This Week In Gratitude

crispydoc Uncategorized 12 Comments

There’s an Ice Cube song laid over an old sample (the Isley Brothers’ Footsteps In The Dark), perfect for weight lifting back when I was younger: It Was A Good Day.

It was playing in my mind as I reflected on the past five days:

  • Spent three mornings bodyboarding at the beach, despite working a night shift.
  • Rode my bike to and from Trader Joe’s to make a grocery run.
  • Attended the annual Halloween Parade at my kids’ elementary school.
  • A friend informed me last minute that he was working from home, and we were able to meet for coffee.
  • Had lunch at home with my wife all but one day.
  • Went trick or treating with the kids and some families in the neighborhood. Kids keep their top 30 candies, the remainder are donated to our troops in exchange for $30 credited to their respective accounts at the Bank of Mom and Dad.
  • Resumed a  musical education interrupted since college by listening to an archived Grateful Dead concert (thanks, Vagabond MD!).
  • Tucked my kids in to bed all but one night.
  • Walked my daughter to basketball practice. This is when we have our best talks, with no one else around.
  • Enjoyed the splendor of an autumn sunset over the Pacific. Recorded images don’t do it justice.
  • Found several colleagues willing to work nights for me in exchange for a night shift premium starting January!
  • Was elected to a stipended position doing work to help provide challenging patients consistent care through safer prescribing – something I’ve been passionately involved in for several years.

Hope you took a moment to jot down how life is good as well.

Comments 12

  1. Sounds like you did make the most of your free time this past week.

    Congratulations on getting the night shift premium system to work and offloading some of them to your colleagues. It’s been a long time since I have been on call or worked nights (12+ years) but I still can remember how disruptive it was to your circadian rhythm (and that was when I was younger and better suited to handle it). I can’t imagine doing it now as I would probably be out of commission the next day and then some.

    1. Post

      12 years!? You’ll need to write a follow up to your “Made every mistake” posts along the lines of, “I haven’t taken call or worked a night in over a decade.” That’s the opposite of bumbling – it’s the hallmark of a brilliant mind that had future self on the radar far ahead of the rest of us.

      This past week, I’ve been up at 5am every day and more productive than ever. It’s remarkable to think that this hypomanic state I’m in might possibly be what most people who get anchor sleep have the potential to experience regularly.

      You mean I might get to live feeling this good on a semi-regular basis? Yippee!

      Really enjoyed yesterday’s series, Xrayvsn – terrific idea, but I’ve come to expect no less.



      1. Thanks CD for the kind words on the multi generational doc perspective post. Every now and then I actually come up with a half decent and creative idea.

        Yeah somehow younger me made the brilliant choice of choosing lifestyle over money when I chose my current job at the age of 34. I actually have a post coming up early next month that will show you what a complete random stroke of luck brought me to this place.

        Well I get anchor sleep every night but apparently it has a much better effect on you. Lol. 5 am I hope to still be fast asleep.

  2. Yes! Being thankful for the “boring” things… I just wrote about this myself! Great minds think alike.

    My recent one is tucking my 3 year old. Sometimes it’s a long process but one I’m grateful to be able to do.

    1. Post

      You are spot on, of course when you are present for those moments, they are mundane but meaningful.

      My son using the tuck-in to read Calvin and Hobbes together, and my daughter uses it to extort a massage before bed. Truth is, both are brilliant moves on their part, and I relish them when I present and not exhausted.

      My job is to structure my day well enough so that by the time we’re at tuck-in time, I have the energy to enjoy it instead of feeling like I want to rush it and get out of Dodge.

      Great minds indeed. Thanks for stopping by, Dawn!

  3. What a delightful list. The family time and lunches with the wife must have been great. It’s those little things that catch you off guard and really make you thankful.

    Also, congrats on your stipended position to offer challenging patients care. That must feel very rewarding to know you’re about to rise to the challenge and provide care to those in need.

    1. Post

      John Lennon articulated that, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans,” and it’s easy to miss that the big picture is contained and expressed through the small moments. As I’ve tracked of the in-between moments as part of a larger accounting for my time, I’ve taken to tracking many of those moments as smaller victories to savor.

      The stipended position was an unplanned windfall from what has been a medical passion project several years in the making. It’s provided modest validation: in reducing my clinical commitment to free myself to pursue what I’m most excited about in medicine, the investment of time and interest eventually pays dividends. Being recognized for trying to facilitate difficult discussions with challenging patients is what sometimes happens when you do what you enjoy – the money follows.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, YATI!

  4. Wow. It definitely was a great week! And I love both the Isley Brothers (oh so smooth) and the Ice Cube rendition.

    In fact, if I had to pick a morning song to wake up to (instead of the dreadful alarm), it would be these two. The Rascal’s “It’s a Beautiful Morning” would be a close third.

    I think taking the time to write down everything you are grateful for in a gratitude journal is a wonderful exercise. It’s been shown to increase happiness. It allows you to savor in the moment of good times, focusing on everything positive in life.


  5. Ain’t no future in havin’ a bad day. So I never have one.

    My lil’ kid turned 20 this week blue hair and all. I’m fresh out of teenagers.

    1. Post

      Your words are a balm to the spirit, Gasem.
      I only hope I can show similar equanimity.
      I suspect there’s a one-to-one exchange ratio: every blue hair they dye begets a gray one on my head.
      Or maybe we’ll go blue together?

      1. She’subtle in her blueness. Blue, a little silver streak, and her normal Asian black, long down her back, bout like this but more black less blue. She cracks herself up. She cracks me up too, both of them do. Just getting you ready for your future.

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