March was a lot

March 31, 2022

Well, I guess March is almost over. This month (for me) contained multitudes.

I was motivated, happy, sluggish, and sad. I did not read a single book from start to finish (I am 3/4 of the way through two books and finished a book on 3/2, but that doesn’t really count). I heard about a half-dozen excellent new TV shows and watched none of them.

I got to travel with Laura!

I started therapy and coaching. I did (and am still doing) a lot of deep thinking about what I want out of life.

I quit every single extracurricular work committee – to the point where our health system CMO emailed me to see if I was okay (nice gesture).

I survived screen-free parenting, though it definitely wasn’t always that much fun for me. Josh was either on call or away (snowboarding with C!) 3/4 weekends.

I had very high clinical volumes (record-breaking RVUs when adjusted for my FTEs) because we are so busy as a division. Thankfully we have a new doctor coming on in May and another 0.5FTE in August, so it does feel like help is on the way.

I scheduled our move and the end of our rental contract, filled out myriad camp forms, and cringed watching our emergency fund shrink and shrink in YNAB. (Josh handled scheduling our floor situation and the roof/insurance issues that have been incredibly annoying and hard to solve).

I closed my Apple Watch activity rings 21/31 days. I completed 11 strength workouts (finishing Total Strength with Andy) and 12 runs.

I got really interrupted sleep. (G has gotten me up the past 3 nights due to various issues and needing to go to the bathroom, and I have struggled to fall back asleep every time.)

I had at least 2 migraines that messed up 3-day stretches.

Looking at the above, there are certainly clues to why I feel tired. I hope I can snap out of whatever it is that is bothering me. I’d say I am ready for April but I think it’s going to be another challenging month (A move. A call week. Some of that overlapping . . .). Maybe the new month energy will last and carry me through longer than it did in March..

Meanwhile, this is happening:

sounding out! MOM / DAD / CAT

Trying to hang on to the bits of joy even as other things feel hard.


  • Reply Amanda March 31, 2022 at 8:25 am

    It is incredibly impressive that you got that many workouts done considering all that was going on! I hope the new hires in your group make a difference in the clinical volume – I feel like when clinical stuff is high/busy it really bleeds over into my energy for everything else. Am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the coaching experience, and congrats on the move finally being in sight!!! I am coming to terms with the fact that pre-schoolers just get up a lot in the night with my 3.5 year old…why does no one tell you this? She is causing more problems than my newborn right now! (Not really but the newborn is doing what she’s supposed to do and it would be a lot easier if the older one would stay in her room)!

  • Reply Amy March 31, 2022 at 8:33 am

    Congrats on taking some steps to cut back at work. I’m sure that was not the easiest call for you to make. Hopefully you’ll start to see some payoff soon in terms of more margin at work.

  • Reply Elisabeth March 31, 2022 at 8:55 am

    Hope April brings some relief and/or clarity.
    And watching kids language skills develop is one of my absolute favourite parts about parenting at this stage.

  • Reply Coree March 31, 2022 at 9:10 am

    Oof…it was a month here as well. Some big house projects, teaching, marking, research, and some heavy personal stuff. My April to do list was too big and overwhelming so I’ve created a “before Easter list”, things I need to get done before the four day weekend (a city break with my husband, son, and mom and dad, looking forward to a date night!). I’ve got a single page, with the “absolute must dos” [20 of them – but luckily some are just deliver lecture, attend meeting, grade 20 papers, renew kiddo passport, so simple-ish things]. I’m trying not to worry too much about order, particularly since I’m spiralling on the really overdue thing, whatever I can chip off each hour.

    It’s a peril of the academic calendar year, where we teach January-early April and then try and shove in all the writing and conferences in April and May.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns March 31, 2022 at 9:35 am

    March was quite the month for you! You kept a lot of balls in the air so it makes sense that you are feeling depleted. The combo of a move + call is rough – hopefully some of the suggestions from your last call week can be implemented/help, like really leaning on your nanny/shifting her hours/etc. It’s good that you dropped those extracurricular things. I think those of us who identify as upholders can feel like we HAVE to stick to things and can’t say no to things, especially since you are an enneagram 3. I tell myself that by saying no to things, I am providing an opportunity for someone else with the bandwidth to take my place. Maybe that is me spinning it in a way that reduced my upholder guilt, but I think there is truth to it.

