Saturday, April 4, 2020

Saturday Sadder-day

I'm very glad I wrote that positive post yesterday because today I've been blah. Maybe its the gray skies and the fact that my children don't want to do anything except screen time? 

Also my MIL is coming this evening (I know. It was a tough decision but we thought it through and decided not to cancel her planned trip and I won't go into why I think its OK, but I do think its safe for all parties. Trust me, I was trying to avoid it as much as anyone). Longtime readers know that she is a...difficult personality, to put it nicely. So, yeah, the idea of being stuck at home with her around is making me a smidge anxious. 

But the kids are SO excited. And she will be our childcare so that we can actually finally do some real work. And I do need to walk more--I'm hardly getting any steps in on non-running days without my usual walking commute, so I'll have an excuse to escape. If all else fails, I can hide in my room and read? 

We did a beach body work out this morning, I am building my sourdough bread to bake tomorrow morning, G sewed some masks for us and cleaned the bathrooms (hero!) and is at the store. Now to force the children to accompany me outside for some fresh air and exercise dammit! 

Friday, April 3, 2020

Good Stuff

Inspired by Lag Liv and OMDG I'm going to take a break from complaining and focus on the positive aspects of quarantine life.

1) Family time. As much as I complain about the kids, they are wonderful humans, and I love spending time with them. We are settling into a better rhythm overall and its so nice to have those moments of connection throughout the day, and especially to have our evenings open for "family fun" including board games, video games, walks. I also love seeing what they are learning (and HOW they learn), and how they interact on Zoom meetings with their teachers/classmates---a whole different side of their personalities I never had access to! There is some yelling and nagging, but there is also snuggling and laughing. They can't get enough of us, they really seem to be thriving on the attention.

2) Couple time:  G and I are actually finding more time to spend with each other (when the kids are on their screens or asleep we can talk or watch a show ourselves, since I don't have to wake up at 5:30 and thus have been staying up past 9:30 PM most nights). We've been working out in the basement together. He brings me tea (I generally work in the basement) when he makes some. And again, moments to connect and share a brief hug or vent in the middle of the work day.

3)Cooking.  Its like a flip switched and I am inspired  to make more interesting things out of whatever we happen to have available. I'm actually ENJOYING it, and I haven't enjoyed being in the kitchen in YEARS. I know many many people work all day and then come home and joyfully cook a meal for their family but I absolutely HATED cooking after work and it was definitely a chore. Yesterday I made cauliflower from this recipe, served over rice with sour cream and veggies on top for G & I and it was SO GOOD (the kids ate tacos with chicken & beans, leftover).

3) Leisure. There isn't a LOT of time for extra stuff, but especially on the weekends we've had time to do puzzles, bake (I actually made sourdough bread, I'm such a cliche), play long games, talk to family and friends. We try to keep our schedules light anyways, but it often did feel like weekends were spent running from one thing to the next with sports, play dates, errands, outings. Those things were fun, and I do miss them, but this is fun too!

4) Creative time. Mostly for the kids of course. Yes there are WAY more screens than I usually prefer, but they are also building legos, drawing, writing stories, and doing advanced math OF THEIR OWN VOLITION. They are also spending loads of time playing/fighting and building their brotherly relationship. But I have more time to write here, and G has been designing things to build (when he can source some wood) and we are also tentatively planning some future home renovations (as we spend more time here, we are noticing what does & does not work).

It was surprisingly easy to come up with these, and made me truly happy to think and write about. Honestly, the change that is the hardest is work. Telehealth is just...not the same as face to face contact with patients. I'm sure it'll get less awkward over time but I find it way more draining (and I find clinical work draining on the best of days). I hate seeing my face on the screen, I can't help noticing "my nose is red" "my hair looks terrible" "what WAS that face I just made?"

Even worse, its impossible for me to concentrate on research (writing/planning/thinking) with everyone around all the time. I just haven't figured it out yet. Our house is small and there is no where to go that is truly quiet and distraction free (I am in the basement right now and G and the kids are having breakfast and WILL NOT STOP TALKING). So yeah.  Good and bad, just like everything else in life.

Thursday, April 2, 2020


My list was a bit...too ambitious. I got half of the paper outline done and didn't really come up with an abstract idea, so those are back on the list for today. Aim EVEN LOWER Ana. On the plus side, yesterday was overall a good day in terms of my mood/attitude. Felt good about my progress on the work & home front, and stuck with most of my good habits. off to a VERY late start. G and I both woke up around 7:30 and had to walk the dog, work out (we did Cardio Fix Extreme together in the basement), shower, feed kids breakfast & make lunches (we have them ready so they can grab and eat whenever without interrupting us if we are working), and get the kids set up with learning. So I sat down to work at the unthinkably late hour of 10 AM.

I need something good and absorbing to read. I just finished a pretty meh book ("Evvie Drake Starts Over"---pretty predictable romance and not what I was in the mood for, it took me SO LONG to finish because I kept forgetting about it). I need something with a bit more drama I think. None of my ebook holds are currently available at the library.

OK the kids are throwing a ball around upstairs instead of working on writing so I gotta go intervene.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

New Month Energy

I took a day to wallow. G and I cut off work early and watched 1917 and had a beer and snacks while the boys played on the switch upstairs. It was what I needed and I'm feeling much better today. Also the sun is out. Woke up at 6:30, did a quick beach body workout (Upper Fix) and got ready for tele-visits. Apparently 3 canceled yesterday since I last checked so I have a break before my next one today.

