You know the song; it’s every 18-year-old’s anthem, by the Soup Dragons. It goes, “I’m free/to do what I want/any ol’ time” and boy howdy if it didn’t hit the mark tonight.
See, graduation was somewhere around a month ago. We’ve definitely gotten used to the fact that we’ll never have school again. Seminars, weekend training, perhaps a 5-day intensive every so often, sure, but not school.
For the last 4 weeks, we’ve been either slaving to the grind in San Antonio trying to find a home base for the practice, or we’ve been at home downloading albums of new flamenco and watching Cops 2.0 reruns (whilst trying our damnedest to ignore the annoying RSS-feed-like crap across the bottom one-third of the screen).
What I didn’t anticipate was this resurgence of new-grad relief and euphoria that hit me this afternoon, quite out of the blue. I had lost track of days (OK, I lost track of an entire week, but who’s watching?) and I sort of thought that it was only January 3rd, so when of the former professors I had friended on Facebook started posting “back to school tomorrow”-esque comments in their statuses, I did a double-take.
First off, it’s that time already??
And second, holy shit! For the first time since I-can’t-remember-when (at least 8 years), I’m actually off the hook! That’s right, folks, I don’t have to scramble at the end of the night tonight because I procrastinated gathering all my school stuff together. I don’t have to strategize any manipulation of my body clock to force me to become ready for sleep ahead of schedule. I don’t have to set an alarm tonight! And I don’t have to wake up at the butt-crack of dark tomorrow morning to go fight traffic just so I can fall asleep through some more classes.
And guess what? I won’t have any new professor-prepared books of class notes (well, Power Point slide outlines) to sift through to see what sort of a trimester butt-kicking I’m about to receive.
And as the week goes on, I won’t have to feel guilty about the increasing pile of material I have to study. I don’t even have to get in touch with a roster of people to line up appointments (although I do miss treating, and I look forward to starting again). I don’t have to lug big heavy backpacks, clinic binders, exam bags, computer laptop backs, or lunch containers over my shoulders. I don’t have to surrender the back seat of my truck to a bunch of crap that should, by all rights, have its own safe space at a building other than my house.
Nope, I get to keep watching Cops. While picking out a second movie. And eating that second bowl of ice cream. Because I can. And probably somewhere around 1am, after passing out at the computer for about 45 minutes, I’ll wander into the home office and check on a couple of downloads, maybe move a few files or burn a CD-R or 5. When I’m good and ready, I’ll go to bed. Of my own free will. Probably sometime around 3am; that’s the usual these days. I’ll set an alarm, but only because I don’t want to end up feeling like I’ve wasted the day tomorrow. I’ll still snooze the hell out of it, though. Because I can.
The cats are tickled pink. My partner is tickled pink, because he’s in the same boat. I’m tickled pink. I know these Lazy Days of Slack won’t last forever; hell I’m probably the most keenly aware of that fact than anybody. But I do know that they’re here now. For the time being, we’re sort of beholden to no one, and we have complete control over our schedule. I wonder if this is what being retired is like? You lose track of days (or weeks) and look at each other and say, “well? What do you want to do today?” I could definitely get used to this.
Heh, I say that now, but I’m one restless chica. I couldn’t just sit around like this perpetually. I’d get bored inside of another month, if not sooner. No, I’m giving myself license to do this now because I just got my ass kicked for the better part of 8 years. I became a doctor, earned 2 BS degrees, obtained and maintained a massage therapy license and additional NMT certification, started a massage therapy practice from scratch and built that while simultaneously working at another facility, AND doing all the driving for 2 people working different schedules at different places. And during undergrad, we often attended 2 separate campuses at a time.
In short, I both deserve and desperately need this time off, and ditto for my husband, who did pretty much everything I did, and for just as long. We also know that this is the calm before another storm, the “Taking San Antonio By” storm. We have a hell of a road ahead of us, meeting people, making connections, developing relationships, acquiring patients, diagnosing and treating them properly, meeting and exceeding our expenses, enduring our commute, and maintaining our sanity in the process. Yep, tall orders. My life has never known anything else. So I’m enjoying it while I can, knowing that even though it’s for a limited time only, it is pretty damned liberating.
Now where is that ice cream scoop?