My time off started at the home of a close friend, where we celebrated the end of the world that (shockingly) never came. I almost didn't go to the party, as I realized at the last minute that I wouldn't know anyone there except the hostess and her
The following morning, I got up way earlier than I wanted to in order to join a friend (henceforth called the Surgeon) at her home for brunch. I'm lucky if I see her once a month outside of work, so it was worth not getting enough sleep to spend a few hours catching up with her. Later that day, I went to a birthday party for my grandmother, who was turning 91. It was lovely to see my grandma and a lot of family whom I hadn't seen in a while, but also bittersweet. My grandmother's memory gets worse almost every time I see her, and it was sad that she couldn't remember the type of work that I do ("You're in business, right?") and that she mistook my brother for my Dad more than once. As well, my uncle/god father was missing from the celebrations, as he's in the midst of palliative therapy for cancer and not doing well. Joy and sorrow, side by side, as is often the case.
My next two days off were pretty laid back, as I'd actually managed to get most of my holiday preparations done in advance. I still had to make sweet potato casserole and French onion soup and creme brulle for various events, but it was all done without stress, and I was left with enough time to do things purely for fun. Like read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks because, as mentioned, I am a geek who reads science books in my spare time. I also made homemade marshmallows for the first time, which was much easier than expected and made me feel very impressed with myself and my culinary skill. Until I inadvertently mixed up the recipe and had to scrap my first batch....but the second one was tasty.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning were spent at my brother's house with the munchkins, which is the absolute best way to celebrate Christmas. It warms even the coldest atheist's heart to see kids excitedly ripping open their presents on Christmas morning. I walked away with a decent haul myself, including a gorgeous oven-proof Le Creuset frying pan that now has me dreaming of frittatas and other things that start on the stove top but finish in the oven. I ended Christmas Day at my Mom's house in the country, where we tried to watch Amelie together (one of my top 10 all-time favourite movies), but kept getting interrupted by my Mom's snoring. Clearly we have different taste in movies.
Today, the last day of holidays (*sniff*), I had a pretty laid-back Boxing Day with my niece's and my Mom at my house. We ate IKEA meatballs and a pre-packaged veggie tray while making Shrinky Dinks and playing Settlers of Catan, which was exactly how I wanted to spend the day. Aside from my Mom and I reaching the end of our patience with each other, it was a lovely way to end the holiday.
And so that brings me to the end. Tomorrow I begin a four-month long rotation as a senior resident, meaning that I will be in charge of morning teaching and of the consult service at the largest hospital in the city. I'm feeling somewhat ambivalent about the experience, as it'll be busy and somewhat stressful, although it should be a good learning experience. And there is no in-house call, which fills me with great joy. Although I may feel differently after four months of home call.
Here's hoping that everyone else had as lovely a break as I did. And if you're still on vacation, I'm bitterly jealous. Enjoy it!
*Further evidence that I am a geek right down to the core of my soul. And very happy to be one.
**Most places in Canada don't have Trader Joe's, so it always makes me happy when someone smuggles back their products from the States.