Back to Life!

September 4, 2019

It appears that Dorian continues to amble (the NHC website actually used that word, the system is moving so slowly!) north, and hopefully will spare most areas. (If you were NOT hit and want to express your gratitude by helping others that were, this list from charitynavigator gives some good options; I plan to do this today).

SO. Back to normal. Despite my vow to outsource, we took most of the downstairs shutters off of the house yesterday afternoon (thankfully takedown = easier than putting up). We may leave the upstairs shutters for the time being, given that September is peak hurricane season and it was rather treacherous placing them. But it’s nice to have light back into most of the house.

Look, some blue sky!

After working from home until the afternoon, I took the kids outside (!) and the weather was just fine. They were SO in need of an energy release and some sun! Today = back to school and business as usual. I have a normal work day today and Genevieve will be back at school for the first time in over 10 days (not counting the 1 hour she attended last Monday before they sent her home due to a very runny nose).

I finished Gravity is the Thing last night and will start reading The Gifted School, which looks especially juicy and perfect for this time of year.

I spent some time this morning (rest days = more morning time for other things) creating my Q4 goals list which is a little overdue. But: better late than never. And honestly the start of school kind of dominated my focus from mid-late August. Now I’m ready to start tackling other things.

morning planning session

Back tomorrow. Since I am writing so many posts and you will all probably get bored hearing about the mundane details of every day – any requests for topics?


  • Reply EMILIE L SCHARIO September 4, 2019 at 6:34 am

    I think you use your hobinichi kind of like a bullet journal with an index and sections. Can you share more? For example, if page 80 is today, where do you put your summer reading list or your quintile goals?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 4, 2019 at 7:54 am

      It’s actually a thin notebook that I use like that – it’s made by hobonichi and tucks into the cover and is set up like a bullet journal. I use the daily pages in the hobo on the actual days 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 4, 2019 at 7:55 am

      The summer reading list i just impulsively write on a daily page and referred back to it all summer. I knew it was late May so it was easy to find !

  • Reply Charlotte September 4, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Thinking of you with the storm!

  • Reply Linda September 4, 2019 at 10:59 am

    I’d like to hear more about your planning and goal setting process. Glad the storm missed you.

  • Reply Marjorie September 4, 2019 at 11:05 am

    +1 on more posts re: planning, Hobonichi, and general time management and productivity! Although I imagine you might be tired of that…? Or maybe not! I never tire of reading about those topics! 🙂

    By the way, I love how you use the monthly pages for goal setting. You inspired me to get my own Hobonichi way back in May and I’m so in love with it. I’ve started writing down my goals on the monthlies too, and I’ve gone a bit further and started using fun stickers. It’s such a soothing and inspiring part of my days.

  • Reply Claire E J Murphy September 4, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I’d also like to hear more about your planning process and systems, which seems like a popular request! Also a new Hobonichi user thanks to your blog – impatiently awaiting my delivery from Japan!

    I’d also love to hear about how you find juggling the different parts of your job now you have the new role – I’m an academic and it’s by far the biggest challenge to me. Contemplating this with my return from maternity leave looming at the end of the month, so would also love any thoughts on reentry now you’re over a year back!

    • Reply V September 5, 2019 at 6:40 am

      How you plan your kids after school time.
      How you do family financial budgeting.
      How you connect ( if you do) your q5 goals to year to year accomplishments.

  • Reply Rachel S September 4, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Anything about planning would be great! Any tips for doing the things you planned? I’m great at planning, but not always great at executing. 🙂

  • Reply Emily September 4, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    “Juicy” is a perfect description of the Gifted School! I stayed up way too late to finish it 🙂

    +1 to your planning and time mgmt systems. I would also love to hear about any kid behavior systems/chore charts/reward charts. And also posts about how to deal with siblings fighting with each other!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 4, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      Haha re fights I have NO solution for that one!! But I can commiserate.

  • Reply Rachel S September 4, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Oh, here is another post topic – what’s in your work bag, purse, weekend/kid bag, etc, and what kind of bag do you carry for each?

  • Reply Eleanor September 4, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    It’s true, we all want more planning posts. I found your blog through the podcast, and I love the shots of your planner. I find your tidy handwriting so calming. I would be interested in your evolution of task management. Did you ever try digital apps? Is the way you do it now what got you through med school and earlier? Or have you really honed your system over the years?

  • Reply Sara B. September 4, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    Another academic here who would LOVE to hear more about that side of things. I’m especially curious to know how you fit in long-term / research projects between all the paperwork and meetings and teaching. and fires that must be put out. I really struggle with this – especially with realizing that I have to specifically put aside some teaching (which I love! but it’s undervalued) in order to fit in more traditional “scholarly” activity, and especially with turning the engine that makes scholarly work grow more easily. (I’m at a less traditional, non-tenure, non-university-type place, but given ACGME requirements, reputation, etc, scholarship carries a high monetary value and a high “work ethic” value.). Even better, I’d love to hear your philosophy on leading your program and scholarship – I suspect you have a different leadership style than I’ve seen – which prioritizes competition, monetary motivation, and the appearance of working harder than your peers.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 5, 2019 at 5:59 am

      I love this question so I will make it a post, but I had to dispel the myth in today’s post that I’m some sort of research machine. I have some project ideas (including writing up some of our GME work – the innovative things we’ve done with our program, which is a cool way of getting research credit for teaching!) but honestly my research bar is set pretty low. I’m happy if I can get a poster out or do an invited talk every year or so. The good news is that the ACGME has expanded their definitions of scholarly activity greatly so you don’t necessarily need to be publishing peer reviewed papers to be considered adequate in their eyes. They count invited talks, posters (which you can do with a resident or fellow leading the charge!), developing curriculae — all of these get noted as scholarly activity and can sub for more traditional forms of research. It helps people like us who are not, as you say, embedded in the academic “engine”.

  • Reply LEE A HILLHOUSE September 4, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    I agree – more on all your organizational systems, home and work, and how you get it all done plus reading!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 5, 2019 at 5:55 am

      I don’t get ‘it all’done – no one does 🙂 But I will definitely do more organizing posts 🙂

  • Reply Rachel. September 4, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    I’d love to hear more about your evening routine particularly when you are solo parenting. Do you remember how it was when you had just A and C, I have a 2 year old and 3 month old and am struggling with balancing two tiny ones solo! Also, is g sleeping better? Any tips on when A and C became great sleepers would be helpful..

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 5, 2019 at 5:55 am

      It was hard!!! anything w/ a 3 month old is hard — so you are doing great. Honestly, none of my babies slept well until close to 1 or beyond – but I did a lot of nighttime feeding and probably enabled them.

      They are now all pretty good! And it IS lifeschanging. You will get through it!!!

  • Reply Jessica September 4, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    Would love a post on favorite non-fiction authors! I read nearly all of Laura’s books last month, and am itching for another author to get me inspired to read! I’m planning to check out Adam Grant, Cal Newport, and some more of Gretchen Rubin’s books next, but I’m always on the hunt for more 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 5, 2019 at 5:54 am

      ooh! I can definitely do this 🙂 I love Cal Newport and Gretchen Rubin and OBVIOUSLY Laura 🙂

  • Reply Anne September 5, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    I’d love to hear more about your life at work: what you spend your day doing that you enjoy/don’t enjoy; have you been able to use your planning talents there; does being a woman/mom impact your relationships with other doctors, nurses, patients?

  • Reply Lori C September 6, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    Topics: Fall fun list, top all time favorite parenting/moming books, hmmmm… travel (favorite places you’ve visited, places on the to visit list)?… food (favorite go to meals)? I love reading other peoples lists!!

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