COVID19 Planners

(VERY) Mini Retreat + School Report

October 14, 2020

Emphasis on the “very” . . .

SO! As mentioned yesterday, I have a virtual meeting this week for work. In non-virtual format, this would have involved a lovely pilgrimage to a nice hotel, lots of networking, but also lots of SELF time.

(You know what I miss? READING on planes! Though honestly I dislike turbulence and have fairly pressure-sensitive ears so it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be.)

Anyway. I normally see patients all day on Wednesdays, but I moved them to yesterday to clear out space for this meeting. The agenda looks great; lots of helpful sessions. But the other nice part is that it’s from 11a – 4p daily. Not 8a-6p or something crazy like that.

I do have some morning obligations; let’s be real (8a meeting Friday, etc), podcast recording Thursday since it’s technically a day ‘off’. But I let myself sleep in today (UNTIL 6:30!!) and am going to try to use these mornings as catchup/thinking time. Just some extra rest and a non-hectic schedule. I may not be able to order room service, but I can still give myself a little more space for a few days (or at least attempt it . . .).

This morning I cleared off my desk (was getting a little ridic) and am about to get in a deliciously late workout. Then I’ll do a quick breeze by EPIC (finish 2 notes from yesterday) and the rest of the day will be spent in learning/reflection mode at the conference.

(The idea of checking into a random hotel for 2 nights sounds lovely in theory, but it’s not going to happen right now though. Maybe with Josh at some point for a couples weekend escape, but I don’t feel like it’s fair to disappear and relax when he’s been working very long and stressful days lately. Plus I think I like the idea of it more than I actually would enjoy it in practice.)

((On that note, did anyone hear the Labor podcast on taking breaks in which one of the hosts admitted to making up fake meetings — more than once — to check herself into a hotel and escape for 2-3 days??! I have to say I am not a fan of this idea. It does not sound good for a marriage. I would be FURIOUS if someone did this to me.))

Confessional Pen Photo:

OMG. No more pens.

School Update:

Annabel came home pretty thrilled!! I mean literally she was exclaiming: “It was so awesome! We got to play outside without masks while social distancing! I wasn’t distracted! There were 12 kids in my classroom!” etc etc etc. She lucked out and ended up with both of her BFFs in the classroom (as noted, it’s 2 combined classrooms and her teacher is remote, which is admittedly weird but apparently worked okay yesterday). We will see if the enthusiasm sticks around – hope so!

Only 4/21 kids in her class went back (remember, her teacher is remote so I’m sure that influenced the decision) and 8/21 kids in the other class went back. Very interesting. Not sure if this is related to COVID fears or just a desire not to send kids back until it’s more “normal”.

OH! I watched The Social Dilemma last night. More on that tomorrow . . .


  • Reply Irene October 14, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Considering how hard the lack of social interaction has been on my kids I think it’s wonderful Annabel is able to have that. I suspect this was ok because she was already doing ok with virtual learning at home – I don’t think that format would help those kids who are struggling. Have you already said why they are doing it this way? Did the teacher want to stay home? It just sounds crazy

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 14, 2020 at 12:55 pm

      Teacher had medical reasons for her choice

  • Reply Gillian October 14, 2020 at 9:50 am

    So…If there is a teacher at school and a teacher teaching remotely, why not reorganize the classes to the in person kids are with the inper teacher and remote with remote. Out school cohorted kids based on remote vs. in-person attendance. While there are some classes that are some of both it just seems silly to have kids in school with a remote teacher. I do fully understand, that I am asking a question that isn’t yours to answer…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 14, 2020 at 12:54 pm

      Haha yep!!!!!!

