Thursday, June 11, 2009

Need new goals

Despite my lazy tendencies, I am still type-A at heart, and so I'm going crazy living with no goals right now. All of my adult life the idea of going back to school to became a physician was at least in the back of my mind, if not at the center of it. So now that I've taken this detour I admit that I feel very lost. I need some new goals to work on.

One of the things DH and I have been discussing is whether or not to relocate. I was born and raised in New York City and the thought of being far away from it fills me with dread and fear. But fear of what, I can't quite say. It just feels "wrong" to even think of living elsewhere. Well actually over the past few days I think I'm beginning to understand these feelings more. The City represents opportunity to me. Nevermind that I rarely ever take advantage of any of the cultural or intellecual activities offered there. But I like knowing that they're there. It represents that ideal me that I could/should be. But what use is it struggling financially (and in bad weather) to be near something you don't ever see? The few other cities I've visited usually fall short in my eyes, but even the smallest of these have a fair amount of stuff for the kids to do. And since the things I am leaning towards now are family-oriented anyway, then perhaps I can be ok with the idea of moving.

Why do I even want to move? Well now that our focus is more financial I guess I feel the need to "win" at that game. Our townhouse is ok, but not great. I wish the layout were better, I wish we had a deck, and I wish the town was nicer. My friends who have moved have been able to get so much more house in other places. Having this place was certainly a factor in my NOT being able to go to school. If we could move somewhere else where we'd be just as comfortable, if not more so, with less money than that opens up the option for me to return to school someday.

Yes, I said it. School. There is no way that I will not continue to scheme going back for something. MD is still an option but as the years and kids come and go (no, I am not pregnant again . . . yet) I know that it will become less likely. I am considering other health care careers now, because I still feel pretty strongly that that's where I should be. I certainly wouldn't want to retire from this stuff. I'd prefer to be wheeled away from my patients instead.

But anyway, I am getting ahead of myself. School can NOT be one of my new goals. I just walked away from it and I NEED to devote my energies to other things. More pressing things. Things I can do something about now or in the short-term future.

For sure one of my goals is to slowly work ourselves out of the financial mess we're in. It will probably take another two months for us to pay off a lot of little things we owed here and there (including us dipping into overdraft). After that we will start focusing on those pesky credit cards. Let's just hope our old car doesn't clunk out of us before we're ready for a new car payment. Go, go Saturn!

We still need to really think about where we want to live and what's important to us. I guess that's why I keep bringing it up here in my goal post. If being able to subscribe to a concert series at the Philharmonic were critical to me, then maybe we'd have to plan to stay around here or around some other major city. But with major cities come high prices. I just spent a week with my friend who lives in a mansion in NC. At first I was a bit put off by the lack of activity near their home, but after witnessing how happy her 4 children are, playing outside and riding their bikes with no fear of crime, etc., it made me wonder. We're such homebodies now that 99% of the time we would rather stay home than do just about anything else. So if that's the case what does it matter if we're living in a suburb of NYC or Kalamazoo? I kept going on and on in my head about wanting my kids to have a feeling of belonging to something, and that's something that I feel that those outside the cities sometimes lack. To me all the "communities" we visited felt so bland and generic. But then again I have a biased and probably wrong opinion based on my own very limited experience. I guess I am just so scared about making wrong decisions in terms of raising her. I have a track record for making bad decisions, you know. I do feel that in the end none of that is what matters in terms of raising your kids. It's what you do inside the house. Or at least I want to believe that. But a part of me feels very strongly that the outside influences are vast. Many of my friends who grew up with my in the inner-city have gone very far away from that with their own children. But then I fear that I'd not be in touch with my children's experience at all because it would be so radically different. And I also fear my kids turning out like some of the people I met in college who were deathly afraid of anything different from them. UGH.

Ok, wait, I am digressing. Goals. Let's stick to goals. It's not like I can even start to think about a relocation until we're better off financially, which may take 3-4 years. And I'd prefer to have a second baby while we're still near our relatives in NY. Not that they've been anywhere near as helpful as I would have liked (a whole other blog post), but they're all we have for now.

Definitely I need to redefine some music goals. Very short term I just need to start practicing again. Once I can get back into the habit I can figure out how to get back to my lessons and what to play.

Another goal that is slowly coalescing in the recesses of my being, is that of becoming more healthy. And no, I don't just mean working out, though I definitely wish I were more active, but have some inertia issues to deal with. It would be great to do a triathlon with my husband, but that may never happen. I am really only starting to become informed about toxins in our environment, especially our food, and how that affects development. So I suspect I will definitely be boarding the organic bandwagon once I can get all my sh*t together. We are so far removed from that kind of lifestyle with all of our Dominican fried stuff that I get overwhelmed thinking of all the changes at once. But I do want to devote a significant amount of energy and probably money to this end. Just not sure how to start attacking the beast. I think that for now we are going to research getting a reverse osmosis under the sink filter.

