Monday, October 4, 2021

What is Fun?

(Lets pretend I wasn't gone for 2 months, OK? I've been writing in my head the whole time...I was shocked to see how long its been before those thoughts made it to the page)

Just finished listening to SHU's conversation with Gretchen Rubin on Best Laid Plans and their exchange about "planning in fun" and having to figure out for ourselves what really IS fun, made me think.

Its been a very rough month or two for me, for all sorts of reasons that I will eventually (maybe) delve into, but I'm tired. I could really use some fun. But what is fun??? We make plans and we do things, and yet, all of it feels like a slog. Now maybe that's just my own mental health casting a fog over life, or maybe I just don't genuinely ENJOY many of the things we are doing. 

I was thinking back to moments over the past few weeks that actually felt...good...energizing, and not draining like everything else seems to feel: going to the beach and actually braving the cold water to play in the waves even though the rest of my family was content on the sand, impromptu conversations (with fellow parents I don't know well) on the sidelines at soccer on a PERFECT sunny but cool fall day, laughing hysterically with girlfriends (fellow moms from my sons' daycare...we still love hanging out!) having dinner at a beer garden, having our neighbor over on the first chilly day for sushi and wine by the fire pit. 

Some of those things were unplanned. All of them involved good weather and being outdoors. All of them were social. 

Things that I don't find fun: watching movies (something G and the kids love to do), short easy hikes that take longer to drive to then to actually do (because no one else wants to do the long, challenging ones), going to the park (I am so over the park), "family fun" like apple picking or kids museum, going for ice cream (I can't eat it).

I just spent 8 (of the 10 I've allotted to write this post) minutes trying to think of how I can incorporate more of the FUN moments into my life in the next few months and ended up depressed thinking about winter and holidays and blah. We should enjoy fall while we can. 

OK off to see patients. 

Thursday, August 12, 2021


 I've been sensing an undercurrent of despair throughout my virtual and real life social circles. I feel it too. It started slow & behind the scenes and is now full-force, doom spiral level that I have to consciously decide to push aside so I can get through this hour, this day, this LIFE.

I am in the middle of the time I've SO looked forward to---a few days alone without my family--and instead of using the opportunity of lessened obligations to plan some fun activities, or get ahead on work/house stuff,  I am feeling stagnant.

I don't want to do anything. I don't want to see anyone. When I come home from work, I just want to sit and do a puzzle while I listen to an audiobook. Or watch 3 episodes of the Handmaid's Tale in a row while I eat cereal for dinner.  

I was thinking about those long ago days, when after a hard day or a hard week, I could spend some time re-reading or re-watching a particular comfort book or show. It felt good to just lose myself in something that felt familiar and cozy. To myself, I was "having a wallow". I always felt more refreshed the next day/week then when I tried to force myself to be social or productive. 

My life these days doesn't lend itself to that. No matter how shitty a day, I need to deal with dinner & bedtimes (or just generally participate in my family life), and weekends doing "nothing" kinda suck with my kids and then when the hell will the laundry and shopping get done? 

So its actually...kind of nice to have a chance to wallow. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Saturday Musings

 I slept well and did a really hard LIFT4 legs workout this morning. Now I'm supposed to be catching up on work but...reading and commenting on blogs instead. 

I realized that this is actually the only weekend this summer that we are all at home with no traveling plans. 

  • June 11-13th (last day of school): Camping with friends
  • June 19th: I drove the kids to my parents, stayed the night, and drove back myself*. They stayed for the week
  • June 26th: Drove to my parents, picked up them and kids, and drove to S.C. for the beach trip (this was a long LONG day, 6 AM to 10 PM)
  • July 3-4th: Drove back, stayed overnight at parents' and drove home in AM
  • July 10-11th: Camping with friends
  • July 24th: fly to MIL-town
  • July 31st: G & I fly back home, leaving kids
  • August 10th G flies back and then returns with kids on August 15th
  • August 21st: Drive to ME
  • August 28th: Home from ME
  • August 31st: School Starts

Oh and then my sister visits for Labor Day, I'm on call the next weekend, speaking at a conference (in town) the next weekend, and we are planning an amusement park trip for L's birthday the next weekend.

BUT! I will have 2 weeks kid free while they stay with MIL and 5 days ALL TO MYSELF when G goes back to spend more time with his family. I am so excited. I had a weekend all to myself once, 2 years ago, and it was THE BEST THING EVER and I was so calm and happy and ready for them to be back. G's had a couple of weekends to himself lately (I've taken the kids to my parents) and he says he's lonely.

