I am a physician and my job is from 5:40 am “go to the OR, 3 phone calls, new consult, office messaging me about multiple patients, now straight to clinic, four more phone calls on my desk, see patients in clinic, see consults, see post-ops, try to wrap everything up to pick up my kid” to home by 6:30 pm. I’m always on call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with one weekend off every other month. The opposite months I get two weekends off! (Woo.)
Now, my question is not “woe is me”. My schedule sounds dramatic, but it is my real life and a life I chose. My real question is for those who also have multiple demands on their time coming from all angles, how do you not buffer your life away into a heap of exhaustion from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm just to go to sleep and do it all over again? I struggle with the spare 15 to 20 minutes I will occasionally get because I usually fill that with more work or with staring at my phone/blank spot in the wall to slow the world from spinning too quickly. If I try to do something I often get quickly interrupted by the ER, another consult, another patient with a question. I cannot “block 2 hours to meditate” or even “30 minutes to go running” because of this. Sure I can try, but then space/time collapses, and I’m sprinting back home to get to a phone or the hospital. Then I’m home in the evenings and someday, my kids are going to actually expect dinner. I’m struggling with how to schedule my time with my explosive schedule that is not easily predicted. Clearly I’m a goal directed human, and the calendar on page 29 is messing with my brain. And much like “full time stay at home mom”, which I am convinced has the exact same experience with crazy demands from all sides, I cannot quit my job.