fresh yet familiar

April 26, 2010

the other side of the morning
it is amazing to me that just 27 hours ago, i was just getting back from a night of dancing! the morning looks quite different from this viewpoint: the start of a new day, a new week, and a new ward month.

it’s back to frequent pages, early morning workouts, and 30 hour call shifts. teaching medical students, writing senior notes, and the great should i or shouldn’t i? debate that happens when a patient doesn’t look so hot and i’m debating activating a rapid response. blood draws in the night. intern pages on their days off. accepting admissions and coordinating discharges. and so much more . . .

it’s all such old hat to me, but it’s been a while. ward senior months go with a lifestyle and a stress level that i am quite familiar with, but that i never get used to.

and this happens to be my very last one, ever.

goals for the month
as usual, i am entering this month with several things i’d like to do better than i have in previous call month situations. specifically, i would like to:

be nice. it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the inpatient system and forget about common courtesies — or at least it is for me. newsflash: going through the day with a frown and an edge to my voice doesn’t make it any easier. my favorite happiness guru gretchen rubin agrees: here, she discusses the power of a smile, and one of her inspirations is from the g.k. chestfield quote, “it is easy to be heavy; hard to be light.”

be calm. for me, i think a lot of the stress of this month comes from anxiety about not being able to handle things. at this point, though? i only have 2 months left of residency. if there ever was a time that i was prepared to be ward senior, it’s now. i can (and should) take this worry out of the equation. i know how to do this, and i know how to get help should that become necessary.

be focused. in my recent manifesto (which i really do have posted on the wall!), one line that jumps out at me right now is “i want to find flow and get lost in what i’m doing.” even on the wards, it is easy to get distracted. i find myself thinking about checking email, what i will do when i get home, about household tasks piling up, about (!) my next blog post. i’m not saying that these thoughts won’t come up this time around, but i am going to try to gently redirect myself and focus back on my patients, my ward team, and my job, which is to

☑ take care of patients
☑ learn
☑ teach

i am not saying that i’ll never take breaks during the day, but i will aim to do so consciously and purposefully.

and i’m off!
for an early run to get my day started right. happy monday to you, too.