despite my lighter schedule of late, life seems to be moving way too quickly.
i find myself wishing i took more time to reflect
and dwell on the magnitude of everything that's been happening.
it's my nature to multitask, which serves me well in my job
(i wouldn't be a very good ER doctor if i were only able to handle one patient at a time).
but at times, i fill my life with so many things just because i can
and it sort of makes me sick.
i will literally sit on the couch,
read blogs on my laptop,
and be intermittently playing words with friends on my iPhone.
or i'll go to the gym,
get on the elliptical machine,
listen to music,
and simultaneously read the subtitles on Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
i fill my head to capacity during every minute of every day.
usually with stupid, meaningless stuff.
and if i'm honest, i kind of enjoy it. and this is me.
it's not going away any time soon.
but sometimes i have to force myself to just sit. and think. and listen.
this blog has been cathartic for me in that respect.
it has created for me a platform upon which i can cast my thoughts and ideas.
a few times a week, i sit down
and share my life with the world:
pictures, recipes, experiences, joys, occasionally sorrows.
doing this forces me to be introspective.
it's not that hard for me to soul-search.
it's just hard for me to make myself make the time to do so.
some bloggers do so this so well.
E is one of my favorites:
she's fantastically introspective,
and has a gift for turning her self-reflections into writing
that is so accessible and poignant.
i always leave her blog with a renewed vigor
for delving into the recesses of my own psyche.
this is a confession that would probably make her blush;
her words are so beautifully simple and unpretentious,
just like she is.
but i can't help confessing it.
i lack her talent for delivering words with such graceful ease,
but there is an experience i've been wanting to share
...so i hope you'll bear with me.
last week i had the opportunity to attend a family meeting
...with my own family.
my grandparents' health has begun to deteriorate a bit,
and everyone felt it might be time to discuss updating their living will.
i've been a part of several family meetings like this for patients of mine,
so it's a role with which i'm not unfamiliar.
but i still feel a little weird telling people about it:
"i talked to my grandparents about code status and living wills and end-of-life stuff"
it's usually a chat that people have with their doctors
...not their grandchildren.
but if i'm really really honest about it,
i would have to say that it was a huge honor.
to be able to use my skills and my expertise in a way
that truly benefitted my loved ones was an experience that i treasure.
usually my family calls me for other reasons:
how do i pull this tooth? (my sister, when she was 7)
my butt itches...what could it mean? (my brother, unfortunately not that long ago)
do you think this cut needs stitches? (sent via photo text by a friend)
...and i'm typically very obliging, offering medical advice as my skill level allows.
but this was different.
seeing my grandmother's face as she looked at me so intently,
hanging on every word
as i explained what really happens during CPR,
how it affects you,
trying to do so in a way that was more practical than clinical.
real talk, if you will.
feeling goosebumps and tears welling up in my eyes
and almost a sense of pride
as she bravely told me she didn't want any of that.
oh to be able to have that kind of satisfaction with your life.
to know that you've lived fully and completely.
to be willing to let go with quiet dignity with the time comes,
instead of clinging desperately to life.
knowing that you would rather
walk confidently into eternity than to remain here,
a mere shadow of who and what you once were.
she talked about her faith,
and how terrifying this stage of life must be for those who have none.
i was proud of her. and proud to have come from her.
the implications of this conversation have struck me several times this past week,
knowing that it means i'll be losing them.
i'm not ready to talk about all that yet.
and it's not time to.
but it was an afternoon i'll never forget.
and i'm thankful for this space, that allows me to share it.