I have a feeling this whole organic/more natural thing could turn into something bigger for me. As I may have mentioned I went to a talk at a wholistic health center and that left me wondering if perhaps my future health care career could somehow integrate that. This is yet another way motherhood has changed me, for the better. Before I couldn't even consider healthy options because I was so stuck in my ways of selt-medicating with food. But now I've become a Mama Bear and I want to make the world a safer place for the cubs.

So what does that all mean for me? Too soon to tell. We'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I keep wanting to steer this back to my optimistic posts about learning the oboe, but instead I feel the need to vent about completely unrelated negative feelings instead.

I thought I was done grieving over medical school, but apparently I'm not. I may no longer be in the deepest part of the ditch, but I'm still muddied. And I think that in order to clean myself off I need to deal with all these feelings instead of pushing them aside.

The other day I was going to make a post entitled "I'm a loser". That's exactly how I felt that morning, and that entire week. Driving up to work evokes feelings of disgust in me because every morning I remember my triumphant "last drive" up here. Back then the possibilities were endless. Now I'm back like a dog with its tail between its legs. What is there to look forward to in this place? Though I did what seemed to be the best thing for my family for now, some days I feel ashamed that I sold my soul for 80k.

God has blessed me with a lot of gifts. Or maybe it's just one gift that manifests itself in many ways. Let's call it "learning agility". This has allowed me to pick things up very quickly, particularly academics, but it works well with art and even physical activities too (or at least it used to). All my life I've felt compelled to learn new things and master them, but in the end I am not great at anything. I guess the gift is a double-edged sword. I think I've never learned to really work through things to get to the next level. I like things in the beginning when they're easy and once I have to put in more effort, things lose their lustre. There are many reasons why I wanted to become a physician. But I suspect one of them was that I saw in it my sole chance to finally become great at something. It was supposed to be something beautiful and noble, that would combine goals in several areas of my life. Giving that up has left a hole in me that I am not sure I'll ever be able to fill.

I'll try for sure. I'll try to focus on all those other unfinished things in my life. And I will focus on become the best Mom ever. But I know I will fail at that, because as a human we all do. No one can be perfect. But I already feel the unrest building inside. The urge to hate myself again. But this is not the model I want to set up for my beautiful daughter. I want her to be strong and self-confident. I want me to be strong and self-confident.

This weekend I felt good, and got a glimpse of a different life (sans medicine) that could perhaps still be fulfilling. I'll still be scheming my way back in the back of my head, but I intend to focus on all that I have, instead of what I have lost.

I'm going to build the life that I want. But I know that before I do that I still have to face a few more demons.

Ok, now I can get some work done.

Monday, May 04, 2009


It's about 12:45 am and I just finished putting away the clothes that I laundered earlier. So I am officially done with all the errands for the weekend and can relax for a bit. Oh wait, it's already Monday morning. WTF!

There are many things about being a working mom that suck. One of them being that you have almost no time for yourself. I'd heard people complain about it before but never appreciated it until just now. In terms of "me" time this weekend, all I had was when I sat down to watch a 1 hour show on my DVR. And since I skipped the commercials, it wasn't even a full hour to myself. Holy moly! So now I am facing an entire new week of work and I didn't have a chance to unwind. God help me.

Saturday was a wash. I took Alanis to her little gym class then back home from nap. Then I got paid for a 30 minute survey on appliances. I was supposed to be at quintet rehearsal all that time, but I got confused with the date, and they ended up finding a flute player to sub for me. Afterwards, we went to DH's cousins' wedding. By the time we got back home it was baby's bedtime. Oh I did get to play WoW for a bit on Saturday, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

Today we tried to cram in all the errands that should have happened over the two days. Did I mention that we got invited to said wedding at the last minute (after I had jam packed the weekend)? First to Home Depot to peek at window treatments. Why does everything have to be so complicated? I just need to replace the ugly ass cheap fabric vertical blinds with unsafe cords that we have. Why are there so many choices in blinds nowadays? And why did I fall in love with the expensive ones like always? So then back home for nap #1. Made my special breakfast smoothie (a knockoff of the discontinued Mango Passion fruit smoothies once offered at Dunkin Donuts). Baby woke and ate lunch then we went to Costco. BIG CROWD. Next, the regular supermarket, More people (all probably on the same frantic race that I was). Back home for more laundry. Then dishes and mop the kitchen floor. Put baby to sleep. More laundry. Plan trip to NC. Fold laundry. Relax on bed. Ahhh.

