Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What a difference a year makes

1/25/2010 was a day I thought would never come, a day I had dreamed of and hoped for and wished for so was the day of my medical school interview.
I remember everything about getting ready. The debate over to wear a dress or a pantsuit, what color, do I try to look trendy or go with my style? In the end I opted for a classic black linen dress coupled with a cream and black blazer. Jake called it my mini-Hillary Clinton look as it did look like something perhaps she would wear. It was classic and timeless, not trendy or flashy or bright. I looked my age rather than trying to look young and I hope that it helped me come off as professional.
I remember all to well not getting much sleep the night before the interview. Of waking up numerous times during the night and panicking that I had overslept, never mind the fact that I had three alarms set, only to find I had hours left to go.
Of carefully fixing my hair, which is not normal for me the wash and go gal, so it looked styled and professional. And how grateful I was when the style came out looking half like it was supposed to when I had gotten it cut.
And how I agonized over the gal who barely wears chapstick was carefully choosing muted colors for my eyes, for my lips, for my cheeks.
How I carefully put on the I was so proud to wear my grandma's opal earrings which had been given to her by my grandfather when he was still alive. How I prayed that they would bring me luck.
How I placed the shoes on my feet and kept my fingers crossed I would not slip and fall in the snowy sidewalks, especially since I usually do not walk in heels. :)
How the butterflies in my stomach dramatically increased as I made the walk from the interview holding room to the interview room, a walk I had seen others before me make...a walk I myself had longed to make.

And now here I sit a year later, feeling so incredibly blessed to be here. So incredibly blessed to be surviving....just so incredibly blessed period.

Now it is not interview worries that keep me up at night or make me have trouble falling asleep but it is studying.
I can again go back to wash and wear for my if I could just find a hairstyle that would work with me and this baby fine hair I would be a happy gal.
Accessories and makeup are things of the past...discarded for simple things like handlotion and chapstick to keep the lips from chapping during these all to cold months.

This past year has brought so much, has asked so much and at times I feel like I have given so much in return. But it has been worth it.

I will forever be grateful to have that interview, to have made that walk, to be living my dream....may I never take it for granted.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reflections on being 3/4 done with anatomy

Well what can I say other than...thank goodness!!!
I honestly never thought I would be so happy to be 3/4 of the way done with a course.
I am just not a 3-d visual person. Very frustrating. When things are in one position and I do not have to rotate them in my mind I am fine. The minute the structure is turned in a different direction or a different orientation than what I am used to looking at it in lab in and guess what...word salad.
I am going to try some new strategies for the last unit practical exam but if any one has any tips on how to make 3-d deficient me more 3-d oriented I would forever be grateful.

Someone asked me recently when I study. I can honestly say I get home and study while the kids are doing their homework. I even study while I am working on dinner, even if it is just to read over notes or re-listen to a lecture or look at an atlas but I am always doing something. I take a break for dinner and I study after dinner until it is time for the kids to go to bed. Some nights I help get them to bed and others I do not, it depends on what is coming up the next day and how much work I have to do. Then after everyone is in bed, I am up studying. I am typically a 7-8 hour per night but I have learned to live on less, I typically go to bed between 11pm and 12am most nights and I am up between 5:30am-6:00 am in the morning.
Coffee is my friend :)
But then during lunch, I am studying. During any free down time at school (if a class ends early) I am studying.
This is all about making the most of every minute you have because the moments you do have are so rare. And of course, it has been very important to me to maintain some sense of normalcy with my family, we still do things together. This means I work harder during the week so that we can take Saturday afternoon for lunch together as a family, or we can celebrate my son's birthday this weekend with my family.
This whole journey is about choices. You can have your cake and eat it too but you just have to work harder to get to the cake. It is about balance. If you are all school all the time you will go insane.
Now there have been times when I have been ready to give up, when I have wanted to go into the Dean's office and see about deferring until next fall. There have been times when my plate has not only been full but overflowing, there have been times when everything has gone wrong, there have been so many challenges and so many chances to rise to the occasion.
I could not have made it this far without my family, bless them for being understanding, bless them for being there, bless them for listening when I am at my breaking point and bless them for letting me know it will be okay.

Almost 4 months left to the end of my first year, and I would not change a thing.