Thursday, September 1, 2016

So Many Things

You know how something happens and you think "I should blog about this", but then you don't have make the time to do it, and then something else happens that you want to blog about, but you can't because you still have to blog about the first thing, and then it happens over and over again until you have ten things you want to write about and you haven't blogged in almost a month?

Yeah.  That. 

So...because I can't decide which of the major life events I want to leave out of my blog post, and because no one wants to read a brief autobiography disguised as a blog post, here is the last month of my life in bullet points:

  1. I got back together with my (no longer) ex-girlfriend.  After the breakup, I don't think I went more than four or five days without seeing M*, and I definitely didn't go that long without talking to her.  I missed her.  We started out doing the "we're spending all our time together but not dating" thing over a month ago, and we declared ourselves dating again a few weeks ago, and so far it seems to be going well.  We're doing our best not to repeat some of the mistakes we've made in the past, and it definitely makes for a healthier relationship.  We shall see where this goes...
  2. My grandmother died.  My grandmother was 94, slightly senile, and diabetic, and yet I was convinced that she would live forever.  A few weeks ago, I got the call that she had had a heart attack and been made palliative, so I headed out to her small community as prepared as one ever is to say goodbye.  When I arrived at the hospital, she was asleep in her bed, but she quickly roused and demanded to be taken home.  By the time we got her back to the PCH, she was back to her usual feisty self, showing no signs of what had happened.  Unfortunately, a week later she fell and broke her hip (for the third time), and that was the beginning of a very rapid end.  My grandmother was the most resilient of the resilient Depression era farm women, and so it's still amazing to me that she's gone.  I still have moments when I feel guilty for not visiting her, so I don't think it's quite sunk in yet.
  3. I decided what to do with my budget.  The comments on my previous blog post were fascinating to me!  It's interesting how everyone has their own unique way of being financially responsible, many of which are different from my own.  In the end, I realized that my current method of budgeting is actually working pretty well for me, except for the fact that the amount of money I was allowing myself didn't fit with the amount of income I was bringing in.  So, I threw $500 at the budget to get myself out of the black, and I increased the regular amount in my budget by 1/3.  Since the change, I have bought Threadless t-shirts and Happy Socks, taken a thankfully not sick cat for a very expensive vet visit, and booked a luxurious spa day for the long weekend.  So I'm over budget again.  But enjoying spending some of my hard earned money instead of just hoarding it in the event of future catastrophe.
  4. I started counselling.  I wrote before about how I had seen a psychiatrist through a service at work, but what I've never written about was how abysmal the whole experience was.  I went in looking for some coping strategies and maybe some cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety, but what I got was someone who wanted to put me on medication and explore all of the supposedly traumatic events from my childhood (um, no thanks).  It was a terrible match.  I put off looking for someone else until M and I got back together, and then I decided that I needed someone external to help me navigate the waters of rekindling an old relationship.  I've met with the counsellor once, and it seems like a better fit so far, so I'm hoping that something good will come out of it.
  5. I started exercising again.  It has become abundantly obvious to me that everything is better when I exercise.  Not in a future oriented "I won't have a heart attack when I'm 50" kind of way, but in an "I'm less of a psycho hose beast when I exercise" kind of way.  Exercise is definitely good for my stress, my energy level, my sleep, and my all round happiness.  My goal for September, in fact, is to restart the habit of exercising three times a week.  It will likely consist of me running on the treadmill on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, as I have no clinics those mornings, and then doing something else on Saturdays or Sundays.  I may alternatively do an exercise class at work on Thursday afternoons, as there's one that starts after my work day ends.  This week I'm planning to go to yoga on Saturday morning, as my sciatic pain has flared up from the running**, but I may be more creative in the future.
  6. I signed up for a meditation class.  This terrifies me.  I've been reading books about how wonderful meditation is (like 10% Happier and Full Catastrophe Living), and I'm fully convinced that it can make me a happier and more productive person, but I absolutely hate the idea of having to actually do it.  Sitting with nothing but my thoughts?  Breathing exercises?  Walking meditations?  All of that sounds terrible.  And yet, starting October 5 I will be doing it every Wednesday evening.  
And that is my life.  How is everyone else doing?

