Summer vacation officially started for my kids today at noon. I remember the last day of school at Holy Name where I spent my grade school and middle school years….it was spent in an incredibly hot school with no air conditioning, wearing a wool blend uniform, and cleaning our desks and mopping the floors and getting the school ready for its hibernation. The excitement I felt each June for the swimclub and biking around the neighborhood and staying up late was balanced with a sense of sadness that the school year was at an end. You see, I was a nerd. I LOVED school. I looked forward to the next grade, the new things I would learn and thought that the whole summer was a long time to wait. Not that I didn’t love softball and swim team and my friends but I loved school. My kids seem to have adopted this same love of school and over the weekend, they made their summer binders and plan to fill them with math and reading and stories. They are not being directed by us, this is their idea. Nice to love learning.
It is this love of learning that has challenged me to not stay in the same place in my work life. The departure from my old practice was bitter sweet, I knew I needed to move on in order to grow and do the things I had been envisioning but the summer without work loomed large. I am adapting well now, just as I did as a kid, not only by keeping my connections with my patients through the home visits and doing all of the buildout and tech stuff needed to get things up and running but also by starting to have some times of the day where I am actually doing nothing productive at all. I have never been great at balance in my life. When I start a new activity, whether it be knitting or running or opening a new practice, it sort of gets a life of its own. I get consumed by it and this time, I am trying to have a more measured approach by spending time swimming or baking or playing with the kids and not spend every minute of every day focused on the new venture. It is a work in progress it seems. I still find myself talking to patients on the phone at the swimclub and checking my email while the cookies are in the oven but I will continue to work on achieving a healthy balance in my life. Now that the kids are out of school, they will help force me to find a better balance with the inevitable nagging about why am I still on the phone or doing my email. Thank goodness for the kids!
Eat, love and play and each day will be your best!
Molly O’Shea, MD Birmingham Pediatrics + Wellness Center