Monday, January 4, 2010

The Year We Make Contact

I'm not really big into new year's resolutions.

That said, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on the year past.  2009 was an extremely difficult one, filled with discomfort, growth, sleep deprivation, moving, depression, laziness, dependency, resistance, loss, procrastination and a lack of any sense of motivation or accomplishment.  It has had it's wonderful moments, of course - meeting new friends, the canoe trip to Algonquin, the realization that my midwifery goal is indeed possible.  But as the last minutes ticked down towards 2010 I had a strong sense that I was very glad to be moving out of 2009.  Perhaps it is a little naive or arbitrary, but I was struck with the sense of an opportunity to overhaul the way I have been... well, handling life.

Some things I discovered over the holidays:
  • Rob and I are an awesome team.  Love is hard work, but also incredibly rewarding.  I want to try to focus on the gifts love offers us, and not on the struggles.
  • My place within Rob's family is becoming more established and distinct.  My voice carries more weight and I am less afraid to use it.  And people laugh at my jokes and sarcasm - always a bonus!  Marriage is an interesting journey of continual growth and change - I'm sure we've all been told this.  Now, as I start to really see it unfold I become more and more  fascinated with it.

  • I thrive without access to the internet for a few days!  It forces me to wake up and look around.
  • I love doing more active things and going outside - it makes me feel joyful and clear-headed. This weird resistance to exercise and going outdoors is counterproductive and short-sighted.   I need to just stop it! 

  • The day-to-day things Rob and I are struggling with (being students, money, disorganization, communication, our definition of "home") are things that the other siblings also struggle with - we are not as "far behind" as I thought we were.  I need to stop focusing on the ways in which we don't measure up because it's not necessarily true. 

  • When distracted by having fun, connecting with family and being generally more aware of the things that are really important, I do not worry about and obsess over things that are out of my control.  For example, I barely thought about the placement lottery at all!
  • I miss my connection to the moon. In the past, when I have been most connected, I felt loved and supported by and connected to the moon and the universe in general.  My menstrual cycles started to match her cycles and my intuition was at its most powerful.  The blue moon on New Year's Eve somehow spoke to me and made the loss of that relationship more poignant.  It is simply time to start paying more attention.    
  • I'm entering knowingly into an incredibly challenging year and it is key not to let the MEP overpower my life.  I need to let it be a part of me, but not all of me.  I need to keep doing things I enjoy that are completely un-midwifery-related so that I can strike a healthy balance.  I can't live in fear of my pager!   I can't let what happens on placement define me.  I must maintain confidence, balance, connection.  Give in to being a student - and as part of that, know that a student is not ALL that I am. 
I'm excited about what the year brings.  The realizations I've had have exposed the things I want as part of my every day life.  I hope I'm up for the challenge.  I don't want to feel disappointed in myself anymore.  I'm going to focus on the little things I can do to start - a walk with Rob every day to build our connection and get outside.  Getting back to yoga practice and finding other small ways to be active.  Connecting with family by phone more regularly.  Refusing to bail on friends just because I'm feeling lazy.  Etc.

My first L&D shift was to start tomorrow evening at 7:30 pm for a 12-hour overnight.  Just now as I was writing, I received a phone call from my nurse preceptor saying she has actually switched the shift to a day shift.  Not only is the switch from night to day extremely welcome, the nurse sounded very warm and pleasant.  I am going to go right ahead and take this as a very positive sign of things to come in 2010!

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