I have thought about the relaxation over the past week since the long day of testing. Yes, there has been so much decompression from the final sprint of third year. Each day of release has me feeling more like myself and less like the anxious and wound-up Eugene that finished Prologue.
With the end of Step Prep, I feel an ease that I didn’t feel with the end of Step One… then I realize that we didn’t have an active shooter next door and triage of a gunshot victim the day following the exam. I have been able to properly decompress after the study grind. I wonder how differently we would respond, if the shooting had happened this past week instead of last year.
Andre, now deep into his Acting Internship for Emergency Medicine, might have a clearer head and an active plan for management of the five gunshot wounds. Mackenzi might have a less active role, thinking of safety for her and baby first. And I might take a more active role, feeling the papa-bear need to keep my family safe.
I’m glad that we don’t need to live this hypothetical situation.
Instead, this past week has been filled with massages, lazy days around the house, and beginning projects long planned.
Regular massages during this study grind have helped me release the physical tension accumulated during the hours answering questions on a small screen. They’ve also helped me return to my running practice without feeling like I am building up too much tension in my lower limbs. I think this year will be the year that I return to running in earnest, ending a long hiatus of the past four or five years.
Mackenzi and I have maintained our morning routines of coffee, dog walking, and yoga. We sat for Step on Monday, I floated on Tuesday, we explored some local trails with Honey on Wednesday, a dinner+movie date night on Thursday, and lunar eclipse celebrations on Friday. We kept the morning on-ramp through it all, and I think the practice is ingrained enough at this point to consider it a part of our lives now. Some activities during the days this past week, but for the most part we have laid quite low. A lovely rejuvenation and a chance to recharge my worn-out batteries.
Then yesterday, I felt like the time to recharge is ending and the time to do is beginning. I spent about twelve hours cleaning and rearranging the house. I have been planning these changes to our home for quite a while, prompted by a nagging feeling that we haven’t fully moved into our house despite living here for over a year. Unfortunately, with the madness of third year, followed by Prologue, and the need to focus on Step Prep, I placed these plans on the back-burner.
Now, the house feels less like a large dorm room and more like a true home. A place that feels warm and truly ours. This house is now our home.
With this vibe of building and doing, I am looking forward to creating a few wood stacks for the coming winter. I finally get to put fingers to keyboard for my residency application personal statement. And now, I can begin to search in earnest for the name of my child, who will be entering the third trimester next week.
The last few months have been marked by painful and relentless growth. Like a plant that has weathered a tough rainy season, my roots are strong and ready to send energy to my leaves, which are growing broadly to accept the sun as it comes out of hiding. And soon, very soon, I will have a little flower ready, on which I will pin many hopes and aspirations for the future.
Third year is over.
The joy of fourth year can finally commence.
Long Form Sundays
- On the taper (or 1 day to Step Two)
- On doubt and interruptions (or 8 days to Step Two)
- On a return to the grind (or 15 days to Step Two)