*I'm giving her an initial, because it's far too tedious to keep typing "the girlfriend" or "the ex-girlfriend" depending on my current relationship status.  Also my hands are sore from typing chart notes.

**When did I turn 80?


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your grandmother sounds like a tough lady.

    Meditation staved off or at least minimized the impact of burnout on me. Some days life is really busy and I only manage 5 minutes. I like following my breath or being aware of sounds, but I pretty consistently fall asleep whenever I try to do a body scan meditation. I tried walking meditation for the first time when I did a 5 night silent residential retreat at Spirit Rock in California (which was wonderful, and I'm going back in November for 8 nights), and I actually really liked it. I guess what I'm saying is that different things work for different people... I'm excited for you and hope you'll keep us updated.

    1. Also forgot to say that I really appreciate you sharing info about budgeting and finances and blogs like Mr Money Mustache and the Frugalwoods. It made me take a pretty serious look at my finances. I wouldn't say I was in bad shape beforehand.... I mean, my income exceeded my expenditures. But I also wasn't very deliberate about how I was spending my money and how that fit in with my goals

    2. I'm glad that I (and the links I posted) could inspire you to look at your finances. I think it's something that really isn't talked about enough in medicine, because the assumption is that we're all going to earn enough that we won't ever have to think about money. In reality, it's easy to blow through even a physician's salary if you have a taste for designer clothes/fancy cars/big houses/private school for you kid(s). I also find that having a small but growing pile of savings makes me less bothered by some of the shit that I see within the medical profession; if I ever get too tired of it, I don't have to stay.

  2. Thank you for writing this, especially #4! I've been vacillating over something similar and immediately after reading this post I called my new Psy.d & told her not to let the door hit her on the ass (I was much nicer than that but I was able to because of something you said---thank you for that)! If I had an email addy I'd be able to be a bit more specific!

    Also, can you share some of the best meditation info you have come across.....books, APPS, videos, etc.? A second thing on my long list of "sh^t weighing on my heart and mind!"

    Thank you again for sharing your heart when you did!

    Congratulations for working your way back to M! Maybe you can do some couples counseling too?

    Take care!


    1. Thanks for your comment! I love when something I write resonates with someone, and particularly when it motivates them to take positive action. I hope that you're able to find someone with whom you have a better fit.

      Couples counseling is definitely a possibility, although I honestly think a lot of the issues in our relationship stemmed from me, so it might be enough just to sort out my stuff! We'll see as I get a bit deeper into the counseling.

    2. As for meditation resources, I'm really just starting to get into it, so I don't have any good ones to recommend other than the two books I listed above. I'll try to post here if I come up with any more good ones!

    3. Thank you so much! And yes, this post especially #4 helped me immensely! I truly was struggling with this decision! Give her a few sessions or move on? I've wasted too much time already & I need to feel it right away & I'm certain that "feeling" in the pit of my stomach was SHOUTING, "MOVE THE HELL ON QUICKLY" As we approach what would've been my little (five years younger) big brother's (6.5 inches taller) 41st birthday followed closely by four year Angelversary, it has to feel right! I need the outlet & best fit for me & my baggage! I plan to leave her a message today! Thank you again! You really have helped me! Have an amazing week!

      PS. Please share more about your meditation journey as you find the good and bad!

  3. 1. I had a sneaking suspicion based on your silence that we would hear a GF announcement soon! I'm hopeful for you guys!

    2. I'm so sorry to hear about your nana. She sounds like a force to be reckoned with. My nana grew up in war-era London, and she is similarly formidable.

    4. I really believe that the most important part of therapy is the therapeutic relationship. If you don't have it, it's time to move on. It's not a one-size-fits-all thing.

    I am so happy whenever I visit to see you've written something new! Please keep writing.