Looking Forward

It’s that time of year again!

2015 was one heck of a year. I finished my second year of medical school, passed Step 1 of my medical boards, celebrated our daughter’s first birthday, took her on her first long family vacation, moved into a new home, started my third year of med school on the wards, and went on a birthday trip (My first time on a plane since 2005!). As phenomenal as all of that was, it wasn’t without it’s low points. We lost my father-in-law in September, and early this morning, David’s family lost another remember. As excited as I am to ring in the new year tonight, it feels a bit dampened now. However, I’m trying to remember the good times and press forward with hope.

Over the past month, I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to accomplish with this new year, knowing that by this time next year, I’ll likely be done interviewing for residency (more or less), and we’ll be making hard decisions about the first step of my career. I’ve never been good at keeping my New Year’s resolutions. The best thing I’ve ever done to stick to my resolutions is… To start before the new year. 

After my surgery rotation, I started going back to my gym (I mean, I’m paying for it anyway, right?) and I am so proud of myself for losing nearly 20lbs so far. I feel better, my pace time is already improving, and I’m already down a size in my jeans. I usually go for a run super early on my off day or late at night after the Ladybug goes to bed. I really enjoy my time for “just me” at the gym… I don’t think about school, or things I need to finish, or anything…. it’s just me and the distance racking up on the treadmill (and my iPod, to be honest). Since I’ve been able to keep at it for a few months now, I bit the bullet and finally bought a FitBit (it came in the mail today!) to help keep me on track. I’d really like to run two half-marathons this year… if I can keep this up.

Last week, I found this idea: a “7 x 2016”, a prompt for making wishes become goals instead of ‘traditional’ resolutions. I really liked that idea, so here goes mine, with a couple additions:

Learn how to.….. speak in medical Spanish. Back in high school and even college, I was pretty good in speaking Spanish with native speakers. However, it’s true that what you don’t use, you lose. I’ve bought a guide and have already conquered the first chapter. Here’s hoping for better communication with some of my future patients.

Start……. My Year of Kindness. One thing I’ve been noticing lately is a genuine lack of kindness in our community. I’ve got a few ideas on what to target for each month, and I’m really hoping this new venture is a success. More on that soon.

Stop…… Doubting myself. I do it all the time. It’s a hard habit to break, but I realize what a detriment it is to my psyche and my performance as a student, wife, and mom. There is no room for it anymore in this new year.

Travel to.….. This one is my favorite, I think. While I feel like I am overdue for a visit to somewhere outside the USA. It’s been almost 5 years since we went to the Caribbean. However, I think that adventure might still be awhile off. This year, we’re planning on a post-third year pre-Step 2 studying family vacation to Washington, DC and Virginia Beach–three new states for me and the Ladybug’s first trip to a beach. Much slower-paced than we’re used to, but that’s ok! Making memories with my family is a priority this year.

Find…. Two half-marathons to run this year. With rotations, it’s not like I can just pick which ones to do this far ahead of time, so I’m wondering if I should skip the local half-marathon in April (during my OB/GYN rotation… just watch my week of nights in L&D be the same time as the race) and plan for one in summer and another in the fall. Any suggestions for fun ones to run?

Try…… New restaurants in our area. Since there is a great probability that we just may not be living here after The Match, I’ve insisted that instead of always going to the same places (which I love, honestly), that we try some new places that are unique to the Louisville area. We’ve asked friends of ours to go with us to a new restaurant once a month. I’m really excited for this new Double-Date Night!

Be more……. Girly. Since being in med school, I quit dressing nice for class/school in general unless it was absolutely necessary. Then once I became a mom, I put myself last on the list of people to care for. I love dresses but don’t think they look right on me. Since losing so much weight, the brand-new clothes I bought for rotations in July already don’t fit me, which is a blessing and a curse. I hope to actually acquire some style this year, and maybe even keep my nails painted and try new lipstick or something.

And then two I added to make my own “9 x 2016”:

Less….. Screen time/wasted time on my phone. I wonder how much efficient I would be if I transferred all of my phone time to work time. Not that it’s bad to focus on something outside of medicine for awhile, but I find that I scroll through all the social media apps when I’m bored and spend much more time on them then I intend.

More…… Memories/Playtime with my kiddo and hubby. The Ladybug loves for momma to come home and do nothing but play until it’s her bedtime… which sometimes eats up a large amount of my study time, and sometimes makes me worry that I’m not a good medical student. However, I don’t think this is time wasted (such as when I’m on my phone). I always, always, always make sure that I tell her that I am happy to see her and that I love her as soon as I pick her up each day. I want to soak up all of this sweet toddler time as I can.

A friend of mine stuck to her resolution last year to try to bake one new pie/month. I really like that idea, and David has already volunteered for the difficult job of taste-tester! 😉

2016…. another big year for us. I am so excited to see where it leads us, and start the process of finding my first job as a doctor… Sometimes it hardly seems real.

So, friends, I leave you with this: I hope the new year brings you enough obstacles to keep you courageous, enough disappointment to keep you hungry for personal growth, and enough adventures to keep you inspired. Let the following question be your guide:

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