Skating Into 2017

The end of 2016 brought with it a few surprises and challenges, so when the last few days of this year brought a flu-like illness, it seemed an appropriately timed way to wind down a rough stretch of weeks and start fresh in a new year. As my sinuses cleared and I started to feel the renewed vigor of health after illness, I saw the hope in a new beginning.

In the past year, I have not written here as much as I wished. I hope to remedy that in the months ahead, but here are some of the things that kept me busy away from the blog:

  1. I started a podcast!
  2. I published a very personal piece about the birth of my son in JAMA Pediatrics:
  3. I published my 3rd and 4th pieces on KevinMD:

I have some other things that I wrote that are still trying to find the right publisher, so stay tuned. It has been humbling to write intimate pieces about my life and find them rejected repeatedly, but I know that is the process and it pushes me to edit further and work harder.

In 2016 I also took on a few new roles at work, including a leadership position as the Director of Continuing Education for the CHOP Care Network. These new roles provided me with fresh challenges that keep me excited while also giving me the flexibility to spend two afternoons a week with my son after school. It has made my work-life integration even more satisfying, albeit busy.

I started some good habits this past year that I would like to expand on and hope to remain committed. First, I started reading (fiction) again and joined a book club. As a working mom, it feels great to reclaim a hobby and some me-time. Second, I started exercising. Not only was I looking to shed a few pounds, but I really want to be healthier for my kids. I bought a spin bike and started doing a few at-home exercises. I have never liked gyms or exercise classes, but I found a class that I enjoy and went a few times this Fall. In a very cliché New Year’s resolution, I would like to do this more often.

I am full of other cliché New Year’s resolutions, like using my phone less, seeing my friends more, and traveling more with my family. 2016 had its fair share of disappointments, but it was full of opportunities as well. 2017 will be about what we do with those opportunities. On New Year’s Eve, we took our 5- and 3-year-olds ice skating for the first time. Like the weak-ankled-first-timers they were, they were awful at it. I wasn’t exactly Kristi Yamaguchi either, but 2016 reminded me that I need to be a role model for the kids, even if imperfect. So I cheered them on with hope (“look, you are doing it!”), love (“yay, let’s take a family picture on skates”), realism (“this is supposed to be hard”), and a touch of impatience (“just STAND UP”) because I am human and can only carry someone on skates for so long. So if 2017 is like ice skating, let’s hope that this year we are able to stand up on our own, shuffle our feet forward, and try not to humiliate ourselves in front of the children.

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