Thursday, December 31, 2020

Looking Ahead and Behind

Consider this post a prologue to several posts on 2020 books, 2020 lessons, and 2021 goals that I have planned for the next few weeks

This break has been so relaxing. This is the first time we've stayed home for the holidays and its been the perfect mix of family and alone, work and play, healthy and indulgent. I am sad it is ending.

We have no plans for tonight. Actually no, we plan to make nachos, drink sparkling wine/apple juice, and watch movies. The boys have been staying up ridiculously late all break. we will get back to the routine this weekend. 

Wishing you some peace and joy for the new year. See ya on the flip side!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020


"I can't go on like this"...except I COULD and I DID continue the stress eating/drinking. I'm giving up on trying again lol.

Life has been its usual mix of tolerable and awesome and heinous. My focuses are on: work, kids school, and then a little bit of personal health (workouts) and house stuff (decluttering) thrown in. The kids are still hating on line school and they both got shockingly poor grades on their report cards so we are getting more involved and it suuuuucccckkkkssss.

November highlights:

  • Election! working at the polling place and of course the actual results
  • Camping: our post-election trip and our even more glorious Thanksgiving trip (the weather was amazing)
  • Seeing my parents for the first time in about a year
  • Reading. SO MUCH READING.
  • A last (outdoor) meal with a friend and (outdoor) bookclub before the restrictions tightened so that you can't eat outdoors with anyone outside your family
  • Date night with G while parents visited
December Goals: 

  • Work out daily
  • IF daily until Christmas Eve (the first day I have off work for the holiday)
  • Declutter equivalent of one item per day (i.e. 7 or more per week)
  • Put phone away during dinner and post-dinner hangout time 
  • A few work things

That is all. Taking it easy. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020


Its been rainy and gross here lately, so I'm glad we took advantage of the glorious weather while it lasted. 

I don't know why but I'm feeling good today---in terms of wanting to get things done AND actually making that happen. I exercised, meditated, had a really productive "coaching session", updated a talk, planned out the rest of today/tomorrow, and am writing this!

My friend had a "Silk + Sonder" planner subscription, and she was sent 2 planners for November so I'm trying it out. I actually really like it, but hate the idea of having 12 different little notebooks for the year, so I'll pass. Its got pages for monthly goals, gratitude, habit tracking, weekly meal & exercise planning, plus weekly layouts for the actual to-dos, plus blank grid pages between weeks for writing. If they did a yearly one, I'd buy it!

I'm doing a leadership training program through my hospital, and I met with my "coach" today which was EXTREMELY helpful. I realize that I need to block off weekly time for program management that CANNOT be taken over by meetings, and monthly time for big-picture thinking about the program. Its too easy to get sucked into the nitty gritty day to day nonsense and never make real progress.

I'm putting this here for accountability: I am RESTARTING intermittent fasting and the "no drinking on weeknights" rule TODAY.  Good bye 9 pm wine and cheez its. Good bye random halloween candy. Good intentions got completely derailed and I cannot keep this up. 

Back to work, back soonish.

Monday, November 9, 2020


So proud of my city. I see so much beauty in this dirty, historic, delicious, uncouth mass of contradictions. And I cried happy tears Saturday afternoon and again, watching our first female VP speak to all the black and brown little girls seeing a new possibility.

Four years ago, I wrote that we were in the "Upside Down"*. Yesterday, the song in my head was "The World Turned Upside Down" from Hamilton. Especially this part:

"Tens of thousands of people flood the streets
There are screams and church bells ringing"

And of course "We won, we won, we won, we won!"

I know there is a lot of work ahead. But I reveled in the relief for a day. 

*Stranger Things reference that was relevant at the time. I'm not linking because I don't want to read it today.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2020


I worked at a local polling location, directing people to the correct division to cast their vote (the ward is divided into divisions, and multiple divisions may vote at the same building, but at different booths). It was a fantastic way to 1) help and 2) stay busy and off the news.  It was actually pretty low turnout, and I've convinced myself its because most people voted early....

Then I stayed up way too late drinking wine and eating chips & Halloween candy and freaking out. Only to go to bed and wake up and...continue freaking out, but this time with coffee. I'm usually as cynical as the next gen Xer but someone I was optimistic that the VAST majority of the country could look around and see the absolute cluster&*(k we are in and feel compelled to FIRE the "leader" that got us here. The fact that its so close makes me sick to my stomach. No matter the outcome, this has shown me that our country is not what I thought/hoped it was and that is going to take a while to process and come to terms with that reality. 

I am technically "off" today, but I'm doing some work and dare I say? I'm feeling more caught up with things. Its also sunny and much warmer today so I'll go take a walk and take the kids to the park after school is over. We are going camping tomorrow. It'll be nearly 70 degrees and sunny all weekend and I can't think of anything I need more right now than some time by the fire or reading in the hammock. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

A Month

Its been a month since I wrote here, and what a month its been. By that I mean---terrible. I fell into a very very deep hole of sadness and anxiety for a whole host of reasons, many of which are still going on. I'm still very much in that dark place, but I'm starting to---every now and again---see a sliver of light in the future. 

I knew I was feeling more like myself when I opened up my planner after several weeks ignoring it, and made a list for today that included writing here AND making monthly goals for November. I've been just doing the things I HAVE to each day, without really making a plan for long term projects or even thinking about what I may WANT to do. What I really really want to do is feel better. And I know some things I need to do to get there. I just needed to climb slightly out of the hole to be able to actually recognize how far down I'd fallen.  

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Point Taken

 ok OK, I won't be texting anyone. I just feel like doing MORE, and I don't talk on the phone unless I absolutely HAVE TO (sorry mom & dad!)* I'll stick to postcards and donating $$. I don't have time for it anyway, just something I've heard of others doing and figured I could take on for a few hours once/twice.  

Disaster of today---G texted me to say that B couldn't log onto his school link for hours today. Maybe ever. Or message his teacher or submit his work via Google Classroom. So yay! I HATE THIS SHIT.

Oh, and I was supposed to run with 2 friends at 6 AM. I guess I never did set my alarm, I realized at 6:30 AM when I woke up. I squeezed in a quick & dirty "Dirty 30" before heading to work but I felt frazzled. 

Its pouring rain. No outdoor time or exercise for the kids, boo. We can work on the puzzle we started yesterday and play some Mastermind. We bought it from Target last weekend, G and I both remember playing as kids, its really fun! 

I saw patients and had some meetings. Going to eat lunch before more meetings. I'm debating watching the debate tonight. Maybe with some wine. 

*no, they aren't reading

Monday, September 28, 2020

Screaming on the Inside

On the one hand, we are OK. We are healthy, physically and financially.  On the other hand, every single day is a struggle and the world is a s&*tshow and nothing is OK. 

I pingpong constantly between acceptance and rage. Gratitude and despair. Riding the wave and drowning. Work---as demanding as it is---is often the easiest, since I know what I'm supposed to be doing there. I see my patients, attend my meetings, make my lists and complete the tasks. 

Its the rest of it that befuddles me. How much should I push my kids to do their (in my mind, excessive) assignments for school? How to keep them off youtube when the district won't allow us to put parental controls on their laptops? How to reassure (without flat out lying to) the child who saw a scary ad on youtube about "bad guys coming into your house and killing you while you sleep" (!!!)  How to convince my parents to move closer to me and my sister because we worry about them? How to keep MIL happy while she is visiting, but not so happy she stays forever? 

Is writing postcards and donating $ enough? Should I be texting voters like some of my friends are doing? Should I donate more to the senate races than the president (I think yes). How to keep up even the slimmest optimism that the next 4 years will be "same as the first, a little bit louder and a lot bit worse"?

Can I invite 3 kids to an outdoor play date for L's birthday next week? How about 4? What if they bring their siblings? What is the cut off and how to enforce it? Cupcakes OK? Chips? Only in individual bags, right? We haven't even thought about a birthday present for him, my MIL already bought the 2 things he wanted, and my parents and sister want to know what to get. 

ANYWAYS. Like I said, we are all OK. Except when we're not. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Lost Week

 Last week was terrible you guys. I don't know what came over me, but I had ZERO motivation to do anything. For the first time ever, I left a whole week of clinic charts undone through the weekend. I let deadlines pass for manuscript reviews I had agreed to complete. I did not move forward on ANY of my long term projects and goals. I just did the bare minimum to get through the week. Then I ate and drank too much and stayed up too late all weekend because I didn't even want to follow my own rules for staying healthy. 

