Before I launch into a new list, let me explain why this post. I haven’t had real Fridays in over ten years. That’s when I started practicing medicine, delivering babies, admitting patients, and so on. The work model meant that if my patients needed me, I would come in for them. That model is great. But I’ve skirted burnout (ok, totally burnt to a crisp 5 years ago, no question) the entire time, which isn’t conducive to career longevity, to say nothing of happiness. I haven't said "TGIF" for over ten years. Now that's just plain wrong.
With some trepidation, I joined a medical group where my duties are the same as before. Only now, when I’m on call, I manage everything – all group deliveries, admissions, nursing home calls and the like. So, insanely busy but also super fulfilling.
But when I’m off? Not on call but still working in the office? Going home after work? Off? What’s that???
Please walk with me through my first "normal joe" Friday in a long time. It was a Friday where I finished up in the office, went home, and turned off the phone. Wow. I can't stop smiling.
#10) There is a sensation in my chest, almost like I’ve held my breath for too long and finally can breathe again. Instead of cringing if my phone rings, I know it’s something not-work, like a friend, or my parents, or hubby.
#9) I made plans to do nothing on Saturday. And best of all, I’ll be able to keep those plans.
#8) I made plans to do something on Sunday. And best of all, I’ll be able to keep those plans.
#7) Hubby and I are going to go out to eat tomorrow evening. At a restaurant. And I’m not tense. In fact, I might leave the phone at home, and believe doing so will improve the experience.
#6) Oh dear lordie, we can go out to a movie and not worry that I’ll have to leave. You guys don’t understand. Hubs and I haven’t been to an honest-to-pete movie in a movie place with oily awesome popcorn and watery soda in years and years. Frustration with half-watched new releases made me give up.
#5) I might cook something. Because I won’t have to leave suddenly and then worry that the food is ruined or the house will burn down.
#4) It’s possible to touch up those roots. (Uh, not that I have gray hair or anything. Of course not.) There will be no fear of rinsing prematurely to run out the door.
#3) Before bed I used to lay out socks, then on top of that pants, then undies, then a shirt, then a bra. Exactly in that order. Because that’s the order I crammed them on at 2am as I frantically tried to get to some emergency. I don’t mind setting them out. I don’t even mind the emergencies. But not every night.
#2) If I want to sleep in, it’s pretty much a lock that the hospital will not call me with critical labs at 7:05 a.m.. Mostly because my phone will be off. And look ma! -- no guilt.
#1) Best reason of all. More time to write without distraction, without loss of focus and interruptions. I don’t have to go from plotting or editing to calculating gentamycin doses and worrying about someone’s breathing then going back to writing. Now, that’s something fabulous. Wow.
Hey, you out there. Yeah, you. TGIF! (And I mean it.)
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.