For the record, I have never spent a millisecond of my life sitting cross legged on the hospital floor with my laptop, working on my CaRMS application. Every time I go to the CaRMS website I wish they would put a more accurate photo of a red-eyed, sleep deprived, medical student wearing sweat pants, sitting at a kitchen table, stress eating and yelling at their laptop.
That would be more like it.
With props given to the folks behind this, Matt and I shamelessly twisted it for our own purposes. Prepare for a possible stream of these over the next few days.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
He both craved the familiarity of a private personal domestic space and loathed the idea of being fettered by permanence or possession.
-Tom Robbins, Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates
"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart". -Anonymous
My current flatmate has a magnet with that quote stuck to her fridge. I see it every morning as I prepare my breakfast. It was always just a passing line that I only half read before rushing out the door to the hospital.
Yesterday, I was in the emergency department. There were several sick babies crying, call bells singing, monitor alarms binging. I was assessing a 1 month old with RSV who looked quite dehydrated and unwell. We had called in the anesthetist to attempt an I.V insertion, he was getting another needle for a second jab while I held my fingers in a circular tourniquet on the baby’s little arm. The patient coughed and sputtered while the lab tech fished for culture bottles and Dr. J tapped his little hand. I had been nervously and awkwardly assisting in the operating theater all day but here in the ED I felt like I’d walked into a familiar river which was gently carrying me along. I felt comfortable, at peace, even. The quote appeared in my mind and took on a different meaning. Yes. Sometimes familiar chaos can be calming.
Now to develop that calm in unfamiliar chaos.
Ocean view, table for one.
After my cycle around the Dingle peninsula this afternoon I did my routine freezing dip in the ocean. The people bundled up in winter coats and hats actually gawked as I peeled off my clothes on the beach and walked into the water. Comedy. I was able to stay in until my feet went numb with cold and I unsteadily ambled back to the car. There I enjoyed a nice post-ride sunset picnic before driving to town and collapsing in the sauna.
I am taking myself on such sweet dates these days. Starting to think this could turn into a serious relationship.