Of course, now I'm even further behind and more exhausted and trying very hard not to be too hard on myself. I finished ALL the patient charts today. One paper review suddenly didn't need me anymore (the upside of procrastinating!) and I did the other one. I made some headway on a chapter I'm writing with a resident, and planned out time to do the other stuff (revise a paper, submit an IRB protocol) though I've got SEVEN clinic sessions this week so...not a lot of extra time available.  

On the plus side: I've been reading a LOT of books (I finished the Vanishing Half instead of doing charts Friday afternoon, it was FANTASTIC). I did clean and organize and purge in the living room and kids room on Saturday. I made it out for a run with a friend Sunday morning, even though we both just...stopped running 2/3 of the way through and couldn't make ourselves restart.  And I'm here. I wrote this. Its something. 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Back to school blues...

 So I worked like crazy leading up to vacation, had a week off that was pretty OK, and now am working like crazy making up for it. So yay?

Also school started yesterday (virtually) and its already not going well. How do you make a kid pay attention and stay engaged? We caught B reading a book during synchronous learning time several times already (1.5 days in). How do you keep on top of SEVERAL different times were kids have to log off, do their own work/have lunch/etc.. and then log back on (for two separate kids, so a million different times?) And do your own work during all that?

I had most of yesterday free to help, but today I had to go in early (to give a lecture) and G was alone for the kids' morning (I'm back home now). He had stayed up way too late working and was tired and irritable and apparently there was yelling/crying at breakfast sigh.

Also, my "admin" time for my new role is almost 100% eaten up by clinical responsibilities lately. My mentor told me I need to take time to think "big picture" and work on x/y/z projects and I'm like, WHEN. I already work most weekends, trying to update talks/papers for promotion, reviewing papers, working on research projects with fellows, etc... 

Oh, and I'm trying to lose some of the weight I've gained and I'm back to IF (the only thing that ever worked for me and I was able to sustain long term), but also lower carbs, and working out every AM (running 3-4 miles OR 21D fix extreme) and I'm FUCKING HUNGRY.  Yesterday the kids insisted on nachos for dinner and I could NOT resist, plus I had tequila, so my carbs were insane so I'm trying to hold off today...

OK rant over...lets see how "big picture planning" goes whilst hangry. Item 1 "burn it all down" 

Thursday, August 13, 2020


 How long did it last? Less than 48 hours before another evening up late with wine and chips and my phone, then waking up exhausted and having to see a full day of patients, and UGH. Why do I do this to myself. Discussed this with my therapist today, and she points out that my work has gotten quite draining. I'm always constantly interacting with people and making decisions and I have no time to think and reflect and plan. By the end of the day I am emotionally SPENT and I numb myself with food and wine and scrolling. 

I also realize I have literally no time to myself anymore, and I CRAVE it. I just want to not have to worry about anyone else's feelings for one evening (a whole weekend would be great). Part of staying up too late is just getting that kid-free (and sometimes G-free if he goes downstairs to work) time. The mornings are no longer my sacred time to myself, G is up with me, and B has been waking up ridiculously early too. I guess I could get up EVEN EARLIER but I haven't been able to bite the bullet and do it yet. 

I need to find some way to build in some buffer for myself because this is untenable. 

Monday, August 10, 2020

I'm Alive and on a roll

 Its been a challenging few weeks and I just couldn't put ONE. MORE. THING. on my todo list, even if its something I enjoy like writing here. 

I've been through the stages of grief re: all virtual school (after they initially offered a hybrid 2 days in class option, but teachers/parents freaked and they pulled it). We also had a couple of weekend camping trips. Survived 4 days of having no running water in our house (ewww) and a million different work disasters (angry patient harassing me, paper rejections, productivity deficits, having to (re-)do all my promotion materials since I took the COVID extension, PPE malfunctions). 

I dealt with it in my usual healthy grownup way of staying up to late drinking wine and eating chips, then oversleeping and skipping workouts, and zoning out on social media. BUT we have water now, our weekend camping trip with friends was SO restorative (though exhausting, I barely slept), the kids have their last week of camp (and thus their last week of being anymore except home for the foreseeable future) and I woke up ready to tackle some goals. 

I did 21 day fix extreme cardio (so hard!) with G, meditated for the first time in 6 weeks, had a work call and dealt with SO MUCH email. I left messages on phone & email to schedule B's eye exam (he can't see anymore, in the glasses he got last summer), and I am writing this real quick before running to the pharmacy to pick up my meds, and deodorant (a word I still don't know how to spell apparently) which I need pronto, its still "feels like" 100 degrees every day over here. I have telehealth this afternoon and plan to eat a salad for lunch, and lots of veggies with my tacos for dinner. I will drink water and spindrift only and go to bed by 10 pm so I can get up at 5:45 to run before clinic.

I am on a f$cking roll. Lets see how long this lasts....

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Keeping me Sane

Work is insane, our house is a mess, our country is a dumpster fire, and its hot as *&k outside. Things that are helping (besides wine and cheez its):

1) The kids like camp! They say its fun, and are animated and happy when they are picked up. They are tired out and sleep better. They play Four Square and 100000 types of tag and run in sprinklers, eat popsicles, and play board games (occasionally watch movies). And so far (knock wood, etc...) we've had no outbreaks or exposures at any of the city parks and rec camps. Its nice to have something to talk about at the end of day that isn't video game-related. 

2) Camping weekends. Going tomorrow. Can't wait. Only way for me to turn off my brain and feel disconnected from work these days is to truly get away and off the grid. I don't care if we do nothing but swim in the lake and sit by the fire. In fact, that sounds amazing. 

3) My bookclub messenger thread. Yes, if I don't check in a while there can be 100+ messages, but its where I go if I need to vent, have a question, or come across a meme I need to share. 

4) Audiobooks. I just haven't been able to sit and read lately, but listening to an engaging story while I clean up or walk the dog is a nice escape. I did have to abandon my last one mid-listen because it was too complicated a story to follow as audio. Light reads work better. Books post coming soon.

What's keeping you sane? 

Monday, July 13, 2020

Everything to Everyone

Basically a repeat of the "All the Hats" post, X 1000. Work has kicked my ass. I am barely keeping from drowning. Taking on a clinical director role in the middle of "unprecedented times", plus dealing with a huge backlog of patients and patient care issues, working on several simultaneous papers/writing groups, and going up for promotion is A LOT.

Plus my kids started camp---which is great! they like it and are busy and tired out--but its new and they are clingy after. And we are starting to casually look at houses (we need a little more space, we've realized, as we are all on top of each other all the damn time). And G constantly wants to TALK ABOUT IT (houses), while I'm trying to compartmentalize so I don't lose my mind. And my MIL is having health issues, and my parents are worrying me. Oh and we had to do our taxes.

So...I  may have snapped at 1-5 people last week. I just can't do it all and be it all with a smile on my face.

I'm writing this during a no-show televisit even though I should be revising a paper because...I just can't. I took a couple of weeks off from working out, and pretty much did NOTHING this weekend. It was needed. I woke up today with renewed energy & was ready to tackle my plans...and then a million little issues came up like those tiny but bite-y flies, and the motivation is gone. One more patient, an hour on the paper, and I can take a break.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Halfway Through

Well, we have reached the back end of 2020. I just read over my "20 for 2020 list" and hahahahah none of that stuff is happening (unless it already happened before March). 

I don't think I even made June goals, June was a clusterf^&% from beginning to end. Should I make July goals? I dunno.

I'm mostly back at work. I had a full day of patients Monday, worked at home yesterday on admin/research, a half day in-person and half-day telehealth today, taking tomorrow off and Friday is a holiday. So its a short but intense week. 

We are camping again, and packing is MUCH easier, since we have everything ready from last time. Just food & clothes need to be packed tonight. This place is 4 hours away and the boys are already whining about the car ride. But the weather looks amazing, and there is a lake, hiking, canoes...I'm excited! 

Next week I'm in clinic 4/5 days. We'll have students starting elective rotations, too. So basically, work is going to be back to normal, but busier than usual because they want us to see more patients $$$$$

OH! and the camp sent an email yesterday that they are overbooked and unless there are volunteers, they will basically bump some kids to another site...that is NOT possible for us to get them to/from daily. So. Yeah. That sucks. I won't know until tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Happy Camping: Part 2

So we discussed the why so lets talk about logistics!