We are different people clearly. I need a lot of time to myself. I have not been getting it. It has affected my mental health & my relationships. I need some absence to make my heart grow fonder.

I should get to work. We have friends coming over for a play date/dinner and they have many food restrictions and I need to figure something out without dairy or gluten.  

*I actually remembered that I enjoy driving. I do NOT enjoy sitting in the car while someone else drives, for hours on end. 


Friday, July 16, 2021

Highlights, Lowlights, and Things I Learned

 Highlights of the week: 

  • I got the kids to bed (like said goodnight, closed the door) by 9:30 every night. This is (sadly) an improvement
  • The Loki season finale. So fun to have a show to look forward to together. 
  • The Kindle Paperwhite I ordered 3 weeks ago finally came in 
  • Surging COVID numbers all over the place and 2 unvaccinated kids and travel plans
Things I Learned About Myself This Week
  • I cannot do "deep work" in the afternoon after a morning clinic, especially when I cram in a full day's patients into a 5 hour session
  • I am a moderator. Except for extra toasty Cheez-Its. I need to abstain and be "free from Cheez-its"
  • I am still terrible at saying no to things that "sound interesting" and are WAY in the future where time and energy seem boundless. I need to remember "If its not a HELL YES it should be a HELL NO" (heard on a podcast, not sure which?)
Have meetings scheduled today 10-4 (last one ended early, hence this post). Looking forward to a weekend with absolutely nothing planned. I need to catch up on the work I didn't do yesterday afternoon and will obviously not be doing today 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Unexpected Day + Bedtime Woes

We went camping this weekend and for the first time ever, packed it in and came home a day early. It looked like heavy rain and the friends we were with had decided to leave---we've camped in worse, but the boys would've been very disappointed without their friends, and camping in the rain isn't exactly fun so...

G and the boys are doing errands/chores while I catch up on work. It was going to be an admin day for me, one of VERY FEW this month, so I am actually relieved to have it back. I've dealt with a bunch of backlog and using this time to plan out work projects for the rest of the summer so I can reach my (somewhat ambitious) goals. 

You may notice that I've also used some of this unexpected time to comment on your posts! I am always reading, but I can't comment from work or from from my phone, and when I actually sit down to my laptop I am usually back to back with meetings, so don't get used to it :)

As I read and comment and plan, I am always jotting down ideas for "life goals" to work on this summer. I already have grand plans to declutter and organize EVERYTHING while the kids are away with my MIL in August (I did this 3 years ago and its all devolved to shit again, so the whole "do it once" thing is obviously nonsense). Bedtime in our home is a major source of frustration for me right now---I am inspired by SHU and Gwinne to do something about it. I am also revisiting the idea of one on one time with the kids, something we have not done in YEARS as they currently do every single activity together except very occasional play dates (but even then, since usually outdoors, I just bring them both). And then the terrible (lack of) screen time rules in our home currently. 

Lets start with bedtime:

Current bedtime in our house (its summer, they go to day camp that starts at 9 so wake up around 8): we try to get them to bed by 9:30 but its often closer to 10 (omg). Unless its before 9, I will NOT read to them nor are they allowed to read by themselves (they are tired anyways lately, from being outside all day). We lay on their pillows for a few minutes each (though if I'm too tired I may just kiss them goodnight and go to bed myself). 

Not only is this TOO LATE for my liking (I have zero time to myself or with G regardless, but it actually pushes my own bedtime later than I need for my early wake-up) but the process of getting them upstairs and ready is a disaster. They 1) don't listen 2) fight or play with each other and 3) get distracted in the middle of simple tasks (B, the ADD kid, who will take off his clothes and then forget to put new ones on, or will be just sitting their staring at a book with one sock on and one sock off OMG!). They decide they are hungry. They decide they are "itchy" and want a shower. It is one thing after another.

Obviously, we need to think backwards from when we actually want them in bed so that we can make it work. Currently dinner is just too late, thus "family time" (watch a show or play a game) runs late, and the whole thing gets later and later. 

Ideally: Dinner 6:30-7 (I wish this could be earlier, but only possible if we stop work early), clean up/prep tomorrow's lunches/coffee/etc... 7-7:30, family time 7:30-8:30, up to brush/change, read (if time, which there should be if they get ready quickly but will never actually be because they won't), lights out 9:15

On days I'm at work, I'm not home until about 5:45-6. G drops them off and picks them up from camp (at 3 pm) so he doesn't stop work until about 6-6:30. Thus, earlier dinner is only possible if I am at home or have an early day, or if we don't have to cook (leftover days are the best). 

