Passion and purpose

by Christina on December 28, 2012

I thought I needed a vacation to the beach. I wanted to escape, replete my Vitamin D, and go surfing.

While the beach sounded idyllic, instead I decided what I really needed was time at home with my parents. I am so glad I did — I cannot imagine a more restorative way to have spent the past 10 days.

I arrived home in one of my lowest states. Working in the ICU and then a long string of night shifts left me depressed, exhausted, and fragile. The first few days at home all I could do was sleep and lie by the fireplace covered in blankets.

I think my parents were seriously worried about me! My dad bought me lots of fresh fruits and vegetables but I didn’t have an appetite at first. My mom made me tea, lit a candle, and found me some special soap for a bath.

After a couple days I began to get my energy back. I started practicing yoga and slowly eating green smoothies and soups.

It took me another few days until I was able to move up the Maslow hierarchy of needs and start thinking clearly and creatively.

My main goal of my vacation was to reconnect with my passion and purpose. I met with close friends from high school to remember who I was and what things excited me ten years ago. I brainstormed and wrote down ideas of possible paths I could take after residency. I called up a mentor to talk through different possibilities. I worked on my personal mission statement, writing up my roles (physician, daughter, sister, partner, friend, etc) and goals under each role. I also started working on my New Year’s Resolutions for 2013, which include the following:

  • Find more mentors both inside and outside of residency
  • Look into fellowships related to obesity and nutrition research
  • Work on taking better care of my own physical and emotional health
  • Start a handwritten journal and write a little every day
  • Reconnect with my yoga practice and get to know the Bay Area yoga community better
  • Learn more about the growing field of mobile health

I’m still working on the rest and would love hear what New Year’s Resolutions you plan to make…

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Palmer December 28, 2012 at 5:40 am

Knowing how to take care of yourself, so you feel energized, healthy, and resilient, even when the conditions around you are vexing, punishing, and frustrating, is the beginning of wisdom because it is only when you feel in peak condition that you can be the most help to others, including those that you love.


Jane Cartwright December 29, 2012 at 2:02 am

A lovely, encouraging and…..motivating read! x


Anar Mikailov December 30, 2012 at 1:05 am

great read! I also agree, family > beach


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