When you can! And the weather is nice enough.  I'd start with 2 nights for a first trip. One night is also doable, but since you usually have to leave the site around 11am, you its a LOT of set up for not much time. Make sure you arrive with enough daylight hours to put up the tent and get oriented. And also to get a fire going and get people fed. We've arrived at night before and it kinda sucked, though we'd stopped for fast food so at least no hangry-ness to add to the mix. 

The fun part! Decide how far you want to drive, and then find parks and look up amenities and reviews. We went to a place within an hour away for our first couple of times, since I was nervous, and knowing we could just come home if things went sideways helped me feel better. We look for water nearby in the summer, hiking/biking trails, etc... Think about what you want to do and make sure they have it. Some sites have fishing, boat rentals, pools. And I ALWAYS read reviews about cleanliness, maintenance of trails, noise levels. If you want to bring a dog, make sure there are pet-friendly sites (there are less, and tend to fill up faster---if you bring a dog, you can't leave her alone, so someone may need to hang back from swimming/biking so plan that carefully. I did not enjoy missing out on the pool on a super hot day last summer to babysit the dog). Look closely at the map of sites and pick where you want to be (not near the dumpsters, for example, or closer to the water). Site sizes vary greatly---even within the same campground---so if you need more space because you are going with friends or have a large family, pick a bigger site. 

You need a tent and places to sleep. We started off with a hand-me-down 4 person tent, and have since bought a 6 person tent to have a little more room. 4 person=exactly that and we couldn't fit our dog in their with the 4 of us. We sleep on sleeping bags over pads (you NEED pads, or you will feel every rock!) but you can have air mattresses if you are fancy! Bring pillows of course. 
We also have a rain cover for the tent. We have since gotten fancy and bought a tarp and shelter (netted on the sides, solid plastic on top, for rain/mosquitos).
Other big things we have: propane stove and folding table for the stove/cooking, chairs, a big cooler for food. 

This is the hard part because you need to bring EVERYTHING you will need with you. Plan out your meals/snacks and bring all food and implements needed to cook and eat/drink, including water. So dishes utensils, soap/sponge, something to carry dirty dishes to the sink with, etc... Implements for starting the fire (firestarter, wood, kindling, lighter),  trash bags, toiletries, games/entertainment, flashlights or headlamps, first aid, towels, clothes. We have 3 "camp boxes" and keep things that are solely for camping so we don't need to hunt for them each time. Make a list. Check it three times. 

keep it as simple as you can to start with. for our last trip we did: burgers, hot dogs, quesadillas (on the stove), toast, cereal, bacon & eggs. We've made nachos in a camping dutch oven over the fire before and want to try dutch oven pizza. If you don't have a stove, you need to obviously stick with things you can make on a grill over the fire (and be confident in your fire building skills). We bring fruit. LOTS of snack food---you never know when the fire might take hours to start! S'mores ingredients (duh!) and lots of water, as well as juice, and booze. 

I...think that's it. Questions welcome! 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Happy Camping: Part 1

OMDG requested a post about camping, and its a much more cheerful topic than anything else that is currently on my mind, so I'll attempt one. As a disclaimer, we are pretty new to camping--neither of us grew up camping (not a thing our family EVER considered, just not an Indian-people thing, I guess). I'd gone a few times with Girl Scouts and in college, but G had literally never been until he got talked into a father-kids trip with a bunch of other guys from the kids' school in 2018. They all had so much fun and wanted me to experience it too, so we then did a "moms too" group with a few other families. I honestly thought I would hate it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Since then we've been camping pretty much once/month during the warm months (May-October); our longest trip so far was 4 nights in Vermont last summer. We have ONLY been car camping---we aren't lugging our gear through the forest to a remote site. I'm not sure I'm interested in that.

This post is getting super long, so part 1 is an "why", and part 2 will have more of the "how"

My favorite parts of camping:

  • being disconnected and truly off. I can't work or feel like I need to work, and the kids don't have their screens. That is PRICELESS. 
  • speaking of priceless---camping is extremely frugal for a get-away. You pay for the tent site, but its like $50 bucks on average, and then you bring all your own food, and most activities are free. 
  • ability to be more "free range" than we can be in the city. With older kids, there can be a LOT of freedom. They can just take off and ride their bikes around the loop or walk to the lake or playground or whatever is around. (we have had friends join us with toddlers and it is VERY DIFFERENT. I do not recommend! Wait until age 4 or even 5, I'd say---if you don't have to help them in the bathroom, even better!)
  • being outside (duh). I like hiking, biking, swimming in a lake, seeing the stars etc... and you can spend the whole day doing it
  • nothing to DO. Yes there are chores, but they are limited. This may be my favorite part, the not having a long list of errands and to-dos. Plenty of time to read, play games, chat, stare at the fire
My least favorite parts:
  • bathrooms. Sharing public bathrooms, even when relatively clean, not my fave
  • Sleeping. I'm totally comfortable sleeping on the ground, but when its super hot its hard to sleep. And when you are in a campground you will sometimes hear babies crying, or people up too late or too early (there are "quiet hours" but obviously not 100% enforced)
Part 2 will cover planning, gear, packing, and food. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


I took an unplanned break from this space. Other priorities got in the way. Work is busier than ever; I feel like I've got 3 jobs that are constantly competing for my time/attention. Keeping the kids occupied is EVEN HARDER when they don't have the structure of school (and they fought like mad over continuing to do learning activities during the summer, I've given up). A family member (my favorite uncle) passed away, and that took a lot of my emotional energy last week. 

We also planned & successfully executed our first 2020 camping trip. Camping requires a LOT of planning & packing, not to mention all the work when you get there to set up and break down the site. But it was worth it, even if just for 2 nights. Other than the torrential rain that arrived JUST as we finished putting up the tent the first day, we had good weather and were so glad we didn't pack up and go home (we were scared it would torrentially rain the entire time and that would've sucked). We had one full day---which happened to be the longest day of the year, and we packed everything into those hours.We hiked, swam, biked, played games, made fires, ate a lot of junk food, and--best of all--no one whined about screen time the entire day*. 

It was so great to get away that we're doing it again next weekend (the 4th). Further away and for 3 nights this time. We are not sure our trip to Maine is going to happen in August (they require a negative COVID test within 72 hours of arrival for out of state visitors---where can completely asymptomatic people get a test that results that quickly?). 

And on July 6th, camp starts! Hooray! Structure and routine, outdoor play and creativity, instead of finding my kids still in PJs slumped over their laptop at lunchtime, glassy eyed and grumpy to be interrupted. 

*I could, and may, do an entire rant about my kids and screen time. While initially a lifesaver, the screens have now become a matter of contention and constant nagging/yelling and I kinda want to throw them all out the window (or maybe just hide them in the closet for a few weeks for a detox)!  

Thursday, June 11, 2020


(yes, recent events, and the greater reckoning of understanding all of our my own part in institutionalized racism is still very much on my mind. We are going to a demonstration with the children today, and I have a call set up to discuss racial disparities in medical care in the clinic I am leading)

But also, there is COVID, and the fact that we are now in the "yellow zone" (despite not exactly meeting criteria for the yellow zone) and things are...opening up.

Our camp sent out emails this week re: starting in July. My initial thought was "No way". It took one hour of listening to my kids fight and tell me they are bored while I was trying to lead a contentious staff meeting (plus a nudge from my therapist to at least consider that it may be good for all of us) to change my mind. School isn't officially over until tomorrow but the teachers stopped assigning work so "school" is just a daily zoom meeting with the class and some "optional" art projects which my kids have no interest in.

They are going to camp. When we told them they moaned and groaned for...<1 minute. And then that night B asked if it starts next week and they moaned and groaned when I said "not 'til July".  The camp is 9-3, they are assigning kids into groups of 5 for the whole 6 weeks. Counselors will be masked, kids are "high encouraged" to wear masks, and they will do outdoor activities as long as weather permits, or be inside the rec center, one group per room. We may just keep them at home on horribly rainy days.

That still leaves us 2 weeks in June and 1 week in August they'll be rattling around the house but I can deal with that. (please please please let school open this fall)

Our ramp up continues for outpatient clinic. We are now being told to plan for 50/50 in-person vs. virtual for July/August, but its looking more like 70/30 for me, based on the patients I already have scheduled and don't want to reschedule--many that I put off seeing in person really need to come in this summer. If it weren't for the backlog, 50/50 would actually be the right amount for my speciality, like, forever. I hope we can continue some degree of telemedicine because patients really like it and I've grown to enjoy my sunny bedroom office more than the dark dingy crowded clinic spaces.

