2010. Has a nice ring to it - I'm a big fan on even numbers. It will be interesting to see how people abbreviate it. "Oh-Ten" is inaccurate but it sounds silly to just call it "Ten". But I digress.
I'm not normally a big fan on new years resolutions, but I've been trying to integrate more mindfulness into my life and resolutions seem like a good assess-and-change exercise, so here's my top 4 for the new year:
1. Take Better Advantage of Learning Opportunities
I've found myself too often getting caught up in the drudgery of third year. When you're tired, it's easy to check out mentally at the end of a long day, post up on the couch, and drown your sorrows in a big glass of reality television. And with medical school costing me $115 a day (and that's in-state tuition!) it'd be really stupid to waste the opportunity to maximize my education. So, in a small-changes-leading-to-sustainable-change sort of way, my goal is to read at least one article/subject/etc related to a learning issue from the day each day. I can polish off a good review article in 15-30 minutes, so there's really no excuse to not be able to go this... except laziness.
2. Get More Procedures!
The first part of third year, I've been pretty timid about standing up for myself and taking advantage of opportunities to get my hands dirty. Part of it was probably the shock of jumping into the deep end of clinical medicine - I think a certain part of me didn't believe I deserved to do s**t to real live people yet. And with residents abound in the hospital, its been easy to defer to them when chances do come up because they "need" it more than me, for accreditation issues, etc. But with fourth year and graduation barreling towards me, I'm starting to realize I'm going to NEED those skills faster than I realized, and I better get to work gaining competence in those skills I'll need as an intern sooner rather than later.
3. More Self Care
I got an hour long massage the other day (my first in 6 years) and quite plainly, it was probably the one thing I've needed most for quite a while. I tend to hold my stress in my neck and back, and both were starting to resemble cargo netting with the number of knots I was accruing on a daily basis. Along the same lines, I've gotten lazy when it comes to eating, and have found it easier to whip up some ready-made meal rather than deal with cooking/cleaning the various dishes and pans required to cook a real meal of food. So, goals for the new year are to: a. Get one massage a month - all that loan money has to be good for something, right! b. Cook at least one real meal of food per week.
I've found myself falling into a trap the first half of third year. If there's one word to describe the clinical years of med school, it's: tired. Always tired. So when those few daybreaks of free time do pop up, I found myself staying in to sleep, waking up afterwards to find myself... still tired. So I waste all my free time trying unsuccessfully to become untired, and miss out on opportunities to, you know, be a normal human being for a couple hours. So the goal for the new year: at least 3 social events a month, where I engage in activities such as imbibing delicious deverages and debate the psychological intricacies of Jersey Shore. You know, stuff a normal 24 year old should be doing. Who cares if it means I'll be tired? I'd be that way anyways.
Onwards to 10 weeks of internal medicine starting tomorrow. On call this week, and I haven't taken call since October, so it'll be another "0-to-60" adjustment. But I'm looking forward to rejoining the clinical world. I feel like my medical brain has atrophied over the past month, so it's time to start practicing the mental gymnastics again. Hooah!