I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions. It seems they often fade away by mid-year. But, this year I’m taking a page from two of my favorite physician writers, Dr. Vartabedian and Dr. Swanson and aiming for a more conceptual resolution that I hope will stick. A series of three words that I will keep in mind this year, in both personal and professional realms. Words that I hope will help guide 2013, a year that is likely to be filled with some change for me.
Decide: I tend to be a methodical decision maker. (My husband might kindly replace “methodical” with “slow”. . . and he may have a point). Sure, I can make a quick decision when required (e.g. a more urgent clinical scenario). But, my preferred mode of operation is to mull over the pros and cons of big decisions. Sleep on it. Carefully consider outcomes. This has generally served me pretty well- I’ve been very happy with my carefully deliberated career choice of pediatrics and I’m typically very content after buying a long-studied pair of shoes. I rarely regret my decisions. But, there is a time for mulling and there is a time for deciding. I’ve been thinking over some changes in my professional life over the past couple of years. This will be the year the rubber meets the road. I resolve to finally decide and be at peace with the direction things go.
Attend: Webster’s defines “to attend” as “to be present” and “to apply the mind, pay attention”. This year I will strive to be more mindful, more present in each moment as I go about my day. I will be present with my family and friends. I will attend to my patients and colleagues. In order to do this I will need to organize. Streamline my life. Focus. Attend to the people and things that truly need attending- including myself- and let the rest fall away.
Play: The other night at home we had one of those moments. You know the ones? A moment so great that life just feels light and airy. A moment when you actually feel how good it is while it is happening. It was a simple thing. We turned up the volume on Paul Simon’s “The Obvious Child“, brought out the musical instruments, and danced in the living room. We played. I’m going to play as much as I can this year. Play more music. Play outside with my son as much as I can. Be playful and laugh with my patients. Maybe even trick myself into exercising more by calling it play. I’m going to dance and sing.
What are your three words for this year?