OK, back to preparing a talk I'm giving next week. I don't want to work this weekend, it looks not-to-hot and not-too-rainy and I'd like to be outside after the sauna-like weather we've had this week. My run this morning was so painful and slow. 75 degrees, humid, wearing a mask, and sore legs from beach body yesterday is not a great combo.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020


I struggled to write here, not because I didn't want to, but because I didn't think my writing skills could accurately convey what I'm thinking and feeling. But time has not necessarily helped me gain clarity so I'll muddle through. 

Our country is burning. I wouldn't say its "falling apart" because that would imply it was previously intact. Clearly it never has been. There have been massive cracks and holes we have papered over and the paper has been ripped open and burned to ash and we all have to look and do the hard work of fixing those wrongs before we can build again.

I feel guilt about how little I can do. I have a duty to my family and my patients and I can't be protesting where there is tear gas and rubber bullets and random arrests of peaceful citizens and journalists. And yet...part of me longed to be there, to rage and shout, and fight on the right side of justice, damn the consequence. 

I rage-donate instead. Equal justice initiative, and ACLU and our city's bailout funds. And I read and listen to the words of truthful and intelligent men and women. I talk to my children about what is happening, and I hope to keep the conversation going. I'm writing letters to our city officials about diverting our meager budget towards schools and housing and food for people vs. arming the police. Of course, I voted in the primary today (by mail) and I am looking into organizations I can join to help influence in November. I can't do much but I can write some texts and postcards. 

I am also thinking about discrimination and implicit bias in medicine, and taking time to think through each patient interaction afterward and how it may have been influenced by prejudice in any way. I know it happens, I'm sure I've done it, but I want to be aware and do better. I think of the many many ways the privileged hold on to that privilege over generations, even in advocating for their family's health care. How can I help those that don't feel comfortable, or even realize the need, to speak up and be the squeaky wheel? 

Its not enough, but its a start. I've stopped thinking "I can't wait for things to get back to normal" because normal is NOT ENOUGH. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020


I've been completely exhausted for the past week or two. Its not just sleepy-tired, though that's part of it---I'm waking up in the middle of the night a lot more than usual and having trouble falling back asleep (I think its the heat). Its just a complete physical exhaustion, like I can barely move after about 3 pm most days. G has been carrying most of the load of dinnertime because I just can't.

I've been getting up later in the morning. I do my workout/run but I am dragging myself through even the "easy" workouts and I'm running slower/stopping more than I have in a while. If I can motivate to take the kids to the park(I haven't in a week or so), I just sit there, instead of playing with them. We were going to bike to the park on my birthday for a picnic but we drove because I couldn't imagine biking for an hour.

I hate this! I'm not the most energetic at baseline, but this is untenable. There are things I want to do! I want to make sourdough and declutter the living room, and change out my clothes for the season.

I'm not sure what is going on. I can't be "coming down with something" because I have not encountered another human in weeks, and I have no other symptoms. Too much drinking, carb-y foods, increased P@xil (well, this is definitely part of it), running more?

Really hope it lifts soon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

What Can I Do?

Is the question I was asked about a million times over the past 4 days. The long weekend made me realize that as annoying as on-line school can be, the structure and time/attention that it takes is REALLY ESSENTIAL for my children. Now I am dreading summer.

Anyways, we made it through the long weekend (and it makes me sad to "make it through" what is usually my favorite time of year) and I had a birthday and got mopey and morbid, and now I'm back to work and its...fine.

Its all fine.

Friday I go back into clinic to see patients for the first time since March. Are the patients going to show up? Who knows! Its so unclear! I have a mix of video visits and in-person visits, but has anyone clarified with the patients and confirmed they are actually driving into campus to see me?
I guess we shall see.


Car and pedestrian traffic is looking pretty much like pre-pandemic levels. People are starting to gather, even though we are still technically in "red", once they announced we are moving to "yellow" in June---without even knowing if our cases are truly falling into the previously determined yellow zone yet (they aren't as of today).



Monday, May 18, 2020


Last week was a real doozy. Apparently I'm being thrown into my leadership role before the official start date, and in the middle of a real cluster of a planning crisis. And I don't actually have the administrative time carved out to actually do this stuff, so I was just working all the time and letting other things get way behind (writing!).

Took the weekend completely off from doing or thinking about work and it was very refreshing. Ran a hot and sweaty (and very slow) 7 miles on Saturday (it was a full 40 degrees warmer than it was the prior Saturday, that is nuts!) which wiped me out for a lot of the day. A much cooler long family bike ride on Sunday---to and from a mostly-socially-distanced play date (and OMG it was amazing to talk to people in person, and L was in HEAVEN running around with his BFF). And finding every spare minute I could (and completely ignoring my family for large periods of time) to finish my favorite brain candy audio book ever---Red, White, and Royal Blue. Not for everyone, but it made me ridiculously happy. And the usual---lots of take out and wine and snacks and movies and games and puzzles.

And now back to the work week, and alarms, eating salads, cooking healthy meals and discipline. I need another fun book to listen to---any recommendations?

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Here and Now

Here and now is not so bad. I do realize my enormous privilege (jobs, health, financial stability) and I I hesitate to complain. I do not in any way equate my general discomfort with uncertainty and change with true human suffering. This space is where I come to process my thoughts & feelings, so it does tend to lean toward the darker side---there just isn't as much to say about a day that went relatively (if boringly) well.

But yes, some days are going well. There are many things I truly enjoy about this new normal. Not wearing shoes for one. My feet have NEVER been happier. Sleeping in later (for all of us). Working out at home with G. Seeing more of my kids throughout the day and getting glimpses of their school personalities when they are on video calls. Telehealth---when it works well---is quite efficient, and feels much more intimate and personal than talking in a cold and sterile clinic room. Relaxed evenings with no homework, or activities, or outings (even when I enjoy them, the mad rush to get home & head out is tiring).

Its the talk of going back that is freaking me out a bit. If I'm expected to be back in the office seeing patients this summer---what are the kids going to do? Will G just work from home while they play video games, watch TV, and do some limited educational stuff all day? If school doesn't start in September, then what?

But nothing is certain. So I can't plan for it. Which is unsettling. So I try not to think about it. Because here and OK.

Monday, May 11, 2020

I can do anything for...

I started doing this in residency. Some months were just so brutal. Abusive really. But that's a different topic for a different day. To keep from falling to far into a pit of despair, I reminded myself that there is an end in sight. I can do anything for one month, I'd tell myself.

Its a handy tactic. I've made it through MIL visits and terrible vacations with infants, particularly bad call weeks, all-consuming grant writing periods, and that one winter when the kids wouldn't keep their gloves on and then screamed when their fingers got cold. I can do anything for one week, 3 months, one hour (long run with a mask on last weekend), 10 hours (a work day after a sleepless night) or 60 seconds (side plank). 

It started in a bit of "wishing my life away' space, but has morphed into more of a testament to my strength. I just feel better knowing there is an end in sight (and in some cases---like exercise or work projects---reminding myself of how good I'll feel when I reach that end). Its a helpful reframing tool.

So it really sucks when I can't use it. When B was a newborn, he cried all. the. time. He never slept. Colic X 1000. I was barely hanging on (if I was at all, in retrospect, I was NOT doing well). I researched how long colic would last and made a countdown. And that date passed and he still cried and stayed awake. So the next countdown. The next.  It was excruciating to not have an end date in sight.

That's what this feels like. Its not as excruciating in the day to day as living with a sleepless unhappy infant, but its hard. And not knowing how long makes it much harder. So I take it day by day and week by week. I can do anything for 7 days. or 84. But 150? 365? more? 

Friday, May 8, 2020


I'm technically at our faculty-fellow "retreat" this afternoon. Its killing me slowly. Its actually not a terrible afternoon when we have a nice(ish) catered lunch and some booze and snacks brought out toward the end but sitting on my desk all day listening to fellows talk about how to improve their wellness is...bad.

Anyways had quite a busy week, kept up my good habits and got some (but not all) of the manuscript written (I ran out of steam and did NOT get to the results. The weather was pretty yuck so we didn't spend as much time outside (plus the super busy).

