Oooooh, friends! This Monthly Chai Date finds yours truly in the best airport in the world (seriously, do you see that awesome carpet in the background?!), having just completed her last final of the term and less than an hour away from boarding a flight to Mexico City. I’ll explore El D.F. for a few days, then head back down to Cuernavaca, where I studied for three weeks last year, to do another week of language immersion at CETLALIC.
One of the first things I did when the term started was make my plans for this break…and it feels so good! to finally be done! As I take in that first sip of chai, my mind is still running through all the mental lists I’ve been making over the last week, wondering if I’ve forgotten something.
Then I vaguely remember hearing somewhere recently that 80% of what we pack can be purchased for $20 or less wherever we’re going…and I stop worrying. Over the years I’ve been moving towards traveling with less and less. It’s still a challenge (“But what if x,y, z happens?”), but I’m getting better. This time I’m not checking any luggage–just going with a backpack and one small carry-on. It feels great.
I think that Travel Light could be my new mantra for a while. I just bought a new summer pannier for my bike, and I LOVE how it forces me to be selective in what I lug around with me all day. I know this might be contrary to the stereotypical midwifery mentality (“I might be gone for weeks at a time! Need a change of clothes, and some toothpaste, and a book, and…”). But I’m liking it. I find that traveling lightly in the material sense frees me up mentally, too. I mean, really, no matter how ambitious I might set out to be, am I really going to do all that studying? The answer, lest there be any doubt, is NO!
As I settle in, I find myself pondering Stephanie’s query about self-care in her own recent Monthly Chai Date post. It’s a good question. I definitely have been out on my bike more often (go Stephanie–it feels great, doesn’t it?!). There’s a monster of a hill on my ride home, but I’m noticing that I’m a teensy weensy bit less out of breath and sweaty coming home this week as opposed to last week. Rawr!
I feel a bit guilty admitting to you all online that I didn’t study super hard for these most recent finals. It’s not that I blew them off, per se, but really…I think sometimes the most valuable lesson of nursing school is really learning how to prioritize–and that in and of itself is definitely a form of self-care. Follow that up with then trusting your gut instinct, whatever it may be…and being able to defend it, if needed.
Taking another sip, I will giddily share that I am so excited to be able to read for once. I let myself bring one real book, Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie’s Americanah. There’s also the usual selection of ACOG Green Journals and ACNM Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health issues that I haven’t caught up on…but in the spirit of traveling light, I left school-related stuff at home.
I’ve been super into the awesome Swedish mystery series Annika Bengzton, found on Netflix. It’s a mix between Sherlock and Forbrydelsen (The Danish original, re-made into The Killing in English), two shows I also adore. I’ve been rocking out to old-school Maná and Shakira, in anticipation of this trip to Mexico. Also…can I just say out loud…I’m still digging that Beyoncé album from December. Sometimes when I’m driving alone, I just crank it up. So. Much. Fun.
“Finishing our last sips, I would ensure I have asked as much as I have shared. What was your most hilarious moment over the past few weeks? What possible adventures do you have coming up? What have been your sources of strength and growth? What awesome works in your profession have been lighting your fire lately, and what changes in yourself have you noticed?”
Going back to Steph’s end of post questions…I’d share that my most hilarious moment recently may have been with a doula client and their partner. They’re also friends of mine, and we’ve been having a great time at our prenatals, one of which may have involved a game of Cards Against Humanity. My belly hurt so much by the end of the evening!
Ya’ll now know about my upcoming adventure (I’ll try to share some pics on FB and Twitter)…
As far as sources of strength and growth–well, I continue to find so much inspiration in my fellow classmates. I feel like we’ve all been so helpful to one another during the ups and downs of this quarter…and now, we are all standing on the brink of the last term of nursing school. Only ten weeks of clinical practicum (ok, also a big stupid exam) separate us from those coveted initials RN. I cannot imagine doing this program without the amazing students walking this journey with me.
I love Steph’s last question: What awesome works in your profession have been lighting your fire lately?
I love that ACNM is starting another round of surveying its members about diversity and inclusion among the midwifery profession. It should come as no surprise that diversity is a particular passion of mine and I’m so excited that as an official student member, I can start using my voice and experience to support positive change.
I admit, I haven’t been as fully plugged into the midwifery world lately…I’ve been more focused on learning more general stuff for my acute class. But at the end of June I will be starting my last clinical practicum on labor and delivery/MBU, and I.Can’t. Wait. One of my first project’s is a presentation on antenatal management of gestational diabetes. Anyone with interesting articles or suggestions of things to talk about should feel free to share!
And with that, I will swig down the last drops of chai and then head off to board this flight! ¡Viva las vacaciones!