Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November General Meeting

This month ATSU's very own Tom VanVleck came to address us on stress management and developing communication between us and our significant others. For those that missed it, it was good to get a little up-lifter. For those of us that were there, it was great to get the juices flowing for asking questions and bettering our relationships.

Sometimes, as much as I'd like to think that my student and I have it all together, we can always use some pointers to make it better. As much as I have some answers and opinions, nobody's relationship is perfect. I think its hard for many of us to see that we aren't the only ones, and that medical school is tough on everyone. 

Here are a few introspective gems that I took away from Tom's advice:

#1 How can you make the relationship more together than you when you are a part?
     I think my student and I sometimes forget to live in the moment. We spend a lot of time looking toward the future and sacrificing for it. Our future is really supported with hopes, dreams and efforts. However we really don't put nearly as much energy in enjoying the now. Collette made a comment I really appreciated that as much as we are excited for our futures in the medical world, we still are living here and now. We shouldn't spend so much time thinking about later when we could really be enjoying the moment. 

#2 We all have the ability to choose how our relationship is going to grow and develop. 
      Just because we have chosen someone to be with, doesn't mean lives come to a halt. Interests and adventure is still out there. I know we could really focus more on getting to know one another. There is no reason we should be courting each other like we did when we first met. 

#3 Know when to move on, holding a grudge does nothing positive.
     I have been guilty of just stewing about how mad I am, and in the end it's never developed anything. I think there is a lot of power in quick forgiveness and the benefit of the doubt. Being angry takes a lot of energy, I don't feel I can sacrifice any energy as the day to day is stressful enough. 

#4 We all need to say Thank You more often. 
      I remember when I used to keep a gratitude journal. When Tom addressed this topic, I kept thinking about that experience in my own life. It was really uplifting to sit down and think of all the good things that happened during the day. I think making an effort to verbalize to each other how grateful I am, even that my student spends an extra min to drag the trash can back to the house, would really make a difference in our daily attitude toward one another. 

#5 So little of what we say contributes to our relationship. 
     Tom was referring to our daily conversations with each other. How often are we just talking about business? 

#6 We all need to feel as though we haven't failed each other. 
      Each of us is going to live up or down to expectations. I feel as though I fall short often. The good thing is (and this is why I fell in love so hard) for me, I am of value because of the supportive companionship I provide to my student and he never fails at letting me know he isn't going to give up. Regardless of how many times I fall on my face. I know we just started med school, but I hope we don't ever let that go away. 

Tom ended with the example of happy lottery winners. Of all the people that won it big, those that were over the moon happy with their winnings, were already happy with even just $5 in their pocket. The power of positive thinking is huge, and can be a life changing factor in dealing with our daily strife in medical school if we let it.