    March was not the best month here either. The weather has been awful so we’ve been cooped up indoors quite a bit, my MIL has been dealing with some difficult health problems so that really weighs on my husband, the 15m has been getting up around 5 so we are extra tired (although this has started to improve over the last 2 days so I am hopeful April will be better – we dropped him down to 1 naps and that seems to be helping), and I’m adjusting to being back in the office 3 days/week which is a really big change after being home for 2 years. But, I was inspired by this week’s BOBW podcast and put together a “what’s saving my life right now” list and found that I could have kept going! So that was a good reminder that there are good things happening/keeping us afloat!

  • Reply TAS March 31, 2022 at 10:21 am

    Hang in there Sarah, you have a lot going on and it’s hard. In a future post I’d love to hear about therapy vs coaching. I’ve had therapy, but when I’m scared of coaching. I was referred once and met with the coach only to find out that the package he offered was $30,000. Not even close to something I can afford, although it’s something I think I need.

    • Reply Amy March 31, 2022 at 11:21 am

      I’m sorry: THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS? That sounds insane in any universe. Definitely a pass!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 31, 2022 at 11:26 am

      Not paying an egregious amount for any sort of package, just doing some individual sessions.

    • Reply Katherine March 31, 2022 at 4:49 pm

      Therapist here, coaching is an incredibly unregulated industry with predatory practices, Not to say that there are not good, reputable coaches out there but finding one can be difficult.

      Therapists go to school for a LONG time, then complete residencies, pass state boards and are held to stringent standards by state medical boards and insurance companies. Coaching is exempt from all of this.

      This is an area I am incredibly passionate about because improper care increases stigma with wellness management and creates significant barriers to effective care for patients!

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 31, 2022 at 4:59 pm

        Very good points!

  • Reply Daniela March 31, 2022 at 11:13 am

    I don’t usually comment, but I can’t help myself. Please don’t be so hard on yourself. From what I can see, you are squeezing an incredible amount of life into short days: You work a full time important job, work out, parent three children, maintain a blog, AND two podcasts. As women, we often feel that we should be doing more, but you already seem to be living a very full life.

    • Reply Amy March 31, 2022 at 2:26 pm

      I agree with this! I think you’ve mentioned before how challenging self-compassion is, but it’s so worth it. Don’t give yourself demerits for not reading a book start to finish this month. Sometimes that’s life! I think you’re doing a great job balancing everything and it must feel so good to have set aside those work extracurriculars. Here’s to a brighter April!

  • Reply Noemi March 31, 2022 at 11:48 am

    So glad you started therapy and coaching. I know how hard it can be to start as a new patient at a therapy practice right now.

    March is always such a rough month with the summer camp sign ups (and other summer plan logistics) needing to happen. Our March CC bills are always crazy high and this year is no exception. We’re always waiting on our tax refund to pay those off. It’s super stressful and makes me think I’m doing something wrong, financially. And camps have only gotten so much more expensive since the pandemic. It’s rough.

  • Reply Marianne March 31, 2022 at 2:40 pm

    Adding to the compassion. And some thanks to you because I am now reading Indistractible and loving it. Some months and seasons are hard and I agree that your tough months would be many people’s best ones! But it doesn’t make it easy to be in that space either.

  • Reply Megan March 31, 2022 at 3:07 pm

    I want to add to the compassion as well. Your podcasts are truly inspiring and enjoyable to listen to each week. You’ve gotten me back into reading and off of Instagram. Hoping a new start in your new house and eliminating some commitments can help you to rest and recharge!

  • Reply coco April 2, 2022 at 1:32 am

    I also had a crappy reading month, for much less legitimate reasons than you. I guess there are just months like that and it is fine. Be compassionate with ourselves is not easy but we must keep trying.

  • Reply Alyce April 2, 2022 at 6:53 am

    Given the known challenges with call combined with the disruption from moving, I’m curious to know how you’re planning in advance for them. You got a lot of recommendations from folks after your last call – are you planning to try some out this time? What about in regards to moving?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 2, 2022 at 9:46 am

      Yes to the extent possible! I am having our nanny cover the weekend entirely and I actually have this call week SPLIT, because of the moving date necessitating me asking for a trade! It will be an interesting experiment!!

      • Reply Alyce April 2, 2022 at 3:18 pm

        Ooo, you said before that you thought seven days of call was too long – I wonder if you could hack a shorter week by finding someone else who thought the same and splitting up the time on your own. A workaround not based on the system changing….Will be interesting to see how well the split works this time around (even if there’s still other stress due to the move….)

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 2, 2022 at 3:54 pm

          yes! All I need is one person to “share” weeks with me 🙂 Wouldn’t have to change whole system. This will be a useful experiment.

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