Regaining passion

Ya’ll, I’m an adult now.

I donate to NPR, I work every day, I generally dislike my job.

And passion for day to day life? Yeah, that’s basically gone. I have somehow cultivated an extraordinary dislike for clinic. I feel like patients are whiny, I don’t want to put effort into paperwork, everything about it just makes me feel so underwhelmed. I can’t quite put my finger on *why* I feel this way because I genuinely love what I’m studying and am excited about my future prospects.

I guess the problem is that I feel so stagnant right now? Maybe it’s because I feel like I’ve taken steps backwards rather than steps forward. And it’s quite possible that all of the drama that I created in my mind over the past month or so has just left me somewhat jaded.

So this morning I’m watching Parks and Recreation. Because Leslie Knope unabashedly loves her job. And I’m drinking tea, because tea makes me feel calm and happy. And I’m wearing pajamas and reviewing my patient files for the day, because that’s the most comfortable way to prepare.

I’m going to put on my big girl pants, pretty earrings, and stroll into clinic like I have all the confidence in the world. And then I’m going to ask a million questions, not get discouraged over small things, and tackle all of my tasks as if I had nothing to do lose.

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Create a vision and set your goals: 6 months

I created my 10 year vision about a year ago. However, in the past few weeks, I have realized that I’ve reverted to full-on meltdown mode. This means terrible nutrition, too much Netflix, no running, lots of kicking myself in the head for past “mistakes”, lots of “what-ifs”. Basically I’ve been frantically treading water instead of gliding forward, which is what I feel I should be doing. I’ve been splitting myself into a million pieces and, therefore, have been completely unable to focus or be passionate about one thing.

Passion. It’s what’s for dinner. Or should be, but apparently it’s what I’m lacking.

So enter the 6 month vision. {It started as 5 years. Then turned into 1 year. Then 6 months. Apparently that’s about as much as I can bite off at the moment, which is okay. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?}

I am hoping to give myself clarity, or at least the clarity to see that everything is going to be just fine.

In six months…

# My research project will be approved. I will be almost to the midpoint of data collection and cruising along comfortably.

# I will have lost 10 pounds. No, I’m not fat. When I tell people that I’ve gained a large amount of weight since grad school commenced, they gawk at me. But *I* know that most of my pudge has come from mindless eating and would feel more comfortable if it was just…gone. I’d like to be a healthier version of myself.

# I will run a half marathon. Half marathon #5 to be exact. And it will be splendiforous. Running will be a regular part of my hectic routine and even though I’ll probably only have enough time to run 3x week, I’ll make it happen.

# I will have regained my passion for clinic. I’m not sure how. Perhaps through hours of watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns. But I will again love helping patients and be okay with mountains of paperwork and be at peace with the fact that I will never be perfect at it.

# I will have carved out some time every week for girl time.

# I will have made 6 recipes and/or crafts from Pinterest.

# I will have finished 2 novels of my choosing…completely unrelated to school. Preferably more than that but 2 is the bare minimum.

# I will have a weekly date night with G. Being engaged to a fellow grad student means we are both unspeakably busy so making time for each other that doesn’t involve pajamas or delivered pizza is essential.

# Have a lab job. Currently I slave in a lab and I slave at work. Neither are extremely satisfying, which is probably part of the cause for my teenage angst.

# Write {nearly} daily. Whether it be on this blog or a recipient-less email to myself.

# Have a grown up dinner party. Yep, I went there.

# Get halfway through wedding planning.

# Get a new license. You know, before my current one expires and I drive around town like a bandit.

# Create a budget. And stick to it.

# Have game night at Chez G and I. Again, yes, I went there.

Friday love list: TGIF edition

It’d be a complete and total bald-faced lie to say that today wasn’t rough. I’ve been having a lot of these days lately. To put it nicely school is just beating me to a pulp. I can’t seem to win for losing. I put in more effort and things seem to go worse.

So instead of dwelling on it, I decided to rush home and get cozy.

It’s Friday and I’m in love with being cozy.

1. Big, old pajama pants are literally the. best. cozy clothes. Putting on my pajamas never fails to make me feel better.

2. Hot tea + milk. Enough said.

3. Old episodes of Friends. Again, does this really need explanation?

4. My snowflake fleece blanket. Being warm is the pre-cursor to cozy.

{How do ya’ll deal with a bad day?}

Mediocre

I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect. I think it’s a natural inclination for me to want to be perfect and amazing at everything. Perfect in clinic, perfect at research, perfect at school, perfect at relationships, perfect at running.

Yeah.

It’s just not possible.

Lately I’ve been getting some quasi-negative comments about my performance in clinic. And to be honest, I’ve basically been phoning it in on my clinic days because all I can think about is doing research. But those comments? They were regarding things that I actually (initially) put a whole-hearted effort into.

Yet, of course, those comments made me feel badly and I skulked around the hallways feeling inadequate and, quite frankly, really dumb.

