COVID19 life Planners Travel

The Future & Planning

January 20, 2021

Happy Inauguration Day!

(Very much hoping it is celebratory yet . . . uneventful. Please.)

Each morning, I am still hearing Michelle Obama’s voice in my brain through Becoming (about 80% done) and it has been great fun. I haven’t gotten to the part approaching 2016. My next non-fiction read will be the incredibly long and dense Medical Apartheid. I already suspect that 2021 may contain fewer books read than 2020, but with a similar number of pages in that many of my selections seem to skew long and/or more complicated.

(But maybe I’ll make up for that in summer with a bunch of YA/women’s lit!)

((Also, 2021 Book Page coming — likely by next Monday! I am excited!))

On the topic of planning, I feel like I am almost almost getting that mojo back as well. “But SHU, what do you mean? You already have 324987 planners and goals lists. You never stopped planning . . .”

True. But I had stopped purposefully planning any event in the future, for obvious reasons. Yesterday I finally created the excel sheet that I share with my clinical and GME managers where it delineates when I am doing patient care, when I am doing GME, and when I am off. Usually I do this months ahead of time, but here we are mid-January and I hadn’t created a sheet for 2021. Block much?

Anyway, it wasn’t sooooo painful to do and was certainly a break from deeper work. And I finally started looking ahead and choosing (tentatively) some PTO (paid time off) days: Mommy days with each kid during their spring breaks, a Personal day, hopefully a kid free night (nanny taking the kids), and maybe (maybe) a weekend trip to North Carolina to meet my baby niece and provide company for my sister, who really wants me to come. She has been raising her child alone essentially in a COVID-19-induced vacuum the past year and is (very) ready for some company.

Anyway! It feels nice to even try to plan. It feels lovely to have things to look forward to, even if most of them are simple things. It also feels nice not to have days off dictated by some sort of furlough. I am greatly looking forward to the ‘someday’ when even decisions like these feel more fun and less weighty but for now, this is a start.


  • Reply Lori C January 20, 2021 at 8:08 am

    I must confess it is nice to daydream about what the middle/end of 2021 will look like. If vaccines roll out full steam ahead, it’s exciting to think concerts, or even small live music venues, might be an option this summer! Anticipation is a beautiful thing. And if not, there are always weekends away at a nearby air b n b, zoo trips, beach trips, dining al fresco…. I am hopeful brighter days lie ahead!!!

  • Reply acdalal January 20, 2021 at 8:17 am

    I realized this morning that as much as I’d like to *not* plan ahead for summer right now, I *have* to plan ahead. I need to make a decision by the end of this week as to whether I’ll work with students in my research lab this summer, how many students (2? 3?), how many weeks (7? 8?), and which weeks. I usually figure out which weeks (mid-June through first week in August vs. July through end of August) based on when we’re taking our summer family vacation. But that’s hard to do when I have no idea where we’ll be with the vaccine rollout at that point and other social distancing measures! Can we even take a vacation? Aaaarrrrgh! I wish I had Lori C’s optimism! 🙂

  • Reply Karen B January 20, 2021 at 9:11 am

    I really hope you get to go see your sister and meet your niece! That sounds like a rough year. I am also hoping that my vaccinated ICU nurse sister will be able to come meet our new baby when she’s born in June even if no one else can. (And I hope to God some grandparents are vaccinated by then!!)

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns January 20, 2021 at 9:35 am

    I have started to use my planner more since having Will which feels great! It is very very basic because we are in the newborn trenches! But it’s still nice to think about what I wanted to accomplish in January – and to cross some items off the list, like updating our Will!! Woo hoo (not fun but so important).

    Michelle’s book was sooooo good! Not surprised you are enjoying it! I’m reading ‘The Giver of the Stars’ – it’s so good! Check it out if you haven’t read it!!

  • Reply Kim N January 20, 2021 at 11:26 am

    Since you’ve had COVID, wouldn’t it be safe for you to travel to NC to visit your sister and niece? Or is there some concern you could still give it to them? Sorry if that is a dumb question, I was just trying to figure out the thinking behind maybe visiting her/maybe not. Or maybe you are worried about childcare for your kids and not COVID at all. I automatically think COVID is behind everything these days 🙂

  • Reply ehartung7 January 20, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    I really really hope it works out and you can see your sister! Our mental health and family is also important. At least in my opinion but I am sure she would love that! Hopefully things will get better with covid.

  • Reply Coco January 20, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    hi Sarah… how do you pick up books? I’m curious as I don’t really follow any strategy.

    also, for those who tested positive, how many negative tests are needed to declare covid free? i know someone very close to me that got it, so i’m curious about what’s “safe” for covid patient to start going out after testing negative.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 20, 2021 at 7:13 pm

      I mostly use the recs of others, from various podcasts and a heavy dose from Ann Bogel’s What Should I Read Next / Modern Ms Darcy!

      With a non-hospital-requiring case, after 14 days plus resolution of symptoms, generally the consensus is that transmission is very unlikely. In fact in most cases a negative test is not needed to prove ‘safe’. Some schools are however still requiring it (ours did!). They only require one test.

      The thought is that you can continue to test positive from having pieces of viral genetic material still being shed but it’s not thought to be transmissible at that point.

  • Reply CBS January 21, 2021 at 7:06 am

    Oh what a day! The ceremony was really lovely.

    Planning is really difficult – I feel like I have multiple points of uncertainty – my husband may need to exhaust his annual leave while nurseries/schools are closed, which may leave us stuck if we get our vaccine doses at some point mid-summer, my parents are supposed to be moving to Europe in June, but who knows if they’ll be able to get visas and flights (they’re both on track for both vaccines by the end of Feb though), my contract expires in January 2022 so I’m actively job hunting, and who knows when schools will go back.

    My plan now, only possible because I’m not teaching in the autumn, is to book flights to see them a month after our vaccination. We are likely low on the priority list so borders should be opened/most people will be vaccinated.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.