“The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” – Allan K. Chalmers
Boredom, Isolation, and Loneliness of FIRING During a Global Pandemic:
In August 2019, we moved to Gainesville, Florida, to give our boys a more rural upbringing, etc. In early 2020, we sensed possible danger on the horizon and quickly moved up our home purchasing plan. So we looked at the sparse real estate inventory and bought a house.
Just as we settled in, COVID-19 hit. We hunkered down, self-isolating because my husband’s a front-line doc. We didn’t want to unknowingly spread Covid.
Never before had I felt this socially isolated. We were in a new city with a tiny support network. For a social introvert like myself, the extreme social deprivation due to self-isolating was beyond tough. I was going stir-crazy and desperately craved human interaction.
‘Living the dream’ of FIRE isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Even with our hands full with young kids, quasi-retirement turned out to be boring during our period of prolonged self-isolation.
Only with this realization did I understand why some actual older retired folks without hobbies or many friends are bored out of their minds. (Though, in retrospect, I realize maybe they’re not self-aware enough to understand that what they’re doing is acting out their boredom…).
It was only after I made the excruciating decision to return to work that I realized I yearned to be back with my doctor community. They were in the trenches and I wasn’t.
Bonnie Koo, MD of Wealthy Mom MD has written a finance book for females. Before I tell you about my book review, let me tell you about Dr. Koo. She’s a board-certified dermatologist best known for being passionate about teaching personal finance strategies designed specifically for women physicians since 2016. Dr. Koo has gone on to become a certified life coach with The Life Coach School.
I’ve been so excited for years for this book to come out because I knew she had a great money book for women—and the specific challenges women face with money—in her. So I eagerly loaded Dr. Koo’s book up the first chance I got and listened to it while driving from Tampa to Gainesville.
People much wiser than myself recommend picking a word for each year. After the dumpster fire of 2020, I decided the word I needed for 2021 was HEALTH. I even wrote it across the top of our wall sized, yearly planner in big, block letters.
At the start of COVID, I stress-lost weight, then immediately gained back more than double. Going into 2021, I was determined to fit back into my clothes again (it’s frightening how living in one pair of yoga pants (or scrubs) lends itself to not realizing you can’t fit into the rest of your wardrobe!).
Here’s the list of things that helped me finally lose weight by the end of 2021. I hope you can find some helpful tips in case, like me, you’d prefer to start using the rest of your wardrobe again:
If you’re burnt out from Covid and contemplating exploring nonclinical options, this book is for you. 50 Nonclinical Careers for Physicians is full of information on finding fulfilling, meaningful, and lucrative alternatives to direct patient care.
Dr. Sylvie Stacy wrote a much more comprehensive, and up-to-date book than this book review I did here.Physicians in Transition was a dated compilation of twenty-five interviews with physicians who quit clinical medicine and explored other ventures as ways to not only make money, but find more fulfilling careers.
Last summer, I was a beta tester in a Montana Money Adventures’ class, along with a Coloradoan lady doctor who is half of Wander All Year. We’ve kept in touch while she (and I) both used that class as our springboard for sabbaticals. Now she’s traveling the world with her family.
I was bombing as a medical educator, and I knew it.
Five days a week I was teaching Fellows how to navigate the inpatient hospice world, but I was still failing these about-to-graduate physicians. Some had up to $650,000 in student loan debt, but I was sending them on their way to attending-hood without the real education they needed to survive long term.