This week actually looks unusually good because I have a few admin days. We planned for pizza tonight. I will marinate chicken for a double-batch of chicken tikka which we will eat tomorrow and Thursday. Wednesday is an early day & Friday I am working from home, so I can start cooking at 5 those days. Saturday take-out and then start over again! 

Any bedtime tips or commiseration greatly appreciated!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Quick Updates and June goals

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

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

Monday, April 26, 2021

Monday Musings

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Work Related

 Some things I've been struggling with lately:

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

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


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

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

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

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

Damn this year has been hard.

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

Monday, April 12, 2021


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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 26, 2021

Random Things on a Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Random enough? 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Family Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, March 15, 2021

Three Times

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

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

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

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

Will report back. 

Thursday, March 4, 2021


 Ha! What a rant. I was super cranky last week, just some annoying things piling up, the "pebbles in your shoe" type thing that you live with until you can't. I went home, had take-out and wine, and went to bed and felt 100% better in the morning. And I spent a couple of hours catching up and planning on Sunday & didn't even have that "Sunday scaries" feeling that I've been getting for a few weeks. 

I did a LOT less cooking last weekend and a lot more ignoring my kids. Got some social time, when L's friend and his mom came over for a play date---we all sat by the fire pit outside while the boys played Nintendo and the mom & I drank wine and chatted. IT WAS SO SO NICE to have adult conversation! I also finished my book & started a new one (which I've since finished), so I'm out of my reading slump. 

This week has been much better, even though I've had more clinics/meetings. Honestly, I do love my job. Its challenging but very rewarding, and I love that I get to do so many different things---clinical, administrative, research, teaching/mentoring.  Though it does take a lot of mental energy and planning to keep all the balls in the air, and I notice I need more down time these days.

I haven't planned anything concretely for this weekend, but have a vague idea of going for a hike Saturday, another fire pit play date (different kid and parents!), and playing a very long game of star wars monopoly (the kids have been obsessed with playing this, but we can't ever finish a game because we just don't have enough time on the week days). I'm also going to go to an in-person indoors barre class (!!) at my old studio---they are doing a trial run with a handful of vaccinated clients (and a vaccinated teacher), 6 feet apart the whole time, bringing your own equipment, with temp checks and masks. I'm mostly doing it to support them because they are a great neighborhood biz and contribute a lot to the community. But also, it seems fun.

Its a constant give and take of me recognizing what I need to feel happy sane, and finding the time/energy to do it in the midst of the usual work/parenting/life stuff, but I need to remind myself of how horrible I feel when I let things slide (sleep, alone time, reading,  planning, delegating, talking to colleagues/friends to vent, and effectively complaining when its necessary instead of just "sucking it up" and letting it fester) so I'll keep that rant up (I was so ready to delete it when I woke up and felt better!)

I need to go tell B to stop bouncing his ball so freakin' loud on the stairs. He's supposed to be in school!

Friday, February 26, 2021


Its been sunny and much warmer---the snow is melting away, leaving mud and slush behind. Thankfully I was able to get outside yesterday to soak up some rays, because its going to rain ALL WEEKEND. 

I tried to make weekend plans---but the weather made it really hard and I gave up. So we have nothing scheduled, as usual. I can't even plan a run with a friend. G is being cagey about planning some time to hangout this weekend, he has a list of projects around the house to do and he is cagey about making plans in general. I guess I'll do chores and try to entertain the kids while he does his projects. 

I worked hard to stay present and engaged with everyone this week. It absolutely made the evening go better, and helped me feel more connected. But I'm still tired of the same old thing every single f-ing day, weekday/weekend, fall/winter/spring. I'm tired of the same old &*(&* at work too. That realization that in outpatient medicine, its the squeaky wheel (with the most time/savvy/resources to ask and ask and ask and demand and complain) that gets the attention, not those that are most needing or deserving it. I'm tired of my kids complaining about school, and homework, and asking for junk food and dessert and video games all the damn time. And they are constantly hungry! I'm cooking and making snacks constantly and I AM TIRED OF IT. 

I won't even go into the cluster*^$# with our school district. I will regret whatever I say. Or the extended family annoyances, but UGH. Haha should I mention the absolute bull#*%((#^$ that was our "division retreat" to foster "engagement" and "communication". My head nearly exploded from rage. Yes, lets make things easier for EVERY SINGLE PERSON except us, because we will always do what needs to be done for the patients, we don't have it in us to let things go, so sure, I can take on everyone else's jobs. No problem. 