I am SO ready for a drink. I am really craving a beer after just finishing "The Lager Queen of Minnesota"---I read it this week and was not drinking on weeknights so couldn't pair it with a brew, but I'll think of those gals as I have one. Soon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


Before I sat down at my desk today at 10:15 I: ran 5 miles, meditated for 10 minutes, baked 2 loaves of sourdough (the baking is the easy part, I did the hard part of building/shaping dough yesterday), did a load of laundry, walked B to the orthodontist and back (he FINALLY got his palate expander out and he is SO HAPPY to eat popcorn again), sent 5 emails to work out scheduling conflicts this week and set up my first in-person clinic later in the month, and helped L work through his big feelings about B getting a "prize" (candy) from the orthodontist when he NEVER gets ANYTHING and when can HE get something special. 

Oh, and I ate about 1/4 of the hot, fresh sourdough loaf with a thick layer of salted butter and it was FANTASTIC. 

And now I am tired and need a break :)

But in the next 2 hours I am supposed to: write 2+ paragraphs of manuscript, review accepted paper for edits/errors before finalizing, and write up a short "lay person" paragraph about my specialty clinic for our division website. 

And here comes L again, up 3 flights of stairs holding his laptop open to "participate" in his class meeting but actually whining some more about B's candy (I better go make sure he's on mute).

Monday, May 4, 2020

Another week...

Had a really nice, and relaxing, weekend! It was warm and sunny and we spent a lot of time outside. I got in a 6 mile run (my back started to twinge around mile 3 so I turned around instead of going for 7), the kids and I planted our herb garden in the backyard, and we went to throw a football around an empty parking lot and for a bike ride. Next weekend is going to unseasonably cold and rainy so I'm glad we took advantage. 

HOWEVER, we tried to go to the park (to throw the ball and climb trees) and it was OVER RUN with non-distancing people (mostly 20-somethings) picnicking and showing off their abs working out and just generally flouting the rules. So the downside to nice weather is that we may start seeing spikes whenever it gets nice outside because people can't help themselves?

It was also a VERY indulgent weekend. Friday night: pizza & wine. Saturday night: take out fried chicken sandwiches/fries and wine. Sunday night: nachos and, ummm, wine. SO no booze and lots of veggies on the menu for this week. Shockingly, I haven't gained weight (yet) but I had been steadily losing since January and definitely stalled on that since the shut down.

We've been watching the Mission Impossible movies and the kids LOVE them. I fall asleep about halfway through each movie. Its a given. So I have no clue what's going on except that Tom Cruise doesn't really seem to age. And damn his core strength is awe-inducing (he does his own stunts, I believe).

Good news! Paper acceptance email just came through this morning! This one is a first author paper for me. Had another acceptance last week (middle author) and a co-first-author minor revision (that we already turned around) last week too. So while I'm having no luck moving the one new paper forward, current me is REALLY grateful for past Ana's writing productivity.

Speaking of writing productivity. Current Ana still has to get her butt in gear. Instead of trying for longer writing blocks during which I spend most of the time messing around on the internet in the name of "literature review" and then staring at a blank page, I am going expect ONE PARAGRAPH a day from myself. Off to write before afternoon patients.

Friday, May 1, 2020

May Gray Dismay

I always think of May as my favorite month; its my birthday month, near the end of the academic year, warm but not hot. But lately I've realized it often rains all the time, its super busy work-wise, and birthday-schmirthday.

I woke up in the middle of the night with my lower back seizing up, and I've been stretching and doing my PT exercises but it still hurts to sit (I'm standing, with the laptop on my dresser right now). And I'm worried its the running, because being outside, alone, feeling the wind on my face, is pretty much the highlight of my week lately. Oh aging. I honestly have been thinking I"m turning 43, and then quickly did the math yesterday. I AM 43, I've been 43 for 11 months now. Weird.

May Goals

1) Write a draft of this infernal f-ing manuscript
2) Plant seeds
3) Read/listen to 6 books
4) STOP eating/drinking after 7:30 PM Sun-Thurs  I feel like crap in the morning when I do this, and yet... (I'm leaving Fri/Sat open for dessert or wine if I want)
5) Run 65 miles (such a small increase, but enough to be a challenge)...assuming my back feels better soon.
6) Continue daily exercise/meditation/outside time

Thursday, April 30, 2020

April Recap

Guess my post yesterday resonated---the most comments I've gotten in about a year! Sorry you guys are all struggling with this too, but good to know I'm not alone.

I had a pretty unsatisfying book club meeting last night (I had to start late and end early because of kid nonsense and didn't realize I was on mute for a while) and then stayed up way too late since I'd already opened the wine, and was annoyed at everything, and then started feeling snack-y, and blah. I woke up at 5:45 for my run and I'm just tired & not feeling the paper-writing mojo this morning.

I did make some goals in April, here's a report:

1) Run 60 miles: After this morning, the total came to 63 miles this month. And to highlight how non-linear my progress has been, this was THE SLOWEST run of the month (it was unexpectedly hot & humid and I'd dressed for 35 and windy like it usually is).

2) Read 4 books: I finished 6 books.

  • Catch & Kill: Fantastic though obviously depressing, I think everyone should read this
  • The Woman in the Window:  quick, creepy, mysterious with an homage to classic films, I liked it OK
  • The Clockmaker's Daughter: long, like all of Kate Morton's books, but enjoyable enough
  • I Owe You One: Sophie Kinsella brain candy, she's my fave junkfood writer
  • Mrs. Everything: I REALLY liked this, reminded me a lot of Meg Wolitzer in the following women throughout their lives and examining their choices and their take on feminism kind of way. Its by Jennifer Weiner who I've never read before but assumed was cheesy---I may have to read more
  • Oona Out of Order---I listened to the audiobook for this one. LOVED, still thinking about this a few days later, very creative and thought-provoking 

3) Dye my hair: done (Garnier Nutrisse, deep burgundy, I leave it on 1.5 the recommended time to get my grays AND add tint to my black)

4) Plant seeds for backyard garden: nope, it was raining last Sunday when I had time to do this. Will do this weekend since it'll be warm and sunny. 

5) Figure out way for kids to stay in touch with grandparents without my involvement: not yet, working on this. I've just been calling them and telling them to call the kids on the iPad, which they take to their room so I don't have to be constantly involved, but I do have to remember to call.

6) Daily habits: yes! exercise 30/30, Meditation 28/30, outside 30/30

May Goals tomorrow

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

All the Hats

I realized that one of the things I'm finding really hard about the current situation is the expectation that I fulfill ALL my roles---mother, clinician, researcher, wife, friend etc...---all at the same time. I am used to have compartmentalization to my days. I go to work and its a clinic day or a research day (or at the very least, half-day). Then I come home and can mom & wife.  Or I go out and get to be a friend. On the days I worked from home I was ALONE---G was at work, the kids were in school, the dog walker still came. 

Its hard switching between things all day long, sometimes with no warning. 10 minutes ago, I was composing a patient portal reply and my children barreled up here complaining that their work was boring. 10 minutes later, G will probably pop up and want to chat after his meetings are over. I only have one patient scheduled today---right in the middle---for some reason so that'll happen in the middle of working on the manuscript draft. And at some point probably soon, I have to make lunches and then take the kids to the park. (G did it the past 2 days and I volunteered for today since I don't have many patients or scheduled meetings)

Tonight we have book club, and instead of walking running out the house towards friends and food and wine and getting to TURN OFF the "mom" part for a couple of hours, I'll be here, with interruptions and noise and expectations. Oh and the grandparents have decided that since the kids are home, why can't they face time more often? I've already disappointed everyone on that front which does lead to guild (they are old! and all alone! and miss their grandchildren!) And the kids want to talk to THEIR friends, and since they don't have their own devices I have to organize and manage all of that too. Not to mention the constantly updating text/messenger threads from friends, immediate & extended family that I try to ignore (and yes, everything is on silent so I don't get alerts) but break into my day nonetheless.

I know some people do perfectly fine and even excel working this way, and can easily switch back and forth, and enjoy the flexibility and "work-life integration", but I just haven't figured it out yet. I also know that part of making this work is carving out concrete interruption-free hours for deep work, kids are also struggling to figure stuff out, as is my work staff (hence the random telehealth patients on writing days) and even when I THINK I have the time, surprises pop up. And its hard enough for me to focus, what with the roiling anxiety and now the medication side effects (nausea! fun!) from upping the dose, and my more frequent (stress-induced?) migraines.

Just venting. Off to put on my "writing" hat for (hopefully) a good focused hour.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Baby Steps

Thanks for the kind comments and commiseration. I AM feeling a bit better. I upped the P$xil last week and also took some A&*ien to get a few really good nights of sleep. I've been journaling & meditating & exercising, I took some time to myself this weekend and read a light & fluffy book, and my MIL left. And the beginning of the week is always much better than the end for some reason these days. I'm not quite out of the hole, but its like I see some light somewhere...the hope.