Hmm, not sure why I am breaking my blog hiatus with this babble. But I just needed to get rid of some of this manic energy.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Still on leave

Still on leave from everything . . .

The clock is ticking in terms of my seat at school. At this point it seems unlikely that I will reclaim it. There are many others more worthy vying for it. I don't think this means I will never practice medicine, though it probably does mean that I will not practice it as an MD. I'm almost done grieving that.

There is a possibility of my considering fields that my ego didn't allow me to before. This is a long term plan (5 years). For now I am trying to find a way to be home as much as possible. This may mean returning to my old corporate job for a while. *sigh*

Even the musical side of me has been sluggish to return. Thankfully, the woodwind quintet is going strong, even with the weakest link (me). We are meeting again tomorrow, three weeks since our last rehearsal. How many times did I practice in between? Twice. This is pitiful. At least the baby no longer cries when I play the oboe. I need to just push myself to do it every day, even if just for 10-15 minutes. I keep saying that, but the gears are still not back in place. Soon. Soon.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

2008 Recap

Stolen from Terminal Degree's blog . . .

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

* Delivered a baby
* Was a medical student
* Did NOT work for more than half the year

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't even remember my resolutions for last year. I suppose one of them was probably get back to my pre-baby weight. And seeing that I am now 10 pounds under it (nursing in a wonderful thing), I did keep that one. The other ones probably had something to do with doing well in school and spending less, both of which I failed tremendously at. Well, it wasn't that I did that poorly in school, it's just that I quit. And let's not even go into the money situation. If there is one thing that need reform this year it's that. I do want to get healthier in 2009 by eating better and starting exercise again. I also want to practice oboe daily again.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yours truly. Several other babies were born this year too. Can you say playdates . . .

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No one I was really close to, thank God. Mom's last living uncle passed away though. As did the father of our old church choir's lead singer. Oh, and an ex-member of the choir also lost an aunt and cousin.

5. What countries did you visit?

We did not travel anywhere last year because I was in my third trimester or with newborn. I definitely want to go somewhere in 2009. I don't think I'll be brave enough to ride in a plane with the baby yet though. My hope is to drive to NC to visit my 5 friends who relocated there. Maybe seeing all 5 is unrealistic, so let's say I will visit the 2 I am actually close to.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Money. Sleep. Energy.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

April 12-13th. When I think of having the baby I don't only think of the actual birth. I tend to relive the entire experience starting with the mild contractions the day before.

August 22. White Coat Ceremony. Will either be my indoctrination to a new profession or forever a reminder of what could have been.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Giving birth to my daughter (no one was more scared or clueless).
Nursing her in spite of MANY difficulties (").

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not being able to handle medical school under the circumstances even though I don't think anyone could have.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Some PPD

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Our Sony HD TV.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

DH. I always knew he'd be a great father and he didn't let me down. Also my brother deserves honorable mention for growing up a hell of a lot.

13. Whose behavior made you depressed?

Someone I was counting on acted apathetic and aloof, more interested in their own needs than in mine when this was an opportunity for them to finally be there for me.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Baby stuff and food for us.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Watching my baby grow. Briefly, training to become a doctor.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

Pocketful of Sunshine

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

a) happier in many ways, but sadder in some
b) thinner - YAY
c) way, way poorer - BOO

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Sleep and study. However that would have been impossible as their occurrences were inversely proportional. I also wish I had played more oboe and gone outside more when the weather was nice.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Deeply in love with my little baby. It's indescribable.

21. What was your favorite TV program?

Baby Story and Heroes

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is a strong word. But I did meet some annoying people.

23. What was the best book you read?

I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't read any books last year other than random baby stuff and school stuff. For a while all my brain could handle were magazines.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Reicha Wind Quintets

25. What did you want and got?

We got so much baby stuff thanks to generous friends and relatives.

26. What did you want and not get?

A minivan

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

Didn't go out to the movies but saw a few flicks at home. I kinda liked Ironman.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Don't recall what I did on my 34th birthday. I think that by then the panic about school was kicking in.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Having gotten that support I wanted from the person mentioned above.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Crappy. I couldn't have cared less . . .

31. What kept you sane?

DH and WoW

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Hugh Jackman

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

The election

34. Who did you miss?

Wish my paternal grandmother would have been around to see the baby.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

Several of my classmates were really cool. But more importantly I managed to rekindle a couple of old friendships.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

You can't be perfect. Sometimes just-good-enough is best.