Life over the past week

Last week was grueling. I have come to realize that i am severely over-loading myself with my extra-curricular activities. But i can’t just drop all of my lessons because the regression of my skills would be appalling and the money i have invested over the years in these lessons would go to waste. I think the tipping point came when i joined my soccer club (note: i am not complaining – i am liking this club a lot). I was not expecting the physical fatigue that came along with the training. I would push myself during training (i can feel and see myself getting fitter and i am absolutely loving it) but the next day i am incredibly fatigued. This is also when i understood that one can die of physical exhaustion – i could never comprehend why this was the case; you need to experience it firsthand i suppose. Plus i am no longer playing as goalkeeper. I am now stationed on the field as central defender. Whilst i relish the opportunity to run on the pitch, i am also hesitant in the coach’s confidence in my fitness level. In the position allocated to me; i am required to run the full width of the pitch. Tomorrow is my first game in this position. I have to admit that although i am excited, i am also kind of worried that i may disappoint the team and myself.

On the medical side of stuff, i am starting to get a little anxious about job applications and interviews. I am not as worried as a few incredibly frazzled medical students (don’t get me wrong; i am not saying my grades are extraordinary or my CV gives me an edge over the others, but i think it is more to the contrary, where i just do not want to compete for a position in the larger and seemingly prestigious (as perceived by most of my peers) hospitals); but the datelines are near; and so i must really start putting in some cover letters and CVs. The fear of not securing a position has yet to hit me. Rather i am troubled by the more mundane stuff – the clothes i should wear for my interviews, and hence the inevitable shopping trip. I am not the shopping sort and my sense of fashion is limited to t-shirts and jeans; hence shopping is a very stressful activity for me. The act of changing in and out of clothes exhaust me far more rapidly than running a couple of laps round the field. I know it is all psychological, but the weariness is all too real. Someday when i can afford it, i am just going to hire a personal shopper and get this person to do all the legwork for me.

Then the very last thing i need to consider is whether i want to stay in this state, move to another state, or return to the homeland. Over the past few weeks, i have made my mind up about one matter. After i graduate, my career is going to take a backseat. I am going to put my family as top priority. Hence if i were to move to another state, i would have to uproot all the networks i have painstakingly made over the past few years and start fresh (and lonely i presume) in a new and foreign state. Or i can return to the homeland where friends can introduce me to their networks although i may have to really relegate my career to the bottom step – i think finding someone who would want to or even agree for me to go to a third world country to practice medicine is going to be very difficult. I say i will let my career take a backseat, but i ain’t letting it go up in flames, especially after 6 years in medical school. Or i could stay in this state, although staying in this state is like taking a sitting-on-the-fence kind of approach. If i return home, chances of setting up a family are going to be very high. Moving to another state would further my chances of getting into a training programme. Staying put is just that – a fifty-fifty chance. And no, the decision is really not such a no-brainer i can assure you.

So much to think about. All these on top of my impending exams. I think this semester has one of the heaviest workloads of all semesters – pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology have so much material to learn, it is almost mad. Did i also mention that my interviews will be in the last two weeks leading up to my exams? I am not quite sure how i am going to handle the next few weeks. To add the icing to the cake, the contract for my current residence will come to an end in three months, and i may have to find a new place. It is going to be interesting to see how i react. The one good thing i have noticed is that on Friday when i was really stressed and did not want to get out of bed (i have been cultivating really bad habits recently – too long afternoon naps (which then affects my night sleep), skipping dinners and re-discovering facebook) and thus not turn up for soccer training, i still dragged my sorry ass over to the training ground (the one advantage of a team sport is that you can’t afford to be lazy because your actions don’t just affect yourself). After two hours of intense training, i actually felt better. My mood lightened up and my perspective brightened up. It was quite incredible. Endorphins really have potent anti-depressive effects. What the hell. Anyway i got to put in a couple of pages of studying before retiring to bed. Early start tomorrow – gonna volunteer at the RSPCA.

I have been too busy to do my laundry but i had to absolutely wash my clothes yesterday because my soccer attire from last Sunday needs to be ready by tomorrow. And i don't have a dryer. Hence this impromptu clothes stand on my bike pump to dry my socks in front of the heater.

The dog, abandoning me in my (rather chilly) study room to sprawl lazily in front of the heater by herself. What the hell.

Oh, i forgot to mention, the dog has passed her final hurdle in Basic Obedience today with flying colours. We are moving onto the Intermediate level next week. I marvel at how much has been achieved in less than a year. The same time last year, she was a rowdy dog plagued with separation anxiety and dog-to-dog aggression; and i was constantly stressed with the prospect that the neighbours would lodge a complaint against my noisy dogs. Sometimes, the inevitable has to happen (rehoming my other dog), and it works out for the best in the long run. I am so proud of my dog.

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