Wearing All the Hats

Hats. I wear several. It’s hard to keep track of them all. Let me tell you how today went.

I’m on my Family Medicine rotation, and I’m spending the first two weeks (out of six) at a local clinic. Three of my classmates are also at this clinic for the two weeks. At this particular clinic, we get 4 half-days off to study. This morning was my first half day off.

First, I still got up before 6am to get ready for the day. I packed my daughter’s daycare bag with breakfast and snacks, got dressed for the day, and then got her up, got her dressed, and out the door we went to daycare. When I got back home, I cleaned the kitchen, put up one load of dishes and started another load, started laundry, took out the trash, and rearranged my kitchen cabinets (the place was seriously a mess and I couldn’t stand it anymore!).

Once that was done, I did some things I needed to get done: sifting through emails. Fourth year is rapidly approaching and we’ve been bombarded with emails about scheduling 4th year, writing our personal statements, meeting with our advisors and our MSPE letter writers, etc, so there have been a lot of emails with a lot of important dates attached. So I filed away all of the ones I was done with, updated my planner, RSVP’d to events, set up meetings with advisors, that sort of thing. I then did some of my fun things like edit an article for in-Training, submit Annual Meeting programming ideas to my AMA Committee, etc. Then I sat down to study for a bit.

For the past couple of weeks, my back and shoulder have been killing me so I booked a massage for this morning to see if that could work out my tight muscles since even yoga hasn’t been helping. After my appointment, I grabbed a quick lunch and made my way to the clinic. We saw 6 patients before the end of the day (not bad for a half day, as several of them required quite a bit of time to address all of the problems).

Tonight, my school’s GHHS group hosted “Compassion Rounds”, which was a great meeting on self-care and wellness that was a great reminder of why I came to medical school, and gave me a lot of things to think about, in terms of how I treat myself while I’m going through this process–I always feel like I am failing at at least one of the things that I do.

By the time I got out of the meeting, it was 7:30pm. We really needed groceries and I missed my hubby and the Ladybug, so we all went to the grocery together for a quick trip. Once we got home, the hubby put away the groceries while I gave the Ladybug a bath and dressed in her PJ’s. I then took a shower, paid bills, balanced my checkbook (all that “adulting” stuff, and worked a few of the Case Files cases for Family Medicine.

This day has felt like three individual days. I still didn’t get everything done that I wanted–I didn’t make it to the gym today. I usually go either super early on my days off, or after the Ladybug goes to bed during the week. I didn’t get to study as much as I hoped today since I did need to do some “life” things, but I am ok with that, since I got so much of the “life” stuff done.

Today I also read a short article titled “I’m a Mom, Not a Martyr.” It was a great article; it addressed so many of the feelings that I’ve had while trying to go to school and be a good wife/mom. I do all of these things because I love all of them. I love being a mom. I love taking care of my family. I love spending time alone with my husband. I love going to the gym and having my free time. I love writing and editing. I love being a medical student. I’m exhausted, but I’m also extremely happy. Some days, I get so frustrated. Some days, I just want a nap! And it’s all ok! I’m not a martyr, I’m not a saint, I’m not superwoman, I’m just me and I’m doing what works. Sometimes it’s messy. Sometimes it’s not. Being a medical student is not nearly as impossible as I had originally thought way back when I first got my acceptance. I thought I would spend every waking minute (and give up sleeping, too, I thought) to be totally consumed with medicine. That’s not how it has been at all, and we are all three thriving. There have been plenty of struggles, plenty of tears, but also plenty of laughs and smiles and joy. It’s all about adjusting and rolling with the punches. Today was long and convoluted and I wore all my hats at different times–and it was a great day!

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