stopping to reflect on this summer's busyness
If you want to read more back story on my struggle to balance being a doctor, a wife, a mom, and a blogger, click here.
I encourage you to name the things you have learned about yourself when you experienced the hard parts of your story. Write them down. They will help you live a life that’s more true to who you are. The more true you are to yourself in how you choose to live, the more fulfilled you’ll be at living your life.
The things you can learn about yourself in the midst of struggle don’t have to be these zen ideas that came to you during hot yoga. They can be simple things like you’ve wanted to open an ice cream shop since you were 5, or that you love making your own jewelry, or that a piece of yourself is lost when you don’t get to work on your blog, or that you need to move out of the city. It can be anything. Be open to what you can learn about yourself. You might be surprised.
Here are three things I learned about myself over the summer while I struggled with work-life balance:
1. Writing on my blog fills up my buckets
I felt sad that I had to demote my blog’s priority in my life, and maybe even depressed. I wildly love this space. Every time I sit down to write on this blog, I am reminded that at the very core of all that I do, I am a healer. This blog makes me LOVE being a naturopathic doctor. It also redeems a lot of the really painful things that happened in my life, because I get to share them with you, and then you send me messages and tell me in person how much you can relate.
I love that because it says that the terrible life experiences that happened to me and to you — they won’t be wasted. They can somehow be used for good, and together, we can get over it. We can heal from whatever has happened to us, whether that be emotional abuse or physical illness.
2. I highly value living a naturopathic lifestyle
It is a huge deal to me to walk my talk. Naturopathic medicine healed my body. It works. It’s for real. It changed my life and my future. I’d be so sick today without it. I believe in this medicine with all my heart, and I see the immediate effects of it in my body. Still, this past summer was probably the worst I have eaten in 10 years. I want to tell my patients to live a type of life I’m already living. Of course we are all on a journey, and I’ll never be perfect, and some of my patients even live the naturopathic lifestyle better than I ever could. Being a naturopathic physician is not just my job, it’s my life. Too much work can compromise a healthy lifestyle in terms of food choices, exercise, relaxation, spending time outside, participating in loving relationships, and sleep. A lot of these things are the basis for thriving health.
3. I need to work closer to home
This lesson might have been the hardest one for me. My commute to Eastside Natural Medicine in the mornings, during the summer, was about an hour. During the school year, the commute time increased to about an hour-and-a-half. Decreasing my commute time meant that I would have more time in my life for other things, and perhaps a little more budge room to construct a better work-life balance. I decided to leave Eastside Natural Medicine, a clinic where I have loved working, all for the sake of wanting a shorter commute.
Starting October 15th, I will be working at Interactive Health Clinic. My new commute is 15 minutes. This was one of the hardest decisions of my life! However, if I want my patients to make radical decisions for the sake of their life health, then I need to do the same.