Basically, I’m not the best person at taking constructive criticism well. Even from myself. Which is why I stopped running so seriously about a month ago…I was working hard nearly every morning at the gym and seeing very little progress. And then I realized that I had actually *gained* weight instead of lost it.

Cue burying my face in a bag of Doritos.

It’s a vicious cycle.

I really need to give myself permission to suck: it’s the only way to learn. Great researchers, doctors, and runners didn’t just wake up one day and realize they were amazing at their chosen task. So I don’t know how I expect myself to just wake up one morning and do the same.

Sometimes, stress can be productive but putting myself down each time I “fail” at something I’m still new to? That’s not okay.

Tuesday Confessional: Lazy Election Day edition

Damp, rainy mornings are the best…but only when my 8 am class is cancelled and I don’t have to slog to campus until I get to drink multiple mugs of Irish breakfast tea, eat breakfast, and vaguely prepare for the day.

Today is quite possibly the best Tuesday ever. And that is saying a lot because Tuesday is notoriously my least favorite day of the week.

1. It’s Election Day! Go Vote! This is my 3rd presidential election that I recall paying any sort of real attention to and, while I am not a huge politics girl, I love the excitement of putting democracy into action. Lame, I know. But I am definitely having an “Election Results Party” this evening, complete with an awesome red, white, and blue outfit. I know a lot of my co-workers and classmates aren’t voting because one individual vote doesn’t make a world of a difference. But the fact that I can vote? Yeah, I’m going to take advantage of that right.

2. Yesterday was a fail. My goal was to eat healthier and *not* stress, but the first two things I did yesterday was stress and then proceed to eat tortilla chips + salsa and cookies for dinner at work. Today is off to a much better start, thank goodness. I’m at the point in the semester where any tiny change in my schedule or plans sends me into a veritable tail spin of emotion…not cool.

3. I am officially running a half marathon in April. Come hell or high water, I will be pounding the pavement for my 4th half marathon. So, uh, I now have an excuse to start running more and eating less like a teenage boy whose mother gave him $20 because she’s not going to be home for dinner. Yeaaaah.

{Why is your Tuesday going to be amazeballs?}

Marvelous Monday: Monday morning plan

Today is day 1 of week 1 of attempting to lead a much more balanced life. {And yes, this will probably be the week with posts entitled with terribly cheesy alliteration}

*deep breath in*

Mondays are typically pretty jam packed for me. As in, breakfast + lunch + dinner are packed and brought to school. Today is no different, aside from the fact that I got a chance to sit down and eat a bowl of cereal while reading the news before getting myself geared up for the day.

In an attempt to be more balanced, I am dedicating today to school. I know I’ll be trapped at work for 9+ hours, so the plan is to buckle down and get as much done as possible so I can dedicate Tuesday evening to Pinterest, cleaning, and general housekeeping.

As lame as that may sound, at this very moment it sounds amazeballs.

So, the plan: No running today, unfortunately. I will be spending my day catching up on clinical paperwork, attending class, and spending 9+ hours at work. But this plan also includes immense amounts of tea drinking {and one medium sized coffee if my mood turns that way}, immense amounts of catching up on work, and immense amounts of deep breathing.

I think I can manage that.

{What are your plans for Monday? I am itching to run for the first time in weeks, so tell me what run you have planned and let me live vicariously through you!}

He’s either brave or crazy…which one do you think?

I wouldn’t recommend getting philosophical advice from The Turtleman, but I’m not going to lie.

I do it.

Being in grad school and working 20 hours a week is hard. I talk about this nearly non-stop whenever I blog, but that’s only because I hate talking about it in real life. Everyone is busy and I *hate* getting into “who is busier” conversations. Yes, I’m away from home for far more hours a week than many of my classmates just so put myself through school I can but really, does that matter? Nope. Everyone has their “thing” that makes their life slightly more complicated.

But everyone once in a while, I just want someone to stop and say, “dang, I don’t know how she does it…she must be either really brave or really crazy”.

I guess the fact that no one is commenting on anything is a compliment in and of itself…I guess I’m pulling off frazzled and *done* pretty darn well.

Anywho, that’s not the main point of this post.

The main point of this post is that I’ve been letting things sliiiiiiiide.

As in, eating Doritos for dinner and subsisting off of coffee + half & half and not running.

And it’s catching up to me: my pants are slightly too tight, no amount of coffee is ever enough, and I’ve got a lingering cold-thing that I just cannot kick.

So, since it’s November and therefore a new month, I am re-instating my October goal of balance. A goal that kind of failed as school sent me into a tizzy. But this time, I’m taking it week by week.

My week 1 goals:

1. Eat lots of veggies. Tomorrow’s dinner is herbed sweet potato salad and fennel + sausage dressing

2. Drink lots of water.

3. Drink only one medium coffee a day.

4. Run 3x

5. Relax. No more frantic emails to professors at 11 pm and no more being frazzled about things that I cannot change.