I had an annoying conversation with a random person the other, I can’t even remember how it came up but they irritatingly said “I can never not be busy, I have to be doing something every minute of the day.” and then degenerated into some smug “idle hands make light work” kind of arrangement that one of those women in the 1950s might have said to themselves as they chugged down their 3 packets of Bex mixed down to a paste with some whisky in order to keep their mind off the drudgery. I made some polite excuse about having to go and do something and was out of there.*
At work I’m a powerhouse, I don’t stop, I make sure everything is done, every patient is sorted, right down to making sure they’re warm enough and fed (you would not believe how long patients get left without food sometimes), I feel like this matters more to me since having a baby, I’m not sure why. I will stay back late if I need to and make sure everything is sorted. But I am driven by the motivating factor of rest. Everything I do is so I can hit the couch and binge watch The Mindy Project while shopping on Asos and come up with plans to the most brilliant home-manicure ever which I will then inevitably wreck because I get bored waiting for the polish to dry and decide to do something manly like fix the door hinges.
Nothing irritates me more than people who tell me that when they go on holidays they have to do something with every minute and see every sight and go wakeboarding then paddleboarding then jetskiing then grab a bite to eat before partying the night away because who goes on holiday to stay in their room? Um, me. There is nothing better than going on holiday, wrapping yourself in five star sheets and going to town on their on-demand service. Or sitting in the balcony bathtub for an hour. Or lying on those pool/beach lounges/cabana pretending to read the paper but actually falling asleep for a good two hours, and then start ordering cocktails. And not moving. People bring you things! How is this treated with such contempt?
Or people who proudly proclaim they never nap. I actually hate you. I am jealous of you. Moreso when you tell me you don’t need sleep either. Who doesn’t need sleep?! If I could go to bed at 9.30pm every night, get up at 8am and have a 2 hour sleep every day I would be in heaven. There is nothing more awesome than having a three hour nap on a Saturday, slamming a long black, then going for a run along the beach. The endorphin rush is insane!
Mostly I get very little sleep, work very long hours, and spend a lot of my weekends trying to nap, and binge watch TV, or catch up with my exceptionally amazing and fabulous 3 closest girlfriends to eat cake and talk about how much we love relaxing. I really hate going to the hairdresser/any women’s clothing store because they’re like “GOT PLANS TONIGHT BABE? HECTIC SATURDAY NIGHT FOR YOU?!!?!!” Also what is with the use of the word hectic?! Why is everything hectic? I want to say to them “well actually, after a week of really sick patients and having to do CPR, worrying about where my 102 year old patient is going to live after we’ve discovered her home is falling down around her, worrying about if my intern is bored on his/her rotation, whether or not my boss thinks I’m a complete idiot, whether or not that patient’s family is going to lodge a complaint because I was half an hour late to the family meeting, worrying if my incredibly poor knowledge of statistics came across in my journal club presentation or whether or not I look enough like a doctor in the way I dress because my patients keep calling me nurse, I’m actually really looking forward to spending the night on my couch with my fabulous hair in my fabulous dress thanks!” But I don’t. Sometimes I shrug ruefully and say “not really” then watch the knowing looks of sympathy between them. I don’t even feel bad about it. They can have their exciting Saturday night. I have 60 hours a week of exciting.
So the minute I am not at work I am either napping, eating, watching TV, or eating with my friends. I used to have hobbies I’m sure but now I’m just really really lazy. It’s probably because in my job I don’t ever sit down. Like ever. On TV doctors all sit in gorgeous offices with fresh flowers and amazing modern art. In reality, hospital doctors share a computer with the physios, the nurses, the OT, the junior doctors, and sometimes the boss when he needs help working his email and his secretary isn’t around. True, boss doctors get offices but no one ever gets to be a boss doctor. I’ve seen one person get to be a boss ever, the rest are all in fellowship and pHd hell because there’s not enough jobs at the top or the bottom of the chain. And you don’t really use the computer that much. You come to work, see all your patients (standing up), then you go and see other teams patients, or the emergency department patients. Your intern uses the computer or writes in the notes for you, kind of like a really overtrained PA. If you do use a computer, half the time it’s a stand up one on wheels, aptly named a COW (Computer On Wheels – so very 90s), or if you do sit down at one, people stare at you maniacally until you give it up for them to use. There is no sitting, ever. Okay maybe at lunch for twenty minutes in the staff cafeteria because it’s not worth the barrage of pages you get if you leave the hospital to go to the cool coffee place. It’s like they know you’ve gone off the grounds and start freaking out. A bit like high school. Anyway, all you lazy people out there, I salute you. Don’t be ashamed of the way you are. Work hard, but relax harder. If you get to go on holiday and some guy in a fancy suit just brings you elaborate drink after elaborate drink, you’ll know you’ve won.
*I feel like the only person who legitimately gets to say they have to be busy all the time is Faux Fuchsia and this is because so much beauty and good and cake comes out of being busy and she is generally pretty happy. The people who say this crap to me are usually really angry manic sorts who in spite of always having to be busy and never napping, get very little done. I just want to give them a hug and tell them if they learned how to relax and slow down, they might get more done than ever before.
**Yep this whole piece of writing was essentially to justify my own laziness.