Thursday Born

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

Beyond Avoidance – Reverb 10, Day 20

with 6 comments

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

6 Responses

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  1. Do NOT feel guilty about your life being on track and going well, Aba. Most of us have been filling our posts with tales of woe so it’s refreshing to come here and read something encouraging and affirming. Gives me hope that if I stick it out, things will be smooth sailing.


    December 21, 2010 at 4:35 am

    • Things will be smooth sailing for you, even if you only stick with most of it. I’m willing to bet on it for you. :)


      December 21, 2010 at 5:42 pm

  2. 100 push-ups every day! That’s pretty bad-ass! After I injured my shoulder earlier this year, I couldn’t do a single push-up. I’ve been working my way back, little by little. I can do 50 now in a single set (as of yesterday). I would love to be able to do 100 consecutive push-ups by the end of next year (a goal I had originally set for myself to accomplish by the age of 40, but the injury derailed me).

    And yeah, writing everything down is the way to go. I just bought a new planner for 2011 and in it I’ve got my daily list, my long-term list, my “stuff on the back burner” list, and my done-did list. That reminds me: I need to check my planner ASAP so I know what to do for the rest of the day!

    Bob D.

    December 21, 2010 at 11:24 am

    • haha, I wish I could do 100 push ups a day! No, it’s a work out program for building up the strength in order to be able to do a hundred push ups eventually (broken down into sets). And right now I’m doing it with the knee push-ups. Maybe when I finally finish it, I’ll try again with real push-ups.

      Ooh, maybe I’ll upgrade from notecards to a planner! I used to buy and never use them in the past, but I think I might be into the habit enough to justify the purchase now! I just hate that so many of them have tinier spaces for the weekends, because I get a lot done on the weekends too.


      December 21, 2010 at 5:40 pm

  3. I agree with Stereo. Don’t feel guilty. I believe that even when things are going really well in our lives, we still need to be pushing and searching for ways to grow and make it even better. I love reading your posts and your optimism is very refreshing!


    December 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    • Thank you! I’ve had the idea in my head for a while, that happy is uninteresting to read about, and I really need to get rid of it.


      December 23, 2010 at 11:00 am

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