Today is the first day of my mini-retirement, and it arrives not a minute too early. Early this morning, I had to deal with some hospitalist aggro that left me buzzing for the first few hours of my brand-new extended break and reminded me exactly why I need to get some distance from my work. I've been hard at it for four years and I'm beginning to get too touchy about the interpersonal politics involved in practicing medicine in a small town. Things happen and get under my skin and stay there for days, and who needs that?
So I have no real work obligations for the next six weeks, so what am I going to do?
- Cook dinner and eat decent food instead of gnawing on any old garbage I find at the hospital
- Read books, both serious and lighthearted
- Attend a couple of medical conferences so I won't be an ignoramous forever
- Catch up on some sadly overdue housecleaning and reorganization
- Interview and hire an accountant, another overdue life maintenance task
- Indulge myself in a number of my hobbies
- Write a lot, for this blog and for myself
- Catch up with my own health care maintenance: cholesterol check, mammo, new glasses
Some things I'm not going to do:
- Take the phone into the bedroom with me
- Answer any phone calls Caller ID suggests originate from my clinic or hospital
- Get talked into doing "just one shift" or "cover for me for three hours"
- Over-schedule my days
I think the hardest thing to avoid is over-scheduling. As you can see, I have a lot of things I want to get done during this break, things that have been waiting patiently for me to get home from the hospital with sufficient brain cells intact to deal with them and, as a consequence, have been woefully neglected. I'm pretty confident I can get most of this stuff done, but I foresee a struggle with my list-making and time-keeping self.
(After finishing this post, I think I shall go back to bed to prevent myself from making too many plans for the rest of the day.)
Because today marks the beginning of what I hope to be a period of rest and abundance, it is also a good time to mention a few changes I'm making to the blog:
- Instead of almost-daily posts, I'm going to shoot for about five posts per week. It has become clear to me that I am not one of those terse, ruthlessly newsy bloggers who can produce several posts per day. I'm much more of a moodler, my posts are long and I'd like to focus on quality over quantity.
- The Weekly Wrap, which seems to overlap with Grand Rounds and all the other weekly round-ups, will run on Fridays and be much briefer than before, with a focus on rural medicine and rural life.
- I'm embarking upon a large childbirth-related project and the focus of this blog will probably veer towards childbirth-related subjects. I gave some thought to starting a childbirth-themed blog, but I decided against the additional responsibility of running another blog. Besides, this blog is about rural doctoring, my particular brand of which is heavy on childbirth services.
- I plan to introduce more of my creative activity onto this blog: theater-going, writing, fiber arts, etc. Again, I considered funneling all of those activities into a separate blog, but keeping up with comments and tidying up yet another template deterred me from doing so. Even if this dilutes the "doctorly-ness" of this blog a bit, I think it might inject a bit more momentum into my posting.
I hope these changes will be of interest to those who already read this blog. I know I'm looking forward to branching out in these directions, even if some of them mean pruning back my efforts a bit.
And now I'm going back to bed.