1. I work best under pressure. I need a ton going on to keep me organized and motivated.
2. I have always set unrealistic goals for myself. I’ve never had anyone else put crazy amounts of expectations on me. I don’t know if it is an oldest child thing or what, but I feel the need to do everything and be successful at everything I do.
3. Because of #2, I have a very low opinion of myself. There is no way you can be the best at everything—I rationally realize this. But I try anyway, and when I don’t succeed, I feel like a failure.
4. Because of #3, I value myself more by the things I can’t accomplish than by the things I can. Take, for instance, the eating disorder issues I had in med school. Am I proud that I have (for the most part) overcome that? No. I’m upset that I still haven’t lost the weight I put on because of the eating disorder.
5. But, I am getting better. I am at least realizing my issues and trying not to worsen them. And I have gotten a little better with my personal expectations.
6. Having a daughter has been both the most challenging and most rewarding thing I have ever done.
7. There are nights, especially after I’ve had a long day, that I want to take Sophie out of her crib and snuggle with her. I miss her that much if I haven’t seen her. And now that she’s so active, she doesn’t like to sit and snuggle like she used to.
8. Ok, thinking about #7 just made me teary. But I do love this age—she’s such a little person!
9. Tim and I have been together almost half as long as I have been alive. In today’s world, that seems unreal.
10. I wouldn’t trade him for anything.
11. I have a huge fear about moving, which is not something that is good for a career in science/medicine. After moving so much as a child, and now having a child of my own, I don’t know how Tim and I could both have demanding jobs and not have family nearby.
12. But, I would love to pick up my entire family and move them warmer. There is a lot that is nice about
13. I also hate earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes, and hurricanes, so my possible geography is limited.
14. I am hesitant to do any serious upgrades to our current house after we lost so much money on the first house. Especially if we might move for residency or fellowship.
15. But, I’d love a deck and a finished basement.
16. I don’t have a good work-life balance. When I am at work, I feel guilty that Sophie is in day care. But when I have to miss work for her doctor’s appointments or because she is sick, I feel like a bad student/employee. And this is with working in a mostly female lab. It was even worse when I worked with mostly men.
17. Work is such a paradox. There are so many two-income families, and yet there are so few employers who actually understand family issues. Tim’s in a good company now, but I am still the one that primarily handles Sophie’s work-conflicting schedule.
18. I could never be a stay at home mom. I love Sophie with all my heart, but I can’t do it. I don’t begrudge women that do. It’s just that my career is such a part of who I am. It makes me feel fulfilled. But Sophie will always be first in my life. And the time I get with her is that much more precious because it’s not constant.
19. I am a fixer. Maybe that is what drew me to science/medicine. I want to solve problems and fix people.
20. This becomes a problem in my personal life. I want to swoop in and solve everyone’s problems. It is very tough for me to watch people make bad decisions. But I also need to step back and realize that what is right for me may not be right for everyone.
21. This is toughest in my family. I’m proud of them for so many of the good decisions they have made. But there are some long-standing personal issues that are constant sources of drama, and I feel like I have some answers that could help. But it’s not my place.
22. Al-anon meetings did a lot for me. I learned about healthy detachment. I haven’t been to a meeting in a little while, but it’s something I want to make time for.
23. There are lots of things that I’ve given up—therapeutic riding, church activities, other hobbies—that I want to make time for. But my time at home is so precious. While I miss those activities, I want to spend every minute at home with Sophie and Tim that I can.
24. Tim’s last class for his engineering degree is this semester. Thank God. I know he’s thought about getting a master’s degree, but I think two bachelor’s degrees are good for now.
25. Still, it’s a little hypocritical of me to tell someone else they have been in school too long.