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One of the things that I’m always working on is balance. I try to get patients to not see things in terms of good/bad and right/wrong but whether overall, they’re balanced. “Yes, I might have had a chocolate cookie, but overall, my diet was pretty good this week,” etc. The problem is, balance is pretty hard to attain in my own life. I’ve been slacking off on my yoga, and working a lot, and doing things that don’t really matter to me, like watching television and worst of all, aimlessly roaming the internet. These things really aren’t relaxing to me, and so when I’m done with the “Arrested Development” marathon, I don’t feel relaxed or happy. So, I was stressed out, and not doing things to alleviate that stress, and finally got sick. It was just a little cold, but it forced me to take an afternoon off from work, get some much needed sleep, and think about what matters to me.
So, I’m really working on balance in my life. I know, I’m always working on balance. But I’m starting to get closer to my center. I’m getting a hold of finances (always a place of lack of balance for me!), planning out times to do yoga, getting organized at home, making time to run, enjoy beauty and make art, and most of all, spend time with the Boy.
I recently read the new Alexander McCall Smith book, “The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party” and there was a quote in there that reminded me of the Boy, and made me appreciate his part in my life. “She looked at him fondly; that he had been sent to her, when there were so many other, lesser men who might have been sent, was a source of constant gratitude. That we have the people we have in this life, rather than others, is miraculous, she thought; a miraculous gift.”
Anyway, off to cook some Italian food from the Jamie Oliver “Italy” cookbook with the Boy in our new kitchen semi-renovation. I just finished the pastel above, “Blood Oranges” and it’s time to take some time out with my little family!
I’m working on getting myself organized. The main reason for this is that I want to have more time to do the things that I really want to do: spend time with the Boy and our pooch, read, hike, run, make art, travel, cook, spirituality and garden. I feel like I spend a lot of time doing things that don’t matter much to me, like scanning the internet, reading celebrity celebrity gossip (I know gossip about celebrities that I’m unsure what they actually do -for instance, I know Justin Bieber just cut his hair, but I wouldn’t recognize him or whatever it is he does if it hit me on the head), etc. So part of this organization is aligning my values with what I actually do.
The other part of that is, I’m wanting to put my money where my mouth is. In that spirit, I’m selling my “doctor” car with really high upkeep for a used Honda, with low costs associated with it. A long time ago, I read a book about making everyday beautiful. The problem is, that I interpreted that to mean, “live for today.” That’s really not the point of the author’s philosophy, and there’s no reason that budget living can’t be beautiful either. My life will be more beautiful if my fiance and I can retire comfortably, travel and see the world, finance part of our children’s college, etc. I don’t really want or care about keeping up with other people, even if that person I’m keeping up with is myself.
In that spirit, I spent some time making art today. That’s Fallingwater, an altered photo that I took awhile ago. I was thinking of having it printed and framed…
I stayed on my plan today, and worked out for 40 minutes! I am at the very beginning of my journey, but am pretty proud of myself- which might be a first in a long time. I think that might be part of my problem, the lack of pride in accomplishment. By any standards, I think my life is pretty okay: I made it through medical school, and am pretty sure the residency I’m in isn’t going to kick me out; I have a wonderful, supportive fiance; a great group of friends…but it’s difficult for me to see these things. Or believe that I deserve them or appreciate the work it took to accomplish them.
The other thing is the self-control. I’m awful at that, in many arenas of life. Eating is a major problem, and I really realize it when I eat out with friends with good eating habits. Budgeting is another big one. I think this self-control thing is something to reflect on -why is it so hard for me, and how could I improve it? I’m good for a day or two, and then have trouble maintaining the changes. Going to meetings is one way I’m trying to maintain the changes that I’m making, and have accountability. I’m curious to see what other people think about this topic.
I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting today, and learned a few things. I also received all my orientation materials, which I understand are changing in two weeks. Oh well! One challenge was for me to put down my professional hat (psychiatrist) and let the process help me, instead. I focused on watching the other participants, picking up the relationships between these people (the lady with the blue punky haircut dislikes the lifetime member in the front). I had to force myself to look forward at the moderator instead, because really, playing the part of the professional in this case is avoidance. Although my weight is not too far off what I’d like it to be, I’ve found it persistently beyond my control. And then because I can’t even seem to control my weight, it seems like other things follow: bills. paperwork. work. relationships. You get the picture. If I can accomplish this one thing that’s been eluding me, then maybe I can get the other things under control, too.