This week is much lighter for me clinic-wise, but I have a LOT of writing to do. I am not sure where to find the focus and motivation to do this but I promised a draft to co-authors by Thursday so I better pull it out of somewhere. I am basically calling the last 6 weeks a wash in terms of getting ANYTHING done research-related, and trying to let go of the guilt. (My inner voice keeps whispering...lazy, lazy, worthless, fraud, even when I keep telling her to STFU).

Our department and divisional leadership is sending heavy hints about ramping up in-person visits soon. I would feel much better about this if I wasn't 100% sure it was driven by financial reasons rather than scientific evidence. And yes, that's basically the response the entire country is taking. Its like we've decided we are OK with a certain percentage of death as long as we can make our $$$. Oh god, I fear for our future.

Oh and the school is planning a major ramp up of online education beginning next week. Thankfully both kids' teachers stressed to us that they understand families have lots of stuff going on and not all kids are responding well to online learning so we can try to be flexible. But seriously, why do they have to have scheduled PE and Art and Music in the afternoons? That's when we try to take the kids to the park or on a post-lunch walk.

Anyways. Back to work.

Friday, April 24, 2020

The Hole

I've had a really rough week and haven't been able to get out of my head to write here. I'm seeing my patients and feeding my kids and attending meetings I need to attend, and that's about all I have the emotional capacity to handle. Everything extra is just falling by the wayside right now, including research/writing, helping with the kids school, connecting with friends/family, hobbies. Even fun things just feel TOO MUCH right now and I cannot find the bright spots. 

Its like I've fallen into the hole and I can't seem to climb out. The hole is familiar. This is basically where I was 4 years ago before I initially started medication for my anxiety/depression. I'd almost forgotten what it felt like, its untenable. I had decreased the dose last fall and was doing fantastic until literally last week when life just started to feel unbearable (Remember? I was baking bread and making goals for the month?). Suddenly everything was awful to begin with and some terrifying new fresh hell awaits around the corner.

I've reached out to my doctor (NP actually, the doctor I was seeing for 4 years left the practice location so they transitioned me to someone new that I saw for the first time by telehealth 2 weeks ago---when I was feeling great!) but I think I'm going to just go back up to my old dose while I'm waiting. Because trying to claw myself slowly out of this hole is no way to live.

Monday, April 20, 2020


I have been employing ALL my coping mechanisms lately. The healthy (exercise! meditation! setting small goals and meeting them!) and the decidedly less so (wine, junk food, endless social media). Its a very predictable slide from having the best intentions every morning to "f it" by 5 pm. And then waking up again roiling in anxiety and regret.

I am very very anxious right now. There is so much uncertainty. And my MIL (who ramps up my anxiety 100-fold at the best of times) is here. And I'm being pulled in so many directions and failing at many of them. I have NO IDEA what is going on with the kids distance learning today, because I started tele-health at 9 AM this morning and haven't left my bedroom (and won't, until the last patient is done at 3:30). I haven't written a SINGLE WORD of the paper I'm supposed to be working on. I am seriously afraid to check how many bottles of wine we've consumed in the past 3 weeks.

And thats besides the very real underlying fear about how this is going to play out with a lack of competent leadership and no real strategy for mitigating illness and death. Every time I look at the news (which I am limiting to once/day), I feel sick to my stomach at some new atrocity or idiocy.

Taking it day by day helps. Just doing the next thing I have in my planner. Work out. Meditate. See patient 1. Patient 2. Patient 3. Walk dog. Make dinner. Put kids to bed. Accidentally stay up too late watching Ozark, drinking and demolishing cheese puffs. Go to bed. Wake up and do it again.

If I think too far in advance it all falls apart. What is the rest of the year going to look like---if you asked me 2 months ago, I'd have given you a very detailed play by play of our family's entire plan. Literally everything is up in the air right now and I feel completely unmoored.

They are talking as if we will be back in the office seeing patients as usual in June. I registered for a course in June that they still haven't cancelled and I need to get my money back. I don't want to do it virtually, I want to be immersed in it and paying full attention, not half-listening to talks while I break up fights, serve snacks, and fold the laundry which I am 100% sure will happen if I try to do it from home. I was also supposed to take two weeks off in June for a local-fun staycation and then vacation with my family. I had been waiting for this beach trip for 2 years (since our last one). I'm over being sad about missed vacations, but, still. I'm sure all camps will be closed. What about our August camping trip that we've also been planning for 2 years? Will school open in September? Child care?

So yeah. I "to-do-list" my way through the day and numb myself through the night. And the calendar marches on slowly.

Friday, April 17, 2020

(a little over) Halfway Through the Month

Dates are hard to keep track of these days.

So we're more than half way through April and I wanted to revisit my goals and make some new ones. I'm not quite ambitious enough for a "19 for COVID-19" list, but there are a few things I've considered that I'd like to write down (to make it more official!)

I have done 100% of daily workouts, 15/17 meditation, 100% going outside every day and meh re: limiting social media. I have also run 32.5 of the 60 miles I have planned for the month and read 1 of 4 books. I better get running...and reading if I want to make it!

New goals:
1) Bake sourdough again by the end of the month (2nd batch better than 1st, but still not amazing...need to keep working out the kinks in my process)
2) Dye my hair...roots are getting bad and so distracting doing telemed
3) Figure out a way for kids to stay in touch with family regularly that does NOT require my involvement so they can talk to grandparents while I work. Grandparents get connection and I don't get annoyed at anyone.
4) Plant seeds for herb garden. I have the seeds. I just need to do it.
5) Set up happy hour with 2 different groups of friends to reconnect

I think that's enough for 13 days.

And, for a little pat on the back. This week I: saw 18 patients (and completed charts!), navigated the announcement of my new leadership position and began setting up meetings ahead of the July 1st start, combed through my entire schedule in next few months to identify tele-med possibilities, and planned out my clinical time for next academic year (less clinic! hooray!). On the home front: all are healthy, exercised, bathed, and fed. And I registered to vote by mail in the primary (for whatever that's worth at this point).

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Positive Notes

1. G bought the hardware for the desk at the local store (instead of waiting on a replacement set from Ikea) and is building it now!

2. Still enjoying working with G. We struggled today, but got 21 day fix total body cardio done!

3. Catch and Kill! Still so good (but slow going---so much is happening, I'm having to go back and re-read parts, especially if I read them when sleepy at night or after wine haha)

4. Did some nice telehealth visits today. When it all clicks (the technology and the comfort/engagement of the patient), its awesome, and can feel even more personal then talking in the office. When it doesn't work, its awkward as hell and feels like a waste of time.

Ummm. That's all I got. I was going for 5 but I couldn't get there.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Worst of both worlds

Working at home with kids grumbling and fighting and refusing to do their school assignments.

Hopping of a conference call to help set up kid's Google classroom meet and completely failing. Kid missed seeing teacher and friends, sad and mopey.

Back aching because of terrible desk set up---new desk came today! Its missing all the hardware to put it together. whomp whomp

Hiding in closet doing therapy session so no one can interrupt. Realize what a mess it is, I need to dust and vacuum in there. Ick. Will I ever where those dresses again?

Writing this with laundry in my line of sight. Should I put it away now? I know its "work time" but at least I'll have accomplished SOMETHING.

The dog is exhausted from all the (masked and distanced) walks I am taking her on anytime I need a break. Sorry dog, you may need to get up again soon!

These jeans are tight. Too much snacking. Gotta get back on track.

I guess I'll call it screen time now so we can have some peace and quiet.

Monday, April 13, 2020


I have this nagging headache today. Its raining like crazy and I haven't left the house at all. Doing tele health and then have to make some dinner. The kids did NOT do well with their school work today, oh well. The laptops are new and enticing (they were playing some kind of "math game" that seemed marginally educational for hours) and G and I were both tied up much of the day.

Weekend was...OK. We watched "Mrs Doubtfire"---it did NOT hold up, don't recommend. The next day tried "Air Force One"---I fell asleep about 30 minutes in and just went straight up to bed when I woke up again. We did order thai food and pizza, which were both awesome. We tried to get outside some, did a zoom meeting with extended family, finished a REALLY hard puzzle. All of those things were...OK.

OK, patient showed up for visit, back tomorrow.

