Oh 4th year.. you hold so many endless and wonderful possibilities! It is so strange to me to actually have time to just sit still. I don’t feel guilty if I don’t do anything when I get home from work. I can just be. There are no tests to study for, no need to spend hours at coffee shops pouring over medical texts, that yes are interesting, but are not at the top of my “want to read” list. I can actually read books, FOR FUN, at coffee shops on the weekends. I can have extended, drawn out conversations with friends without the nagging pressure in the back of my head screaming, “you still have 40 pages left to read today!” It is the most surreal feeling. I am still struggling with the accompanying guilt of vegging out on the couch for a day, but it is getting better.. slowly. Though, I have noticed how much more productive I am when I have a to-do list 5 miles long versus two things to do all day. Oh, the woahs and struggles of self-discipline and time-management.
So other than focusing on being in the now, in the present and appreciating the moments of stillness, I am embracing my newly acquired free time with a bucket list to complete for the year. I am incredibly thankful for a year of freedom, where I have the time to branch out and get to know San Antonio//elsewhere.
4 T H Y E A R B U C K E T L I S T :
1. Bike around the Missions in San Antonio – You can rent bikes downtown and pedal the 16 mile round trip to see 4 historic missions.
2. First Friday Pub Run – The first Friday of every month, San Antonio holds a costume-dressing, beer-drinking, pub-running crazy fest through downtown and the riverwalk.
3. Mardi Gras in NOLA – Who doesn’t want to experience this at least once in their lifetime?? Not only am I excited for parades // masks // festivities, I am SUPER excited to stroll through New Orleans, admiring the French Quarter and eating beignets.
4. F I E S T A – San Antonio’s annual event that began in 1891 and now spans 10 days, and includes parades // festivals // tons of activities // music // and a never-ending supply of food.
5. Snowboard – I want to make my way to the top of at least 3 different mountains to board down. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am OBSESSED with snow and snowboarding has been a new hobby of mine since medical school. I hope to one day race Whitney down the mountain… I have a ways to go to get that good!
6. Try 10 new SA restaurants – Almost completed with 9/10 so far!!
7. Visit the SA art museums – C H E C K! Whitney and I visited the McNay and the San Antonio Museum of Art as study breaks during STEP studying. And this year, I am enrolled in Art Rounds: a longitudinal elective that meets twice/month to learn the art of observation.. starting with art. We meet at the McNay for half of the sessions and are assigned one piece of art to study throughout the semester.
8. Learn to knit – C H E C K! I spent some quality time with youtube learning how to knit earlier this summer. I made an infinity scarf for my sister-in-law for her birthday. It wasn’t exactly perfect.. but it’s the thought that counts, right??
9. Float the river – Oh, Texas rivers.. they are a joke compared to most rivers, spanning like 20 feet. But roping together 20 tubes, including the necessary tube for the cooler, and leisurely floating down the river at a snails pace while getting burnt to a crisp is classic Texas summer behavior. And I can’t wait to do it again!
10. Ceramic class – I found a ceramics class in San Antonio that meets weekly at night, which hopefully I will be signing up for in November. I have always wanted to learn how to mold and form clay into beautiful pieces of pottery!!
11. Make a quilt – Oh, mom.. you get pulled into this one. One time, a LONG time ago, my mom and I made a quilt for my newborn nephew. It was loads of fun and I don’t remember an ounce of how we did it. Luckily, my mom still has the materials, so I won’t be putting forth another arm and a leg at Hobby Lobby.
12. Wine && dinner night with the girls – GIRLS NIGHT!! Need I say more?
13. Play soccer with Whit – For those who don’t know, Whitney was an all-star soccer player, starting on a state-winning team and playing Varsity as a freshmen. She is a speedy lil’ devil and I am fully expecting her to show me her skills!!
14. Big Bend // Marfa road trip && camping – Let’s drive out to the boondocks and camp in the desert, on the border, and toast some marshmallows.
15. Fredericksburg Wine Tours – I don’t even like wine, not usually at least. But I love learning about the process, fermenting grapes into a sparkling alcoholic drink. Plus, Fredericksburg is located in the beautiful hill country, which is unlike any other Texas landscape.
16. Zilker Kite Festival – Austin’s annual kite-flying event where people frolic around the park for the day enjoying the sunlight and fresh air.
17. Singing lessons – I know it sounds strange, but I have always wanted to learn proper singing technique. I bypassed choir in elementary school, faring screeching strings in orchestra and obnoxious blasts of trumpets in band instead. So I have zilcho knowledge on the art of singing. It will be incredibly embarrassing, but a necessary evil.
18. Beer brewing – I don’t even like beer. But again, it’s all about the process. My goal is to find someone who is home-brewing and help // watch the process.
19. Sip coffee outdoors – I love watching the steam of hot beverages swirling up into the air with the great outdoors in the background. I want to take more time this year to enjoy meals outside in the fresh air.
20. Sea World – My only experience with Sea World was nearly losing my head in a dolphin’s mouth when I was two-years-old. Needless to say, I should probably see the glories of Sea World from an adult height. Maybe, I will even be splashed by an orca.
21. Austin && all of its attractions – Graffiti art // foodies paradise // poetry slams // music festivals.. the list goes on && on. I intend on making the short 1 1/2 hour drive over to the capital at least once per month.
22. Journal // Reflect more – I love writing and having the time to actually internalize and ruminate over my experiences (not that I write well AT ALL, but it’s therapeutic). So often I find myself too busy running from clinic to studying to bed, that I forget to reflect on what I have learned, how I have changed // grown, and how I can become better.
23. Keep up with the gratuity journal – Whit && I started a gratuity journal last year, thanks to the wonderful advice of our dean, Dr. Valdez. We write in it almost daily with our lists on opposite pages. We wanted to share our reasons for thankfulness with each other to enhance the experience. We sometimes forget to do this integral piece of reflection when we are busy and I want to make it a priority.
24. Write more snail mail – Who doesn’t feel loved when they crack open their mailboxes and find a piece of non-junk mail, something that someone actually took more than 10 seconds to put together. Taking the initiative and effort to hand write notes has been lost on our generation and hopefully, with time, it will become a habit of mine to write letters to my loved ones.
As the year goes on, I’m sure that this list will grow longer and longer. At least I have a place to begin. And please tell me about any other great opportunities in this area or cool new hobbies, etc. Have a wonderful Saturday!!