life Work

List of Positive Things

July 7, 2022

I absolutely respect people’s right to read (and not read) what they want to. After all, I am personally very selective about my inputs, and have only gotten more so in the past year.

However, I am not going to stop sharing about some of the things I find challenging. Even if a few people find it disappointing, I suspect that more people find it comforting.

Personally, I get tired of reading blogs where everything just seems 100% wonderful all of the time. Sometimes, those blogs (or feeds) even make me feel bad! I noticed that everyone in the FI world was posting about net worth and growth ~1 year ago, yet few are noting their losses. There are numerous parenting-focused blogs that show all of the wonderful aspects of a trip with toddlers, and I find myself wondering whether something is wrong with me that I would find a 10 hour flight with a 2 year old to be basically torture.

I don’t think everyone means to sugarcoat. Sometimes we are left with the positive memories (example: I didn’t share many negative details of my trip with G, because generally it was pretty great and the positive memories were the ones I felt moved to share). Some people though want to promote a certain image or fantasy. Maybe it sells? Maybe the sponsors prefer it?

I will keep sharing honestly here because it feels better to me, and I have to believe that most readers come here for that realness. Unless you’re just here for planner reviews, in which you are 100% welcome but might want to stick to mostly show notes!

One interesting thing is that lately life has been very good and I’ve worried this site has come off TOO much like some of those ‘my life is perfect’ feeds.

But maybe not, so here is a list of positive things:

  • A&C seem very happy at camp. (We get to Skype with A tonight and will see them in ~9 days for visiting day!)
  • I feel strong and fit. Cleaning up my eating habits this spring really helped, and I actually do think that Total Strength with Andy 2 helped me get stronger. I am almost done the program (week 6) and am also working on new running goals.
  • G has really loved all of the attention. It may be hard for her to adjust to being the youngest of 3 again, but for now I’m just enjoying it.
  • I wore scrubs and sneakers to work yesterday (finally bought FIGS) and did enjoy feeling extra comfortable on call! I think this extra physical comfort actually helped the day feel better.
  • I got to sleep last night! Few evening calls but nothing after 9:45 pm!
  • I am greatly enjoying the Daily Duo. Will the EC Daily Duo + Hemlock & Oak weekly be my forever planner peace combo!?!? (maybe!) Will I be able to resist ordering from Hobonichi this year? (no!)
  • I am getting super excited about the 2 weeks off I have on the horizon.
  • I am very grateful that our family has been healthy lately. I was so worried G would get sick before PHL and truly appreciated that she didn’t. I feel like we always forget to be grateful for good health until we don’t have it!
  • I am super into Kuretake Zig Clean Color Dot markers recently.
  • I am enjoying my ‘deeper dive into music’ month so far. Listening to music on my commute home instead of a podcast can be really relaxing.
new scrubs and the ability to run around the hospital with ease if not grace.
not the world’s most flattering (I might have gotten a size too big and am trying one other style) but super comfortable!

Off to run (3 miles + 4 x 20 second strides)


  • Reply Jennie Keegstra July 7, 2022 at 6:18 am

    I come here because you’re real. Thank you!!!!

    • Reply Arden July 7, 2022 at 12:30 pm

      Totally absolutely agree!!!! Please don’t stop how you do what you do.

  • Reply Tyra July 7, 2022 at 6:45 am

    I wear a figs shirt to work regularly (the high collar one), but the pants didn’t work well for me. I can’t remember the style of pants (it was a jogger I think?) but they were too tight in the thighs and too loose in the waist! I had been wearing the figs top with black beta brand pants, they’re wearing out now though and I dislike the website so much that I’m not going to buy anything else from them. Comfy and practical work pants are my unicorn right now, surely they exist somewhere?

  • Reply Amy July 7, 2022 at 7:21 am

    My sister is an NP in a large hospital and during Covid she switched to wearing scrubs exclusively. She loves it. How can anyone resist the comfort!!

    I have really appreciated the balance you’ve been providing of being real and authentic about your life, both the positives and negatives. It’s great to read someone else who’s in the process of ongoing self-awareness. Keep sharing!!

  • Reply Lori C July 7, 2022 at 8:41 am

    Oh geez life is ups and downs and who wants to read a blog that is sunshine and roses all the time? I didn’t even notice if you have had a negative tone lately – you always have a nice balance of airing your challenges but then doing some positive self-talk about how you are going to manage it. Keep doing what you are doing!

    As a non-medical person I didn’t realize doctors could NOT wear scrubs… LOL!!! Glad you are liking them!

    • Reply Amy July 7, 2022 at 9:29 am

      That’s the funny thing, I feel like SHU has been really focused on reframing the negative lately, which is a great practice that I think we all can take something from. I’ve really been enjoying the blog lately for that reason!

  • Reply AM July 7, 2022 at 8:46 am

    I really appreciate that you keep it real with a healthy balance of gratitude. The internet is already too full of “perfection” which just makes us all feel inadequate (or at least me!).

  • Reply Elizabeth July 7, 2022 at 9:13 am

    The scrubs look adorable! I love them!

