and so it continues/begins…

2 Jan

I’ve been a neglectful blogger.  This has been both a usual and an unusual vacation for me(–by the way, can someone explain to me why it’s grammatically correct to say “a usual”??).  Usual in the sense that it’s included wonderful  celebrations and gatherings with old and new friends and family, far too much food and alcohol consumption, the requisite watching of classic and silly holiday features, intentions of productivity slashed by hours of mindless television, and, of course, travel at breakneck speed through the cities we once called home.  (For the record, John and I have become champs at the game of “you sleep, I drive–and switch!”)  Unusual in that this vacation has come with an odd amount of exhaustion and sadness.

I have a reputation among family and friends for having a loud love of all things Christmas–funny especially because I’m not even an authentic Christian.  It’s trite, but there’s just something about the season…I love the magic and warmth that surrounds the holidays, the smell of crisp winter air with burning cherry wood, pine leaves, and citrus, the coming together of the people you love, and the music (I might be able to listen to Christmas carols for at least three months a year).  It’s hard to admit, but I kind of see it as part of becoming an adult: you still cherish the joy of the holiday, but there is a sorrow present, I think, for most people.  You can’t help but think about those who have mattered most in your life, and miss those with whom you wish you could still celebrate.  And then I think there is a kind of pressure to put aside stress, anxieties, and disappointments and simply “be merry.”  Alcohol helps.  And sleep…sometimes at 18-hour stretches.

And so, at this time of year, I have felt so much love, happiness, fulfillment, energy, and excitement, punctuated by short bursts of loneliness, self-doubt, and dread.  Clinics start tomorrow–the part of med school I’ve been waiting for since day one.  Everyone’s a little wound tight.  We know nothing, and we don’t know what to expect.  I think tomorrow will be better, once things are set in motion.  I think I will have to work more diligently than I know, but I do believe I can be decent at this.  (It’s also helpful to put into perspective my level of responsibility in comparison with everyone else involved in patient care…)  Tomorrow’s 10 hours of orientation/training…then I’m on two weeks of Med Consult (I’ll figure out what that means tomorrow?), followed by two weeks of GI, four weeks at the VA, then four weeks of family med in Bucks County.

Have I mentioned that our street does this thing called “Luminaries”?  Above is our block on Christmas Eve.  Each house was responsible for lighting ten candles set in bags of sand.  John and I let our little seven-year-old pyro next door light ours right before John left for his overnight.  I then finished up Christmas presents to White Christmas, got a few hours of zees, picked up John at the hospital at the break of dawn, and drove to Virginia.  My heart literally skipped a little when I caught sight of the “OPEN CHRISTMAS” sign draped across the Starbucks’ entrance off 95.  Tomorrow might be a two latte day as well.

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2 Responses to “and so it continues/begins…”

  1. Jim Oppenheimer January 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    Reminds me of the two sleep-deprived individuals driving home from reserve drill.

    The one in the passenger seat became aware that the car had just gone through a red light. After this happened a couple more times, the person asked, “Why are you going through all the red lights?”
    The response was, “Oh, sorry. I thought YOU were driving.”

    • annaojesus January 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

      ha! oh man…we’re not quite that bad, yet 🙂 love you!

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