I am so very behind in updating this blog. According to it, we’re still on the Dalmatian Coast somewhere (oh, how I wish that were true!). I will update soon on everything that’s transpired in the last several weeks since. It’s been a whirlwind. But first, as we’ve landed in Nashville and began a huge life transition I feel like it’s important to write my perceptions immediately. Before time softens and blurs the edges.
We’ve been in Nashville for two weeks, two hot weeks. The temperature is certainly a big adjustment, but the city seems like a great place, vibrant, with great food, and excellent outdoors. Hopefully, we’ll have time to explore together. But really what occupies the front page in our lives is Alex beginning the long road of surgical training. We were (and are) very nervous about this whole thing. Of course, I’m so happy he gets to pursue his passion in life. Getting into medicine is one hell of a tough road, and he’s made it. That’s huge. But surgical residencies (well, all residencies) have reputations. Some programs have boasted that most marriages don’t survive them. Which, this malignant elitism that exists in medicine? It just needs to stop. And thankfully, with new hours restrictions, and programs like Vanderbilt that actually seem to care about their residents (who, you know, could accidentally kill someone if they aren’t rested or are depressed, no big deal). But still, we were unsure of how this all would play out.
We still have a million unknowns, but things are starting to take shape. Alex’s schedule, though demanding (like working 12-13 hour days 8 days in a row) feels manageable enough (anyone complaining about 40-50 hour weeks: hahahahaha). And we’ve put in some of what we consider safeguards for our relationship. I know this will all evolve as we continue, which will be interesting to watch. But for now we know this: we are going to make it through this. And not only that, we’re going to thrive. This is life we chose together, and we’re damn sure going to make it work.
So first, guarding our time. Resident downtime is precious, which means when we are together we’re optimizing it, no errands, chores or anything but quality together time having fun. Which, means I get 100% of the household work. Which is fine, we live in an apartment that takes two hours to clean and I genuinely enjoy cooking, so it’s hardly a burden. Our lives are pretty simple maintenance wise. Then, finding things to look forward too, like one of the four days he gets off in July and planning fun activities for those days. Next, we’re going to stop observing weekends and holidays. Because now those are just regular work days. We already don’t really celebrate Christmas, and who cares if Thanksgiving is on a Wednesday? Our celebratory days are now dictated by some fellow who makes our schedule. And that’s totally fine. It is what it is and we can’t change that. Most importantly, is never ever resenting one another. This is tough, but we chose it together. I know Alex would rather be home cooking a meal and spending time with me then waiting around for paperwork (or whatever), I know I’m his top priority, and he’s mine. So while I might get mad at a system that fosters absurd divorce rates, depression, drug abuse, and suicide I can’t be mad at Alex; we’re in the trenches together. Also making sure we both keep up running (ideally together), exercise=healthier and happier minds, it would be a mistake to cut that from our lives.
We’re also very lucky to have families that understand. Both of our sets of parents have gone through similar things. And so while it’s hard for them too, as seeing us will plummet somewhat compared to (ironically) when we lived thousands of miles away, they support us. And that’s huge. If we had families that placed guilt on us for time we do not have, that would make this all a lot harder.
So that’s where we are. Dipping our toes into this whirlpool of a system and hoping we come out the other side somewhat unscathed. We know it’ll be hard, but we have faith in our relationship, and that this is the right choice for Alex. So, here goes nothing!