Daily Life

New Year, New Goals II

Holy cow – it’s 2016. I know we’re two weeks in now, but it still hasn’t set in for me yet. Around this time last year I wrote a post called New Year, New Goals, and I thought it would be fun to look back on my goals from last year and set some new ones for this year. These were my goals from 2015 and how I did with them:

1. Floss. – Well, lets just say that I’m still on my dentist’s naughty list. This one is going back on the goal list for 2016.

2. Read more. – I read/listened to a lot of books this year! Some of my favorites were the Cormoran Strike novels by Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling), Bossypants by Tina Fey, and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.  This goal definitely help me rekindle my love of reading. Actually, I loved this goal so much that I’m keeping a version of it.

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3. Run in a few fun races. – Womp, womp. I did not run in any races this year! I walked in a turkey trot on Thanksgiving, but no running. I think this is a good example of not making my goal specific enough. This one is going back on the list, but I’ve made some progress already.

4. Clean for 20-30 minutes each day. – I would say I did OK with this goal. There’s room for improvement, but overall I did a better job of spreading out tasks so that I didn’t end up with a DEFCON 1 cleaning situation.

5. Be a supportive spouse. – Obviously, this is a goal that has no stopping point, but Derek and I feel great about the past year. It wasn’t the easiest year with him interviewing and me continuing to work a difficult job, but we both felt supported and happy with each other despite the craziness going on around us. It is such a blessing to know that whatever changes come our way this year, we’re in it together.

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And now for my updated goals for 2016 . . .

1. Floss. – I am determined to have amazing gums!! (<– This is an example of things I think to myself but perhaps shouldn’t blog to the world. Oh well.) I already ordered some floss picks to make it a little easier. (My teeth are REALLY close together.) I’ve flossed 4 times this week; I just need to keep it up!

2. Run the Tarheel 10 Miler in the spring and a half marathon in the fall. – I signed up for the 10 miler on New Year’s Day, and I have my training plan on the calendar. BOOM. DONE. Now I just have to actually train . . .

I’ll wait to sign up for a half once I know where I’m living in the fall. It’s weird to think that I could be signing up for a half marathon in New York or Ohio or Alabama. It will be a good way to get to know my new home if we end up moving this summer.

3. Read 4 nonfiction books. – As mentioned above, my reading goal from last year worked wonders. However, I ended up reading fiction books almost exclusively. I really enjoy nonfiction, so I want to incorporate more of that genre this year. I think my first pick will be Sisters in Law by Linda Hirshman. As mentioned previously on the BNP, I’m a fan of the Notorious RBG.

4. Say “yes” more. This is something I started working on a few months ago, and it’s gone well thus far. I have a tendency to be a bit of a homebody, especially since I started working. I’ve always been an introvert, but the addition of working with people all day, and most often people who are facing serious illness and major changes to their lives, made me want to spend more time alone at home. And sometimes, that’s what I need – but I started staying home too much and felt like I was missing out. I’ve found that if I push myself a bit, I end up having a lot fun. My mid-2os are the perfect time to work on self awareness and finding that delicate balance between having memorable experiences and knowing when I need downtime.

5. Stay flexible and open-minded. As I mentioned in my previous post, Derek and I are facing many changes this year, including the possibility of a long-distance move in June. I am a planner, and it’s hard not knowing much about our future. Instead of stressing out about the uncertainty, I want to reframe it as an opportunity to work on being more flexible and open-minded.

Thanks for reading about my goals. I’d love to hear about some of yours, too. I hope that everyone is in for a happy, healthy 2016!

FAQ: January 2016

Happy New Year!! I’m so excited to kick off 2016.

Derek and I were reflecting on the past year, and we decided to describe it as our “grind it out” year. Compared to the excitement of 2014, this past year included a lot of hard, and sometimes monotonous-feeling, work. However, we remain very blessed and thankful for another healthy, happy year, and we still managed to have a lot of fun along the way.

It’s been a LONG time since I last blogged, so I thought I’d catch you up by answering some frequently asked questions in the life of the Pinkertons.


FAQ: January 2016

Is Derek a doctor yet? 

