Wednesday, September 12, 2012

From Lily: No Time Like the Present

“The only thing that stays the same is that nothing does.”  This well known adage about the constancy of change comes to mind as I reflect on my current circumstances.  Having recently moved over 1,000 miles (the first move of any significance in my 30 years) to a city where I have no attachments and don’t know a soul, in addition to starting a new job and nearing finalization of divorce paperwork…it’s safe to say this is a new phase in my life.  I’m just hoping it’s not my mid-life crisis. 

But as I turn to my close friends and colleagues, I realize that this is not a unique story for young professional women.  Why is that?  In this post-feminist age, we strive so hard to be everything at all times, that we often lose ourselves to an ideal, or what we think we should be (or what we think others think we should be), instead of what equality was actually about – the ability to have the chance to achieve what we want.  Somewhere along the way, I lost myself.  And I realize I’m not alone.

As a medical professional, time management can be challenging.  Personal time is extremely limited, as work seems to encompass every waking (and oft times sleeping) minute.  For those of us who tend to be excessively obsessive compulsive, those free moments are likewise not wasted.  Sometimes just for the sake of not missing an opportunity, all non-work time gets allocated to some event or another.  It can seem impossible to get simple basics such as laundry or buying shampoo accomplished.  And before you know it, a decade has gone by.

So it is refreshing to be in this new place, with no attachments and no prior schedules or obligations.  To come home from work and have time to read for pleasure.  To do house chores (oh, simple pleasures!)- seriously, I never would have guessed how pleasant (yes, pleasant) and relaxing they can be.  To be able to go to the gym, take a walk at the park, cook myself something new and fabulous for dinner- or explore my new city and find out that –shocker- I actually enjoy beer.  Me, the wine snob. 

Sometimes it just takes slowing down for a moment to appreciate that it doesn’t actually take complicated itineraries or “making the most of every second” to be happy.   Some of my friends lovingly (I’m sure) refer to me as a shoe whore.  I think it completely reasonable that I keep the collection limited to 100 pairs- I’d hate to be thought of as excessive.  So this shoe whore left 80 pairs of happiness back home (I’m actually returning in a year—story to be continued), and yet I’m now able to revel in the simplicity of choosing between flip flops and sneakers.  Okay, and possibly nearing a Nordstrom shoe department binge episode…but you can’t win them all, right?

Studying at the park, on the lake. A much different pace at which to function compared to my weekends a mere month ago...

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