I think its the one year anniversary of this shit coming up, and remembering how naive I was, how "its only 2 weeks!". OMG. On the other hand, I'm glad I didn't know what to expect because how can you possibly go on knowing there is no end in sight?

Sorry for the rant. Only 2 hours until I go home, pour some wine, and lock myself away for an hour. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Where is the joy?

I have't written because I honestly had nothing to say except the same old blah. I mentioned that we are struggling, and we are. We really are. I have reached some level of burnout with work and parenting and I really need a break, but I can't take one, so I just numb myself in (mentally & physically)) unhealthy ways just to be able to make it through another day. Truly stupid and time-wasting stuff like social media, games on my phone, online window-shopping (I haven't bought anything). Or my go-to of salty, crunchy snack food and wine.  I haven't even been able to read much lately, I can't get into the story. This makes me sad, because reading is usually my go-to source of pleasure.

Its been very cold---which is fine, but also cloudy---which is not. I need sunshine like a plant. We had some this weekend and it was such a mood boost! We've had more snow than we know what to do with---it was fun at first, but now just a hassle, and is timed just right to mess up my busiest clinic days, and now I'm having to scramble to add patients into days I had blocked off for deeper work.

There are some little things I enjoy---I've been making filling and healthy soups that I look forward to eating for lunch, we made it through the 8 weeks of Liift-4 and I feel stronger (we are starting over), and I've gotten pretty good at Mario Kart with our new evening routine of a quick pre-bedtime family game. But I'm tired of my "3 good things" journal having the same highlights (except the days where I literally have nothing good to say...there are those days too).  

I did have the forethought to realize we had gotten into a rut of doing the same things every weekend (i.e. nothing), so I planned an outing last Saturday morning to a local arboretum, and lo and behold! Despite relentless grumbling all around, we all enjoyed it once we got there! So I need to keep planning new adventures. One weekend, G and I used the time the kids were on their screens to have a little mini-date afternoon, we sat and chatted and ate fancy cheese---it was really fun and a nice break. I'd love to do that more often, too. And I always feel better after some easy socializing with friends during a playdate, so again---need to make that happen. 

I got a new planner---the one I had was too small, and the paper was thin and smudgy. I realized I deserved nice tools for organizing my life, and bought a cheap but cute one with full size pages and beautiful thick paper. I spent some time this morning transferring the rest of this week's activities onto it, and I made sure to add a line for "weekend planning" on Wednesday. I guess its up to me to find the joy and make it happen. 

Friday, February 5, 2021

Friday Faves

Guys, every member of our family is struggling these days. Work, school, home, etc... its all hard.
So lets talk about some great things we've been watching & reading to unwind...

Adult TV Show: Ted Lasso on Apple TV. Seriously, watch this. Its amazing. Its funny but has, as they say, "a lot of heart". Very mature take on relationships of all kinds. I've watched the whole thing twice already. You can get a free week of Apple TV and finish the 10 30 min episodes in that time. Worst case scenario---you have to pay $5 for the month.

Family Show: Its so completely weird but we all love "Wanda Vision" on Disney plus. And they are releasing one episode per week so we actually have something to look forward to watching on Friday night! 

Books I've read: I've read several amazing ones this year so far. My faves: 
  •     Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi. I LOVE her writing. This is a tough one, though.
  •     Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty (is she Leanne's sister? I think so?) More lighthearted, completely weird and unexpected. 
  •     The Most Fun We've Ever Had by Claire Lambordo Multi-decade family drama with varying points of view, all very insightful 
  •     The Antidote to Everything by Kimmery Martin. Ooh this one was a page-turner, and also covered some important issues, and I liked the focus on friendship. I didn't love the ending, but I'd still recommend it. 
Books I'm reading to the kids: Front Desk by Kelly Yang, and the sequel, Three Keys. Really fun book dealing with tough topics, written in the point of view of a 10 year old. My kids LOVED the first book and we are making our way through the sequel.

I also love that my 9 and 11 year old children still like to be read to every night. Its one of my favorite times, even though I'm usually exhausted, and getting them to actually get ready for bed is...a challenge. 

I hope you all are keeping on as best you can. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021


 Happy Inauguration Day!!!!

I had an all day leadership seminar that got cancelled, I feel like I got a gift of time so that I can catch up on work, watch the inauguration with the rest of my family, and just generally take a breath.

