First Year of Residency is Done! And…Work-Life Tips to Keep you Motivated!

Yesterday marked the end of my first year of residency! I can’t believe how fast the year flew by. As I reflect on the past year, I can say that overall it has been a good experience. I definitely had some very tough moments but I also feel that I have grown so much in my confidence as a doctor. I have worked with some incredible co-residents, staff physicians, medical students, nurses and other wonderful health professionals. It was inspiring to work together as a team, particularly through the challenges of a pandemic!

I wanted to share some of the strategies I used through the past year to keep me motivated:

Weekly goals: this could be something as simple as exercise for 10 minutes a day or read for 15 minutes before bed. Having a goal gives us something to work towards and gives a sense of achievement when completed.

Going out in nature: walks in the woods, lying on the grass in the backyard and daydreaming with the clouds, tuning in to the sounds of birds, the leaves rustling in the wind…nourishment for the soul!

Meeting up with friends and family: this was a challenging one given the restrictions imposed by the pandemic however still possible with all the incredible technology we have today, and now that restrictions are loosening as vaccination rates ramp up, it has been fantastic to physically be with friends and family

Hobbies: I love to play the piano and get a lot of enjoyment out of playing with other musicians too. Despite the pandemic restrictions, I still treasured those moments when we were permitted to play on stage at church on Sunday mornings.

Time-management: between a 2 hour or more daily commute to and from the hospital, managing the household, helping kids with homework etc, it has been essential to be as efficient as possible with time. I generally do most of my reading via audiobooks or podcasts during my commute or when doing mundane household tasks such as cleaning and laundry. Delegation and sharing tasks is also important! I could not have made it this far without the incredible support of my husband…I can’t remember the last time I actually washed a dish as he is the lean, mean, dish-washing machine! Dirty dishes miraculously disappear in his presence! Just one of the many things he does around the house. And now that our kids are getting older (9 and 7 years old), assigning them tasks not only helps me out but gives them a sense of responsibility (at least I like to think so….although their groans and complaining don’t always support my theory!)

Quiet time: Alone time is not always easy to come by but I find is essential for me to re-charge. It is also my time to seek quiet solitude in prayer, thanksgiving and Bible-reading.

Of course, even with all these strategies, I was not always on top of things. No one can be 100% of the time. We have to be kind to ourselves and not beat ourselves up when things slip. The important thing is to get back up when we fall and keep going!

On to my second (and final!) year of residency! Stay tuned!

Sharing my Summer Garden with You

One of the things I love about Summer is the variety of beautiful blooms that we get to enjoy in various parts of our garden. I would like to share with you some of the flowers I captured on camera. I am not sure of all their names but hope to one day learn. There’s something so uplifting about looking at, smelling and touching these magnificent creations. Enjoy!




Fresh scented lilacs

A Preamble to Hobbies….Crochet Style

Some of my friends have requested that I add more topics to this blog that include my hobbies. I would be delighted to do so! To start with, I thought I would share some of my past and recent crochet projects, mostly inspired by my children. Crochet is a wonderful activity to help you unwind and whether you are a beginner or a pro, you can use whatever skills you have to create beautiful, meaningful gifts such as baby blankets, bootees, hats, scarves, mitts, bags, headbands, the list goes on!

You may be wondering where to start if you have never before picked up a crochet hook (which looks like a miniature shepherd’s staff). I would highly recommend starting out with videos on Youtube. The benefit to watching a video as an introduction to crochet is that you will clearly see the techniques used in manipulating the crochet hook and you can even learn the different types of stitches (like double crochet, single crochet etc.). Once you are familiar with using the crochet hook, you can then start to look at books and patterns to make your projects. Trying to read a pattern before you have learned what the actual stitches are is like trying to decipher an ancient Greek text (which I could only successfully do with the aid of my nerdy multilingual husband). Youtube is also useful if you haven’t crocheted in a while and simply want to brush up your skills.

So without further ado, here are some of my projects, mostly done while I was pregnant in preparation for a cute, cuddly baby. Links to the patterns are included. Happy Crocheting!

Baby girl sweater

Baby girl sweater (pink)

Made with love for my dear daughter

Baby Sweater

baby girl sweater

My daughter (when she was 9 months old) sporting a modified version of the baby girl sweater above. I used double crochet stitch for the whole sweater and used bulky yarn.

Baby bootee

Baby girl bootee

Baby girl blanket

baby girl blanket

This is a very easy blanket which repeats the same stitches over and over again. A good choice if you have to put together a blanket in a short time.

Blanket (in progress)

Baby boy blanket in progress

My almost 4 year old insisted I crochet a blanket for him after he saw his sister’s blanket above. My husband also just recently placed an order!