Funemployment

Today marks the first day of my week and a half before my new job starts, which I have been jokingly referring to as my “funemployment.” I want to stress the “joke” aspect of this because not too far in the distant past I spent a good four months unemployed, job searching, depressed, and just barely living paycheck-to-paycheck in a 150 square foot apartment with my partner.

But for now, in between jobs with  purposeful and much needed down-time, I have no commitments besides the ones I lay out for myself. Today is my first funemployed day, and, could not be happier to be writing in my pajamas, drinking coffee and jamming to some James Brown midmorning.

I am definitely planning to take advantage of this time to catch up with friends, and have no fewer than 4 coffee or happy hour dates already planned for next week.

In no particular order are all the necessary, fun, and downright luxuriant things I plan to take care of during my funemployment:

1) Taxes. My husband and I have the overwhelming stress honor of newleywed taxes this year and will spend the weekend un-sexily figuring out whether to file jointly or separately. Oh boy. All advice appreciated. No seriously. Help.

2) Haircut. I haven’t cut my hair since I chopped it all off right after midwifery school and right before I biked down the Pacific Coast, which was arguably one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. (Both the chopping of hair and the 1,000 mile bike tour) It’s time.

3) Finally print out some pictures from our wedding. I have wanted to do this for a while, but I also want to be able to bring some photos for my desk and office at the new job. I was constantly in between clinics at my previous job, and I desperately need a work space that I can claim as my own, so I plan on decorating with copious Georgia O’Keefe prints as well as photos of family and friends.

4) Review, review, review. I mentioned this in a previous post and know that I can do a lot to review before I step into the clinic, but also know that there is a lot that must just come with time and exposure. (And in the meantime, a former classmate gave me her login to Uptodate, the clinical guideline bible, which I am geekily excited about. Thanks, J!)

5) This is a less concrete “to-do” item, but I need to spend this upcoming week reflecting on the kind of midwife I am and the kind of midwife I want to be. I was constrained much of the time by the sheer volume of patients I saw before, and didn’t have time to really connect and counsel patients on preventative health measures. I will have more time and resources to really construct the kind of practice I want to have, and that comes with a lot of decisions. How do I want to structure my prenatal visits? Which Beck depression scale  form do I want my patients to fill out at postpartum visits? How will I personally document and keep track of the births I attend? How will I make sure that I am the kind of midwife my patients need? How will I find champions in my consulting docs and labor and delivery nurses? How will I approach challenging situations where I disagree about the plan of care?

Some of these things I can rheuminate on and have a plan for when I set foot in clinic, and some of these things will come with time and experience. Luckily, I am entering practice with one of the great women I went to school with, who will no doubt, continue to be an invaluable resource, support, and sounding board. (Yes, I’m talking about you, R!)

And lest you all are left asking yourselves, ‘But wait, what are you going to do for fun?!?!” I also plan on the following:

1) Taking myself out to brunch at least twice, one of my favorite weekday activities.

2) Celebrate new beginnings by going out to a bad-ass funk show tonight.

3) Hang out with my totally awesome father-in-law next weekend, which will invariably include tons of great coffee and some long walks.

4) Get out on my bike. Hopefully we will have some not-horrible weather days coming up where I can head out with my trusty companion, Greenbean, and go for at least one long, hard core, heart pumping ride, and at least one long meander through Seattle via bike.

5) Get in some serious snuggle and playtime with the world’s cutest toddler, Leo, and chill with his equally cool parental units.

6) And let’s be honest here, this week will most definitely include some Gilmore Girls binge-watching.

7) Continue to make time for some political reading. I have my eyes on Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last Campaign and Morbid Symptoms, a compilation of essays on medical apartheid and health inequality in the US.

It’s sure to be a busy week and a half, followed by a huge transition, and all that goes with it!

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