Thursday, April 30, 2020

Day 6: Into the Unknown

This post brought to you from my futon by tired eyes, relaxing afternoons, and, of course, coffee - with cinnamon!

Howdy y’all, and welcome to Day 6 of #100DaysofHannah!

As I sit down to write this post, I’ll admit, I have no idea where it’s going to go.
Which, I suppose, is what makes this 100 days of blogging so much different than my typical blogging style.  Normally, I only write when I feel like I have something to say, but here I find myself committed to a daily post, regardless of how much, or little, is on my mind.

But maybe that’s the point.
Seeing the beauty in the commonplace.
Finding meaning even in the monotony of routine.

Or maybe I’m just waxing too philosophical.

Who knows.
Definitely not me.

There’re a lot of unknowns right now.
Yes, with COVID-19 and the economy, but also with life.
For me, residency ends in 2 months and I’m supposed to decide where I’m spending the next year within the next 18 days.
And... I just don’t know - what to do, how to do it, where to go.

Some days living in a constant state of uncertainty is easy.
But other days?
It sucks.

I’ll admit, it’s hard for me to accept that that variance is okay.
I like being the person who has the answers and always sees the bright side and can find it easy to trust God and his loving kindness and tender mercies.
But that doesn’t mean it always comes easily.
Because some days it doesn’t.

I think that may just be the point.
Trusting when it’s hard forces me to look to Christ, rather than my own disposition, turning my self-reliance on it’s head, as in His abundant grace, He, once again, finds me just where I am.

How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called children of God - and that is what we are.

‘Til tomorrow: May your paths be straight, your faith strong, and your mind at peace.

-Hannah

PS:
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the most important part!
Question of the Day: What unknowns are you facing right now, and how are you handling them?
Challenge of the Day: Allow yourself to feel the hard emotions. It really is okay to not be okay.
Photo of the Day:


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Day 5: Distractions

This post brought to you by a mid-day work break, written from my make-shift standing desk while running in place and listening to some tunes.

Happy Wednesday, Day 5 of #100DaysofHannah, and day...40ish of quarantine, y’all!

Holy crap I have too much energy right now.
Like, I’m literally jumping up and down to every song that comes on my Google home.
Which either means I’m finally catching up on sleep (doubtful), I’ve had too much coffee (possible), or I’m crazy (definitely).
And also makes it incredibly difficult to focus on anything.. which, naturally, makes it a perfect time to blog!

Today’s topic?
Distractions :)

Call me crazy, but, as a whole, I don’t hate quarantine.
Sure, it sucks to be on the opposite side of the country from most of my friends and family, and it was initially a bit difficult to drop all the social interactions that I had just, after 25 years, learned to mostly like, but, the introvert in me has fully adjusted to this new normal.
As I mentioned two days ago, I’ve been able to embrace self-guided learning.  More than that though, I finally have the freedom to mostly build my own schedule. I never have to sit in traffic.  I can consistently intermittent fast without being concerned about running out of energy while in clinic.  I can jam out to music whenever I want.  I never have to sit down.  I can spend time outdoors without being concerned about getting too sweaty and being gross in the afternoon.  And dress code? That only exists during video required zoom calls!

Yes, quarantine and I are getting along quite well.

And our domestic partnership has undoubtedly been aided by some fantastic distractions that have quickly become some of the highlights of my quarantine life.

1) Family zoom calls.
When we started these, I honestly didn’t see the point.  I didn’t video conference anyone before COVID, so why in the world should I increase my communication just because I couldn’t travel?  While I still don’t necessarily see the logic of it, I’ve come to love playing name that tune ~2x/wk with my immediate family, and playing other games (quizzes on Kahoots and a lil bit of name that tune) with my extended family once a week.

2) YouTube.
Two of my favorite youtubers (Carrie Hope Fletcher and Oliver Ormson) have been releasing daily YouTube videos documenting their days on the other side of the pond.  It’s been fun to see how someone on the other side of the world is dealing with this global pandemic, and it gives me something to look forward to every morning and evening.

3) Going outside!
Y’all, getting out of the house ~3x/day has been essential to maintaining my sanity through this.  There’s something about fresh air and sunshine that just makes everything okay!

4) Chuck.
Okay, I don’t often watch TV or movies, and I even less frequently binge watch shows.  But, I may have gotten hooked on Chuck about a week ago, and, though I’ve read the synopsis of the entire series, still end up watching 8-9 episodes in a row.  Oops.

5) Podcasts.
Podcasts and I have a very on-again, off-again relationship... probably because whenever I get excited about something I go wayyy too extreme with it, which means I subscribe to 20 different podcasts and try to listen to them all at the same time. Not surprisingly, that makes me super burnt out, to the point of swearing off podcasts (despite the fact that my older brother and I have our own show) for months at a time.
Well, this time I’m trying to take it easier.  My current favorites are Jesus Culture PodcastAuthentic You Podcast, and Daily Audio Bible.

