i tend to be somewhat of a perfectionist at times. i certainly didn’t grow up that way — i had the messiest desk in the 4th grade and i used to pretend to practice piano while reading babysitter’s club books* covertly under the keys while noodling around with one hand (sorry, parents). i wasn’t always into ‘applying myself’. apparently, applying oneself meant trying really hard all of the time, and it wasn’t really my style.
but somewhere down the line, something changed. maybe it was the trauma of having my (admittedly, horrendously unkempt) desk exiled to the hallway where i was forced to clean it out, sobbing while everyone else got to stay in class. maybe it was being disappointed in 8th grade when my more diligent friends won all of the school awards and i got nada. the fact that i still remember these times vividly probably means at least something. it wasn’t like i all the sudden decided to make a 180-degree turnaround, but i think i started to see the value of applying oneself after all.
this of course does not have to mean doing EVERYTHING perfectly every time, but sometimes i tend to see things that way with very black/white thinking. as in, i’ve failed if i haven’t gotten my runs in for the week, if i haven’t gotten the laundry done or cleaned the way i wanted to, or if i don’t complete a project up to my standards. i think this is what leads me to procrastinate on things like presentations — it’s not that i don’t want to get them done, but that i set such high expectations for myself that a silly little talk becomes an intimidating task.
last night, i acknowledged this and did just an okay job on the presentation. it only took me 2 hours (plus some reading/article gathering time prior to that). there are no pretty pictures — usually i like to have at least one on every slide! but it is informative, informal, and will get the job done for the tiny group i have to present it to. it was comforting to remember that i don’t need to strive to impress with every turn, and sometimes ‘fine’ is FINE.
on an unrelated note, last night allison wrote: “Hey. I just started reading your blog a few days ago, and I really like it! Before I forget, I LOVE your taste for fashion 🙂 I am currently a sophomore in college, with Nutritional Science as my undergrad and intention for medical school. I thought you could give me an unbiased opinion on the medical field since you don’t know me. I’ve heard people say do it, it’s great…annnnd then I’ve heard the DON’T DO IT, SAVE YOURSELF WHILE YOU CAN! Thanks for your help!”
here’s the quick and dirty early morning answer:
first of all, THANK YOU for the fashion comment! trust me, i dress rather boringly in most of my life. in fact, i think i need clinton kelly’s assistance most of the time. but i take this comment to mean that you like the boots and jacket, and that makes me happy because it means i have not gotten completely old and lost touch with what is in style. as for the answer to the rest of your question — i mean, i’m pretty happy most of the time, and i like my job. i like working with kids and families, and i find the science of medicine and the ‘game’ of diagnosing things fun and interesting. i do not like call (i feel being forced to stay awake 30 hours is actually inhumane and should be illegal in the workplace) and some of the lifestyle of medical school/residency is very unpleasant. overall, i’m glad i chose this field, but i don’t know if i’d do it again with the perspective i have now, because i don’t know what my career trajectory will be like. i’d need a crystal ball for that! so, i think you’d have to ask me again in 5-10 years when i’m an attending, because then i’ll know if it was all worth it.
* i credit the truth about stacey for at least 1% of why i ended up deciding to become a pediatric endocrinologist. even then, i thought the idea of type 1 diabetes was fascinating! and sophisticated, stylish stacey was my favorite.
workout: 4 miles easy + 20 minutes weights
– pushups, 2 x 12
– squats with ball, 8 lb weights, 2 x 15
– seated row, 40 lbs, 2 x 12
– lateral/forward raises, 6 lb weights each arm, 2 x 12
– ab ball roll-ins, 2 x 12