Every year for Christmas, I ask for things that I “need” and items that I wouldn’t splurge on myself (can anyone say “Dyson vacuum cleaner”?). I’m always grateful, of course, for the time it takes to pick out presents, but it took me a while to realize that the high of materialism is not long lasting.
This year had been full of new challenges and the persistent need for pivoting has been tiring. Furthermore, moving into a new home, working as a dual physician household with a young daughter transitioning to a new school during the pandemic has been additionally draining.
As planners, our brains are constantly in overdrive. While we may have partners who help with drop offs, laundry, dishes, cooking etc., we shoulder the planning, organizing, remembering the lists that we need to remember to make in the first place.
“Did I finish the grocery list?”
“I need to remember to pay the tuition”.
“Let me write down the date and time for the 50th drive by birthday party this pandemic. No, we can’t skip it. We all should celebrate each other during these hard times.”
“I need to place the Amazon grocery delivery order. I hope there are earlier timeframes left.”
“Ok. It’s backwards day at school tomorrow. I need to remember that tomorrow morning.”
“Crap. I need to finish my notes, emails, content writing, pack that one thing for school for Gia that she mentioned yesterday… but I forgot what it was… now I have to remember to ask her what it was…”
Needless to say.
This year, instead of “stuff”, I asked for rest.
Simple. Yes, but with profound results.
I asked my husband for two days off.
What did that mean? That meant I literally sat and did things on my own accord. Of course I wrapped presents, did laundry, moved our elf on the shelf every night, etc. but all on my terms. I did zero planning, grocery shopping, meal prep. The persistent mental lists, to dos, thought processes were shut off.
Browsed on my phone.
Caught up with friends over text and FaceTime.
All while my husband planned our Christmas breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, cooked, cleaned up, and entertained our daughter.
I was still surrounded by my family.
I didn’t feel useless.
Everyone respected my boundaries.
It was the best present I could have received.
The gift of rejuvenation.
Flora Sinha is a board certified internist practicing in Southern California. In addition to educating about preventative care, she has found her passion with connecting with others through her social media presence. Initially, she started her instagram page to open up about her secondary infertility journey. It was important to her to not only share her journey but also let others going through similar experiences know that they were not alone. Her Instagram page has now morphed into a full behind the scenes look of a full time doctor mom in a dual physician marriage. She also shares topics on medical education, mental health advocacy, inspiration and growth. Her overarching initiative is how having an appropriate mindset can change how you approach any situation, regardless of the difficulty. Follow Dr. Sinha on Instagram @dr_flosinha.