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The everyday life of a psychiatry resident (who was born on a Thursday).

Archive for December 20th, 2010

Beyond Avoidance – Reverb 10, Day 20

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What is Reverb10?

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)

I’ve been avoiding writing this post! I’m struggling with coming up with an answer that I can turn into a good post. I’m struggling with coming up with an answer in general.

Of course I’ve avoided doing things this year, but I eventually got a lot of the bigger ones done. I’m lucky in that most have had clear cut deadlines (like the paper and poster for my summer research), so although I could put them off for a while, I couldn’t put them off forever. A lot of the things without deadlines, like going to the dentist, I’d already put off for over a year.

My life is very laid out for me right now and I don’t have too many decisions to make. There isn’t really much room for avoidance in medical school, at least, not avoidance that I wouldn’t seriously regret someday.

I’m feeling guilty again, like I shouldn’t be participating in this project if my life is going so well. My life is not easy, but it is challenging in the way a puzzle is challenging, not in a “I have no idea if I’m going to eat tomorrow or the day after” way.

What have I been doing right this year? Holding myself more accountable. As soon as I realize that there’s something I really need to do but I don’t want to do it, I write it down. I learned one summer, counting down the days till I was done with something, that crossing things off (the days off a calendar, for example) is extremely satisfying. So I write things down so that I get to cross them off and be happy for a few seconds. It’s a small thing, but so is the inertia that stops me from doing them in the first place.

So especially around exam time, there is likely to be a daily notecard of things to do on my desk. Things like my hundred push-ups workout set for the day, or filling out some rebates, or taking a picture of something I made recently that I had wanted to blog about. Sometimes I have a big picture list where I’m not entirely sure when I want to be done with the items, but I want to make sure they’re on my mind, so that list has things like renewing my library card, or finishing my Step 1 application (almost done! I think I just need to pick a place and then a date now. I’m thinking June 14th in Seattle; it’s a Tuesday, and then I have clinical orientation that Friday. I think Tuesday is as far as I can sanely push it).

I’m a very forgetful person, and so still, if something doesn’t make it onto a list, I’m very likely to forget it. I didn’t do all my course surveys at the end of my first block this year, and now if I forget to do any, I’ll get a negative comment about professionalism somewhere in my Dean’s letter or something. So you can bet that I do those as soon as they start sending us the emails about them now!

I have a few things left to do this year, like finish reading all the chapters in First Aid (Step 1 review book) that have to do with subjects we’ve already covered in school, and finish the hospital write up that I was supposed to turn in right after my hospital session (my preceptor told me to take my time! So, I have), and maybe even book my appointment for my wisdom tooth surgery next year (late February?) so I can get a price quote and budget accordingly.

But I’m on track with what matters to me right now. I’ve never been good about making flashcards for studying, but I’m so glad I bought these note cards, because they’re a perfect size for lists!

(And true to form, I made a phone call in the middle of this post that I’ve been putting off for at least a month now. Got some money back from Kaplan that will soon be spent on a different test prep service).

Written by Aba

December 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm

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