Yesterday I did about half of what I meant to do. I wasn't idle; each thing took twice as long as I had budgeted for it. I cleaned the girls' room, getting rid of about four cubic feet of knick-knacks as I went. I busted several of Vivian's hordes of tiny things - so cute...and asked her to consolidate them into one (Vivian reacts poorly to unauthorized disturbances of her tiny things). Vivian's personal specialty is to encase things in other things. She's on the committee. Mazie is more about abandoned knitwork projects and hording books behind her futon.
I also cleaned the kitchen in a way I had forgotten could be done. Observe our shining stovetop, our spotless - and crudless - cabinet interiors, and our greaseless oven. Later today, you'll be able to observe our clean fridge and shining rice cooker. Oh, to make new again. So I guess I've been renovating in a very small way.
But the reason I'm writing about this is that my getting done approximately half of what I meant to is related to something much larger about this med school journey. I have chronically underestimated how much time and effort any one thing would take. Interviews were no different. I managed to believe that a one- or two-night stay in an unfamiliar hotel / city meant that all the time that I was not actually interviewing would be work time. Same for any airport down-time, flight time, in-between travel turnaround time. When I have never traveled like that before. At the holidays. With a family at home, at the holidays. In reality, each interview was a flurry of timeliness struggles, business transactions, physical hardship (baggage without rolling wheels - walking with overstuffed duffel), and navigation mishaps. I would arrive home, having had a sum total of about 45 minutes of actual "down time" on my interview, which I would have invariably used to check the weather and try the different HVAC settings available to me. NO WORK GOT DONE. So in this case, my overestimation was infinite. My ratio is something like this:
Planned work: actual work done = Something:0
Something/0 = infinity
This equation (or my frank folly) forced me to jam my research paper into about a week and a half, which meant for a very busy week and a half and a rushed research paper that would have benefited from more trades between my advisor and me.
Here's the thing: I look at a challenge and say, "Nyeh. I can do that." And then I get to the thing and it's really hard. Not just that, it also takes a long time. So I just go and go and go and then it gets done. And I am all unshowered and I haven't exercised in weeks, and my reaction time is slow, and one eye is a lot droopier than the other because this is what happens to me when I am really tired.
And then...I forget that it unfolded that way just in time to underestimate time and effort when the next challenge arises. The key is, part of forging (get it? Forget / forge) ahead with this doctor thing in the first place is not knowing / quickly forgetting how much it demands. And then I am almost always glad and proud on the back end of whatever challenge happened, as long as nothing fell apart in the meanwhile (sometimes we are not so lucky). And I always remember that I am far from the only one who's sacrificing - there are many others.
Moral: the next best thing to being a medical knowledge / research acumen / super mom savant is having a poor memory for hardship and a resilient family:
|Researching the elusive parking lot sago palm|