Friday, February 26, 2016
Block 3 Week 5: Don't care how, I want it NOW!
So a couple of weeks back, I talked about the future, and having something to look forward to. This post might be a little confusing in the light of that one, but I think I can pull it together by the end and it will make sense.
I suggested creating little things in everyday life to look forward to, in order to get you through to the big goals you have. I think that having something to look forward to helps keep your head in the game, and it might also make whatever distasteful thing you are holding your nose through just a little bit easier. But there is also the danger of looking forward so hard that you forget to live in the now and appreciate what is going on around you. It's like a "Happily Ever After" syndrome, where you get so busy planning and looking forward to a future that is picture perfect that you aren't present in the current moment. Sometimes things don't work out like you plan, or even when they do, you may not feel like you had always imagined when "all your dreams come true." I hear of people all the time who reach a goal that they worked really hard to get, and they feel a little let down once they mark it off the list.
So this week, I want to talk about living in the now. Happiness is not a far-off feeling you spend your entire life chasing. It's the thing that sneaks up on you when you're in your car and your favorite song comes on, or that little flutter in your stomach when your sweetie comes to your study date and sits next to you and plays on his computer just because he wants to be in the same room with you even though you're busy. It's the little pack of banana Laffy Taffy that comes in a package from the music store your hubby ordered equipment from, and he texts you all the jokes from the wrapper and then gives you the candy when he gets home. It's getting your hair cut the way you want it and feeling fly. It's the satisfaction you feel when your head hits the pillow at night, and you know you experienced another day where you worked hard towards something huge. The point is, if you're constantly putting off feeling happy for some big accomplishment in the future, you might get burned out. I talk to people all the time that reflect on their time in medical school, and then their face changes and they say, you know, I look back on all that, and I was actually happy. I wish I could go back and tell myself that I was happy and to enjoy the process. So I guess I'm telling you to enjoy the process.
I've made some amazing friends in this foxhole. My HB has been SOLID in this with me, and he deserves a standing ovation for all the support he gives me. I could not do this without him. My study buddies are nothing short of outstanding, and they have dragged me through all this when I was SERIOUSLY thinking about giving up. I have been pleasantly surprised at how helpful the faculty at school can be when things get crazy. I've had some weirdo health stuff kick me in the butt the last few weeks, and my instructors have not only been accommodating, they have taken time with me to help me get better and educate me on how to improve my health.
So one of the things I try to do when stuff gets overwhelming is to remind myself that this experience has been mostly positive, and most of the time, I'm supremely happy. Just being in the moment every day and letting myself feel happy reminds me that happily ever after isn't some far off goal, but I can have it NOW. I can separate sucky circumstances from how I feel, and still just be happy living in the present. Being present helps to keep you from getting overwhelmed and burned out. So right now, in this moment, take a breath and feel the happy. Isn't that nice?