Counting Down

Most of my adult life has been spent in school. I measured time in semesters, blocks and rotations for ten years after high school.

Anatomy, histology, and biochemistry in first year medicine; pathology and pharmacology in second year. Eight weeks of surgery, eights weeks of internal medicine, four weeks of emergency, a two-week elective. Each rotation was further broken down by location: two weeks of office OB/GYN, six weeks on the ward. Even individual days were labeled pre-call, on-call, or post-call.

At the start of residency, I was given a calendar detailing the next one hundred and four weeks of my life, in blocks. I colour-coded it.

It's a bit of a shock, then, at the end of it all, to just . . . live. I caught myself crossing days off the calendar in the month after residency, and wondered what I was counting down to. Life's end?

Sometimes now I feel I'm bobbing in open water. No clean starts and stops. No neatly labeled blocks of time. No knowing what's next.

Sometimes a timetable would be nice.