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Happy Holidays from PracticeBalance!

It's time again to reflect on life's unordinary moments with gratitude and take stock of the upcoming year.

While 2012 was my self-proclaimed year of 5.12, 2013 for me was all about boards and babies. I am so thankful (and yet I hesitate to say lucky) to have passed the Anesthesiology boards this past spring, but the baby aspirations will have to continue into 2014. Meanwhile, I am practicing some balance this winter by:
  • Enjoying my job and yet setting my sights on how I can stay current in my field. All medical specialties have to complete Continuing Medical Education (CME), which can take the form of lectures, meetings, conferences, or self-study. While the requisite hours must be completed over a 10-year period (seems like forever from now), I have heard that it is easy to get behind! So far, I have only attended a sparse scattering of CME lectures. While I have looked into week-long high-credit meetings, often held in exotic locales and marketed as a sort of "CME-cation", they are quite expensive. But I need to stick close to home this winter, and I would rather spend my time and money on an Ideal Vacation, thank you. So I am turning my attention to self-study options for now, which I can perform on my timetable. Many of them involve taking quizzes about current practice guidelines or journal articles, which seems like a useful way to spend some time.

  • Working on my strength via the Strong Curves lifting program. It is the brainchild of Bret Contreras, who has an excellent blog geared mainly toward women's fitness through heavy lifting (no cardio bunnies around!). I haven't completed a 3-month periodized lifting program for a while, but I am really liking the structure. It contains 3 days of full-body workouts per week that focus on compound barbell/dumbell lifts, then taper to assistance and core work. While my physique goals right now are less about stressing my body to be ripped and more about maximizing my fertility, I am hoping this program will be a fun way to gain some strength and muscle definition. I know... I mentioned trying to up my cardio game a couple months ago, but I just enjoy this so much more!

  • Performing a "no complaining" experiment. Check out this article from ProlificLiving about the pledge. Honestly, this has been VERY hard. I'm not being formal about it like some people mention in the article, just trying to catch myself every time I complain this month. The benefits are widespread and discussed here in the follow-up post; they include such simple things as driving is much more pleasant now and you begin to enjoy the flow of your own thoughts. Perhaps the most prolific benefit listed is: "You notice that half of your problems weren't problems at all and the other half you can handle better without complaining."
Wonderful. Perfect sentiment for this time of year!

What about you? Do you think you could handle this challenge? I have caught myself complaining every single day since December 1, I tell you... And yet the point is not to keep score but to work on changing the neural hardwiring that defaults us all to think negatively. This reminds me that I am excited to read the new book Hardwiring Happiness, which is about exactly that!


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