(caution: this entry contains eff-bombs, viewer discretion is advised)
I have this white board in my apartment that I, surprise surprise, write things on. Reminders, phone numbers, song ideas, my student id number etc. In late November, as exam season and the time to hibernate and study until my eyes were red (because blinking is too time consuming) loomed, I erased the board and started writing little notes to myself to remind me of the things that, without fail, make me feel human.
Maybe it’s lame that I felt the need for reminders at that point but I say to each their own. You do what you gotta do. So to the white board I went. The result? Essentially a glorified lululemon bag minus one small difference:
“Music. Guitar. Harmonica.DANCE! touch. MOVE. drink(water).red wine.yoga. get breathless. cook. Bike baby. Dogs. Hugs. walks." etc. etc.
You read it correctly. I told myself (wrote myself?) to eff-the-hell-off. I don’t think they’re allowed to write that on lululemon bags…
The need for this list was obvious to me. I’m in my 8th year of school and know what exam stress can do to people/me. As the years go by, I seem to be learning more and more about how I deal. Like many studies and careers I’m sure, medschool can be very consuming (which is an understatement of sorts). It’s like an infinite pool of interesting and ridiculously detailed facts that seem (and quite possibly are) vital to your success as a future clinician… a pool so vast it can gobble you up and make you forget what else you enjoy doing with your time and self.
Sometimes I think wrapping yourself up in the bubble that is your career, passion, day job, whatever… is vital to your success (case in point for me: exam season). But there are oh so many other times that blocking out yourself for the sake of your work can be detrimental to your health (in every sense of the word). I think this applies to everyone.
In an ideal world we’d all have time to drink our 10 glasses of purified water a day, wake up and do yoga after a nice jog, spend our evenings with loved ones doing loved things, travel, be free, visit family, love every minute of our jobs, laugh our asses off daily, read our favourite books, meet up with friends weekly, play guitar… and ALL those things we (I) so easily forget to make time for while getting our daily duties done. And while the world ain’t perfect, tell me: how crazy is this list? I say not so crazy. So I try my best to fit these things into my life so I can achieve some sort of balance… which leaves little time to do the one thing I often forget to: to feck-off!
So, to avoid turning into an android during my medical studies I remember to look at this list. It rarely takes a reminder to sit down and play guitar or think of what is planned for the day ahead… but I often need one that tells me to get lost.
Which brings me to my musical MIA-ness:
In the midst of another 14 hour study day a few weeks back (and after having to turn down a lovely gig in Peterborough due to a prior commitment) I caught myself planning. A holiday season full of gigs, a summer tour, a research project, a workout schedule, get togethers with friends, New Years Eve, a party outfit… plan plan plan. And then I looked up and saw my little vulgar reminder: fuck off andrea! At that point I made the conscious decision to CHILL this holiday season. No gigs. No plans. No studying. Just taking it day by day.
So here is my gift to you dear friends: I’m asking you to f*ck off! Do it for yourself and the ones you love. Plan it in your calendar and take an hour, a day, whatever you can afford to just GET LOST. Turn off your cell phone, ignore your to do lists, forget the TV and just be. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you.
So no gigs this holiday season but I’m excited to get some planned (of course) in the near future. So stay tuned and get ready to see my face because I’m excited to see yours.
Much love from F-bomb central and a very Happy Holiday season from me to you,