Happy Medical Mondays to everyone who came here via the blog hop! Glad to have you and would love to have you join the blog :)
Update: Only SIX MONTHS left of residency!! And even less time til I'll graduate with my PhD, hopefully, in May... Things are rolling along, Jeff has finished his stupid 6 month away rotation in Baton Rouge, and I'm done with all my rat behavior testing. I'm so excited to spend the rest of our time in New Orleans living together like a normal married couple before we move away in July for Jeff's fellowship and my post-doc.
I know I've mentioned this before, but I really can't believe we've spent 9 months out of our first year of marriage living apart. Residency can really do a number on your marriage if you don't pay attention. I've even heard tales of some programs bragging about their high divorce rate because their training was so demanding. Residency and grad school both seem to have a twisted culture of competition. If you're not exhausted or working weekends and holidays then you're viewed as a slacker. Whoever gets in the door first/leaves last gets the most respect. Of course this all comes at the expense of your personal life. Sometimes these crazy hours are unavoidable, for example if the resident is on call or the grad student has a time course experiment (the reason I recently missed Thanksgiving and Christmas). But sometimes we get so caught up in trying to get ahead and work harder than our peers that we go overboard when it's not necessary. Too many weeks of this mindset and you've lost touch with how to be a couple. A perfect example- I had nothing that absolutely had to get done this weekend, so I tried to force myself, just this once, to not do any work. Taking a couple days off has caused me so much anxiety- what's wrong with you when you can't even enjoy a couple days off?! I don't know how to operate as a normal person anymore, and I know Jeff would agree. I can't imagine what life must be like to have nothing hanging over your head, a constant threat that you'll fall behind and not be good enough.
We recently returned from a long weekend in Atlanta. It was more refreshing than I had expected. For once I wasn't worried about work I had to do, probably because I was so completely burned out I had no brain cells left for worrying. But I'm already back to my usual self, stressing that I didn't do enough today. I should have written one more paragraph, should have read one more paper. I'm hoping that 2013 will bring more stability to our lives (finally living in the same apartment- yay!) and that we can take the time every now and then to slow down and be "normal" people. Or at least try ;)