Monday, January 9, 2012

am I just "waiting" for residency to be over?

Often I have to step back and evaluate whether I am "waiting until [we are] established to begin enjoying [our] life together." (From The Medical Marriage - Sustaining Healthy Relationships for Physicians and Their Families - a lovely little book.)  Generally I am a very positive person, definitely a "the-glass-is-half-full" type of person.  But, every once in a while, I feel a huge pressure mounting inside and I feel as if I might burst.  I thing I start "waiting."  When this happens, I have developed a habit of stepping back in order to evaluate the tiny details of my life, my thoughts, the way I treat others, how much I stretch myself to form lasting relationships, my gratitude, my priorities, what I am filling my time with - particularly my spare time, etc. 

I do not want to ever be found in "the waiting place." (From Oh, the Places You'll Go!")

Months ago, I read a little commentary: As for Years.  The article in based upon a scripture:

"I consecrate unto them this land for a little season, until I, the Lord, shall provide for them otherwise, and command them to go hence; And the hour and the day is not given unto them, wherefore, let them act upon this land as for years, and this shall turn unto them for their good." (D&C 51:16-17)

A study presented in The Medical Marriage showed that "parenting stress involving spouses of male residents and house staff found that 75 percent of staff spouses expected parenting stress to decrease after residency, but 50 percent reported that stress actually increased when their mates ended residency.  Only 25 percent stated that the level of stress had remained about the same."

How tragic if I place my hope on assuming that my husband will "be around more later" - that I even allow that thought to enter my mind - rather than just enjoy the times when he is around, and the times when he is not.  I agree that "...we are to live in the present."  I think that "...the Lord seems to want his people to be prepared... to live in the moment and for eternity..." because the lessons we learn during each experience, big or small, are indispensable and if we rush through it, or hold our heads too high to even notice the moments of the present as we "wait for later," we will miss - a lot.

The phrase "as for years"..."invites us to seize the day, but with an eye toward the future.  We are not merely to mark time in this life but... to improve every shining moment, knowing that eternity is composed of such fleeting moments."


From A Doctors Wife said...

Guilty as charged.

Katie Tyler said...

this has really got me thinking, I enjoyed the article also- and will probably post it to my blog :) thanks!

Jamie Lamb said...

I think we'll all be guilty of this at's natural. But I learned early on in residency that it just plain feels better to live in the moment! It's always a struggle.

It really helps me be in the right frame of mind to reread my old journal entries. It's nice to see past struggles that have faded, but it's sad to realize how much my kids have grown! It helps me remember to plop down on the floor with them and play a game--rather than watch the clock waiting for dad!

Thanks for another inspiring reminder Liz!

Mrs. Doc H said...

My husband and I are further along in our journey in medicine. Don't mis-read. I am not a doctor, but my husband is an attending. I don't know your Dr. H's specialty, but don't put all your hopes into seeing him more after residency. After residency, THERE IS NO LIMIT ON THEIR WORK WEEK! I wish I could say we do see him more, but we don't. Appreciate his hard work, but don't "wait" anymore. Once I figured that out, we were able to get to a great place where we were both happy. Every time he is "able" to join us, it's just icing on the cake! Make plans! Live! You'll be happier and, in turn, that will make him happier. Best of luck to you both!

Liz said...

Thank you for your comments!! I'm sure you all can tell I write about my weaknesses often - and this is one of them that I am really fighting right now!

Charlotte said...

After residency, I found there was a definite adjustment. I did expect it to be a lot easier when he was done than it actually was. The stress was more for a while, like all big adjustments, but we did find an equilibrium again.

The only way to enjoy residency (I found) was to enjoy my husband when he was around and keep living life when he wasn't. And that philosophy is also what works for me now. I don't expect him to make it to every function or around for every family tradition. That doesn't stop me from participating or being happy when he can make it.