Wednesday, January 14, 2009


We’ve been on the road a lot over the past three weeks. In the car. On the plane. In the car again. Sitting by the fire or the kitchen table or the Christmas tree. And I’m fairly certain it was the silence, the presence of Jon next to me (a rarity these days), and the crackles of the fireplace that inspired me to think more than I normally do. Most days, aside from a few more active (typically more freezing) afternoons, I sat cozied on a couch or chair or bed and let my mind run (because my hind end certainly wasn't up exercising). One of the great things (there truly are few great things on my list these days) about medical school is that it has quenched my thirst for reading for the next twenty years. The read-8-books-each-summer bookworm I used to be is a thing of the past…I’m not holding my breath waiting for her return, either. I’d much rather listen. Or just sit (something which, had I been asked two years ago, I would have found horribly boring & overwhelming elderly). And while I used to lose myself in a book & let my imagination run wild, I find myself lost in thought more times than not these days—typically resulting in my future-prone mind inducing a slight anxiety attack resolved only by a nap or cup of chai (the latter of which hasn’t done any good for my pant size).

I’m not sure what 2009 will bring. My anxiety level—and my innate & extremely annoying tendency toward controlled planning—is already about an 8 on my 10-point-scale…which is not boding well for the rest of the year. BUT I’m trying my best to get over the slump of faith and JUST TRUST that things will once again, as they always have, just work out.

There are many rotations to schedule, a large number of which have limited spots with restricted application periods on a first-come-first-served basis. There are residency applications to complete, personal statements to write, tests to take, patients to see & *hopefully* learn from, books to read (textbooks, mind you), letters to write, farewells to prepare for, and snuggles to be had.

I’m looking forward to the last one the most.

Anyhow…with all this thinking time, I’ve come up with a brief list of goals for the duration of this year. Many are personal & won’t be shared on this public space…but for the more practical (& probably attainable) ones, my public declaration of listing will hopefully inspire their completion.

- Learn to make jam.
- Learn to make homemade applesauce.
- Make at least 2 quilts.
- Abort the all-or-nothing approach to Bible reading & at least make an attempt each day.
- Become a morning person—up with the sun.
- Write one letter/email/note each week.
- Keep writing. Journaling. Documenting.
- Make some attempt at working out at least three times weekly.
- Grow a vegetable garden.
- Keep at least one indoor plant alive…& remember to water it each week.
- Embrace fulfillment with the material possessions I’ve been given.
- Go at least three months without buying any clothing item.
- Take at least one long walk per week (unless I’m still in WV in which case it might be a danger to my well-being).
- Learn to love the practice & study of medicine again.
- Subscribe to one magazine while Jon is gone.
- Keep a prayer journal.
- Make an advent calendar.
- Get more sleep.

There are more. And then again, that list is rather long. I’m not holding myself to these goals in a do-or-perish fashion—I’m simply throwing them out there so that people (eehhheemmm MOM) can hold me to them & well, teach me how so I can cross at least four of them off my list.

Happy 2009…here’s to a long, challenging year of changes ahead.

And here’s to the Walk of Faith that will get me through it.

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