I just wanted to check-in and see how is everybody doing in the midst of COVID-19 with many places having mandatory Stay at Home Orders! Comment below and let me know how YOU are doing. It is okay to not be okay, so if you’re not okay, you can say that! I am here for you!
Today is the end of our 5th week of being at home and honestly, I am living my best life. I LOVE QUARANTINE! I know that this is an unpopular opinion and I have no intention of trying to convince anyone else about being as happy about being at home as I am, but let me elaborate on why I feel this way! Before I started veterinary school 4 years ago, I was a Stay at Home Mom for the first 9 months of my daughter’s life. Y’all, it was the best time of my life!
I was learning so much about myself as a woman, as a mother, and eventually as a wife! Now, I was an unconventional “stay at home”, because I didn’t actually stay at home at all. I nannied/babysat for a few families every day to have an income because I quickly realized that there was NO WAY that I was going back to my job as a Dog Trainer after birthing my beautiful love child. I found and befriended the most wonderful people and was able to bring my own child while watching theirs. If you have never been around a baby to see them grow into their personality and turn in to real tiny humans, you have been missing out! It is SUCH a beautiful thing!! The short of it all is that I loved it.
In July 2016, we closed on our first house in Knoxville, TN, literally across the state from where we had been and where I’m from, because we needed somewhere to live when I started my veterinary school in August. (Quick Recap for newcomers: I deferred my acceptance to vet school for a year because I found out a was pregnant. It was a whole thing. I figured it out. It’s fine.) Moving was STRESSFUL, as my husband was already in Knoxville working, so with the help of my sister and several of our friends, we packed up all of our belongings and moved across the state! While closing on our house is exciting, it also means that my days spent entirely with my daughter would soon be coming to an end.
If you made it this far, How are you doing? *Let me knowwwww*
Unsurprisingly, I started veterinary school in August of 2016. While I was eager about finally starting this final chapter of my educational career, I was also devastated at the thought of having to be away from my daughter from 8-5 every day to be in class. Having to leave her everyday made me feel HORRIBLY guilty, selfish, and depressed. I spent the 1st 3 years of veterinary school coming home during the day WHENEVER I could. If class got out early, I went home. Every day for lunch, I went home. If I was having a hard time paying attention and knew I could watch it at home, I went home. It wasn’t until she started attending daycare (at almost 3 years old), that I finally started being more involved at school because I didn’t feel obligated to rush to her while she was having fun at daycare!
After 3 years in the classroom, it was time to start my clinical year. Clinical year is the worst. You take several 2-4-week specialty-focused (Dermatology, Neurology, Anesthesia, etc) rotations in a veterinary hospital setting for a year. The part that’s difficult is that your time is no longer your own. Our very scheduled 8-5 days expanded and loss any sense of scheduling regularity. Some days I was at school at 6am and wouldn’t leave until after 8 or 9pm. It just depended on the caseload or workload of the rotation. So, I’m sure that it goes without saying, but I hated clinical year for that reason. Don’t get me wrong, I love most of the work and do enjoy finally being able to apply my learning and really get those neurons firing, but all and all, it’s very chaotic, stressful, and it’s not a mentally healthy environment.
On Monday, I start my last 2-week rotation of veterinary school! Isn’t that CRAZY?! Up until 5 weeks, I really felt like I had no control over the majority of my life. I’ve been asking how are you doing, but giving you the backstory necessary to tell you how I have been. (I’ve also been asking you to let me know how you are doing, but we shall see who does that!) Let me be clear, I’m not grateful for the havoc, deaths, financial instability, or decrease in overall existing of the world that came along with COVID-19. All I’m saying, is that I have thoroughly enjoyed before FORCED to stay in my house with my husband and our daughter for weeks on end! I say forced, but I’d do it on purpose if I had the option and it was realistic.
In these 5 weeks, my daughter’s vocabulary has blossomed, again. I mean, just yesterday, she said “what the hell?” just to be testy and 100% knew that it wasn’t something she should’ve been saying. Okay, maybe that’s not the greatest example, but we have definitely been working on her reading, writing, speech, and fine motor skills. The best part is that we have been doing all of these things mostly on our own time!
Taking a break from our walk!
Like I said, I am still in school. Instead of letting us graduate early in light of COVID-19 like they had initially advertised, they moved our clinically-based curriculum online. There were most certainly (and still are) some growing pains with this process, but so far, my schedule is absolutely planned. We have to have to get the contact hours necessary to still qualify for graduation via meetings on Zoom. We have to be available for meetings during business hours, but most rotations have a schedule. This allows me to tend to my other needs at home accordingly and continue furthering my education. I won’t lie and say my house is cleaner because it AIN’T, but my mental health has improved SO MUCH.
I know that everyone processes everything different, and we should! That is what makes us all unique and makes life such an interesting melting-pot of personalities and opinions. BUT I would be lying if I said I hated quarantine. Despite still being in vet school, I just feel so liberated and have so much more to give to my many obligations.
I LOVE being able to see help my daughter throughout the day in between my own learning on zoom calls. Laria, AKA me, loves walking down the hall and peeking in the Boom Boom room to SEE my husband working. Sometimes I just want to give him a hug or a kiss and run away; and for the past 5 weeks, I have been doing that! I love being able to eat all of our meals together. I love having the opportunity to go on family walks to get some sunshine and exercise. For me, the positives so disproportionately outweigh the negatives! To be frank, I do feel a little guilty about that, but alas, I have spoken my truth. They say the truth will set you free, right? Well, I guess I’m free now!
Now, how is everybody doing? Let me know!
Enough about how I’m doing, how is everybody doing? How are you managing all of these changes? Comment below and let me know! And if you haven’t already, check out my last post about the Molekule Mini Air Purifier. It is a dope device! And as always, thank you for reading.