5 Days of Thankful

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Somehow I haven't blogged since last Thursday. How does this keep happening?! Well for one, I had an insanely busy weekend and part of it was consumed by a headache that started Sunday morning at 5 am. Until last night around 8 pm, I felt like someone was stabbing me in the eye socket with an ice pick. It's not a feeling I recommend. My friend's mom recommended that I see a pain management neurologist about some lidocaine injections into my neck, which sounds terrifying, but hey, I had cortisone injections into my spine, so what's the difference?

Anyway, let's be thankful for some things!

Day 15: An annoyance
I kind of call bull on this. Who is ever thankful for an annoyance? I guess if I had to pick something, I'd be thankful for alarms. Weird, right? In our old apartment, our smoke alarm was stupidly placed right outside of the kitchen, and even though we rarely burned things, even just excess steam or sometimes heat or maybe because it was a Thursday, our smoke alarm would go off and blare forever. Heaven forbid we actually burned things, because then it was nearly impossible to shut it up. Once, at midnight, it decided that it needed a new battery and since I'm a terrible adult who doesn't keep 9 volt batteries in her apartment, poor Ken had to go out to CVS in his pajamas to acquire a new one. Apparently, if you take the old battery out, there's a hardwired back up (which I guess is good in case your battery dies and your house is on fire). But man, super annoying. BUT, I'm glad that they exist, because someday, if my house is on fire and I don't know it, I'd like something to alert me to that fact.

Day 16: Something you own
Right now, the thing I own for which I am most thankful is this giant bottle of Excedrin migraine because it is taking enough of the edge off of this "icepick in my eyeball" headache that I can kind of, sort of, do work and not crawl under my desk and cry. On a more regular basis, I'm thankful for many things. Here is a selection:

- My car. It's beautiful and has an awesome, dark red, leather interior. Even though I have replaced more than a few wheels on it (stupid Philly roads + low profile tires + aluminum rims = sad Alison) it's gotten me to Florida, Ohio, New York, Maryland, and various parts of Pennsylvania. It got me to class in undergrad and grad school, and it gets me to work every day. It has handled snow and extreme rain, and it's allowed me to see my friends and family without ever having to worry about how I'd get there. It allows me to give my classmates rides home after class ends at 9:30 at night, and it gives me the freedom to pretty much come and go as I please. Also, I put the money down but my dad made the payments, so I now own a car and my credit seriously improved (because I was listed on the car loan). Win-win, I say!

- My bed. Oh man, do I love my bed. Ken and I bought a new mattress when we moved into our first apartment together because my bed from home was only a double and we wanted a queen size. It has a memory foam topper built into the pillow top and I am obsessed with it. It is the most comfortable mattress I've ever owned. I wish I was in my bed right now, actually. Only 10 hours until I can go back there....

- My phone. Like most 20-somethings, I'm probably definitely a little way too addicted to my smart phone. I didn't get a smart phone until a few years ago and I didn't really see the appeal at first, but now I am obsessed with it. Unlike most people though, I still use my phone to call people, and would rather call than text or email. Yes, I'm that annoying person that calls you, still. I'm not apologizing. My phone allows me to call my best friends who have been flung all over the country (Kentucky, Wisconsin, Florida, and Texas, to name a few places) and it allows me to stay up to date on my email, the news, and blogs (the most important, obviously). I use my phone as a calendar/day planner, it gives me directions (which is important, b/c I'm a geographical disaster), and it let's me pass the time on the bus or when I'm waiting in line. I use it as my Kindle when I don't have my Kindle Fire with me, I use it to look up random things that I need (like bus schedules or movie times), and I use it to write myself to-do lists and reminders. I seriously don't know what I'd do without it, but I can guess that I'd probably be missing appointments and lost somewhere in Delaware.