Friday, April 10, 2020

To look forward

Its Friday. Whoo hoo? I'm trying to find ONE thing to look forward to but I'm having trouble. Watching movies with the kids is getting old (and the want to watch stupid shit and we can only half the time talk them out of it), as is playing scrabble or apples to apples. I'm going for a run tomorrow, but ugh running solo (because we are trying to stay single file and my friend just zooms off way ahead of me because I'm slow if I'm not trying to keep up to talk to someone) is not really fun. And its going to be weirdly cold tomorrow AM. I wanted to bake something but we can't find flour anywhere this week. And since the kids stay up so late  on the weekend, G and I can't even watch Ozark after they get to bed (its SO GOOD, guys!)

This is definitely around the time (after a few weekends mostly at home), that I'd have planned an adventure or two. And a date night. Something to shake up the routine and keep my mind off dreading next week.

I am REALLY enjoying Catch and Kill. I can look forward to reading more of it, hopefully (if I can find somewhere to hide away from everyone else). And we will get pizza. I love pizza.

Thursday, April 9, 2020


This week, so far, has felt much more "normal". The fear/stress is abating (probably because I am greatly limiting my social media and news time!). The kids are on spring break so we aren't supervising any educational activities---which has made the day MUCH more peaceful. Trying to encourage (i.e. nag) the kids to do their writing assignments nearly did me in. And the weather has been SO LOVELY, it was literally exuding peacefulness into my soul with the sunshine and warmth. On the work front, I've had light clinical work---5-7 patients on M/W/F which leaves some time to catch up on some writing/admin tasks. 

Today it is rainy and we have a cold front coming in---which is going to last for at least a week. And I'll be standing in the rain/wind for at least an hour to pick up the laptops from the school so we can start "online instruction" next week. And I have VERY FULL telehealth days pretty much every day next week (TWELVE scheduled on Wednesday, OMG). So I'm fully prepared for next week to be much more challenging on every front. 

But what is life other than continuous ups and downs. All we can do is enjoy the ups and try to stay sane through the downs, right? 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


One thing I'm really liking these days---staying up later and getting up later. There is a big difference between getting up at 5-5:30 and getting up at 6:30-7! I am NOT exhausted when the kids go to bed at 9, and G and I can stay up and hang out or watch TV. I really missed that, but I really couldn't stay up past 9:30-ish on my usual schedule.

I still get up at 6 AM twice/week to run before things get too busy on the streets on weekdays. But even on patient days, I haven't had anyone scheduled before 9 AM all week. I guess patients don't want to wake up early either?  I actually did a telehealth visit with my psychiatrist at 8 AM (but I could join with wet hair directly out of shower).

One thing I'm NOT liking is the telehealth itself. Its still awkward, doesn't work well with certain diagnoses, and the no-shows are SOOOO annoying. I'm trying to give people the benefit of the doubt---who even knows what day or time it is anymore, and I certainly don't know what kind of chaos people are dealing with in their homes. BUT, they scheduled the appointment! Just a couple of days ago! Maybe make a note in your calendar or something? Set a phone alarm? Sigh.

Enough ranting, time to make the lamest "other support" document ever (I have none. Other support, that is).

Monday, April 6, 2020


Why do people no show for video visits when they scheduled them 3-4 days ago? I'm on my THIRD no show today (of 7 patients today, so not a great ratio!). I figure they could've forgotten so I call them all after 10 minutes. One said "can't do it at this time" and 2 didn't answer.  WHERE ARE PEOPLE?

The rest of the weekend went so much better! Things I did this weekend: Watch 2 movies as a family (Onward, and the original Parent Trap), watched 2 episodes of Ozark and the first episode of Tiger King with G, baked sourdough, baked chocolate chip cookies, made peanut stew, did a beach body workout with G, ran 6 miles, family bike ride across town to the river and back, had Korean food and pizza delivered.

I also: ate and drank too damn much. "Airport rules" when any moment is a great time for a beer or a snack need to be revoked and we are back to regularly scheduled HEALTHY meals and no-booze-on weeknights.

I made some very small goals for the month: 1) Run 60 miles (which will necessitate slowly increasing mileage, since I'm currently only doing 12-13 miles/week)
2) Read 4 books (I haven't been reading much lately. I got "Catch and Kill" from the library which is hopefully engrossing enough to get through in a week). I'm hoping this will keep me off the news/social media.

Yeah, that's it (in addition to the daily exercise, meditation, outside time). I may build upon it, we shall see!

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?

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Oh, I think you're so pretty...

Little things making me smile these days:

  • The "high school" playlist my HS friend shared (including the song from the post title, can anyone identify it?) Bonus: I'm the only one in this whole suite of offices so I can sing along as I chart! 
  • Texts/messages from people I haven't spoken to in months/years (a cousin, said HS friend)
  • "Thank you healthcare workers" signs on front doors on my route to work
  • Spring! Cherry blossoms in full bloom, daffodils, baby birds
  • Playing Mario Kart as a family...especially when I win (what can I say I am unbelievably competitive at everything)
  • A really good Scrabble word (I play at least part of a game most days with B, he's currently obsessed). Yesterday I made "freezers". so satisfying! 
  • L's art--he's been quite prolific with drawing and also making very creative Lego creations these days. 
What's making you smile? 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Six of one...

Soon after I wrote about how happy I was to be at work, I began to miss being home with my family. The vibe is weird at work, our office space is empty, patients and staff are all anxious...there has been a lot of drama about proper procedures (do fellows come in to round or should attending go on their own? do we all wear masks? etc...) and people on both sides of the issues are worked up and "not their best selves" to put it nicely.

And G is struggling trying to work full time with no child care. The kids are struggling with having to work on boring "work packets" provided by the school district and having no outlet for their energy on the rainy days. I am struggling coming home from a taxing day to everyone expecting me to automatically be ready to take over when I really really really need a few minutes to myself. G is frustrated because he feels like his whole day is spent providing food for the kids, loading and unloading the dishwasher and washing machine, walking the dog, running necessary errands (pharmacy, grocery) and I yelled at him last night that we could just leave the dishes and let the kids get their own damn snacks and stop being a martyr...not my "best self" either.

It was tough being at home, and its tough being at work is the bottom line. Ultimately having both of us at home, so we can each have some dedicated work/free time worked much better for our family last week.  I am trying to plan the next few weeks with this in mind.

My goal: AM and PM work blocks of 3 hours for each of us. For me, these will be filled with telehealth visits (4 half day sessions next week) or concentrated writing blocks. Video conferences/calls/etc may take up some of this time, but maybe I can multitask and listen in while making lunch or whatever because while necessary, they are not leading to "productivity" for me in either clinical or research realms. I need to work with G so we can stagger our work blocks.

Ideally my work blocks would be 8:30-11:30 and 1-4. This should get me time to spend with the kids mid-day (lunch and recess) and early evening (snacks, inside/outside fun) and G can handle breakfast (he could work 10-1 and 2-5, the kids wake up around 9ish).

Other things I need to plan: alone time for both G & I separately AND together (movie date in basement while kids do something upstairs or "happy hour date" while kids play video games?) and more virtual socializing for ALL of us. I have a Zoom meeting book club tonight and we are doing a family happy hour on Friday with G's cousins.

Anyways, off to round. Stay safe and stay sane friends.

Monday, March 23, 2020

In it for the memes

I'm giving up drinking for the month.

Sorry, bad punctuation.

I'm giving up. Drinking for the month. 

Haha. My favorite so far and pretty much was my mood last night. My children were driving me INSANE. B has some kind of snorting tic going on that I cannot deal with---he knows its making me crazy so now he's doing it more often and LOUDER on purpose. And L was whining constantly about screen time. They refused to even consider eating the dinner I was about to make so I said f it.

Kids ate hot dogs for dinner. I had cheez its and beer. Rounded off with some Pirate's Booty and gin later.

Also G was mad at me for some reason (its stupid, and not my fault) and we were snippy and just stared at our respective phones for 30 minutes between kids' bedtime and me going up to bed.

I woke up and did my Beach Body 21 day fix extreme total cardio workout, packed my lunch and walked to work in the rain. We rounded on consults as usual. I have phone calls and forms to fill out for patients now and a phone meeting at noon. Followed by more consults.

I am SO GLAD to be at work right now.

Friday, March 20, 2020


I had a complete meltdown last night. They locked up the park. THEY LOCKED UP THE PARK. We were just saying how going to play basketball together was the highlight of all of our days---just the 4 of us and our own ball, and the hoop, more than 10 feet away from any other families who are also playing their own soccer or t-ball or racing games.

