Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Pure Joy

Despite what you may think from reading through my posts, my job is not all doom and gloom. 

For over seven months, I've gotten to know a very special family. Our patient has faced more challenges in the past year than many people face in a lifetime. He has met some challenges with success, and has had some significant disappointments as well. Throughout it all - even at the lowest points -  his family has remained strong in their faith that he would be healed. 

Today, this patient got one very significant step closer to being able to go home. I can't share more information, other than to tell you that today's events are life-changing in a positive and nearly unfathomable way and I am so very happy for him and his family. 

Yes, sometimes my job is difficult and sad. But sometimes I'm witness to incredible miracles here on earth. I am so very lucky to do the work I do.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

A New Year

Last year when 2008 turned to 2009, I didn't take time to appreciate all that I had experienced in 2008 (graduation, finding my dream job, gaining friends, losing friends...). I only looked forward with anticipation for what the new year would bring. A year later, I am pausing to reflect on all I have learned and experienced in 2009, and looking ahead to some goals for 2010.

To be honest, many parts of 2009 were pretty difficult. Many months of the year found me processing two situations in which people I had trusted and been close with betrayed my trust in a significant and hurtful way. There was a lot of confusion and anger and sadness as I tried to make sense of my new reality. If I'm being honest with myself (and with you, the few readers I still have out there), I'd have to say that for at least 3/4 of the year, these two relationships and their fall-out sapped much of my energy.

That said, there were many good things that happened in 2009 as well. I made some new friends and prioritized making time for a social life. I put myself on not one but two online dating sites and had a steady stream of dates to keep me feeling proactive about my dating situation. I fell even more in love with my job, despite (or perhaps because of) its intense highs and lows. I reconnected with some friends with whom I had somehow fallen out of touch. I traveled to Maine quite a bit to see friends and family and I traveled to California and Colorado to see friends. I finished my first knitted baby sweater (which also happens to be my first knitted sweater) and learned how to be creative with eyeshadow.

Overall, I think 2009 was a year for beginning to figure out how to fill my life with the people and things that mean the most to me and how not to get weighted down with those which do not. I hope to continue the positive trends in 2010 and to let the pain of those two failed relationships stay in 2009.

So here, in no particular order, are my hopes and goals for 2010. They were written on the back of a receipt at Friendly's on New Year's Day while eagerly anticipating 2010's first Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Sundae with chocolate ice cream and extra peanut butter sauce.

- In 2010, I want to entertain more. We have an amazing house for entertaining and I want to create more opportunities for friends to get together. That could mean having people over to watch Lost together (the final season starts February 2!!!), a game night, ALC gathering, Groundhog Day Party, or a dinner party. It will definitely mean hosting an Oscar party on March 7 so mark your calendars, book a babysitter, and pull out your fancy clothes because there will absolutely be a red carpet.

- In 2010, I want to clean and re-organize my study. I want to get rid of things that I no longer need (a goal that I have for clothing and shoes as well). I want to sell my desk and make room for a table on which I could put a sewing machine (which is currently sitting in my parents' basement in Maine). And I want to organize my filing and bills.

- In 2010, I want to prepare more meals. I want to get back in the habit of bringing healthy lunches to work with me every day. I want to try more recipes instead of just sticking with my standard go-to recipes (so send some favorite recipes my way!).

- In 2010, I want to start or join a book club, knitting club, or wine club (maybe it can be all three!) - something that provides me the opportunity to meet up regularly with a core group of people. (In San Francisco, I was part of a book club that had a great rule: not reading the book is not a reason not to come to book club. I never read the books and I always went to book club. Best. Book club. Ever.)

- In 2010, I want to read at least one book per month. The above goal will make this easy if I end up being in a book club, but if not, I still want to read at least one book per month. More would be great, but after an embarassingly long time away from being a regular reader of anything longer than a magazine article or childrens book, I think this goal is good for a start.

- In 2010, I want to put more money in savings. And I want to put some of that savings towards a vacation.

- In 2010, I want to take some time to explore my spirituality. I'm not a religious person, but I do consider myself to be spiritual. I don't know if there is a church that speaks to my spiritual beliefs, but I think I'd like to explore what's out there. I want to read more books, poems, quotes... anything really... that make me think more deeply about the world in which I live and what I'm doing in it.

- Finally, in 2010 I want to continue a very important piece of self-care I started late in 2009. I want to continue the trend of being true to myself. I want to hold myself to the same standard to which I hold others. I want to give more to relationships that bring me joy. And I need to cut back on giving so much to relationships that take my energy and give little or nothing in return. I want to try harder to reach out and ask for help rather than feeling like I have to face difficult times alone, because I know that burdens are easier shared than carried alone and that friends want to help share the load but they need to be asked. And I want to carry with me every day a healthy sense of self-worth.

These are my hopes for 2010.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year...