6) Music.
I love music - listening to it, analyzing it, making it, dancing to it, everything.  As I’m writing this post, I have listened to Waving through a Window approximately 12 times.  It makes me incredibly happy.  Haven’t listened to it? Check out the link!

There are definitely more highlights to quarantine that I haven’t touched on yet, but I should probably get back to work...huzzah!

But first:
Question of the Day: How do you keep your sanity during quarantine?
Challenge of the Day: Come up with 5 things that you’re grateful for during quarantine
Photo of the Day: 5a Severe Thunderstorm complete w/60 mph winds!

‘Til Tomorrow: May your energy be boundless, your distractions few, and your sanity intact.

-Hannah


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Day 4: Dreary

This post brought to you by a glimpse of sunshine after a dreary day, and 1.5 hours on the phone with IT.

Hello lovely people of the interweb, and welcome to day 4 of #100DaysofHannah!
Oh, what to talk about...

The first half of today was long - exceptionally long.
As I’ve already mentioned, I’m a morning person.  Good or bad, I try to hold to that even when I desperately need sleep... like I did this morning when my 5th day of 6 or less hours of sleep hit me like a ton of bricks.
Which meant that despite a glorious run and a large mug of coffee, by the time rounds concluded at 9a, I was dead.  After attempting to push through for another 45 minutes, I finally threw in the towel and laid down to rest.

Quarantine Life Lesson: 30 minute power naps, or even power rests, are the best.

While the nap did wonders for my motivation, the dreary day still left me feeling subpar.  (Okay, I really shouldn’t blame it on the day.  I’ve been feeling sick to my stomach for at least an hour a day for the past week.  No, I’m not pregnant.  Until otherwise determined, we’re just gonna say I’m tired.)

But two days of non-productivity are strictly prohibited in the world of working from home, so back to work I went.

The morning/afternoon continued to crawl by until about 3:00 when I placed a call to IT to try to get call forwarding set up between my work and cellphone to allow for ease of patient communication.  1.5 hours, a power outage, and 3 zoom calls later, my phone was (almost fixed) and the work day (minus an hour of FREE CE later this evening) was finished.

Thank God.

Question of the Day: Is it normal to feel sick when you’re tired?
Challenge of the Day: Get out of the house! Aim for at least 30 minutes outdoors doing some form of activity.
Picture of the day: Okay... So, this wasn’t actually from today.  It was from a year ago today, which happened to be my last day living in one of my favorite places in the world.

Now to go enjoy some of that sunshine before that next hour of productivity.

‘Til tomorrow: May your naps be restful, your days sunny, and your IT guy brilliant.

-Hannah

Monday, April 27, 2020

Day 3: Unproductive

This evening post brought to you by an exceptionally unproductive day of working from home.
And coffee.

First things first.
For those of you who are wondering (which, in all reality is probably none of you), no, I am not addicted to coffee.  Despite my frequent mention of it (as it is my current drink of choice), I actually just reinitiated coffee consumption a week ago after giving it up for nearly 3 months in an attempt to curb my (at times) excessive anxiety.  It honestly worked phenomenally, and will probably be implemented again once real life resumes.

So why am I drinking it now?
Because it tastes delicious.

Now onto the meat of this post.

Welcome to Day 3 of 100 Days of Hannah!

It’s Monday.
I’m not entirely sure how you can have a case of the Monday’s when you work from home, but apparently it’s possible. And so, while I should have written several pages of a case report, worked on my presentation for Friday, and prepped cases for next week, I... didn’t.
Well, I did, but not to the extent that I should have.

Oh well - c’est la vie, right?

Thankfully, working from home means that my productivity no longer is bounded by the confines of an 8-5 (or more 7:30-6) workday, which is probably one of my favorite parts of the quarantine life.  Provided I accomplish my weekly objectives, I am free to learn, teach, and write in my own way and at my own pace.

I think my enjoyment of this freedom and opportunity for self-guided learning is why I begged my parents to homeschool me from 3rd-10th grade (after which I resigned myself to the monotony of public education and made it my goal to challenge myself by attempting to ace my classes with as little effort as possible. Yes, my teachers hate(d) me.  Sorry guys - I didn’t (and don’t) function well when bored.)

Retrospectively, had they homeschooled me, my social ineptitudes would probably have been even greater than they are. So, thank you Mom and Dad for not indulging my wish to be pulled out of school.  And thank you to all the teachers that tolerated me despite the trouble that I put you through. I really do appreciate it.

To all the students hating having school at home - please enjoy it, for me. You’re living the life I begged for for years. Take advantage of it. Learn what you love. It’ll be worth it.

Okay, that’s enough of all that nonsense. Now onto the fun!

Question of the day: What motivates you?
Challenge of the day: Learn something new today! It can be as big or small as you want - just pick something!
Photo of the day: Drawings and masks from some of my favorite people 💕


‘Til tomorrow: May your coffee be black, your mailbox full, and your productivity unbounded.

