People of the Mountains

I finished my last rotation of medical school on 4/24 and will receive my diploma on 6/4. Rather than staying put in Portland for the interim, Patrick and I decided to move to Utah for the month of May and are staying with his mother in her beautiful historic home. It is so nice to be in a totally different environment and let myself recharge my battery for residency, which I will begin 6/8 at the U of M in Minneapolis.

The move, while physically exhausting as Patrick and I did it all by ourselves, was also an enlightening experience. We decided to try to get rid of as much of our stuff as possible before the move and advertised our moving sale on Craig’s List and at OHSU. Only a few people responded and we sold a couple of items at greatly reduced prices. I was glad that the items were no longer in our possession nor our responsibility but I also felt rather empty from the transactions; the few dollars we earned from the sale did not make up for the psychological drain of trading personal items for money. We were still determined to downsize our possessions however and decided to donate them instead of selling them. We loaded up our rental truck with almost all of our possessions and took them over to a Portland charity for people with AIDS. We even donated our only vehicle to another charity that serves the homeless. The difference of experience between selling and donating was night and day. Feelings of emptiness and exhaustion were replaced with joy and contentment. I also was able to feel the freedom of letting go that I had been longing for. Giving is so much more satisfying than selling.

Today I helped Patrick in the garden and mowed a GIANT yard until I had blisters on my palms and my muscles quivered. We ate fish and chips and drank fresh lime soda from the local Daley Freez and enjoyed soaking up the sun and watching our dogs bound about the yard. While doing chores in a small town may not seem like much of a vacation to some, for me it is exactly what the doctor ordered. I feel tired but stress-free and happy. I’m also very glad to have this opportunity to get to know my mother-in-law better as we’ve spent little time together over the past 7 years Patrick and I have been together. Our kids will also be visiting us here and they will get a chance to spend time with their grandma for the first extended time period. Family time in the top of the mountains.

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