reflections + forward motion

October 24, 2018

2019 is 2 months away, but I’m already thinking about it.

Quintile 5 — as I have defined it — is one week away, and the theme for this Quintile is reflection.  I may dislike Halloween (I know, I’m such a curmudgeon) but I love Thanksgiving, the winter holidays (even though Christmas isn’t my holiday to celebrate, I enjoy the spirit in the air around that time!), and the New Year.

Reflective mornings haven’t exactly been a thing around here for a while. Back in 2016/early 2017, I used to journal, meditate, and really start each weekday with intention.  I really enjoyed this routine.  Then pregnancy nausea hit, and then fatigue, and then a baby!!

ALLLL of that was more than worth it, but man — it has been a while.  G is still not sleeping all the way through, but let me tell you — one wakeup at 3 am feels like heaven to me!  It’s all relative, I guess.

Anyway, I decided to officially open up my season of reflection this morning with Inkwell Press’s goal-setting planner (review coming up in a future Friday post).  It has been A YEAR, one worthy of really processing, and I feel like I have a lot of pent-up goals/potential actions to sort through in 2019.

Things that went well:
I am really happy that I stuck with pumping this time around. We are 10.5 months in.  She is still nursing happily when I’m home, and I am pumping enough (not a ton by any means, but she’s eating plenty of food now and seems satisfied!).

The residency launch!  It has been a difficult work season (due to the pumping, really) but I am so happy with how things have gone overall so far.  I think I contributed in a positive way despite the above challenges and honestly I am just thrilled our residents are really nice and enthusiastic people.  I really hope we can match as well next year!

The podcast has been a bright spot for me – it’s just a really fun side project.

READING.  I am proud of how much I read in 2018!  Plus actively participating in two book clubs – the ‘regular’ one and the parenting one.  Books were a big theme and comfort for me this year.

Integrating kid #3 into life!  Honestly, I feel like this has gone better than I ever expected.  There are absolutely days that are miserable, and times when I feel frustrated that I can’t give A&C as much attention as I’d like.  But overall, G has felt like a natural presence in our home/routine.  She adds so much more than she takes away.  I feel like our family is complete now, and I feel so lucky to have all of them.

Family/quality time with Josh.  In the midst of all of this, I feel like we still managed to make time for each other. And I think we have done a really good job sharing parenting duties this year.

Things that have been a struggle:
I beat myself up over the pumping more than necessary, in retrospect.  I did eventually reach a place of acceptance (but to be fair, only once I realized I was going to meet my definition of ‘success’).  I wish I had been kinder to myself from the outset.  Pumping is one of those goals where one is better off focusing on the effort put in, not the output since it’s so beyond your control.

NIGHTS and answering the phone and not feeling so stressed about it.  But I am actively working on this, both in terms of finding better ways to ‘do’ call and working on my own emotions surrounding answering the phone at night.

Keeping up at work has been really hard, and I have fought distraction (probably related to sleep deprivation) and interruption tooth and nail.  I want to experiment with more protected time (with a sign on my door to keep interruptions out!) and time blocking for my non-clinical hours.

Wasting time on my phone!  I know, I know, I’ve managed to do a lot even WITH daily instagram scrolling/mail checking, but honestly this has been a chronic low-level annoyance for years now, peaking in 2017-18.  I have now decided that I just CANNOT HAVE unlimited access to certain apps on my phone and am determined to break the addictive chains engineered meticulously and effectively by the tech companies.  Reader Abby recommended this article and I have followed almost all of the advice!  I had to draw the line at the black screen though 🙂

I’ll write more later about specifics, but it’s going to be a big year.  Filled with change (I think good change, for the most part) and adjustments but also exciting goals and opportunities for growth.  To be continued!!


  • Reply Gillian March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    SHU, How do you get pages? I would love to put my phone on do not disturb, but I get paged when on call via text, which I feel like makes using the do not disturb function more difficult. I otherwise love this idea and my new phone is coming on Friday. I would love to implement this.

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 9:00 pm

      (We use TigerText which is a separate app from messages. But it’s on the phone.)

  • Reply Coach Tony March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Thank you (and Abby) for linking to my iPhone article! Love that it was helpful.

  • Reply Emily March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I am not a Halloween fan either – it’s a pretty creepy holiday! I especially hate seeing adults dressed up.

    I feel you on the sleep deprivation! My almost 11 month old is SO close but not quite sleeping through the night consistently, although I think his is more related to separation anxiety rather than hunger. He doesn’t nurse very much in the middle of the night, but gets mad as soon as I want to put him back in his crib (I do it anyway though!). Here’s to more sleep for both of us soon, hopefully!

  • Reply 500 March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Why is Christmas not your holiday? I am (culturally) Jewish but I feel the same way about appreciating the spirit of the Christmas season. People just seem more family- and kindness-oriented around the holidays, and it feels nice.

  • Reply omdg March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    LOL on your hatred of Halloween. I remember feeling very self conscious and uncool about picking out and wearing interesting&creative vs. sexy (of course) costumes, and getting invited (or not) to the cool parties. Now as an adult I feel silent judgement because I fail to dress up with my kid when I take her Trick or Treating. I don’t think I should have to, but a lot of parents in my neighborhood go all out. It sometimes feels like my failure to do what they’re doing comes across to them as disapproval of their choice, and probably vice versa as well! Annnnyway. God I wish I had more time for reading these days. Right now every moment is taken up with clinical duties, research, networking (HAAAAATTTTEEE), and sleep. I hope things will slow down soon, but I don’t anticipate it.

  • Reply Dawn Burke March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    fellow Halloween grinch here too 🙂 I try to "just get by" with what we have to and then make up for it with the Holidays I do like. LOVED the article link for the iphone, great information! and I’m super excited about your continued planner reviews. I have been trying to get up early to do some planning before my day gets crazy.

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    LOVE this post, my favorite kind. I like Halloween just fine, sometimes I dress up, this year I won’t, because I don’t especially feel like it. I really liked that iPhone article and am also doing a lot of the tips (except the black screen), so thanks to the commenter who linked it!

  • Reply Amy March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I would love to see you and Laura do some kind of episode on how people make “uninterrupted “ time happen. I work in a cube farm, so closing the door is not an option. I get to work after 830, primarily due to getting my middle and high school age kids to school. (100% with it, and I”m grateful for the flexibility to be able to do this). But – it means that I”m arriving after most others. Before I have a chance to put my bag down and turn on my laptop, I”m getting visitors and questions. This makes it hard to work on *my* most important priorities.

    I ha e joked about buying yellow caution tape, but think that may be going a bit too far.

    Last week I started going directly to a common area (not my desk), and even though I got some questions about why I was there, it was actually really successful! I am not sure how long this will last o be it becomes my “new normal “.

    I”ve also considered leaving my Outlook email closed for most of the day, except for a specific times to check email … but the problem here is that my meeting calendar, and Skype links to join con calls mean I need to open Outlook.

  • Reply Cassie March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Love the idea of a goal setting journal!

  • Reply Beth C March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    It’s funny how goals get set aside for a bit when babies come along and you just don’t have the time or energy to deal with them. Definitely looking forward to hearing about the 2019 plan!

    My problem with phone is the Kindle app. I read almost constantly since I have it with me. But I tell myself it’s productive so maybe OK….I’m probably rationalizing!

    Also, I’m a fellow Halloween grinch. Not my favorite for some reason!

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