And then I got a university-wide email asking for PCR reagent in case anyone had some in their lab because "supplies are running low" THE F%&K? Already?

These two things, on top of the freaking CDC guidelines about bandanas as PPE...I just lost it.

I am doing consults in the hospital next week. I will be seeing patients that are infectious in lots of different ways as well as those that are immunocompromised. And then going home to my family. I want to follow evidence-based procedures to protect the patients/my family/myself.

I have several tele-health visits scheduled today, but my first one "no showed" (???? we made the appointment yesterday, at the time the patient suggested, they forgot?). Hopefully the others log on for their visits. I want to provide state-of-the-art medical care from my partially finished basement with my dog in the background and my kids upstairs dammit.

I dunno, I'm sure my attitude will improve over time but I'm not feeling it today.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Doing and NOT doing

What we ARE doing (i.e. the general schedule we have settled on)

  • G and I both exercise in the morning before kids are up (they've been up around 8) Alternate running with at home workouts---I've been doing Beach Body 21-day fix or fix extreme (free 30 day trial if anyone want to give it a shot) and free virtual barre classes from our neighborhood studio (email me if you want the name, they are open to all!) 
  • 9:30-12 ish Kids do a couple of hours of "non screen" learning---30 minutes math packets, 30-45 minutes reading, 30 minutes writing (or at least 5 sentences for L, age 8), and 30 minutes social studies packet. This is self-directed and G & I can work. 
  • 12-1 Recess before lunch---one or the other of us take them out for a walk or to play basketball. We can drop off letters to friends they wrote earlier and walk the dog, too. 
  • 1-3 On-line time for kids: They alternate 1-hour of  iReady or Prodigy (school sponsored apps for math, language) on the iPad and one hour on the Switch. We can work
  • 3-4:30 Free-play/art/music: Lego (both are doing this challenge), Lunchtime Doodles with Mo Willems, B practices violin,  typing game on computer, or whatever. We sort of work/sort of interact with kids.
  • LONG outside period from 4:30-ish until dinner
  • Play/board games, etc... until 8 PM
  • 8-9 Keeping regular bedtimes and routine (and no movies/TV on weekdays so we can get them to bed by 9...ish) brush/shower/stories 

What we AREN'T doing

  • School "projects" that involve any parental input. No science or history projects going on here. I am not even checking their work packets. I may have the bandwidth for this later, but I don't right now.
  • On that note, I am NOT reading any articles or posts about "home schooling" because I'm not home schooling. I'm keeping my kids engaged and busy so we can work full time. That is all. 
  • Any household projects, individually or as a family---we aren't decluttering. We aren't teaching our children to cook. Our old dog is not learning new tricks
  • Virtual learning through the school---the district is not allowing it, citing lack of equity, since not all families will have access, especially for multiple kids in different grades needing simultaneous online access. They have posted packets and guides on line and I'm using those. 
  • Healthy eating (me, at least) Gah, I've been eating everything in sight all day long, and ending the day with beer/wine WAY too often. 
  • Planning ANYTHING beyond the current day 
We are doing OK. I am feeling more at peace. The kids are settling into a groove. Its all going to change because I am on consults next week and G and the boys will be on their own. But for now, we are OK.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


I've been having a lot of guilt about my lack of productivity these past few days---since I'm not seeing patients, shouldn't I be writing up a storm? Maybe starting a grant proposal? Sketching out the IRB protocol for an upcoming collaborative study?

I've been doing NONE of that. I am doing any necessary clinical work (phone calls & EMR messages mostly, we haven't worked out the tele-health stuff yet), taking care of the kids---keeping them on track with the schedule, providing food, and taking them outside, exercising, and...not much else. I read a book ("nothing to see here"---it was great) and started another one. Made some elementary school level art. Checked in with pretty much everyone I know. Did a virtual happy hour with a friend and watched 3 episodes of The Good Place with G (we haven't watched a show together in MONTHS).

My therapist reminded me that its OK to be anxious and find it hard to focus. There are a lot of unknowns. Not everyone copes in the same way---some may indeed find it helpful to bury their brain in work. I need to take it one day at a time and not freak out about what will/won't get done in the next few months.

I'm doing better at staying off the news/social media. And I've been sticking to my exercise/meditate morning routine, getting sleep, getting outside, i.e. "self care".

Its sunny outside. The kids are doing math packets. G is on a call. I have a virtual conference at noon, in the next 2 hours I will address any urgent patient needs and some emails and...that may be it. Its ok. I'm on call next week anyways so I need to save my strength.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Strange times

Oh my, have things changed since I last tried to put words to thought on this page. In the service of writing-therapy, and distance-without-isolation, I hope to be here more often these days. Long term readers know I struggle with anxiety, and the best thing for anxiety is unstructured free time, lack of social contact, uncertainty, and the inability to plan. HAH.

What is happening here. For AT LEAST 2 weeks:
-G is on work-from-home
-Kids schools closed
-All extra-curricular activities cancelled
-All my "non-urgent" outpatient visits (i.e all of them) are canceled. We will try to convert to telemedicine, but most likely will just be answering phone & EMR messages for now, until a more concrete plan is finalized.
-we are avoiding: gym, restaurants, others' homes, playground equipment

We are still getting outside with the kids (bike, play basketball at park---without touching anything else) or alone (to run). Thankfully the weather has been really nice.

I am at work today to be "on site" for any outpatient emergencies. So far there have been none. I am charting, answering calls/messages, and trying but failing to work on a paper. Tomorrow-Thursday I will "work from home"---honestly I'll be happy to get a few things done per day, and then guide the kids through some educational activities and take them out for exercise. I made a schedule that I think was too ambitious (though still had several hours of screen time), and may need to change it up.
Friday I'm "on site" again. Next week I'm on the inpatient consult service so that'll be nuts.

Positive things:
1) We are all healthy. Only the usual spring allergies for G & I.
2) My neighborhood friends are really pulling together---every time someone heads to a store, we ask around and get supplies for each other and drop them off. We got 6 bags of dried mango snacks for my friend yesterday, another friend found children's pain meds for me (we are completely out and always like to have some around).
3) The boys' school fundraiser was canceled last weekend and went to "virtual"---yet they raised the most $ ever this year. And I had a really fun time outbidding a friend on some student art (dinosaur collage) that B really wanted me to get through the on-line auction.
4) I'm seeing fun "unity" things pop up on social media---I joined a group that will post a theme of the week for art projects that your family can make and put up in your window and I want to do this with the kids this evening.
5) School district/teachers/community at large coming through with lots of on-line resources to help keep kids' brains engaged (and allow time for parents to get work done!)
6) I'm saving money on dog-walker and babysitters (our after-school sitter was a college student who had to go home, they kicked them all out of their dorms this weekend, shame, we really liked him).

I admit I've really overindulged on scrolling social media/news for several days. I need to stop and keep occupied in other ways. I want to vow to do the following daily:
1) exercise (beach body workouts or running)
2) check in with parents/MIL by phone/text
3) meditate 10 minutes
4) phone-free time morning (9-12---beginning tomorrow, oops, I'll do 12-3 today) and evening (5-8). Morning for deep work and evening for family time.

I do want to plan some projects as well---I know I should be cleaning/decluttering but UGH. Something more fun. Cooking?

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Yellow Carnations and Red Roses

The ugliest combination of flowers ever and the live for f&*ng ever to boot.

A couple of weekends ago, G & B went to the store and came home with flowers "for Valentine's Day" and those were what my son chose. It was so sweet of him! And yet, when I saw those flowers still fresh and bright sitting on our table yesterday I just noticed how hideous they were and wished G had talked him into some tulips (my favorite!) and wondered if it was too soon to throw them out.

Yes, I am was a total b. I was in SUCH a foul mood yesterday, it wasn't until I caught those ugly thoughts (far uglier than the ugliest flowers!) that I realized how extremely negative my thinking had turned. We all have those days, the "I hate everyone and everything" kind of days, right? They pop up, seemingly out of nowhere, but actually triggered by constant little annoyances/disappointments/ anxieties combined with a night or two of poor sleep for good measure.

Thankfully I recognized it before taking it out on my family. I asked G to clean up the kitchen and put the kids to bed, and went to bed very early. Woke up early and had a nice run with a friend. And came into work early to cross some things of the list. I feel MUCH better now. I only hate MOST PEOPLE and MOST THINGS, but that's normal, right? hah.