Not quite. He’s very close though! In just four months he will graduate from medical school. I am so incredibly proud of him to the point that I can’t even talk about his graduation because there’s a 100% chance I’ll start tearing up. Yes, I am pathetic.

What kind of doctor is he going to be? 

Derek decided that his speciality will be Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Most people call it Med-Peds for short. He’s actually following in his dad’s footsteps and will be trained to care for both children and adults.

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Derek’s residency application photo. 

How long is his residency? 

Derek’s residency will be four years. It’s a pretty good deal considering the categorial medicine and pediatrics programs are both 3 years. They basically squash 6 years of learning into 4 for this speciality by doing away with a lot of electives.

Where will you go for his residency? 

We don’t know yet, but we’ll find out on Match Day (March 18th).

What’s Match Day? 

Every year, on the third Friday in March, senior medical students across the country find out where they will be going for residency. At UNC, everyone and their loved ones gather in a large auditorium, and they call students up one at a time and hand them an envelope, which contains the name of their residency match.

Wait, what?? You don’t pick where you go? 

Well, sort of. After Derek goes on all of his interviews (he’s going to 10 places), he will turn in a rank-order list of the programs. The programs will also rank order the applicants. The process is blinded, so neither the applicants nor the programs know the orders submitted.  After the lists are submitted, the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) uses a complex algorithm to “match” applicants to programs based on the rank-order lists.

Tl;dr: our future is ultimately determined by a computer.

Woah, that is crazy.

Yes, yes it is. But it’s also exciting! Everyone once in a while I feel a little overwhelmed by the lack of control, but I remind myself that Derek and I have input, and 80% of applicants get one of their top three choices. I also figure it doesn’t do me any good to worry; instead, I’m usually find myself getting excited about all of the possibilities and opportunities for our future. We also try to remind each other that we’re in it together, which makes it a little less daunting.

Where do you want to go?

We’re not sure yet. In fact, Derek still has one more interview later this month. We probably won’t reveal the exact order, but these are some of his favorite programs (in alphabetical order) thus far:

  • University of Chicago
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Indiana University
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Rochester

What are you up to? 

I’m still working as an inpatient medicine social worker at a local hospital. It’s hard to believe I’ve been there for 1.5 years already. I finally feel like I know what I’m doing (most days)!

What’s next for you? 

I’ve officially completed 2,220 practice hours and 74 supervision hours towards my license, so I will hopefully beat the clock and get my license before we (possibly) move in June! (FYI: In North Carolina, 3,000 practice hours and 100 supervision hours are required to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.)

Once I’ve obtained my license, I’ll be looking to make a change, which is good timing because we might be moving anyway. I’m hoping to stay in medicine but find a position that is more clinical. I’d love to work in hospice or palliative care if possible.

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

I have a few goals in mind, actually. I’ll be dedicating a separate post to them though, and I’ll be taking a look at how I did with my goals from last year.

Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival Fun

About a week and a half ago I went to a Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival right down the road in Cary, NC.

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My parents happened to be passing through town on their way home from a beach trip, and my dad is a big bourbon fan (hello we’re from Kentucky) so we thought it would be a fun adventure.

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Our friend Steven, who’s in medical school with Derek, joined us as well as a couple of my parents’ friends.

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The festival was held at Koka Booth Amphitheatre, which was a beautiful venue. We were all thankful for the shade from the trees considering it’s constantly 90+ degrees here in North Carolina during July and August.

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When we got there we received our tasting flutes. I was surprised that these were actually nice glasses with the logo on them. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but their motto “Drink. Eat. Relax.” is on the back side.

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The tickets covered tastings for the 60 beers and 40 bourbon available. There were booths all over the place.

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By the way, as much as I want to like bourbon, I’m just not a fan. Fortunately many of the bourbon booths had delicious spiked teas. Woodford Reserve had a particularly delicious peach bourbon tea that I’d love to recreate at home.

It’s a bit of a bummer that food wasn’t included with the tickets, but we definitely weren’t disappointed with the barbecue we got. So good!

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I seriously get hungry just looking at that picture. If we move out of North Carolina next year, the barbecue around here will be sorely missed.