-Hannah




Sunday, April 26, 2020

Day 2: Why Write?

This post brought to you from my favorite yoga mat on the floor of my apartment - and an unintentionally non-black cup of coffee.

Happy Sunday and Day 2 of #100daysofblog (also known as #100daystooffload)!

First off, thank you to everyone who commented, liked, and promoted yesterday’s post.  I never expected the initiator of this challenge (@kev@fostodon.org) to read my words - let alone share them with others.  After all, I’m just Hannah.

Which, I think, is the beauty of blogging: anyone can do it.

My journey with blogging started back in June of 2013 when, on the first day of summer, I decided to try my hand at public expression for the first time.  My love for writing though started much much earlier.  Before I learned how to write letters and words, I remember scribbling “stories” and “notes” in the little notebooks that my parents gave me.  In Kindergarten, I wrote and illustrated stories to document my adventures with friends.  In second grade, I wrote a 20 page story for what the other students averaged as a 2-3 page assignment.  (Consequently, I had page limits encouraged through high school.)  And it didn’t stop there, because the more I wrote, the more my love for writing grew.

But why? Why write?

For me, writing is cathartic - it allows me to express the thoughts and feelings that my introverted self would otherwise bottle up inside - to be heard, without having to say a word.

It was this desire to be heard that first brought me to the world of blogging.  The catch? As much as I wanted to be heard, I was terrified of anyone actually hearing me.  And so, for three years, I wrote under a pseudonym, allowing me to shout into the void of the interwebs with anonymity.

It was glorious.

Obviously, my life and blogs have changed over the past 7 years, and while I am amazed at the evolution that has taken place, I am simultaneously intrigued by all that has remained the same.

Like the fact that I’m still afraid to be seen, afraid to be heard.
Afraid that someday, as I shout into the void, another’s voice will call back.

But still I write.

Why?

Because I believe in the power of the written word.
Because writing gives a voice to those who may otherwise never find theirs.
Because this infinite combination of letters and words creates communities and cultures, even when the world is torn apart.
And ultimately, because in between these spaces, I’m free to be me.

Til tomorrow: May your words be empowered, your story be sacred, and your voice be heard.

-Hannah

PS: I promised questions, challenges and photos, so here goes.

Question of the day: How do you express yourself?
Challenge of the day: Be vulnerable! Find something you’re afraid to say, and say it anyway.
Photo of the day:

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Day 1: Mornings

This post brought to you while sitting outside, sipping coffee, and watching the sun rise.

For those of you who don’t know me, I have a shameless confession to make:
I am a morning person.
I absolutely love mornings, and have for as long as I can remember.
As young as 5 or 6 years old, I remember my parents having to set a limit as to how early I could get up and play piano during the summers (6:00) - and you could put money on me being at the piano within minutes of the clock chiming (or cooing - we had one of those bird clocks).
There’s just something so settling about mornings - getting up before the world is awake, going outside, watching the stars, hearing the birds sing, the crickets chirp, and the frogs croak, seeing the first colors of day break into the brilliant hues of dawn.  Maybe going for a run - feeling a cool breeze, letting the miles slip by in the darkness.  Embracing the newness of the day - the endless possibilities that await.  Finding comfort in the stillness and the silence.
Yes, mornings are my favorite.

In addition to all the other wonderful opportunities afforded by mornings, these hours provide a perfect time to sit down and reflect on life... aka blog.  As you can hopefully tell by the blog name and post title, today is the first day of my 100 day blogging challenge (100 Days of Hannah).  Quarantine is a challenging time for many, but also provides a perfect time to face some challenges head on - simply to say “I did it.”  This challenge was inspired by Kev Quirk (@kev@fostodon.org), and passed along to me by my older brother who is also completing the challenge (link to his blog here).

So, what can you expect for the next 100 days?

Honestly, I’m not sure - there is no specific criteria for the challenge, except to complete a post every day.  From that point, some days it may be a thought that I had during the day.  Other days it might be a song that I’m currently obsessed with.  Still others, it may be a funny story, a life lesson, or simply a random memory.  Whatever the day holds though, it will be 100 days of 100% Hannah.

In addition to the content, I’m planning on posting a photo every day - either of something from that day, or something that is related to the topic of choice - as well as asking a question for anyone reading this to comment on, and posting one challenge to be attempted that day.

So, without further ado:
Question of the day: Are you an early-riser or a night-owl, and why?
Challenge of the day: Knock one thing off your to-do list that you’ve been putting off. (I finally got rid of my Christmas tree 😅)
Photo of the day:

Til tomorrow: May your coffee be hot, your morning be calm, and your day be blessed.

-Hannah



Day 1: Mornings

This post brought to you while sitting outside, sipping coffee, and watching the sun rise. For those of you who don’t know me, I have a ...