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.