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Spring and Self-Preservation

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After six days of travel, I arrived home to see the tulips I planted last fall starting to bloom!  I have had a horrible time with gardening in the Southwest (and, admittedly, I'm just not dedicated enough to the task), so this is the first time I have successfully planted something that has bloomed.  It gives me a renewed sense of belief in the process and hope for the future.

While traveling and welcoming the season of spring, I have been reflecting on self-care.  I intentionally named this post something other than "self-care" because it has become such a buzz word lately and has been completely misconstrued to signify selfishness and entitlement that doesn't seem to benefit anyone.  Self-care or self-preservation should be about taking care of ourselves so that we may better serve others, and I strive to get to the heart of what beneficial and productive self-care actually looks like.  I have many mixed feelings about so-called "self-care," and here are …

Spring Flow

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Happy Spring!We have had gorgeous weather this week with 50+ degree sunny afternoons, but snow is in the forecast and I know we realistically have several more weeks of winter.I’ve learned my lesson to not begin any spring gardening in Santa Fe until after Mother’s Day.I am keeping my fingers crossed that the bulbs I planted last fall will bloom!
While cooped up inside all winter, I have recently renewed my interest in jigsaw puzzles.A friend of mine invited me to join a puzzle group (basically chain mail with jigsaw puzzles!) and it has been really fun to complete a puzzle and pass it along to the next person in the chain.Growing up, my family always had a jigsaw puzzle set up on a card table during winter vacation, where the whole family could work on it throughout the week while watching Christmas movies and lounging around the house.Until this year, though, I’ve never completed a whole puzzle on my own, and I had forgotten the simple joy and sense of accomplishment can arise from d…

Chamisa Trail

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When life gets hectic and my schedule is monopolized by commitments to other people, I crave time alone to recharge and reset my mind.  There is a lot of evidence to suggest that spending time in solitude can help clear our brains, allowing more creative thinking and improved problem-solving, and can also strengthen relationships by allowing us a new perspective and more confidence within ourselves, not to mention the benefits of relaxation and restoration.  For an introvert working in a job that requires a lot of socialization and leadership, alone time is a necessity for me.  This week I was blessed with an unexpected day to myself, and instead of doing housework or running errands I decided to take a "me day."  There was a snowstorm the night before and the fresh powder on the hiking trails was calling my name.  In an effort to avoid ski basin traffic I opted to snowshoe on the Chamisa Trail, one of the first trailheads located along Hyde Park Road in the Santa Fe Nationa…

G.R.A.C.E.

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Working in healthcare these days can be physically and emotionally taxing, especially when caring for critically ill patients who are suffering and distressed, in a setting where many patients don't get better, despite our best efforts, and in an atmosphere that is driven by demands in productivity, staffing, and revenue.  I find that there are days when I feel very far from my original intentions and ambitions that called me to this career.  It's easy to become task-oriented in this setting, treating patients like they are items on a checklist, rather than connecting and spreading joy.  To prevent burnout, it's absolutely essential for caregivers and providers to revisit our purpose, ground ourselves in mindfulness and body awareness, and renew our minds and hearts to providing compassionate care.  The G.R.A.C.E. training/retreat I attended last week at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe did just that.  

G.R.A.C.E.® is an acronym that stands for:
Gather attention
Recall intent…

The Future is Female: Part I

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This past weekend after gymnastics class another parent complimented Ady on her shirt, a pink, long-sleeved tee depicting the slogan "The Future is Female."  The other parent asked me where I bought it, because he wants to buy one for his son.  This just warmed my heart and filled me with hope.  Despite the obvious and overwhelming challenges of raising a daughter in the current political and social climate we live in, where sexism is prevalent everywhere we turn and impossible expectations are placed on women to "do it all" and do it all perfectly, I believe the challenges that parents of boys face are equally demanding.

It's one thing to raise girls to be feminists, to stand up for their rights, to fight stereotypes, and to be a leader in the classroom and in the workforce, a task that a lot of parents I know are accomplishing successfully (thanks, in part, to women leaders like Hillary Clinton and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), but it's another thing to raise…

Valentines and Galentines

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I kicked off this month with the Corrida de Los Locos trail race, a 6(ish) mile trail run around the Marty Sanchez golf course in Santa Fe.  Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted an early spring, but it sure didn't feel like it that morning.  It was chilly and overcast and the wind made my face numb.  This was my first running race of the year, and I didn't train for it, but I thought of it as a good opportunity to push myself to run harder than I normally would and to enjoy the camaraderie that races offer.  Later that afternoon, Ady put on my race belt and ran up and down the hall, yelling, "I'm racing!  I'm racing!"  I may have finished last in my age group, but I'm inspiring my toddler to be athletic and active!

I love my little family, my Valentines.  Even on the really challenging toddler days, Ady still manages to make me smile, and I'm appreciative to have a partner with whom to experience the craziness of parenting.  The other night after Ady p…

Tuesday Tidbits

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Happy Tuesday!  It's another snowy day here in Santa Fe.  We've had a relatively relaxing month!  Here are a few updates on life lately...


1.  A couple months ago I purchased a new vehicle, a 2019 Chevy Equinox.  (I named her Selene, after the Greek Goddess of the moon, on account of her pearl color.)  I am so in love with her!  It's my first real "grown-up" car.  I have been so thankful for the All Wheel Drive feature during this snowy, slippery winter, and I love having a safe vehicle for toting Ady around town.  (The only downside is the popularity of white SUVs in Santa Fe... I almost accidentally stole some girl's white Jeep after yoga class... oops.)


2.  I'm just about the only person I know who doesn't watch Netflix.  I can't say that I feel like I'm missing anything, other than the opportunity to join in every other conversation about new shows.  TV isn't really a part of my normal routine.  That being said, I love This is Us!  The s…