    Also, I appreciate both when you decide to focus on the positive AND when you share the low lows of life. It’s real. We can be grateful for our blessings and still acknowledge life’s challenges and in my opinion, it’s important to be honest about them. Every life has its fair share of both!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns July 7, 2022 at 9:13 am

    I appreciate that you share the ups and downs. I try to share both, too, because I really believe in “keeping it real” on my blog. I do notice patterns to things that I complain about (sleep!) but it’s a stage of life and I get comments from other parents saying they are in the same situation or they remember how hard those years were. The whole “highlight reel” approach to social media is one of the reasons I left social media in December. It was a comparison trap and would make me feel less good about myself… I think that’s why I like blogging, though. You have the space to share more about your life in a nuanced way. Every life/job has it’s peaks and valleys. The valleys make you appreciate the peaks even more?

    Regarding travel, I pretty much always write my recap posts after the fact and my remembering self writes differently than my experiencing self would! It’s easier to block out the not to great parts of the trip when it’s in the rear view mirror. But I still try to give a balance view of travel with little kids. The toddler stage is a really hard age for us in terms of travel since they can’t skip naps and our kids don’t seem to nap well in new/unfamiliar places. We’ve adjusted how we travel to account for that, meaning we really do not do much on vacation – maybe 1 thing/day. But our experience with our 4yo on our trip to AZ in Feb let me see the light at the end of the tunnel. There was whining about allll the walking in the airport but overall he was a really easy travel on the plane and in the car. Especially in contrast to the 15mo who screamed for 90 minutes of a 2 hour car drive. 😛

  • Reply Marianne July 7, 2022 at 9:16 am

    Team authenticity, please, here!

    I also agree the scrubs look cute!

    • Reply V July 7, 2022 at 10:04 am


  • Reply Amy July 7, 2022 at 9:48 am

    I also guess I just think some people perceive any discussion of the negative as a complaint, and sometimes it can be read like that (generally speaking). But sometimes it’s just that — an acknowledgment, a discussion, a conversation.

  • Reply Noemi July 7, 2022 at 9:52 am

    Keep doing what you’re doing. I’m here for it!

    • Reply Michelle Y July 7, 2022 at 9:30 pm

      As an Anesthesiologist who has followed your blog for years I feel like you have been more positive lately, or at least acknowledge the positives. I know years ago when I was struggling to get pregnant I felt sour reading about your complaints about pregnancy or third child related pains, but I also realize that was also colored by my own unhappiness about our situation. I don’t know many doctors or healthcare practitioners who are ecstatic about being paged to go in regardless of whether we are getting paid. But perhaps people who aren’t in the profession view it like how I do when I hear of sports celebrities complaining about giving interviews etc? To me they are being paid millions in endorsements to put themselves out there. But perhaps some find it difficult regardless of how much they are getting paid. Anyways, just random musings about the relative noise of “tiny violins”. Thanks for being real!

  • Reply Sara July 7, 2022 at 10:01 am

    I personally really enjoy the balanced approach to your blog. While I see some blogs as more of a lifestyle or almost a marketing pitch (where I often do get good tips – just like I would from a magazine!), I do sometimes walk away feeling a bit “less than”. I always need to keep that in mind, but it is hard when you are actually reading about someone’s real family.

    As for complaining about on call, I can empathize. I think people who are planners are going to probably be more adversely affected by disruptions since they always, always think ahead. My husband is on call now and he is pretty much on house arrest in some ways (he needs to login to his computer within 10 minutes, max, of the issue gets escalated to his manager). I was not happy about having to quickly jump in yesterday to take his kid drop off duties due to a call (and almost missing an interview, let along previous heads down early AM working time), but thought about it more and it wasn’t the actual work that bothered me, it was the surprise change. So, going forward, I really need to have the attitude that I am 100% responsible for home life during the call weeks and if there is spousal help, that’s just a bonus. I’m also going to up my game on babysitter support 🙂

    • Reply KGC July 7, 2022 at 10:26 am

      I could not agree with this more. I have just recently pinpointed that it’s the unexpected things that really stress me out. Thinking I’ll have X amount of time to accomplish work tasks, but having an unexpected kid thing come up or a change from what I had planned (including benign things like my husband coming home early on a work-from-home day for me when I still have stuff to do) really really bothers me. I remember the constant disruption from call (I’m allied health, not an MD, but we took turns with the pager at my old job) and trying to juggle call plus regular clinic duties and the switching back and forth was…rough.

      I felt bad about this last week because an unexpected change led to two fewer work hours for me and were instead replaced by me taking my two kids for ice cream (on my birthday, no less, so I guess it’s fine?). It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the outing – I did! – but it wasn’t planned and I was annoyed that I missed those two hours of kid-free work time. And then got annoyed at myself for being annoyed about the situation. Such is the spiral.

  • Reply Diana July 7, 2022 at 10:17 am

    Longtime reader and listener, first time commenter (I think?): your blog is my favorite! Keep it up and don’t change a thing. Any negative feedback probably means you reach a pretty big audience. Can’t please everyone but I would imagine most of your readers, like me, are here for the real-ness. And, as you suggest, telling things as they are is not the same as complaining — although you should feel free to complain away in your own space!

