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New Year: Different, Yet Same

It's the new year, and I often start it off by doing a little decluttering. In efforts to clean out my study, I came across my medical school yearbook. Each student in my class was given a page in the book that was headed with our (new and strange) "MD" signature and a picture of us in our white coats; any other words or photos we wished to share were up to us. Most people used the space to write thank you's to family and friends, along with photos of the like. Some took a more career-centered route and wrote little blerbs about their residency destinations or future practice aspirations. Here is how mine turned out:
Staring at this blast from the past, I initially mused at how young I look. After all, it's been 7-11 years since these photos were taken! So many things in my life have changed... Then, I was merely inspired to learn more about physiology and mind-body connections; now, I have gained the knowledge and experience to practice a medical specialty. Just going through the rigors of a residency training program can permanently change you, in good ways and bad. Physically, I have been through the cancer diagnosis and treatment. I've gotten sick and then well, weak and then strong again.
While the pictures portray a blissful woman (and man) with little idea of what is in store for them, the words and overall layout I chose for my page are completely in line with my values today. I still love quotes; in fact, I collect them in a little notebook. These ones are still some of my favorites. Outside adventures are still a big part of our lives, as is that same camper truck! Basically, while I may be outwardly different, my mind and soul are the same.
At this time of year, so many people decide that they need to systemically overhaul their lives. Resolutions abound to eat healthier, exercise more, and shift priorities. This year I'm going to follow the advice of this HuffPost article, which suggests that we should strive for a New Year theme... an overall vision, instead of scheming to check off boxes on some "list of change".
So I'm sticking with what I know best, my deep-rooted beliefs:
  • connection - with family, friends, patients, the environment, coworkers
  • challenge - for my mind, body, spirit
  • the importance of self-care, play, teaching, learning... living.

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