It was a fun day for us all, and I would certainly recommend it for other people in the area. After all, what’s better than sharing a few drinks and good food with family and friends?

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P.S. Don’t worry, we took an Uber to and from the festival after all those adult beverages. 🙂

4 Words 4th of July

As I mentioned in my last post, Derek and I hit the road for the 4th of July and spent a few days with my family. It was the perfect mix of fun and relaxing, and I wanted to share a little recap of the trip. Instead of my usual recap, and in honor of July 4th, I’ll be captioning with 4 words per picture.

Virginia is for lovers.

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Kentucky is for bourbon.

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My dad = chef extraordinaire.

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The spoiled rotten dog.

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Wine + funny movie nights.

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Four Roses Bourbon Distillery. 

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Bourbon encourages family selfies.

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Day at the pool.

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This sums it up.

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Hope you had a fun and safe 4th of July, too!

Monday: Dumpster Diving Edition

Well, it was one of THOSE Mondays yesterday, and I have to share how my day started because it’s ridiculous. So I was on my way to work and realized that my gas tank was basically empty. And I don’t mean How long has my gas light been on? empty. It was Oh my gosh, is it possible for the needle to move past E? empty.

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*Note to self: follow mom’s advice and fill up at the gas tank when gets down to the last quarter. Or, you know, pay attention to that whole gas light thing.

Fortunately, my prayers were answered and I made it to the gas station. Let me set the scene for you. I start work pretty early, so it was about 6:45am. I was the only person at the gas station, and I was looking spiffy in a cute dress. I was relieved that I didn’t end up hitch hiking, but I was also getting nervous about making it to work on time. While I filled up my tank I thought it would be an excellent idea to quickly clean out my car. During hasty purge of trash and miscellaneous items from my car, I came to a horrific realization. I threw my credit card in the trash can.

Camera:   DCS560C Serial #: K560C-01570 Width:    3040 Height:   2008 Date:  1/23/04 Time:   16:10:17 DCS5XX Image FW Ver:   3.2.3 TIFF Image Look:   Product Sharpening Requested:No (Preferences) Counter:    [16411] ISO Speed:  80 Aperture:  f25 Shutter:  1/200 Max Aperture:  f4.0 Min Aperture:  f29 Exposure Mode:  Manual (M) Compensation:  +0.0 Flash Compensation:  +0.0 Meter Mode:  Evaluative Flash Mode:  No flash Drive Mode:  Single Focus Mode:  Manual Focus Point:  --o-- Focal Length (mm):  48 White balance: Custom Time: 16:10:17.477

Source. The trash can looked like this one.

At this point I just suck it up and start digging around in the trash. It’s a deep trash can so my whole arm is in there. In a moment of hope, I see my credit card next to a half-eaten hamburger and a cup with an unidentifiable sticky brown substance in it. But alas, I cannot reach the card. In another act of genius, I attempt to tilt the trash can (which by the way is quite large) and ended up completely knocking it over. Squeegee water spilled everywhere, and I still couldn’t reach the card. I quickly put the trash can upright and looked around to see if anyone saw me. Lucky for me the gas station attendant was concentrating on his book.

Now I don’t know if it was frustration or perseverance or just plain stubbornness that came over me, but I decided to go for it to get my card. I kid you not; I stuck my entire upper body in the trash can. Thankfully, it wasn’t very full, but I’m sure it was a sight to be seen. Some girl in a nice dress with only her legs visible because she’s torso deep in a trash can.

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Source. I imagine I looked something like this.

It was worth it. I emerged victorious, smiling as I held my credit card. It was at that moment that I made eye contact with the gas station attendant, who had clearly seen the whole thing. I’m sure I looked like a deer in the headlights, embarrassed by my recent dumpster diving. We locked eyes for just a second before he was bent over, laughing hysterically.

I couldn’t help but laugh, too. We exchanged a smile and wave before I hopped in the car and headed to work, where I doused myself in hand sanitizer. (Hospitals for the win!) It was not how I intended to start my day, but it was a great reminder that sometimes, when everything seems to go wrong, you just have to laugh.

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