Whenever someone asks how residency is going, I just throw my shoulders up in casual despondency because a) I don’t really know and b) it’s easier than maneuvering an adult conversation on student loans. The same goes for questions about potty training, book deals, baby weight, and monochromatic nail art. I’m an expert shrugger. Put that on my résumé.
This week Austin started two more weeks of night shift which would be fine if night shift didn’t turn me into a sea witch who texts, “I think I should go back to grad school” at 2am. I guess if we’ve learned anything over these past three months, it’s that we are still learning how to do this and that nights apart are the worst. Silver lining: Netflix! Take-out dinners! Manically ordering area rugs online!
There are good rotations, too. Ones where he’s home for dinner and I’m free to pursue my dream of eating a Panera sandwich alone. Mostly I live my life in tiny blocks of time; two good weeks here, four bad weeks there. Oh look, a whole weekend! Ask me on a good day and this is really no different than any other 9-5 job, minus the hours of studying and crippling debt.
It’s really fine.
What surprises me the most is how easily we’ve fallen into a new rhythm. There I was, so afraid of changing our fragile little life, but as it turns out–we’re as flexible as Kim Kardashian’s vacation schedule. We can make it work.
Last night I took the kids to the library to blow off some steam despite rumors that libraries are for reading. Austin was working, and without him the evening hours stretch out longer than a bad episode of Gilmore Girls. As the kids read quietly/reenacted scenes from Gladiator, I made small talk with a dad in cargo shorts who said, “I just don’t know how you do it. I really don’t.”
I could only shrug.
We’re doing it, just like you and them and everyone else. One shrug at a time.