I get on a plane to go back home tonight. This is a good thing.
I miss, in no particular order, my kids, my pets, my husband, my bed, and my Keurig. I realized that I am not at all prepared for my role as Art Docent in my daughter’s kindergarten class this Friday, so when I get home late tonight I have to immediately launch into tracing 30 yellow construction paper corncobs. There are many things I would rather do after staggering in the front door after a long week of learning, but construction paper corncobs it is. No rest for the weary.
It was a good session, though. That is one of the cool things about this profession- we don’t function in a tiny isolated corner of medicine where there is maybe one amazing discovery a year. TONS of things change every year. My entire professional education has been nearly invalidated this last decade, which is both exhilarating, depressing, and intimidating all at once.
I am armed with new tips for suturing angry intestines. I am up to date on the current Major Controversy in ophthalmology regarding third eyelid flaps. I had a board certified dentist come over to me during a techniques lab and, with one firm correction to my wrist angle, make me about 50% more efficient in my tooth extraction technique. These are all good things.
I also saw a few of my classmates, who, while I was busy fooling around at home with my kids on extended maternity leave, making cake sculpture, and learning faux marble painting techniques, have become much more accomplished career-wise than I. I’m torn about my feelings on that. On the one hand, I’m where I am by choice and working part time as I do is pretty much the best thing I could ever have done for myself. On the other hand, my competitive side insists on kicking into gear in these situations and telling me I am way behind the game. I should be owning a practice or board certified in something, or maybe heading up an entire department in a teaching hospital like my friend Rob.
But honestly, I know in my heart of hearts that should I have wanted to do that, I would have. I could do it right now if I wanted to. If I really, really wanted to I would figure out a way. People do it all the time. Of course that would mean instead of making construction paper corncobs with my daughter I’d be at work, and instead of drawing space aliens with my son I’d be at work, and instead of making cakes for myself for the kids I’d be at work. And this is the kicker- instead of writing a blog, I’d be at work.
That just wouldn’t do. I think I am happy right where I am.