Day 17: A room
Over the weekend, Ken and I cleaned the condo, which isn't exactly an abnormal activity for us. Once a week, I dust, he vacuums the entire place (so much cat hair!) and takes the trash out, and I clean the bathrooms and the kitchen. We also usually end up doing a lot of laundry that day. If we have to skip a week, it's seriously noticeable and we both start to get antsy about the dirt. (Fortunately, we have similar levels of tolerance for clutter/dust, so we feel the need to clean at the same time, haha.) Anyway, I mention this because this weekend, we also finally got out proverbial excrement together and hung things on our walls. We have been living in our condo since early July and the walls were still woefully naked until Sunday. Also, the back of our living room was a random hodge-podge of furniture that really looked cluttered and weird, and there were two boxes full of pictures that had been hanging out behind the couch since we moved. We aren't even completely finished yet with the picture hanging, but man, things look SO much better! Our ketubah is up on the wall, as well as some of our engagement pictures, the Holstee manifesto, a still from the Alice and Wonderland remake, my print of Kissing the War Goodbye, and my signed poster from Joshua Radin. We are thinking of getting some of our wedding photos printed on canvas and hanging those as well, and I have a few collage frames that need to be updated before we can put those up. But now our living room/hallway looks so much nicer and it's so relaxing and warm to walk in there and feel like we actually live there. So... I'm thankful for our living room. Also, it's where we watch Netflix and snuggle with the cats, and it's also where we host game night, which is always a ton of fun. It also doesn't hurt that our sectional with the chaise lounge is there and is the second most comfortable place in the world (the first is my bed, duh.) Anyway, yay living room! We... live there now!

Day 18: A choice
I hate making decisions. It stresses me out. What if I make the wrong one? What if I ruin everything? Decisions usually send me into some kind of chaotic spiral of despair that just gets worse the longer I spend thinking about the decision. Choices are overwhelming. From ice cream flavors to shoes to what courses to take, choices mean decisions and decisions are stressful. One of the hardest choice I ever made was to leave med school, but that's not the choice for which I'm most thankful (although if I hadn't left Nova, I wouldn't have met Ken, and we can all agree that that would have been a travesty!) No, the choice I'm really thankful for recently is the choice I made to go back to medical school. Or rather, at least to attempt to go back to medical school. Nothing is certain as far as whether I'll get in, but I have a cautiously optimistic outlook on this application cycle. I'm proud of myself for realizing that this is really my dream, even if it seems totally insane. I'm thankful that I have the ability to make this choice, and that my options are only limited by my own drive at this point. When I decided that this was the path I was going to start down, I hadn't felt more like myself in ages. It felt good to finally feel like me (even if "me" felt slightly crazed). Now I'm in the thick of it and some days (okay, most days) I wonder what the hell I'm even doing, but I don't regret making this choice. Now I just hope it works out. Maybe ice cream flavors are easier...

Day 19: A book
I was literally just talking about my favorite books with my friend Jen yesterday. I'm sorry, I can't pick just one. So, without further adieu, here are my top ten non-fiction and fiction books:

Non-Fiction Favorites (in no particular order)

1. Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon
2. Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley
3. Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Dr. Atul Gawande
4. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
5. Let's Pretend this Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson
6. The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by AJ Jacobs
7. White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine by Carl Elliot
8. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
9. The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice Water Test, Beating Heart Cadavers -- How Medicine is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death by Dick Teresi
10. Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind by V. S. Ramachandran

Wow, I really like books whose titles use colons.

Fiction Favorites (also in no particular order)

1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (all 5 of them... yes it counts as one book)
2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
3. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
4. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
5. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
6. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
7. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
8. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
9. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
10. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Day 20: Something about your significant other or best friend
I could probably write a whole blog about my best friends and why I love them and am thankful for them. I think collectively, my favorite thing about Ken, as well as my best friends, is their ability to make me laugh. Often, they make me nearly cry with laughter. Even when I am feeling absolutely horrible, these people can make me smile, if just for a moment. They provide me with such joy and remind me that life doesn't always have to be so serious. They're the best, basically.

And now, I'm off to work on a hundred things for the rest of the day. I'm planning some fun posts coming up in addition to the last 8 days of The Thankful Project! Have a good day, everyone!

- A


  1. Hello there! I loved catching up on your posts-very clever to put them all in one post!! I hate making decisions too-totally stresses me out!! And kudos to you for making plans to get back into med school. My younger sister by two years recently left a pretty decent job and budding career in consulting to go back to undergrad for her degree in bio so she can be a pediatric surgeon-her dream since day 1!

    I'm inspired by you and her and everyone else who has made the choice to leave "security" to pursue their dreams-I'm on that path myself! Send me a Good Jesus (I don't say good luck)!!

    1. Hi there! Glad you enjoyed the posts. Good luck to your sister! I also want to work in pediatrics when I finish medical school. I work in clinical research in the peds oncology department now and I know that's where my heart is. Good luck with pursuing your dreams too, even if it's scary! :)

  2. Good luck with med-school - I think it is great that you are heading back to it!



Leave me a note! I always reply and I love meeting other bloggers!

Designed By Graciously Designed.