Monday, April 27, 2015

Because Waiting Does Nothing

The goal in a young doctor's wife is clear. It even has a specific milestones and dates. Survive medical school, internship, residency, and fellowship to enjoy the payback of that first REAL paycheck.

But, during those tumultuous years, life happens. Life happens fast. Marriage, learning to deal with one another's quirks, learning how to deal with the stressors of medical training, education and careers are put on hold, babies come along who cry, poop, vomit, and also love, bills and debt accumulate, family birthdays are attended solo (even wedding and funerals), vacations are skipped, and the other parents at school assume you're divorced, because your DocH has never been able to attend any school function. 

And, all that is meet with a stiff upper lip, because of the mutual understanding of medical training rigors... and the knowledge that it will all be *over* one day when training ceases. So... we wait.

But, let me warn you, dear friends, for many of us it NEVER ends, and money, unfortunately, doesn't bring happiness.

Sure, the hours get better. He is home for a late dinner. But, he spends his free time in front of the computer charting or attending to the "business" medicine. If he is truly type A and has that desire to climb to the top of whatever mountain stands before him, he will always be attending dinner meetings, writing papers, piloting programs, joining committees, boards, directing leadership groups, and attending conferences. Whether he's building a practice or climbing the hospital's administrative ladder, his focus will always be up rather than down, in the here and now. 

*It* always continues. I came to this realization over the last couple of years, and like many med school wives, I simply shifted my focus down the med life timeline. For me, that meant looking towards retirement which is just over a decade away.

But, even that was wishful thinking. 

I've come to peace with the realization DocH will never fully retire, he may slow down, he may not work full-time, but he will never fully relinquish his life and love of medicine. 

My point? Let's all stop waiting and just get on with our lives as best as we can. Let's support them and love them, but let's not forget to support and love ourselves in this journey. Let's not forget to feed ourselves with whatever energizes us, and nourishes our souls so we may bring happy to our lives, our marriages, and our families, because waiting does nothing for us.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

TBT: The Beau Hunk Update

*Originally posted March 2012*
  -Click here for the first installment of the Beau Hunk saga
Sometimes, as a mother of teen girls, you are simply left shaking your head. There are no words, no comfort a parent can offer or give a teen daughter who seems to flourish in her own drama. In your heart, you want to help the pain go away, however any efforts will be deemed as "butting in" and "none of your business". Teens. Gotta love 'em.

So what's a (step)mother to do? Stand aside. Watch from the shadows. Text "love you"s and make small talk to avoid the big, bad, ghostly Beau Hunk who's sitting in the middle of the room.

Event #1: Beau Hunk still has not left for boot camp. He's still here. Here's where the miscommunication took place... Hubs and I were told he was leaving for boot camp. To us. that means a flight directly to the military check-in. Pardon us for misunderstanding. Apparently, in teen language, it means he was flying out to spend a couple of months with his father before boot camp. Our bad.

Event #2: The night before "shipping out" to his father's, father and son had an altercation over the phone. Beau Hunk's father cancelled the airline tickets. No visit. At all. Yeah, he's not winning Father of the Year, but lucky us! We get to enjoy the turmoil Beau Hunk inflicts on D2 for two more whole months. We are all certain it will be a pleasurable 61 days.

Event #3: The young couple is blissfully happy for a brief period.

Event #4: Beau Hunk breaks up with D2 for the 17th time. De-friends both her and D1, so neither of them have access to his FB account. Brilliant on his part. His FB page is completely public. Regardless, D2 is devastated. The walls in our home shook as she grieved her loss. Again.

D2 is hopeful the relationship is once again salvageable. She is still wearing the promise ring. After all, why not go for round 18? Where's the harm in that? It seems to be the cycle of teen drama.

I can't wait for May.

{Click here for the next installment of the Beau Hunk saga.}

Monday, April 20, 2015

What Does Your Husband Do?

