aiming too high?

February 10, 2009

can you really enjoy your ice cream while hating yourself?

needless to say, yesterday was not a great day. i woke up completely drained and exhausted from my ER experience, had a not-so-ego-boosting meeting with my residency advisor, and came home feeling rather low. i had planned on the following ambitious set of activities:

elliptical workout at the gym
grocery shopping
cooking curried chicken for dinner

i don’t know whether it was my mood, being overwhelmed by the longish post-work list, just feeling fatigued, or what, but i really couldn’t do these things. i mean, could. not. josh and i ended up trekking to whole foods together, grabbing some sushi, ice cream, and other absolute essentials (coffee filters!) and calling it a night.

and i felt bad about this. i ended up thinking about how easy it is to get in the habit of feeling bad about oneself. if you set up high expectations for accomplishing certain things, the natural result is to feel like a failure when everything doesn’t get done exactly as planned. yesterday, i felt bad about my advisor meeting (because unfortunately, i’m low on certain procedures that i need to finish residency . . . despite the fact that i will never be doing those things again once i start fellowship), and about my inability to go flitting around all energizer-bunny-like after work.

and the truth is, I’M FINE. i’m not a failure because i am not great at (and hate) procedures — it is just one of the parts of residency that i am weaker in, and appropriately has absolutely nothing to do with my future career. i’m not a failure because i didn’t hit the elliptical last night. and i’m not a failure for not having a perfectly stocked fridge and cooking dinner.

in fact, yesterday i did have some successes — i had a good continuity clinic where i think i made my patients happy. i worked well with a notoriously hard-to-work-with behavioral pediatrician in the afternoon. i had a great meeting about the endocrine-based presentation i’ll be giving next week. i had a lovely time eating sushi and ice cream with my wonderful husband. we are nice to each other despite stressful crazy lives and i didn’t take my misery out on him.

and honestly? these things are probably more important than all of the negatives i listed previously. and in several years, these things will matter much more. so yeah. enough of this ramble; i’m off to the gym not because i want to check it off of a list or because i would be worthless if i didn’t go, but because i enjoy it and it will be a nice start to the day.

as i’ve said many times before (but don’t always remember) . . .

perspective is everything.


  • Reply atilla March 10, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    cheer up and remember ” no body cavity is beyond the reach of a strong arm and an 18 guage needle”

  • Reply Jess March 10, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    I too deal with perfectionism. Luckily I don’t care much about my job and don’t have to deal with it there…or is that unlucky?

    Anyway, excellent post.

  • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 10, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    atilla: 18 gauge, huh? ouch!

    JennyN: hello chica! i agree that distance is a factor — it’s a lot easier to run an untrained 5K than an untrained half.

    i THINK i like my training program so far, but it hasn’t really started heating up yet. this is the first week (9 mi and 8 mi midweek runs) where i think it will start to register that i’m actually marathon training!

    and i hope the spring comes soon for you! our predicted high for today is 73 — yay!

    jess: it’s definitely, definitely lucky.

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