339 days til residency is over.
That's the first time I've actually counted how much time we have left in residency. I can't even calculate a number for how much longer I have til I'm done with my PhD. It gives me too much anxiety to not have an exact graduation date.
339 days feels like such a long time, but it's not really when I think about how far Jeff and I have come since moving to New Orleans the summer before his intern year. For some reason I feel like this last year will be extra slow and as torturous as possible though.
We've started reading a book called The Medical Marriage by Wayne and Mary Sotile. We'll read a chapter together on the weekends or whenever we have time. I know this is incredibly cheesy, but so far it's given us invaluable insight. Not all of it pertains to us, but that's ok. So far, the biggest lightbulb that has gone off in our heads from reading this book is that we are constantly living in the future. Physicians in training and medical families are used to delayed gratification. But after so many years of postponing our lives til residency is over, til we have more money, til I'm done with school that we've become pretty miserable in our day to day lives. Or at least I have.
It's no secret that I hate grad school. But the constant "going without" all the time so we can save for when we'll have no income next summer has gotten pretty unbearable lately and has compounded my hatred for having to go into the lab everyday. It makes it extremely difficult to get through the stresses of grad school and residency when we feel like we can't even enjoy ourselves along the way.
Add that to the fact that the hubs and I are both crazy Type A people who always want to do the responsible thing by saving for a rainy day. This has resulted in our social lives becoming pretty depressing lately. But our recent failed beach vacay combined with some insight gleaned from The Medical Marriage was just the push we needed to decide we were done living in the future. Or at least to such an extreme.
We've decided to treat ourselves to nice dinners every now and then, and not panic so much if we go over our set monthly budget for various entertainment expenses. But perhaps most exciting of all, we've started planning a big vacation for next summer after we both graduate. We've always tossed around this idea in our heads, but for awhile dismissed it as costing too much money, money that could be more responsibly spent paying down loans. But postponing our lives for so long has taken such a toll on our morale that we've just decided to go for it. Even though it's still a year away, it gives me something exciting to look forward to which will hopefully make this last year a little less painful. I know that looking forward to a vacation next summer is still technically living in the future, but at least it's the not so distant future.
It will be nothing short of a miracle when Jeff graduates residency and I finish my PhD next summer. And I can't think of a better reason to spend a chunk of our hard earned cash on something intangible!
So here's to living more in the present.