Friday, February 27, 2009

One of Those Weeks

I can't remember the last time I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. It's been a while. So I guess I was due? 

Monday brought a cryptic email from my supervisor telling me that she needed to meet with me regarding a "patient relations issue". It turned out to be nothing bad, but I spent the entire day with a knot in my stomach trying to figure out what I might have done wrong and/or what family might have had a complaint about my work. Not a great way to start the week.

Tuesday I was paged before I even got into work about a family situation that had escalated to a near crisis point. By the time I arrived at work (10 minutes early, thankyouverymuch), the family had already left, but there was much de-briefing to do about how this matter was handled and how to prevent a similar situation in the future. And though absolutely no one blamed me for what had taken place, I felt awful that I hadn't been there to help during an incredibly difficult situation. 

Wednesday, I started getting sick. The "oh no, my throat hurts and I know what that means" kind of sick where you know no matter how much zinc/vitamin c/echinacea you take, it's still going to get you.

Thursday I stayed home sick from work. I also received an unexpected email that has left me feeling unsettled and grumpy for the past 24 hours.

And today I realized mid-day that the grant proposal I have been working on that is due March 2nd is due on MONDAY because February is a short month. I also realized when I went to pay my credit card bill at 8pm tonight that it wouldn't get posted until March 2. It's due the 1st. And when I called the company to ask if there was anything I could do, and they said, "yes, go to this website and you can pay it until 11:59pm tonight and it will still post today", I then realized that the credit card with the number I would need to be able to pay it online, was on my desk at work.

So it's been that kind of week. A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.

But there have been glimmers of goodness in the week too: one of my favorite kiddos coming back to our unit for a few days, getting to hold that same kiddo's twin brother while he smiled at me with all his might, caring comments from friends when they found out I was sick, free lunch today (there IS such thing as a free lunch, people, there IS!), and an honest-to-goodness, rock-solid GOOD first date. Yes, you read that correctly. In the midst of my hellish week, I went on a date, and that date was good. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Hard Part

So I went on date #3 last night with a guy that I've been on the fence about. I was looking for a sign or a moment or something that told me that he was a guy I should see more of, but none of those ever came. He's a guy who on paper is exactly what I'm looking for. We had great conversation and food, but there was that intangible something missing...

And so now I have to tell him that I'm not interested.

Twice in the past month since I started my dating frenzy, I have had to tell men that I wasn't interested in them. But both those emails happened after the first date, which made it easier (aside: I only ever email the "thanks but no thanks" sentiment - never make a phone call - when it's early in the phase of online dating. I learned this lesson the hard way by being on the receiving end of a very awkward phone call from a guy who was telling me he wasn't interested after two dates. It was awful and left me awkwardly trying to scramble for words in a conversation I wasn't expecting to have, and since them I have only ever used email to deliver that news). 

The challenge here is that I'm nice... too nice, perhaps. Both in person, and apparently also in my "no thank you" emails. After the worst date I have ever been on, my friends (who were sitting right near us) (no, he didn't know) came up to me and said, "So, was it good?!" and when I stared at them incredulously, they said, "But you looked like you were having such a good time!" It was then I realized that I might be too good at faking my enthusiasm while on a date. The thing is, I really do like people, and I enjoy getting to know them and what makes them tick - even the people I am not remotely interested in dating are interesting to me. But I think that my interest in getting to know them as people might often be misinterpreted as interest in wanting to date them and then I get myself into trouble. 

Of the two men I've said "no thanks" to most recently, one was told that I just "didn't feel that extra something" and the other was told that I had found someone else I really clicked with and I wanted to explore where that went. Both emails were written honestly and kindly, and in both instances, the guys came back asking for a second chance (one immediately and one after a few weeks).

I don't think 3rd-date-guy is the type who would beg for a second chance. But I do think he'll be disappointed when he gets this email. And it makes me feel yucky to know that I will be the cause of that disappointment. It won't stop me from writing the email that needs to be written, but it does make me feel bad because I know how crummy it feels to get those emails. 

This is the hard part about dating.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Feast or Famine

When you're single and going on lots of unsuccessful dates, you're told over and over again "you'll find someone when you're not looking". But when you stop looking and take a break from dating, you feel frustrated that you aren't being proactive about trying to find someone to date. It's difficult to find a balance. 

I tend to swing from one extreme to the other in a "feast or famine" pattern: 
a) A flurry of online dating leads to many first dates, few or no second dates, and eventually I burn out.
b) I take a break from dating and forget for a while that I care about finding a life partner, but eventually decide that I would not like to be alone forever. 
c) Rinse and repeat.

Right now, after a slew of bad or simply "meh" dates, I am finding myself with a "feast" of seemingly interesting and date-worthy men to choose from. I have gone from being the girl who goes home after work every night, watches tv and goes to bed, to the girl who actually has to check her calendar regularly to be sure she doesn't forget about a date. It's nice to feel proactive about my dating life, but it's exhausting too. 

As it stands right now, I am going on a third date with "Jim" this Sunday night, a second date with "Daniel" next Tuesday night, and a possible first date with "Mike" on either Saturday or Sunday during the day. Plus, I'm going to a singles night at a bar in Harvard Square with my friends on Saturday night. 


And hopefully one of these men is someone worthy of a second, third, and perhaps the all-elusive FOURTH date.

But if none of these dates pan out into anything, I'll give myself a break and put a pause on my formal search. And maybe then my special someone will unexpectedly show up and sweep me off my feet.

And if/when I get tired of waiting around, I'll go back to online dating.

A friend recently commented that she admired my stamina. It's a delicate balance of optimism, determination, energy, and reality that blend together to keep me going. And seeing so many others who have found their partners. Yes, sometimes it makes me jealous, but mostly it makes me hopeful. And the hope is what keeps the cycle going.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


It happened today and I am left with a mix of emotions unlike any I've felt from a job before. I am relieved and I am sad, but mostly I am grateful to and proud of the incredible team of medical professionals who came together to support this family and who spent the past two days tirelessly at their side, so that they would not face this death alone. 

I have so much more to write, but am falling asleep at the keyboard from exhaustion.

Thank you all for your wonderful words of support these past few weeks, and for the face-to-face time with friends that has helped me practice self-care and get through this all in one piece.