Sometimes you have years that have so much change in them that personal growth is minimal and everything feels insensible. That was my 2016. Interstate move, four new hospitals, new hospital system, buying a house, another move, a new daycare – I’ll be honest and say I drowned in it somewhat. Sometimes you look around you and wonder how other people do it. Tidy houses, tidy children, stability everywhere. And then you realise that most people live in the same place for most of their lives, sometimes even the same suburb. For the last 10 years we have moved and moved and moved and moved. Never mind that in medicine for the first 5-10 years of your career you change job every 3 months. You can go crazy trying to be the person who lives a life of no change, or you can raise your tolerance to mess and hope that other people raise their tolerance for your temporary scattiness and disorganisation.
I’ve been late to lodge forms for so many things this year, bills, training stuff, other vagaries of life and I’ve also been very lucky in that for the most part, people have been more patient than exasperated with me, and that in spite of this, my current network gave me a job for next year. Sometimes you want to scream at people “I swear this isn’t me! The form is in a box somewhere but I’ve moved so much that it’s not in the box it was in, it’s in another box which has the wrong label crossed out and the right one written on it and…” and so on. No one has an attention span that long so I just apologise profusely and say I’ll get onto it and inevitably do. I mean I just posted my work contract a month and a half late.
Don’t even get me started on keeping a house tidy! A house! Aren’t I lucky! I have my own house and a patch of grass and honestly, this makes me feel like a king. Watch The Castle if you haven’t already. But I’ve lived in apartments for ten years. Houses are big. And drafty. And you can’t just leave the window open and go out, and you have to worry about homes security because there aren’t 3 locked doors and a building manager between you and the outside world anymore. And I seem to get one room tidy but the others get all messed up in the interim. And you have to sweep. You know, just like your parents did. There’s a driveway and it needs to be swept. And mowing the grass! Anyway, all this little, new things that houses require on top of all that change, I’m afraid I’m not very good at that either. I get one ball in the air and all the others are shattering on the ground – that’s been my 2016, but at the same time I feel so lucky and grateful for it all.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from going through those exams, is that you have to be shit before you can be good. All those people, living in the same places, doing the same things forever – they’ve had years to become that way. Years to develop systems of living, and it does take years. The exam also taught me that it’s okay to be a beginner and what it really really taught me is that it simply does not matter what people think of the way you do things, nor is there a ‘right’ way. The best way is the ‘get it done’ way, whatever that looks like. I’m afraid I’m not great at that either because oh, there’s just so many things to get done all of the time, and that’s just the ones you know about it. Inevitably there turns out to be ones you don’t know about as well.
Anyway, 2016 has been a very very very hard year for me, but not an awful year. No one I loved died (Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, and Prince notwithstanding!), my family is healthy, and we got our castle. I stopped making resolutions a long time ago and have instead come up with themes to try and live by and improve on, and the theme for 2017 is ‘stay ahead’, which is kind of a testament to being more organised. 2017!! Can you believe it? We’re almost a decade into the 21st century. There’s been modern science fiction movies made about times BEFORE now.
At any rate, I wish all of you lovely readers a wonderful 2017. I can’t name a single person who hasn’t had a hard year, and this is the nature of things from time to time. And to end my post, here are some photos of my structurally unstable 2016 gingerbread house I made for Christmas, and the Pinterest fruit salad I made that is held together by toothpicks, a large carrot, and half an apple. Enjoy!
Goodbye 2016, it’s been real.