  • Reply Elisabeth July 7, 2022 at 11:51 am

    Ditto everything from above. You share the ins-and-outs of life and that naturally involves ups and downs. Sometimes periods of life are skewed toward harder experiences and we can all relate. And then it’s great when people get a stretch of time where life feels more pleasant. Your authenticity is refreshing and I think (at least from my experience) it makes readers here feel like we’re journeying together with you. Like if for some reason we all wound up a coffee shop together, we could jump right into an authentic conversation about life – the good and bad of marriages and careers and kids and self-growth.
    I’ve been reading a blog for years and I have not – a single time – heard this writer discuss “hard stuff.” She once wrote about how her 7-year-old had never had an “off” day. I was like – What?! I still appreciate much of her content, but I have to filter it through the lens of my own reality and having a 7-year-old who has MANY “off” days.

  • Reply Aly July 7, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    I read your blog because you are so real and relatable. I think you’re doing great!

  • Reply Jenny July 7, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    Your blog is one of two that I read every day and look forward to checking! I like that you keep it real and I can relate to a lot of the things you seem to stress about. While recognizing that I am very blessed to be even having those type of stresses (job stress, kids activity busy-ness etc. etc.)

  • Reply Grateful Kae July 7, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    I totally struggle with feeling unsure about how much negative to share vs positive online. By nature I am actually a more pessimistic/ kind of complain-prone person. So much so, that I started my blog a couple years ago with a gratitude focus, in an effort to actively combat that personality trait of mine that I didn’t/don’t like!

    But then, I also sometimes worry that by trying to overcome this and focus myself more on the good and positive things in my life, that I’m accidentally portraying too much of the apparently “boring” sunshine and roses that other commenters have mentioned, or making it seem like everything is always so great (which of course, it’s not! Life never is.) On the flip side, if I share the inevitable and certainly present NEGATIVES from my life, then I worry that well, now here I am being complainy and ‘whiny” and annoying on what is supposed to be a positive/ gratitude based blog! Can’t win!!! haha.

    The good thing for me?? I have a WAY smaller audience than you do!! Lol!! So I don’t really worry too much about what people are going to think, because I don’t think too many people even see it in the first place. 🙂 One good thing I guess about being much less well-known. 🙂 I think your blog is perfectly fine- no, not just fine, it’s great!- as is. You will never please everyone!! If you complain, you’re entitled. If you don’t complain, well, then maybe you are “boring” and/or not showing the “real side” of things- so others would complain about that, too. Like I said, you just can’t win. 🙂 So, I say, carry on as you are. 🙂

  • Reply Hannah N. July 7, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    Your blog is basically the only one I still read because it is so real. I’m here for all of it!

  • Reply Sarah July 7, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    Please keep keeping it real! I have a daughter G’s age and find great comfort in knowing I am not alone in some of the challenges that come along with kids of this age 🙂

  • Reply Anisha July 7, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    Keep up with the honesty please. As much as I enjoy anything you read, including positive lists, I like the reality check too 🙂

  • Reply coco July 7, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    I fully agree you should keep sharing REAL life happening, good and bad… whoever gets annoyed just should stop following you. I’m puzzled why people even comment when they don’t like what they read.. just stop. nobody is forcing you. hahahah…

  • Reply Rebecca July 7, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    Yours is my favorite blog. Your posts about call create a larger conversation about anxiety in general and how to cope with anxiety—whether from work, the world, etc.—and give me strategies for my own anxiety.

    • Reply Mrs.Candid July 8, 2022 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks for being real Sarah

  • Reply Jacqui July 7, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    You and LAGLIV are the only blogs I still read. Keep the authenticity. So much of our world and lives are curated and it’s not healthy. I am a PCP and the amount of suffering I see in people who are striving for a fake ideal is wild. Kudos to you for your honesty.

  • Reply Shelly July 7, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    I also come here for your honest and open take on things. I don’t ever feel that you are begrudging people needing care but more of the disruption and how that feels. I also struggle sometimes with those types of surprise disruptions. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in that!

  • Reply It's Me, a Rando! July 8, 2022 at 12:37 pm

    Weird scrubs tips from a medical field friend of mine- she’d read that all of the medical people in TV shows look super cute in scrubs because they are all either custom made or altered to look good on them specifically. (Also, they are actors and looking good is their job, but I digress.) ANYWAY, she started getting her scrubs altered by a local seamstress- she said just a tuck here and there makes a huge difference in how it looks and is not as expensive as you’d think!

  • Reply Erica July 11, 2022 at 11:39 am

    I have been reading you for 10 plus years and rarely if ever comment. Our lives are not terribly similar but I find you to be very relatable and real.
    Your recent struggles have made me want to send you a care package, (which I did not do), but they have also made you seem real and relatable.
    As a long time reader and rare commenter, I love to hear about your victories and wish I could support you more in the hard times.
    It is a privilege to have you share your life with us.

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