Sunday, December 16, 2012

Until 2013: what I've learned

"I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of."
— Joss Whedon

Tomorrow, I'm heading to India with my family, so this corner of the internet will be hushed for a bit. 

Last year, I reflected on courage and this time, I want to shed some light on looking back. The entire year felt like practice, whether it was in writing, medicine, the intersection between the two, or other areas of life. I made the usual list of long term goals and then some shorter term ones (finish editing novel, exercise more routinely, research women's health issues, connect with others who are into similar causes, etc.) As much as I grew from each of those, I always felt like I could do more. More. More. More. An inherent flaw in thinking. When is it ever enough
There's sometimes a fine line between ambition and pessimism. 

It's easy for all of us to beat ourselves up for what we haven't done or how difficult our own struggles are but every once in a while, it's important to remember what we've learned along the way and how far we've come. 

Here's my list of not resolutions but reflections:

-(From a post in early 2010 but reflected on more this year): It's important to view patients as individuals instead of populations. While the latter is helpful for understanding public health solutions, the former is imperative for providing the best care. 

-It's possible to write without pushing pen to paper. Sometimes the best words come while folding laundry

-The writing process demands patience. Just when the manuscript is done, it may need a rewrite. Just when those are done, the first half seems too slow. Then there's queries and partials and fulls and waiting and revising and starting over at any point.

-Long distance friendships have their own brand of meaning because they require effort, not convenience.

-Uncertainty---the kind that puts pressure on your sternum---builds character

-A bad mood can skew judgment

-The right type of love gets better every day

-Many beautiful things were created out of heartbreaks (of every kind)

-Empower others to empower oneself. Empower oneself to empower others. Teach fellow curious people about the causes worth fighting for in the world. 

What have you learned?


  1. Lovely reflections. Have a great trip to India. y You have chosen the right time, when almost all the places will be cool or reasonably cold.
    My aim is to lose the excess weight and come back to my normal weight before March/ April 2013. It is difficult to lose at my age, but I have been working out with determination, and I am confident, I would be successful in achieving it.
    Then visit Eastern Europe, hopefully by October.
    I have become more easy going and intend to be so in future too.
    Wish you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

    1. Yes, I've heard the weather is ideal now! Losing weight is very hard but you do look wonderful from the pictures I've seen :) Eastern Europe sounds so exciting! I get a lot of peace and wisdom from your adventures so I know your goals are well within your reach.

  2. Wonderful reflections, Saumya. I appreciate hearing your wisdom! I hope you and your family have a lovely holiday and happy new year!!

  3. These are wonderful and filled with wisdom. I hope your trip to India will bring you and your family many good things. I have learned that I can do bigger and harder things than I ever thought possible (I am training for my first half marathon). 2013 will be rich with blessings~

    1. Thanks, Shelly. And wow, a half marathon? That's amazing!! Keep us posted about your training!!

  4. Love the reflections. Have a great time in India!

  5. Safe travels to India! Don't tell my wife about the folding laundry thing. It's not my favorite task.

    1. Haha, the dishes are my least favorite but you are always writing well so don't worry :)

  6. Hope you're enjoying the start of your trip Saumya!

    Does this technically count as a long distance friendship??

  7. Sounds like you've learned a lot this year - very valuable.

    Have a wonderful trip.

  8. I too have learned lots. Hope I put the learning to good use.

    Enjoy your holiday.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Saumya!

  9. I love your learning lists, because many of them I can nod and say "oh yes" to, but there's always one or two I figure I still have to learn. I learned some big things this past year. BIG THINGs. Excited to see what's in store in the new year. Loved your insight on heartbreaks and long distance friends.