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7th Week of Grateful

I am grateful to have gotten mostly over my cold and to have a few minutes to (finally) catch up on reading y’all’s blogs. Writing will still have to wait a bit, I think. I love this list, but I totally agree on #2 especially, which serves you well as a mother, wife, friend (to those who are true friends back) and in your profession.
~Anonymous (wink, wink Ms. Sheena)

Another full week of being at home, and another week of new things to be grateful for.  I often try to not repeat myself from prevous gratefulness posts, but my memory does not serve me well (unfortunately).  Either that, or I am just extra grateful for some things!  Being home again this week has given me more time to appreciate my kids, but it has also given them more of an opportunity to get on my nerves!  In addition to having more time for my kids, I am also discovering things that I wouldn’t have had the time or mental energy for before taking a break.

This week I am grateful for:

1. My Nanny.  Being at home while she is “working” (AKA taking care of my kids, cooking, cleaning, and doing my laundry) while I do frivolous activities like sleep, exercise, run errands without kids, go on lunch dates, and take baths, is sometimes a little uncomfortable.  I feel a little like a slave driver, especially since I am capable of doing all of that stuff for myself.  It is wonderful, however, to just leave some of that stuff to her and give myself a break or an opportunity to spent some extra quality time with my kids or with myself. This week the kids and I went shopping to buy “gardening stuff” and we spent a morning planting our “gardens” and setting them up in front of the living room windows.  I look forward to watching their budding excitement as their gardens grow (pun intended).

2. My new friends.  It has been a long, long time since I’ve made new friends.  Making new friends as an adult, with kids, and in an unconventional situation (like having kids in med school/residency) has been a huge challenge for me.  I made a goal to put in more of an effort to make new friends this year.  So far I have met some wonderful ladies at taekwondo – some of them are in the class with me, and some of them are moms who’s kids are in A’s class).  The environment is so wonderfully inclusive, and while these relationships are still new and starting out, they are promising and exciting.  I look forward to taking A to TKD now because I get to chat with these ladies, and I look forward to actually participating in TKD myself, for the exercise and the socialization.

3. My motivation to stay physical, despite myself.  I have been going through bursts and slumps of physical activity over the last little while.  I haven’t been running as much as I’ve wanted to, partly because I’ve been busy with work and TKD.  But, TKD has been an amazing physical workout in itself.  I find that I leave at the end of the night with my shirt soaking wet with sweat and my hair stuck to my forehead in little curls.  It feels amazing.  After a few days of not running I start feeling it nagging on me (plus I feel the pressure from the amazing running efforts of my blogging/running buddy), and I somehow find the reserve to push myself harder.  The other day I dropped A. off for his first day of preschool at the YMCA and I told myself I was going to run for the whole time he was in class.  The two hours of his class was long enough to change, run 15Km at a reasonable pace, stretch, and change back.  I was sore… and even more sore the next day.  However, the beautiful sunny weather enticed me to take a recovery run outside – for my first OUTDOOR run of the season!

4. The psychiatrist who introduced me to the wonderful work of Brené Brown. I know I have been talking about her a lot lately, but her work has, quite honestly, been life changing for me.  Even listening to her podcast the other day while I was running, I realized so much: I’ve about where I have come from and that I’m not the only one, I’ve overcome one of my biggest fears, and I’ve learn to embrace courage and vulnerability.  There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you have made changes in your life for the better.  I also realized that I have many other things to accept and work on in my life, as a paret, a wife, a friend, and a physician – and I look forward to the challenge.  I really can’t imagine how the last few years of my life would have looked if that psychiatrist had never encouraged me to read Brené Brown’s work.

5. Time to relax and think about my life.  This week I’ve had a lot of time to think introspectively.  I realized that taking a break is an okay thing to do.  I’ve realized that it doesn’t make me weak or incapable.  I’ve realized that I’ve been preventing myself from doing the things I want to do because I’ve always been putting work first.  I love reading with my kids, and I love that A is reading to me (even though he’s not even 5 yet!).  I love taking afternoon naps with them, taking them to the trampoline park, planting gardens, having them crawl into bed to “sleep with mommy” in the mornings, and just taking time to watch them in their beautiful slumber.  I’ve been thinking again about that (in)famous baby #3 that’s been coming and going in my mind.  According to my “old” life plan, I would already have that baby #3.  However, they went up in smoke as I got distracted by other “priorities.”  The thought of taking a maternity leave in residency seemed impossible, despite other people doing it all the time.  With the past 2 weeks off work, I’ve realized that it’s just time.  The only person it means anything to is me.  It’s my time and I can do with it what I want.  Yesterday on my Costco shopping trip, I added some prenatal vitamins to my cart (shhh…)

Please keep telling me about the wonderful things you appreciate in your lives!  It really does make this project so much more rewarding!

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