I didn't post about goals this year, because I didn't really make any. I just want to continue making progress on the things I'm working on, and keep up the good work on the things I've got under control.

Working on:

-Unplugging in the evening

-Not eating/drinking after dinner (its Pavlovian, if I sit down to watch ANYTHING after 9 pm, I feel the NEED for a drink or snack. I can avoid it by just going to bed, but sometimes I want to stay up!)

-Meditation habit 

Got down:

-Getting outside


-Writing in 5-year journal (I had to buy a new one, cuz I started in 2016! There are some stretches I completely skipped for some years, but since 2020 I've been consistent)

Per my therapist, the only thing I need to work on is pausing, breathing, and being in the moment. I think a lot of the above is related to that general theme---being present, doing one thing at a time (i.e. watching a show and enjoying that without needing a snack), pausing and thinking before I react.

I feel like I have one big fatal flow---the frequent need to be distracted from my life---and if I could figure that out, I'd be golden. But of course it can't be that simple? 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Showing Up

I've had so many reminders this week that how I show up to things makes a huge difference in how it goes---for myself and others. Tough things tend to go better when I intentionally decide the energy I am bringing---kids' homework, difficult patients, team meetings, even early morning workouts. 

Its something I discussed with my therapist yesterday re: the kids' homework (omg, its killing us all, why why WHY do they have to get so much to do????) and with my leadership coach today re: team meetings (with many challenging personalities). 

I come into the homework every evening tired from the day and just wanting to be DONE and so I nag and push them to go faster and am constantly irritated that they aren't moving at MY pace. Yes, they do need some parental guidance and supervision to get it all done---they got very poor grades on their last report card--they definitely are not able to navigate it if left to themselves. I need to take a moment after the work day to change clothes, make a plan for the next day, have a snack if I'm hangry, and then leave behind any expectations or time pressure on how things are going to proceed. 

I rush into our weekly team meetings right after a half-day of patients, hungry, thirsty, frazzled and my hair and face a mess after wearing PPE. So I'm not ready to put on my "leader" hat, and I flounder and the meeting loses track. I need to take a few minutes to compose myself, fix my physical appearance, have some water and a snack, and go over the agenda. I may have to suggest pushing back the time a few minutes so I can do this, but I think we will finish earlier if I am more able to take charge. 

Its not a perfect answer---homework time will probably always suck, and people will go off-topic at meetings---but its the one thing I can actually control.  Now its just remembering to DO it, ha! 

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Good

Overall pretty blah weekend full of work and chores, and some bad news from extended family, but did have some highlights:

  • FIREPIT! We finally got the backyard firepit we ordered last fall, and had a great night roasting marshmallows and just sitting around, chatting. I suspect we'll be using it often, thankfully we found a wood delivery service that sells it much cheaper than the grocery store
  • Dumbbells. G and I are doing LIIFT4, which I LOVE, but limited by the fact that the heaviest weights we have are 15 pounds. We actually only have: 2, 8, 12, and 15 lb weights.  We've been searching for MONTHS, and I finally found some online and ordered 10, 20, 25, 30, and 35 lb sets. Hopefully they are shipped soon
  • Family run. We took over an hour to go 3 miles, what with all the stopping, playing, fighting, but I got a nice interval workout in, and lots of sun & togetherness
  • Reading: I finished the Penelopiad---how have a never read this before? Its hilarious and maddening, and a very short book.
  • Takeout night of Thai food. I am so happy my kids like this, and we have a fantastic place just 3 blocks away (though we are lazy and get it delivered usually)
Busy day, back to it. Hope ya'll are OK.

Thursday, January 7, 2021


 I...honestly I can't say I'm surprised (you start a fire, you expect things to burn), but I am horrified by recent events. I'm really not in the frame of mind to talk about my "process goals" so I'll put that off for a bit.

On the good news front: all I wanted for Christmas was my vaccine and the senate. And I got them in the span of 48 hours! I should maybe have been more specific...maybe "and please not an attempted coup"?

The kids continue to struggle mightily with virtual school, and we in turn have hopped back on the struggle bus of trying to keep track of their assignments and encourage them to do them, in the face of their rotten attitudes, back-talk, and general recalcitrance. 

I did/do feel a little refreshed on the work front. Everything isn't so dreadful and exhausting, so I know the break was much needed and helpful. I'm sure this feeling will wear off soon enough, but I'm riding with it, trying to keep on top of stuff and feel good about the work I'm doing. 

Anyways. Hoping to never have to talk about "unprecedented times" and "dark days in American history" in reference to the current day again.