Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's a beautiful day

Some might think U2. I, conversely, think of Mr. Rogers. This is because I'm a bit less than hip. I'm pretty OK with that.

That's a good thing, actually, as I just traipsed around my neighborhood in purple, stripey, sleepy pants, a messy ponytail and a digital camera, asking my floppy eared dog to pause while I took pictures of all the flowering trees. It's almost painfully pretty here lately - everything is delicate and soft and new.

The light was a bit strange - the day can't decide whether it prefers sunshine or clouds so there's a rapid switching between the two as the breezes sometimes edge into winds. I'm not sure if it's weather or stress, but I had a headache this morning. It was severe enough for me to resort to Tylenol PM after about an hour - at least I'd be unconscious, I thought. Soon after, I cuddled into pillows, winced at the pain in my head and fell back to sleep.

(Oh, look! That's my puppy in the bottom left corner of the pink flower picture! I didn't notice she was there before now.)

When I woke, I answered a couple of emails, briefly debated dressing and heading to the office, wrinkled my nose and flopped on the couch to breathe in the fresh air coming through the open windows. A bit bored and feeling too woozy from excessive sleep to work (any excuse is a good excuse!), I decided to take a brief walk to take a few pictures and clear my head. I decided on flip flops since there's a tiny blister on my pinky toe. But I kept seeing all the white trees and while they're quite lovely, I knew there were pink flowers out there too. Chienne was willing to continue her explorations, having been awakened from a nap already to head outside.

"Hello." I called to the woman tending her garden. I'd stopped to capture an image of some daffodils - the yellow flowering bushes just weren't pretty enough yet. I decided not to tell my neighbor down the street that I required some contrast when I redesigned my blog header. She waved before bending to pat tiny seedlings into soft dirt. I breathed in the scent of earth and rain.

I've noted before that I'm rarely more aware of my surroundings than when I'm carrying a camera. I felt a bit like I was on a scavenger hunt for pretty. Instead of plotting a book chapter or scowling over people who refuse to do what I want them to do at work or idly wondering how many calories I was burning, I just looked around. And while I have been aware of my environment of late - it's quite hard to ignore that many blossoms - I'm often distracted by the garbage in my head rather than giving over to the perfection in a single petal as it clings to its tiny friends at the center of a little cluster of like minded individuals. Until I got close enough to fill my view with the plant, I hadn't noticed how some of the blossoms had already released their grip to litter the grass with color.

So I ended up taking one of the longer routes, trying to recall where the prettiest plants were located. I moved much more slowly - my feet starting to protest my choice of shoe - and just looked around.

I don't aspire to greatness, I realized. I have no desire to win awards or obtain vast fortunes. I don't need a paper in Nature. I'm really OK with applying established protocols in patients I see - if we find something novel, great. If we just improve patient care for those specific patients, I'm completely OK with that too. I don't even know that I want to be faculty somewhere. I'm fine with my current professional status on some level. I'd like to have a husband and children. Enough money for comfort, but not so much that I have to leave my comfortable middle class bracket. I'd like to laugh more than I sigh. See more people who receive genuine smiles than forced polite nods.

For now, I have a job that allows me to work from home when I'm headachy. Projects that are beginning to get started and people who send email that indicates my particular planning path may have been rougher than most. This soothes my poor ego a bit - this getting started period has been excessively long and it's hard not to feel inadequate and dumb about that. It somehow matters a bit less lately though. Perhaps I'm distracted by all the pretty flowers.


phd me said...

How beautiful! I love blooming trees...

flossie said...

I'm jealous! You must be in hardiness zone 6 or higher? I'm in Zone 5, and so far we've got nothin'.

Estrella said...

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I really appreciated what you said. :-) The flowers are lovely! In CoolCity, we were fortunate enough to have 70 degree weather on Monday, but then it snowed today... Until the weather here makes up its mind, I'll dream of Springtime and enjoy looking at your pictures!

post-doc said...

I too love the blooming trees, PhD Me. And I appear to have caught your sleeping problems as I'm not currently dreaming.

I'm in 6! I had to look it up. So your turn must be coming fairly soon.

I think we're pretty firmly into Spring down here - just one day of snow that I remember.

And you're always welcome for the comments. I really do think you'll be just fine, though I certainly understand the worry, lists and work that come with big decisions like that.

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