“In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden
On August 31st my husband Colin and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage. In celebration, I have been dedicating all 4 posts in the month of August to our journey together which has been intertwined with our training and work in medicine. The past 3 weeks have brought us to current day, on the cusp of our 20th wedding anniversary. Today’s post is dedicated to both the present and looking ahead to the future, although the present is all we truly have. Having said this, we all have to plan for the future ever though we have no way of predicting it. For Colin and I, dreaming, planning and setting life goals, have always been an integral part of our life together.
I just wanted to add something to a comment that I made last week. Colin and I discussed the concept that “everything happens for a reason” which we do believe in, however, we also believe that “some things just happen” for which we cannot make sense of. For instance, no logic nor reason exists for either childhood cancer or acts of violence. I recently watched an episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and she offered some clarity on the reason for the nonsensical parts of life – “to elevate our consciousness”.
The present & future
This coming school year marks an important transition in our household. Our son will be entering his final year of high school and our daughter will be starting high school – both equally exciting and terrifying for different reasons. My first goal for the coming year is to savour the moments and live in the present as much as possible. I know we all strive to live each day as though it could be our last, but it can be challenging to not always look ahead to endpoints or something else to look forward to.
In juxtaposition to living in the present, we are currently planning for some significant changes in our household. Specifically, we are planning to move next summer. This is a significant decision and certainly change never comes easy, but all four of us see change as necessary for both growth and progress. Having once again weighed the pros and cons, we foresee the pros outweighing the cons, and therefore, we invite the challenge.
Medical training and medical practice can be trying at times, but the human aspect of medicine remains undeniable to us. Medicine has also provided us with a level of both flexibility and portability. In the end, Colin and I trust that we will be able to continue to practice medicine in a way that affords us our desired balance.
Physicians for Physicians
Physicians for Physicians is a venture that Colin and I are currently working on. I have discussed it in a previous post, Aligning Purpose & Passion – Physicians for Physicians, during its infancy. As you may know, physician health and wellness is one of our genuine interests which in turn has propelled this initiative. With the help of our web designer, we are creating our own online course platform to offer a virtual learning and sharing experience. The website will go live in September and the first course will start in November – exact dates yet to be finalized.
The most rewarding part of this process has been that Colin and I have birthed the concept together and will be the team behind the scenes. One of our life long dreams has always been to truly work together, and thankfully, the potential of this website and its offerings is shaping up to finally fulfill that goal.
Twenty years of marriage has encompassed almost half of my life, and given I only have one life to live, I wouldn’t have chosen to spend it any other way. I look upon this time with extreme gratitude and love.
One of my favorite poems is The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost, published in 1916. I think it embodies both where we stand today and have many other times in our 20 years of marriage:
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
As in the other 3 posts, I want to end this post with a question and reflection from Colin.
Me: What is one final reflection that you would like to share?
Colin: I just want to share a few things I have learned in my life as a physician, husband & father:
- Don’t let your career define you – be remembered for who you were as a person, not just what you did
- Don’t take yourself too seriously – you are only as good as your last “game”
- Learn to be content in life – both with who you are & what you have
- Live life with your children, don’t just raise them – they are your greatest investment
Thank you for sharing in our celebration over the past four weeks.