Last week this doctor's wife was out and about running a few errands. Over the course of the day, I found myself chatting it up with another woman as we waited in a long and slow moving checkout line.

We spoke of small, normal chitchat; the weather and items on sale, with long pauses in between. There was no real bonding going on- just pleasantries.

But, then after another pause, she hit me with the big gun. She asked, "What does your husband do for a living?" I hate being asked this question. The truth automatically bestows a stereotype upon me. I don't sit around drinking mimosas by the pool all day. My normal start time is 2 o'clock. {for those of you who don't know me well enough- that was a joke!}

I paused a bit to think this through. She was a stranger. Did I really have to divulge this information? Do I really need to expose myself to the unspoken, underlying thoughts of "must be NICE", "she's rich", "she's got it made", yada yada yada.

Because, then comes the follow up question which is even more damaging and nosy than the first one: "What kind of doctor is he?" To which the answer, a surgeon, conjures up visions of yachts and helicopters to some, not the reality of our 1997 minivan or our 2000 SUV who (yes, "who"- our cars have names) continue to serve us well. Yes, we have other newer, "luxury" cars, but nothing close to a Ferrari or Lamborghini, I assure you!

So, do I open myself to this silent (and sometimes, not so silent) judgment of my life?

No. No. I don't.

I suppose I could have fallen back on my routine answer, "He works at the hospital." But, this time my brain randomly came up with a new answer. With an ever slight, somewhat confessional nod, I simply replied, "He sews."

It was the first time I ever received a pity nod of the head and a despondent, "oh" reply.

I loved it!! It's my new go-to response!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

TBT: The Beau Hunk

My husband is too nice to say some things. I'm not.

Case in point:

Beau Hunk look alike
Daughter #2's Beau Hunk. I think it's fair to say no one in our family is particularly fond of him, except for my mother who, after eating dinner with him said, "He's not that bad".  He's GTL all the way. I didn't know what GTL stood for, but LB (Little Buddy) brought me up to speed - Gym, Tan, Laundry.

Well, I do a little of the G, none of the T (my blood work up says I'm actually vitamin D deficient), and a whole helluva lot of L.

I had always envisioned having the girls' boyfriends around the house, going out to dinner as a big family, laughing and carrying on. I thought we could all enjoy day trips together...maybe get to know his parents well...maybe even a weekend trip. I was going to be a cool mom..a hip mom. I wanted that idyllic picture. I wanted to love (or at least like) my girls' boyfriends.

Well, it's not happening. Nope. Not at all. At least not to this point. D1 never had a high school boyfriend and she's flown the coop. Not going to happen with Beau Hunk, so I have to hang my hopes on D3.

{Originally, I listed all the reasons I take issue with Beau Hunk here in this paragraph. I self-censored my post to save my hide should D2 ever discover my blog. However, I'll give you a clue. Imagine you have a teen daughter...think of all the things you would never want a boyfriend to do to her. That should sum it all up.}

Beau Hunk finally did something positive with his life when he and D2 were on a "break". He joined the Marines. YES! Good for him! He finally did something honorable! I think the military will help him mature and develop a better life perspective. They will break him down and re-build him. He needs that. If their relationship survives this separation, I'm confident he will be a better person after completing his service.

He leaves for boot camp in two weeks. D2 has been asking us to invite him over for dinner. Up to this point, we have been brushing off the dinner. Neither Doc H or I really want to spend time with him, but being that he is leaving soon, we agreed he could come over for dinner.

Dinner day was upon us and I was out running errands with the younger D3 for the afternoon. I return home and ask Hubs where D2 is. He tells me Beau Hunk came by and they decided to take her new promise ring (yes, he gave her one two weeks before he ships out) back to the jewelers to get sized. They'll be back for dinner.

