It is August, and really what that means to me today, TODAY, is that my to-do list has hit epic proportions. As much as it may look to the outside world like I’m constantly working and in get-it-done mode, behind the glass I am soaking up a bunch of time to rest my body and mind. And now it’s time to get back on the productivity bandwagon. So, of course, I choose to start that off with a blog post, which has monthly in the title, but isn’t written with even that level of regularity. #adultingishard
Discussed in previous venues and ways, I have had a hard… year and a half-ish. I have come out of the months of processing and situational depression and am exploding back into myself and powerful and honest and intimate ways and feel proud and happy and excited about what is to come. This doesn’t mean I don’t still cry in bars and over coffee when I reflect on what I’ve been through, but it does mean that I finally feel like myself again, and it’s been far longer than a year and a half since that was true. Importantly, sending strong love and vibes to everyone currently in situational depression and emotionally abusive relationships, and hugs and blanket snuggles and acknowledgment to those with chronic depression and all other kinds of abusive relationships. I see you and send you so much power.
I haven’t taken a vacation in two years. TWO YEARS, y’all. Brief weekend trips to family/friends, or time away for conferences does. not. count. It doesn’t. I’m someone who needs at least two days off and knowledge that there are more ahead of me to actually turn my brain away from work and requirements. As part of that, I am hitting my own level of compassion fatigue at work in my interactions with coworkers, and, recently, in interactions with patients. In full recognition of how unacceptable and absurd that is, and how much vacation I have accrued and rolled over, I am taking three weeks off about a month from now. I am driving out west and camping (car and backcountry) at the following: Great Sand Dunes, Arches, Bryce, Zion, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Badlands. Send your favorite hikes / activities at each if you’re also a hiking fiend and have camping love.
Favorite media as of late (again, nodding back to all the time I’m taking off behind the scenes):
- Podcasts: 2 Dope Queens with Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson; Embedded with Kelly McEvers.
- News: The Skimm (and particularly their Olympics calendar)
- Instagram: ALL of the National Parks accounts, @frances_cannon, @justseeds, @culturestrike, @sophiawallaceofficial, @wildwomensproject, @wild.streak, _sluttalk_
- Movies: Ghostbusters, Don’t Think Twice
- Netflix: Ali Wong Baby Cobra. I’ve watched it so, so many times now.
- Books (read): Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, Chloe Caldwell’s Women, Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan Novels (just started the 4th and final), Rupi Kaur’s milk and honey.
- Books (with bookmarks in them somewhere): Jonathan Franzen’s How to Be Alone, Junot Diaz’s The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Drown is celebrating 20 years – if you didn’t know Drown starts the trilogy of Junior through Drown/Oscar Wao/This Is How You Lose Her), Monica Heisey’s I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better.
- Book I’ll probably read before getting back to the ones with bookmarks: Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts (Bluets is my newest literary love affair, and now I want to read whatever else they’ve written.)
- Playlists: Parenthood on Spotify, We Shall Overcome on Spotify, I Wanna Dance With Somebody on Pandora
- Musicians: The Internet, ZZ Ward, Marian Hill, James Blake
- Twitter Accounts: @WentRogue, @Lin_Manuel, @Lesdoggg, @2dopequeens
Random questions dominating my reflections lately:
- How do I maintain patience and calm, and get along professionally with someone I would never befriend in the outside world?
- What am I looking for in myself?
- What am I looking for in another human?
- Why is it so hard to remember my friends’ birthdays and make sure their presents get in the mail on time?
- How might I best get the Family Nurse Practitioner student I’m precepting this semester to geek out over sexual and repro health the way I do when it might not be their jam?
- Who else is struggling with white hair around their nipples?
- Is a sugar detox the next step when I’ve found I’m not interested in any sort of healthy food right now?
- Can I really say with snarkily / with pride “Oh I don’t have a TV” when I watch things on my iPad on the regular?
- Two new plants (houseplant total is now at 7. I have four windows, all on the same wall. It may be an issue but there are days at work when I am excited to come home and see my plants. This is true.)
- Chicago Jane Abortion Poster by 4000 Years For Choice
- Divvy annual membership (my bike is a hybrid and in the shop for a tune-up for my camping trip. plus I don’t trust my bike parked outside of my downtown hospital – I’ve seen what happens to beautiful bikes there overnight.)
- Futon for the midwife student renting a space from me during integration.
- Blue Q socks for the Chief Residents I work with who are amazing and deserve some random love.
Thanks to my financial advisor (let me know if you want more information, I frequently call him my financial midwife) I have my money logistics and planning together. As together as it gets for someone with knee-weakening levels of student loan debt and big life goals.
Dating in general, including the online version, is fun and hard and weird and hilarious and body-affirming and body-negating and beautiful and lovely and socially terrifying. My level of engagement with it varies.
I’m looking forward to the fall, for a variety of reasons. 1) All the fantastic colors. 2) Conference season. 3) Getting more serious about PhD program applications. 4) Vacation. 5) Cooler days. 6) Being able to safely run again outside without fear of passing out from heat stroke and training for a few half marathons. 7) Family birthdays. 6) Shorter to-do lists. 7) More regular chai updates that perhaps include shorter media lists and longer lists of accomplishments.
Alright summer: I came, I saw, I slayed at avoiding all things. Now it’s time for fall.
Coming up in FeministMidwife land: commentary on the ish ACOG has been dropping lately, interviews with up-and-coming midwives kicking ass in the world, more scripts, and why not to call patients “bitch.” You know, good stuff.
Tell me what’s been up with you lately. I love the community this blog has built, and how it can be a platform to love / celebrate / elevate / support each other.
Here’s to September.