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Jane Doe, MD–My Mid-Life Career Sabbatical

Chapter 12–Weekend At (My Real) Home, At Last!

home sweet homeThis weekend I was in my home for the first time in two months.  My husband is away with friends on a long planned trip, my daughter returned to school at a great distance.  Only my son is in the house, continuing to prepare his master’s thesis for defense.  From Friday afternoon until late Sunday evening I attended solely to my roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend.  This refreshed me.

I miss my home:  the comfort of my bed, the connected feeling from the daily local paper, the completeness of my kitchen equipment.  At this time of year I most miss my garden and porch. Most years I would spend at least half a day each weekend in season doing garden work.  This year there was no planning or planting; these are the most enjoyable activities.  There remains, the task of maintenance.  I spent most of Saturday and part of Sunday weeding, dead heading and thinning plants.

The when not in the garden, I performed other types of maintenance. Dinner and cards with my son and visiting my in-laws top the non-yard maintenance list.  Farther down are phone calls and correspondence with friends and relations, lists of household tasks to be done but which will have to be delegated and a cursory review of finances.  When I am home these thing compete with each other for time and mental resources but not with clinical or academic demands.

I feel conflicted when I split my attention.   With my geographic separation I rarely have to do so.  Barring catastrophe, episodic maintenance is what my personal life will get until the spring when I will again be home to plant in literal and metaphoric ways.

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