adding things as I need them) Plus it uses touchID which...omg is so much better than faceID when you are always wearing a mask. I am getting a brand new phone sometime soonish so I hope I can keep things minimal longterm. 

Reading "Ready Player Two" and...it took me a long time to get into it. And I'm not sure what I think about it so far. Some of it is hilariously awful. But on the other hand, I keep going back for it and have raced through most of the 2nd third, so it must be captivating? 

I am getting really tired of LIIFT4. We just finished week 5, our 2nd time through (without a break in between). The workouts are long, and I truly want to die sometimes. Today we did legs, and had the full weight session, then HIIT, then abs and I was so freaking tired, but had my whole entire day to still get through! 

Random enough? 


Monday, March 22, 2021

Family Weekend

I'm spending some time this morning tying up loose ends from Friday and planning for the week because I left work early Friday to drive the boys and I down to visit my family! We saw my parents and my sister & BIL (and the cousins of course) and it was really really nice. 

My parents moved in January to live near my sister, so now they are a very manageable weekend trip (instead of two flights or one flight + long car ride) away. COVID and winter kept us away until now, but all adults (except my sister) have been vaccinated so we deemed it safe. G stayed home for some much much needed alone time (and dog care, since she wasn't allowed to come, and we couldn't find a sitter).

We ate (a lot), went a little nuts shopping at the Indian store (I have NEVER seen such a big store, SO MANY varieties of snacks and sauces and spice mixes!), played games (the adults played "Ticket To Ride" and I had so much fun I ordered it for us), and ate some more. The kids played a boatload of video games, but also made a Lego "restaurant" and served us food, played board games, and ran around at the park. It was lovely.

Doing the trip alone was liberating for me---I've never driven long distances myself with the kids--and everyone was all "YOU? YOU'RE driving? Are you SURE?". But obviously it was fine, I even managed to navigate a puking situation, terrible traffic, and the usual fighting. 

We listened to "The House in the Cerulean Sea" in the car and the kids are obsessed. Even after getting home yesterday, we hung out in the back yard and listened some more. Then we played a long ass game of Monopoly, ordered burritos and ate them around the fire pit, and the boys watched some TV while I continued to sit by the fire pit with my wine.

It was a very good weekend. Really really needed some fun, with no work or chores mixed in. 



Monday, March 15, 2021

Three Times

I'm starting to see some (faint) light at the end of this tunnel. Our school has opened its doors (not for my kids, but the younger ones), and the playground is open after hours for all kids. The NYT graphic on how many have received their first vaccine goes up each day. Its just feeling like we have finally, finally, turned a corner. Not in the home stretch yet, but...a little bit closer. 

So...lets talk about Goals/Habits. I'm doing great with exercising, though getting bored now on the second time through of Liift4 & may start doing more running instead. I'm reading, I'm getting outside, meal planning & cooking and doing a tiny bit better at not putting off annoying but not major stuff at work. 

One thing COMPLETELY fell off my radar--meditation. I'd been doing 10 minutes of Calm almost every day last fall and then I just...stopped. I realized that Liift 4 takes longer than the 21-day-fix workouts so I lost the time I had set aside for meditating. Since I do it with G, and its hard enough for him to get up as it is, I am reluctant to suggest doing it earlier. 

I do want to restart this---it makes me feel a little less crazed--so I'm going to go with Laura's "Three Times a Week is a Habit" rule and will do it on 3 days that I have a later start in the morning, and see how that feels. While I do like to a see a streak in the app, I remind myself that 3 times is better than zero times, and it DEFINITELY feels less daunting. 

Will report back.