  • Reply Haya October 14, 2020 at 10:06 am

    i would be furious if i was lied to about a meeting/conference etc also! that is very uncool.(although tempting, lies like these are super terrible for relationships!)

    i am so glad that things seem good for annabel, even if just for now. when our daycare reopened in june, we opted not to send our kid back because the restrictions sounded awful and we could manage keeping her home.
    now that she is in kindergarten at public school and there are still many of the same restrictions she may have had at daycare, she is soo so happy to be around kids and to be having fun and learning around people besides mom and dad. nearly every day when i ask her how her day was she responds with “fantastic” or “great”. kids are apparently quite resilient to new procedures and i totally underestimated the importance of being around/with other kids. we had so much trouble with behaviour regressions over the summer, most of which have disappeared now. she wears a mask though it’s only mandatory for kids in gr 1 and up at our school. i’d say at least 60% of kindergarten kids have them on and it doesn’t seem like it is the struggle i imagined, though obviously i have no idea what goes on in the classroom)

  • Reply Sara B. October 14, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Oh I’m so glad school is going well for Annabel! We chose to stay virtual, because it was actually going really well and we saw no reason to change. And everything changed anyway (her original teacher has vulnerable family members and kids who she wanted to keep virtual, half her class elected to return and can’t be accommodated in other classrooms, teacher took leave of absence, now she has a new teacher teaching half the kids at school and half virtual, with new tech issues and now emotional ones too). It feels like starting over again even though we stayed the course.
    Your conference sounds like it will be good – let us know how it goes! I’m kinda not sad to miss our national conference this year – it’s more of a social event and sometimes too much for my introverted self, and we aren’t substituting the virtual conference because the hospital isn’t funding any conferences currently. I’m honestly relieved to have a break.

  • Reply Alyce October 14, 2020 at 11:28 am

    I’m willing to bet some people feel the need to make up work travel because it gives them permission (from both themselves and their partners) to take time for themselves. In the context of my relationship with my husband, I don’t feel a need to lie because he totally supports me when I need to get away – whether it’s evenings out with friends, or afternoon naps, or my annual week long trip with my law school girlfriends – and I would be upset if he lied to me because I would have supported him if he needed time away. But I absolutely have seen relationships where the mother is entirely unsupported, and is never “allowed” time to herself. A work trip, a parent’s illness – there were only a few reasons why her absence would be begrudgingly tolerated. I totally get lying under those circumstances if doing so provides the space needed to preserve themselves. At the point that the lie is needed, however, it’s probably not the lie that’s bad for the relationship, as much as the lie may be a symptom of an already problematic relationship.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 14, 2020 at 4:56 pm

      YESSS, very true.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns October 14, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Oof, having to lie about a work trip to get time away seems to point to the fact that there are major problems in that relationship. I would be livid if my husband made up a work trip… and I would be riddled with guilt and would not enjoy it if I tried to do that myself. I actually hate being away for work trips… I don’t find it ‘restful’ because I’m usually busier than ever and I miss my boys. I do feel burned out at times but not so much that I need to get away alone. But we only have one child (soon to be 2). Usually what happens is that I feel so ready to be done parenting at bedtime, and then after he’s been down for an hour, I go and check on him and marvel at how beautiful and perfect he is and almost, dare I say, miss him? Parenting is weird!! Ha!

    Glad A’s first day went so well – I hope that continues!

  • Reply omdg October 14, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Several of the man residents in my program would stay post-call or on days when work was light even though they were just socializing because they didn’t want to go home and have to deal with their wives, “making them clean the house or help with the baby.” So tiresome. I was not impressed.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 14, 2020 at 3:07 pm

      I clearly remember a fellow (in gyn/onc, when I was a med student) doing this every single night, keeping us as long as possible and joking while making rounds last twice as long as they needed to. I’m still mad about it.

  • Reply Lee October 14, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Can’t wait I hear about The Social Dilemma! We watched it, too.

  • Reply ZM October 14, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    Totally off topic, but I just wanted to put a podcast recommendation out there: I’m currently really enjoying “Strong Songs” by Kirk Hamilton. He basically takes one song per episode and breaks them down so you can appreciate how all the parts of the song work together: it’s a really diverse playlist too. Everything from Fleetwood Mac to Hamilton to Queens of the Stoneage and Beyoncé. My music-loving 10 year old really enjoys it as well – it’s great for listening to with her.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 15, 2020 at 5:33 am

      Sounds very cool – and similar to Song Exploder (which my husband loves 🙂 ).

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