We have other younger ears in the house, so Hubs leans towards me and we whisper the following conversation:

Hubs: He came over just wearing shorts and barely there tank-top.
Me: Did you tell him to go put on some clothes?
Hubs: No, (brushing it all off) it's okay...he's just real immature and doesn't know better.
Me: Well, I'll tell him!
Hubs: No, don't. (Seeeeee.....he's too nice to say anything)
Me: He can't come over to have dinner with us and sit at the table half naked. That's gross! I'll tell D2 to tell him.
Hubs: No, she'll get mad.
Me: No, I'll put it nicely. I'll text her.
Hubs: (sounding defeated) *sigh* I guess.

So I text:
Hi D2, we will be having dinner just after 6pm. Could you please ask Beau Hunk to wear a t-shirt rather than a tank top? I would really appreciate it.

They came back for dinner. He was dressed in clean shorts, a nice t-shirt, and a baseball cap which he remembered to remove half way through dinner after I kept staring at it...on purpose.

It takes a village, people. It takes a village.

{Click here for the next installment of the Beau Hunk saga.}

Monday, April 13, 2015

Why, Yes. I Did Go To The Gym.

Thanks to all for the warm reception back! You all are awesome!

Today's breaking health news is this... I WENT TO THE GYM!!

Yes, after what was probably a 2 year absence, I bravely ventured back into the gym which has been gladly accepting their incredulous, sinfully high monthly dues despite my lack of appearances. Back when Doc H and I signed our family membership to this hoity-toity club, we went with the following mindset...
"This place is so outrageously expensive it will propel us to work out all the time! We'll be in the best shape of our lives. We WOULD NEVER pay so much and not utilize our membership!"
Are you laughing? Well, at least it's a family membership and our four kids (now two college, and two high schoolers) have used the place almost regularly. 

I sheepishly mounted a treadmill in the furthest and most remote corner of the gym in complete fear of a treadmill fail worthy of YouTube glory and infamy. I was after completely anonymity. So, it should've come as no surprise when, after twenty minutes, sweaty as can be from just walking, I looked up from the built in TV and saw D2 looking bright eyed, bushy-tailed, and beautiful smiling and waving at me! 

She couldn't understand what I was doing at the gym. *Okay, I get it... I'm totally out of shape.*

When I returned home, I summed up my trip to the gym in a text to Doc H...

God bless my Doc H for being supportive. And the fact that he took the time to add emojis just warms my heart!

Maybe I'll go back tomorrow.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Is Anyone There?





It's been a llllllooooooonnnnnngggg time. Apparently, I needed a break. Or perhaps I felt like blogging needed a break from me. Every blog post I wanted to write was already written. I didn't want to sound like a broken record, a scratched CD, or whatever can go wrong with an iTunes file.

So I sat.


But, in all honesty, I didn't just sit. 

I cooked- sometimes for two, sometimes for eight (the six of us plus two boyfriends). And many evenings I didn't know if for two or eight or any number in between.

I cleaned, decorated, undecorated, threw birthday parties, hosted house guests, attended medical conferences, attended hospital parties, danced with my husband, danced with our daughters, drove miles and miles and then even more miles.

I've assisted our high school senior prepare and submit over fifteen college applications. I've stressed over application deadlines, the weight of three college tuitions and one private school tuition. I've burned hours of my life preparing and submitting financial aid papers, because school require it. I've meet with bankers to open a HELOC loan, and explore private college loan options.

We're still visiting colleges and universities, and I'm still grappling at night with the idea that junior college might be the way to go. I mean, is $55,000 per year really worth it for lower division courses?

Additionally, and even more emotionally draining, I've dealt with all the drama a large extended, close knit family has to offer. This past year, it's been more than I care to admit. So, I simply won't.

I've been to traffic court, civil court, and even criminal court. We've been through two car wrecks (thank God no one was seriously injured), one being a hit a run, who was chased by one of our daughters and ultimately pinned down in a parking lot. That girl of mine has balls.

I've been offered two job positions, but have declined to continue working our start-up.

But, I have been missing you all. My life's been crazier than ever. How about you??

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