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Traditions of the Past for a New Year

Posted Jan 20 2011 6:47pm
It's a new year and a new semester. It feels like a fresh start, and it feels good.

One more semester before clinical rotations start - yikes!
Only a few months before I take the Boards - double yikes!
Let the countdown begin...

It's been a while since I've been here, and part of that was intentional. I unplugged myself during winter break. I cutback on emails (only checking once a day for urgent notifications), texted only on New Year's Eve (and a mass text as that, so technically only once), and didn't blog for a month. Instead of pouring all of my thoughts out on the page (er, webpage), I felt it. It took me the entire winter break to realize that I had lived a lot of life last semester. All while in the middle of medical school. I hadn't realized how much my grandmother's death had affected me and how much I had compartmentalized it until the end of the break, when I finally felt like myself. I spent the entire time with family. I laughed, the kind of laugh that starts deep in your belly and bursts out with a roar. I learned more about my parents and heard stories about them when they were my age. I found out that my tenacity and belief in love comes from my mother, and that she is so much stronger and braver than she lets on. It's inspiring.

I had felt alone for many months, but I chose to shut that emotion out so that I could keep focusing on medical school. That may not have been the healthiest decision (and yes, I see the irony in that), but I lived and I learned. And hopefully I've come out of it with a little more wisdom and a better sense of how to juggle life. Time will only tell.

So when I returned for the start of a new semester, I kept up with my tradition. I spent the day before classes cooking and stockpiling my fridge like a squirrel foraging for the winter. I made my roasted butternut squash and carrot soup, which was doled out into plastic containers and placed into the freezer for emergency "i have too many exams to cook" dinners. I relied on my trusty slow cooker to produce a bounty of chili to keep me warm and able to work during the dark winter evenings, instead of bundling up under the covers and sleeping the day away. I made a week's worth of lunches in order to spare a few more minutes of sanity during the mad morning rush. I cleared away the junk food that slowly made its away into my cupboards when the stress increased last semester, and replaced it with whole-wheat, multi-grained goodness. I cleaned my whiteboard and wrote down my resolutions for the new year
  • Do well in your classes
  • Ace the Boards and move out west
  • Enjoy the moment and have fun
This semester isn't going to be an easy one, but that's been a running theme throughout this journey - and it's taken me until now to really understand that and appreciate it. But I'm ready as I'll ever be. Are you?

So, let's go...
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