Perhaps it is already autumn near you, and perhaps summer is lingering like it is near me. Whatever the weather, I hope you have have found ways to enjoy the in-between time, when you’ve prepared but not yet started something, like a quick deep breath in between song lyrics, to maintain yourself for what comes next. My in-between time usually centers around chai.
If we were having chai together, I would ask how you are taking care of yourself. Healthcare visits? Time with friends? Decreasing stressors? Of late I have noted how expensive it can be to do just that, particularly with healthcare visits. I am so fortunate to be as healthy as I am, but the care I do seek does not come without cost. Fitting what can be expensive self-care into a budget already riddled with student loan repayment, savings account concerns, and other expenses is difficult, but necessary. Here’s to another month of making it work!
Over chai, I would ask excitedly whether you have read Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. I’ve just finished them, and feel completely overwhelmed with the adult-ness of the stories: commodification of women’s bodies in war (thanks to a friend for this exact language), mature vindication, complex strategic tactics, and overall concept set against the backdrop of young children and their young responses. I am so thankful for the friend who commented how accessible this story made violence and trauma and reactions to those experiencing it, but in terms of children living trauma, I am not sure how many read the book and think of it similarly. I’m still processing it all, and would love to know your thoughts. I was also still reeling from Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, so perhaps I need some more low-key reads coming up.
My brother is getting married next month, and I am thrilled to be adding young ones to our family through his fiancé. We don’t have any kids in either my or my partner’s family, and I’ve quickly found out that I don’t know what to do with anyone older than a few seconds outside of the womb, but I’m learning!
Over chai, I’d admit that if someone asked me today, “Why did you want to be a midwife?” I would likely burst into tears. Work has been incredibly stressful and on shaky ground, coworkers are more of a stress than a support, and I haven’t even celebrated one year into my NHSC contract. The midwifery that I’m practicing is what I was hoping to do, just some days are harder than others, and lately the days have been pretty tough. Hoping for some lighter moments to break the tension, and adding some extra skills as I look to add per diem time at more midwifery-friendly places.
I have a New Year’s resolution of running 365 miles in 365 days. Right now I’m at 31% (113 miles). The goal is still attainable but would require a lot of work in a short amount of time. Again, it’s attainable. Also, I had a goal of publishing in an academic journal this year, which might happen because of some leftover grad school research, but wasn’t the article I had intended (still hoping to publish about routine annual pelvic exams). So I need to get to work on that! Do you have any resolutions you’re checking in on and trying to still make happen?
If we were having chai, I’d ask about what parts of yourself you’re working on. Me? Interrupting people, fully listening and engaging rather than mentally multitasking, returning to yoga and continuing a regular running routine, improving my self care practices, and trying new recipes.
As we would finish our caffeine, I would ask about your favorite parts of autumn, your favorite memories from the summer months, what big changes your family has coming, your recent reads, your emotional state on your work and why you do it, and, finally, my partner’s favorite question when the going gets tough: “What are you excited about?”