I am taking some time to actually plan the rest of the week---I've just been reactively doing whatever urgently came up for the past couple of weeks, which meant nothing long term (new papers, planning for my new leadership position beginning in July) was happening. With this being our life for the foreseeable future, its time to get back into regular (ish) work mode. I'm setting the bar fairly low to start---a few achievable tasks per day.

I thought about making goals for the month but then decided I better take it a couple of days at a time for now. I know what tomorrow holds but not 2 weeks from now. I am going to continue daily workouts and mediation, writing in my 3-good-thing journal every night, getting outside daily (dogs help with this!) and writing here more often.

Todays work plan (other than the clinic visits/charting, a conference and a group call): completing a manuscript outline, submitting my scheduling requests for the second half of the year (VERY tentative, ha!), and brainstorming ideas for an abstract due next month.

I am also: doing my laundry (I don't have enough sports bras for these daily workouts and re-wearing them is icky) and roasting a boatload of veggies that have been lingering in the fridge. Oh and some kid supervision while I do the non-work tasks. Mid-day dog walks will be my outside time.

Off we go!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Oh blah

I think I had some plan to write about something else but I slept terribly last night, and its gray and cold and I'm unmotivated and just...blech.

The job I interviewed for in "paradise"? Just found out last night I didn't get it. Not that I would take it. I  just REALLY WANTED to get it. And I woke up in the middle of the night going over what I did wrong, or what I could've done better, etc...

The kids don't want ANYTHING to do with learning today. But they also aren't playing independently. I don't care what they do, as long as I don't need to be involved, and they aren't loudly fighting.

L's class had their first Zoom chat today and we could hear 12-15 2nd graders shouting at each other in the screen and teaching each other (and the teacher) how to make different backgrounds & effects, and text each other. It wasn't supposed to be productive, just a check in and to see each others faces. But it sounded super annoying even from 2 floors away, ha.

I'm ready for a nap. Or a beer. Blah.

Monday, March 30, 2020


Its a learning curve for everyone but geez, my schedule for this week has been completely screwed up. I had asked to have several tele-health visits per day, Monday-Thursday clustered in the AM or PM. Instead I have a random assortment of patients all morning and evening every single day. Ugh.
Today was supposed to be mostly clinical but I only have 2 patients scheduled this afternoon (out of 14 that were originally scheduled---the rest got stupidly rescheduled 2 weeks they will have to AGAIN be rescheduled). 

Anyways, I am using the morning to work with the kids, watching what they are doing and checking over their work for the first time since this whole school-at-home began. I sort of enjoyed it until one kid, who shall not be named, revolted and was found playing legos upstairs during reading time. haha.

Soon it'll be time for lunch and recess. Then concentrated clinical and other work.  This evening we are baking brownies---from a mix---but I will have them figure out directions and gather ingredients. They want to do a science lesson so I figured we'd learn about anatomy today? The school didn't provide great curriculum for science/social studies so we may use Khan academy for that. I am also making them practice typing with a game every day. They hunt and peck OK right now, but B would benefit a lot from being able to type his writing assignments.

The weekend was OK---very rainy, chilly, gray. We rented and watched both Jumanji movies (the recent ones) and they were really good! Lots of board games, take out twice (boys were excited about, but ultimately disappointed in sushi), a puzzle, a (miserable) forced walk for some outdoor time, some face timing with family and friends. I did a 6 mile run yesterday and G and I did some 21 day fix together (Dirty 30 today which was perfect, last week I made him do the Fix Challenge from 21 day fix extreme, because I was worried he'd find the workouts too easy and I nearly killed him, that ish is hard).

Now B is looking over my shoulder and breathing down my neck. Gotta go.

Friday, March 27, 2020

How are you REALLY

I had virtual therapy yesterday and my therapist started with "how are you?" and of course I answered "fine".  My family and I are all healthy, we have guaranteed paychecks, I'm not necessarily on "the front lines" of this---I can't complain can I? We didn't even have any big vacations coming up this month that we had to cancel.

But of course, as therapists do, she pushed further. And of course, I'm not "fine". I'm fucking sad. ALL the things I was looking forward to and planning for? They are all off the table for the foreseen future. Even the summer vacations we had planned may not be feasible. Who knows what will be happening in June?

I get through the hard and the mundane in part by planning and anticipating fun things. And without those things, its just...blah. I'm trying so hard to focus on the small everyday pleasures but its an adjustment.

Things I'm sad to be missing: my parents and sister visiting, date nights, lots of theater---especially Dear Evan Hanson and Waitress, girls trip to NYC, chaperoning field trips for both kids, L's basketball playoffs, watching the kids kick ass in running series, L's first season of baseball, book clubs, brunches, talks I was going to give locally, work conference that was canceled, June staycation (doing nearby adventures at very crowded places), 5K this weekend


There is also a fear of being unqualified to help manage what might be coming our way in the medical system. I'm not "on the front lines" like so many of my colleagues in the medical field and as we judiciously choose which consults truly need to be done in person (to minimize exposures to patients and selves) or which outpatients can safely be rescheduled 1-2 months away or managed virtually---I realize that most of what I know how to do (very well, mind you) is NOT URGENT. Its humbling to stay the least.

And the possibility that maybe I WILL be called to fill in where needed---so many many years away from critical care or even primary care training---that is truly terrifying me. I am not qualified! The memes about not wanting your gynecologist to be intubating you or managing your ventilator hit close to home.

Anyways. How are YOU really?