My road. My story. My hope.
Trust the timing of life and don't wait for the right time. Go for it.
I didn’t go straight to university and medical school. I became a laboratory technologist and then returned to learning as a mature student after a divorce and sensing my body’s first hints at what would become the deep depths of infertility. My path led me to medicine, and I became a medical doctor at the age of 34 and a radiologist with two subspecialty fellowships at the age of 41. I re-married, found my life partner and became a mother at the age of 48 through adoption. Some things have to end for better things to begin.
I have a great position in a growing city in one of the most beautiful places in Canada. But as the world made its way through 2020 and 2021, I found myself burning out. I was a new, older mom, running three clinics through the first year of the pandemic. I would work 8-12 hours a day, come home put my daughter to sleep, and then spend the rest of the night dealing with issues coming out of the clinics and the impacts of COVID-19. We moved my elderly parents in the early months of the pandemic as they were dealing with physical and subsequent mental issues. I have had close friendships change and fade away, and after my father-in-law passed away, my daughter and I watched his funeral on Zoom from afar. I felt disconnected, isolated, faceless and, at times, overwhelmed and inept.
We all have our stories and hardships. I know I was and am not alone. The pandemic shifted our thoughts, goals, systems, and identities.
I knew I needed to take charge and do something. I wasn’t going to succumb. So, I focused on adapting and placing boundaries, as well as working my physical, mental and emotional health. I worked with a fitness accountability coach, listened to audiobooks while I ran each morning, incorporated EFT and attended clinical counselling. I let go of old, negative beliefs and relationships. I started attending an online female physician leadership and mentoring program called the Raft.
With the fitness accountability program, I was encouraged to do some cardio every day. So, I started running. It wasn’t easy, but after about a month, it just felt so good. That session of cardio was my self-time. I could free my mind of stresses, allow my mind to be creative, and at the same time my body got stronger and more energetic.
Tapping calmed my anxiety, helped me confront past traumas, address my imposter syndrome, and rekindle my self-love and assert self-worth. I practice daily affirmations and gratitude with positive psychology and cognitive behavioural therapy. My circle of friends is smaller but stronger and my emotional health has improved. I find there is bravery in being soft.
I was late to social media but started using Instagram to share my journey with hopes I would empower and encourage others to start their own journey of self-care. But I also shared my love to create, organize, and celebrate. And oh, how the details are my passion! It is through Instagram and the recognition of our similar shared passions through our posts, how Carolyn and I reconnected and bonded. Our connection is special and unique. I am so grateful.
Many ask how I do all that I do. My husband calls me "relentless." After the death of my brother, I strive to live a full and satisfying life. Having strong routines and implementing healthy habits allow me the energy to do what I do (I can't emphasize that enough), but they also give me the courage to go after my dreams and goals and to practice self care and self love.