{Guest Post} Word of the Year // Molly


{Molly is a Hematology/Oncology Fellow at New York University/Langone Medical Center and is a first-time mom to adorable son, K.}


As we sat around the table on New Years Day (“we” being my husband, parents, mother and brothers-in-law and their significant others along with our amazing baby K), my mom asked whether we had made any resolutions. Not one person had, so she suggested we try an exercise she had heard about on the radio- choose one word to sum up your goals, hopes, plans for the year. “Employment,” “health,” “walking,” and “retirement” were all thrown out as others’ possible selections.

My automatic reply to the resolution question is generally along the lines of “make healthier choices,” or “really exercise this time,” and my mind went in that direction again this year. But then I started thinking, is a word like “healthy” or “exercise” the word I want to encapsulate what I want this year? It didn’t seem like enough, a big enough word to describe what I hope to accomplish in the months to come. Yes, after having a baby last summer, I would like to be healthy for myself and for my family. However, this is also the last year of my Oncology fellowship and I have to find a job somewhere for the first time without the assistance of an organized matching program and a pre-set salary. And in addition, figuring out how to take care of myself and my relationship with my husband continues to be a big post-baby challenge.

I began to think about what I do want to accomplish this year. I want to figure out how to be an excellent physician and an awesome mom at the same time. I’d like to spend every minute with my baby, but want to reclaim some time for myself, AND I want to be ok with the fact that I took time out for myself. I aspire to run a 10K, though I would settle for a 5K. I want to eat more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, and less desserts, but I also want to perfect my vegan ice cream and cake recipes so that they’re ready for my little boy’s future birthdays.

As my plans for the year piled up, and my anxiety rose, I realized my word for 2014 was “balance.” Balancing my home life and my work life, my baby’s needs and my husband’s needs and my own needs, all while trying to do each one perfectly- it’s an impossible task.  The first step in achieving balance has to be letting go of my need for perfection.  I’ve spent so many years thinking that everything has to be the best, that it’s hard for me to accept the idea that sometimes passable instead of perfect really is ok. I don’t know how this year will go, but at least I’ve found my one-word mantra.


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